Godox have claimed the title of the worlds first rechargeable Lithium-Ion powered speedlight!, with the release of the new Godox V850 VING remote manual, and off camera HSS capable flash unit!
I think Godox have just created the flash that is going to revolutionise off camera speedlites, and change them forever. The V850 incorporates a powerful and fast recycle Lithium battery pack directly into a compact speedlite !
That’s around 650 full power pops, at 1.5 second recycle! … No need for an external pack!
The Godox V850 is an all manual (single firing pin) speedlight, but with remote manual power control from the transmitter. And through the same FT-16 transmitter used by the (also fantastic) Godox Witstro AD180 / AD360 and Cheetah Light bare bulb flash units. The V850 uses a new smaller FT-16S receiver though, that fits more snugly to the side of the flash body.
The new V850 also shares the same unique FP HSS (High Speed Sync) capability (to 1/8000th) as the Witstro, using the Godox Cells II as transmitter. So although this is a manual speedlight, it still has the HSS feature most desirable in TTL speedlites, but only available off camera. Cells II are currently available for Canon, with a Nikon version coming.
The absolute kicker though is the V850 uses a relatively small (but very large capacity) 11.1V 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery, which provides around 650 full power pops, and 1.5 second full power recycle time. Providing the power equivalent of more than 12 AA batteries!
In other words it has MORE than an external Canon/Nikon style HV battery pack, but built directly into the flash. And at a tiny fraction of the extra size, weight, and inconvenience! (Not to mention hassle of charging 12 AA’s per flash). At just 120 grams the Lithium battery weighs little more than a regular set of 4 good AA’s in the flash.
This is a huge milestone in the direction forward towards purpose built off camera flash units!
The V850 is a completely new speedlight from Godox, designed from the ground up.
And I can see the interface has taken most of its inspiration from the recent Witstro bare bulb flash units. Which (combined with the remote control system) absolutely put most existing speedlights to shame with their simplicity and ease of use (I’m sure most Witstro owners would agree).
Note – the battery level indicator. This will be really useful, and virtually needed now that the flash has so much battery capacity. Otherwise you could often be recharging it well before its actually needed now.
The optional FT-16 transmitter is the same as currently used with the Witstro and Cheetah Light bare bulb flash units. So the V850 should be the ideal speedlight to combine with those, all controlled through the same simple remote. The FT-16 transmitter is not the most contemporary design, but it would have to be one of the fastest and simplest units available for changing remote manual power levels on a number of flashes.
And also very reliable (even though it is the less popular 433MHz frequency). There are 16 individual groups, and manual power adjustment in 1/3rd stops. (Also 16 channels).
The new FT-16S receiver is a more compact unit than used previously on the Witstro, and now plugs into a dedicated port, instead of a regular USB port as the Witstro does. I suspect this may have been changed to make the new socket more of a secure attachment. The very small receiver is powered by the flash and requires no batteries. The advantage of the plug in design (rather than built in) is that the radio system can be updated later.
The V850 also has a 3.5mm sync port, S1 and S2 optic slave modes, AF assist light (with remote control from the transmitter), and even a locking pin in the foot (which the Witstro lacks).
A number of people have commented about the battery being proprietary, and I can understand some concern there. But keep in mind Godox have basically just put their own external battery packs out of business here with regards to speedlights (and I was just writing about how good they are). So I can certainly understand they would want to recoup that somehow. There are likely practical reasons though too, as the pack is obviously very nicely made to fit in the flash, and with ideal capacity etc.
But having used the Witstro & Cheetah Lights, (which basically use proprietary lithium batteries as well in the PB960 pack), the Lithium battery is really the best thing about them, and I wouldn’t want trade back to AA’s for any money. The advantages of such little battery management is overwhelming, and now you have the extra advantage of no cumbersome external pack or cords needed at all now.
You could argue the Witstro does at least have some other battery pack options possible (like Quantum etc), but its highly unlikely you would need them when the Godox battery pack is so good (at a fraction of the cost). The VB-18 battery in the V850 will not be going away any time soon either, as Godox are already designing it into more flash units. ( tip there 🙂 )
So the new V850 is looking extremely promising so far. Hopefully the V850 works as good as it looks, but I think this is the release of the year so far anyway, if nothing else just for the promise it shows for the near future!
And for current Witstro & Cheetah Light owners it would be hard to find a more convenient speedlight option to add to their existing set up.
Update – Full Godox Brochure –
Price and Availability –
Available now for around $119 –
Eachshot -6% – V850
Cells II (for HSS) are currently available for Canon, with a Nikon version coming soon.
Godox – Website