The new RS400P and RS600P may only be an updated and more sturdy head design, as well as an updated LED modelling light, though the release of the new Xenergizer is still quite significant.
This is because, of all the many portable Chinese flash units available, there are very few which can actually match the popular Elinchrom Quadra for ambient light killing power, while in a similarly lightweight and portable package.
The RS600P at least, now being an overall more competent package, are about to change all that. And starting from under $600, the Xenergizer are a considerably more affordable option than the Quadra.
The Xenergizer (like the Quadra) are pack and head systems, meaning the capacitors are in the pack, and the heads themselves are basically just a lightweight housing for the flash tubes and reflector / modifier mount.
And the 12.8V, 8000mAh, LiFePO4 Lithium powered Xenergizer pack itself remains the same as the previous ES version, which has been available for at least 6 months already.
UPDATE – The new RS pack is actually slightly different to the previous ES version. As the RS head now has an LED modelling light, which must turn off automatically after 2 minutes. Where the ES pack, designed for the older tungsten modelling light, turns off after an hour.
For this reason Godox do not recommend using the new RS heads with the old ES pack. That can be done safely other than the modelling light. But Godox are still not recommending it, because its simply too easy to leave the LED modeling light on and burn it out.
And prior to the ES model, an EX series NiMH powered version has also been available for a number of years.
What has changed in the new RS Xenergizer, is simply a redesigned head, with much more sturdy (mostly metal) build. Now capable of supporting large softboxes and modifiers on the built in Bowen’s S-type mount.
A 12 watt LED modelling light has now also been added. Apart from that though the new RS Xenergizer is simply the result of a manufacturer finally listening to consumers and retailers, and correcting the basic shortcomings of a mostly already good product. Which is now likely to become a lot more popular.
The previous ES version has a very compact and lightweight head, with handle and large S-mount reflector. Which in some ways is actually preferable. Though not having any way to securely mount larger softboxes and modifiers has been a fatal flaw for many owners. The new RS series Xenergizer simply eliminates that limitation.
Another reason the new RS Xenergizer have been much anticipated, is because Godox have also recently built up quite a following with the popular Witstro bare bulb hotshoe flashes, as well as the V850 and V860 Lithium-Ion powered speedlites.
All of which use the same great FT-16 radio system, with very simple and reliable remote manual power control.
So the RS400P and RS600P Xenergizer will incorporate seamlessly with the existing smaller flash units, all using the same remote manual power control adjusted in convenient 1/3 rd stop increments.
The Xenergizer RS400P and RS600P are stated as 400WS and 600WS respectively. Though relative to other common lights the RS600P produces a light output of roughly around 500WS.
So its the RS600P which will provide a real alternative to the popular 400Ws Elinchrom Quadra (when used with only one head). The RS400P would not match the Quadra’s full 400WS output.
The RS600P provide one stop more light than the Godox Witstro AD360.
Power levels are from 1/1 down to 1/32, in 1/3rd stop increments (16 levels altogether).
Flash Duration -
Xenergizer flash durations are from 1/2000th at full power to 1/800th at 1/32 (minimum power). And these reasonably fast duration mean that most of the light can be captured in the cameras frame at 1/250th X-Sync.
Slower flash durations at full power are the reason many other Chinese portable flashes (including the Godox Witstro) the can not match the Quadras ambient light killing ability at full power, even if they can provide as much light at slower shutter speeds.
LED Modelling Light -
The RS series Xenergizer now have a reasonably powerful 12W LED modelling light.
The modelling light automatically shuts off after 2 minute periods. Later model RS600P may have a 15 minute modelling light with the help of a cooling fan.
LiFePO4 Battery -
It should be noted the Xenergizer uses a Lithium Polymer LiFePO4 type Lithium battery. LiFePO4 Lithium batteries have a much longer life cycle. Up to around 10 years, compared to around 2 years for regular (NMC) Lithium Batteries (like the Witstro / PB960, and PCB VML use).
(Paul C Buff recently released a LiFePO4 version VLX pack, which is $399 alone).
RS600P Specs –
- Max Power - 600WS (true – 500WS)
- Recycle Time – Aprox 2 – 2.5 seconds at full power
- Flashes Per Battery Charge – Aprox 450 full power flashes
- Guide No - 68m ISO 100
- Battery - LiFePO4 (12.8V / 8000mAh)
- Flash Duration - 1/800 to 1/2000 second
- Modeling Lamp - 12W 12V LED
- Color Temperature - 5600K ± 200K
- Voltage of Charger - AC 100 – 240V / 50-60Hz
- Battery Pack Size - 17 x 8 x 26 cm
- Pack Net Weight - Approx. 3.9 kg
Xenergizer Vs Witstro - Click to Expand
Xenergizer Vs Witstro AD360 -
No doubt many people who have the Witstro AD360 on their shopping list will now be weighing up the Xenergizer to some degree as well.
The RS600P offers twice the power, a 100 watt equivalent modelling light, a secure Bowen’s S-mount and solid metal swivel built in, and longer life LiFePO4 battery. And all for around $100 less than the lower powered Witstro.
With the Witstro you’re definitely paying a premium for the convenience of smaller weight and size. Though I’m really surprised at the number of people who have said they are trading their Eisenstein & VML, or Quadras, for more AD360. As they just find them much more convenient to manage, especially if working on their own.
And you could likely squeeze half a dozen AD360 into the nice alloy case the one Xenergizer comes in.
For bang for buck raw power though, the RS600P are around twice the power, and for a lower price.
ES600P Series - Click to Expand
The irony of Godox finally producing a more solid head for the new RS Xenergizer is that it will bring more attention to the previous ES series as well. And that some people at least, may even find the original ES head more suitable for their use. For hand holding, and only mounting small modifiers or the supplied reflector, the ES may actually be preferable.
And the ES600P Xenergizer can be purchased from around $460 shipped on Ebay. While the new RS600P has a minimum advertised price of $588.
Its a little bit of a pity Godox did not produce a more solid metal version of the compact ES head. Its fairly obvious they have recycled the components from their monolight range to produce the new RS head, which would be a more economical option.
The cord now also plugs into the back of the RS head, as well as plugging into the pack. While the ES head has the cord permanently attached.
When comparing with the Elinchrom Quadra, it should be noted that the Xenergizer pack only has one port, allowing for the one head. While the Quadra pack can support a second head, sharing the 400WS in a fixed 2 to 1 ratio.
Though for most people, purchasing two complete Xenergizer RS600P packs and heads would still be considerably cheaper than the one Quadra pack with 2 heads. And the Xenergizer would then be twice the output, with completely variable ratio between heads.
The Quadra also require a $100 adapter to attach regular Elinchrom softboxes and modifiers. Not to say the Quadras are not very nice lights by any means, just that the Xenergizer provides another more affordable option.
As seen above the Xenergizer has a button to swtich on and off the modeling light and sound beep. This can also be done remotely from the FT-16 radio transmitter.
Price and Availability -
The Godox Xenergizer RS600P and RS400P are available now-
Godox – Website