Godox V850 Ving Lithium-Ion Flash – Hands On Preview

A lot of people have been champing at the bit to hear what the new Godox V850 Lithium-Ion powered flash is like, so I’m posting a quick hands on preview.

In short this flash is brilliant! It’s definitely the real deal.

Godox V850 Ving

 

Previous Godox speedlights have been made to very low prices, and generally around a stop less powerful than the top end flashes. So I really wasn’t sure what to expect with the new V850, but thankfully Godox have followed on from the excellent quality Cheetah/Witstro bare bulb units, and stepped it right up with the V850 speedlight.

The V850 is a really nicely made flash, and power is right up there with the Canon-Nikon units. Color temp is similar to Canon, and consistent. Light output between shots is also very consistent. Build quality is really nice, with a very smooth and solid head tilt and swivel, and large clear LCD. Buttons are large and easy to access, and the interface is as simple and user friendly as they come.

So this is a higher quality flash than the popular YongNuo YN-560 III, with 2 to 3 tenths more power, and color more consistent with the Canon-Nikon units. Both flashes share the Canon 580EX/II head shape, so modifiers designed for those will fit both flashes. The V850 body is just a little fatter, and you can feel it has a bit more weight to it, but not that much difference really.

Like the YN-560 III (should eventually provide) the V850 is a manual only flash, but with remote power control available via radio. Unlike the YN-560 III though, the V850 also has HSS available off camera (with another Cells II transmitter used).

 

Lithium-Ion Battery –

The game changing feature of the V850 though is the built in Lithium-Ion battery, capable of a huge 650 full power pops. Effectively negating the need for an external battery pack to a large degree (and a heap more AA batteries).

I tested this capacity (and if I counted right) I reached 645 full power pops on the one full battery charge. And recycle didn’t slow right down until the last 5 pops. That’s really 12 AA’s worth, and with no slow down!

 

Godox V850 Ving

 

The V850 really is a game changer when it comes to off camera speedlights. You simply don’t have to worry about batteries any more. And even if you did need a battery change, its an effortless exercise you can do with your eyes closed. No fumbling around with AA batteries in the dark ever again!

I said to Godox this is really the first professional self contained off camera speedlight available. Because constantly replacing AA batteries in the middle of a shoot really makes regular speedlites feel like a toy in comparison. External battery packs are a way around that, but that’s a lot of extra gear, inconvenience, and battery management again. This is one simple battery, and very neatly packaged inside a completely self contained flash unit.

Godox V850

Stress Test and Recycle – 

Godox sent this flash sample over, but another retailer asked me if I could really give this flash a hard time (at their expense), so that they could get a good indication of how well they would really hold up. So for the last 2 days I have pushed this poor flash to the extreme… and its still going fine. The front diffuser is now melted!, but the flash is still going strong.

The same can’t be said unfortunately for a fairly new YN-560 III, which burnt out the flash tube trying to keep up with the V850 in a direct comparison. I was firing both flashes exactly the same with continuous 1/2 power pops, but I had to keep opening the battery door on the YN-560 III to cheat the overheat protection to try and keep up with the V850. And eventually the poor YN-560 III went pooof! The Eneloops inside were so hot I could not even hold them. In comparison the V850 battery with exactly the same pops was hardly even warm.

So that really showed the difference between these two flashes. That was really pushing them to the extreme though, and in defence of the YN-560 III its really quite a fast little flash when it comes to recycle time. The power is a little lower, but for quite a few shots (50 or more) its recycle time is actually slightly faster than the V850. I know that is going to confuse things for some people, but it is true. The V850 will eventually pull ahead though, and then it has the capacity to go on for a long long time! The V850 is faster than the comparable output Canon/Nikon flashes from the start though –

 

 

So the V850 is not actually rocket-ship fast recycle like you can get from some external battery packs. Though unless very short bursts of multiple frames per second are what you’re after, its overheat issues that are always going to slow things down eventually more than recycle time anyway.

At half power you can shoot at 0.5 second recycle (which is as good as instant), and as long as you stop for at least 30 seconds once in every 60 shots, the flash will never go into overheat protection. So you can basically shoot over 1200 shots at 1/2 power, with almost instant recycle when needed. Which is simply amazing for a small self contained speedlight.

And if you did need super fast recycle off camera, the money would be better spent on a second V850 rather than a battery pack anyway. Because using two V850 flashes at half the power level of one, would be faster than virtualy any battery pack anyway, and allow a lot more pops before overheating them as well.

And that’s another great point, using multiple flashes together will also be much more convenient now without trying to run battery packs to them all.

 

Interface –

Godox V850

 

The V850 has a large clear LCD, and the buttons are large and easy to access. The wheel is fast to operate, though simple push buttons like the YongNuo flashes have are arguably even slightly faster. Its hardly worth comparing that in detail though, as the remote transmitter will likely be the main interface used to control the flash 95% of the time anyway.

The button functions and display are extremely simple though, with no multi button pressing. And nothing hidden other than what you see on the buttons face, except for just 2 custom functions, sleep time/off, and AF assist light time.

Godox have clearly tried to follow in the steps of the Witstro/Cheetah and make this the most simple user friendly speedlight interface available. The simple ON/OFF switch sure beats holding a button down for ages to get the flash turned on or off as well.

Manual, S1, S2, RPT (Multi), and HSS  modes are available, and displayed down the left side of the LCD screen. The all important battery level indicator is in the right.

 

Triggers and HSS – 

Godox FT-16S

The FT-16s receiver module is not available until the end of the month, but we know already from the Cheetah/Witstro that the transmitter and remote power control is one of the quickest and simplest available, and you would be lucky to ever see a misfire.

HSS requires a separate Cells II transmitter, and the FT-16 transmitter above is then held in hand to change power levels. I did test the HSS using a Cells II as transmitter and receiver for now, and its comparable in output to an on-camera speedlite, though not quite as even. (Cells II are currently available for Canon, Nikon coming soon).

The V850 instruction manual says only 10 continuous full power shots in HSS, but I found its actually set to 20 shots just as regular full power is. Taking a short break within that 20 shots easily avoids going into overheat protection at all though.

 

 

Issues –

I did find some very small issues with the V850, but as an off camera flash nothing I would really even be concerned with (though I have informed Godox of these).

Catchlight Card – Can pull right out of the flash too easily. Off camera I would rarely ever use it though.

Flash Foot – Although wider than YongNuo feet, its still a bit too slopy in the Canon Hotshoe. Not really an issue with a single firing pin flash though.

Light Pattern – Although monumentally improved over some earlier Godox speedlights, the light pattern is still not as even as many other speedlites at longer zoom lengths (at 24mm etc its very even though). To be fair Nikon has not been perfect with this on recent flashes either. And for off camera use its generally not an issue anyway.

Sound Buzzer Memory – All settings stay in memory except the sound buzzer and HSS. It gets a little annoying remembering to turn the buzzer on all the time if you like to use that.

LCD Backlight Time – 10 seconds for the LCD screen backlight time is really too short. One of the great things about the Witstro is the LCD stays on all the time. The ideal option here would be another custom function to change the time to 30 or 60 seconds, or on all the time like the Witstro. Though with remote power control it is possible you never use the flash interface anyway.

2.5mm sync port – The manual and specs state this as 3.5mm, not 2.5mm as it actually is. (Which is a little annoying when the Witstro port is 3.5mm)

Soft Pouch – This is currently tight on the flash, but it would have been much better to fit the flash with FT-16s receiver attached to the side as well. This may be an early pouch though.

Godox V850

Summary –

As mentioned the Godox V850 is the real deal, and I’m sure its going to change off camera speedlites forever.

Its an incredible flash, and at $119.95 with battery and a great charger, Godox have got the price point spot on as well. (It will be available cheaper without charger as well).

Don’t tell Godox, but many professionals wouldn’t even think twice about paying double for the convenience of this flash. Though Godox have clearly aimed the V850 at an ideal balance, built well and still priced to suit as many people as possible this time.

For owners of the Cheetah and Witstro bare bulb flash units, this will be the obvious companion speedlite choice as it uses the same transmitter unit for remote power control (and HSS etc).

The V850 is really going to make a lot of people think twice about any off camera speedlight choice now though.

 

More details in the Godox Brochure below –  

 

Price and Availability –

 

Available now for around $119 –

Amazon – Neewer TT850FT-16sCells II

Ebay – Godox V850Godox FT-16sCells II

CheetahStand – V850FT-16sCells II

Eachshot -6% – V850

 

You can also see more details on the V850 in the previous post here.

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123 Comments
  1. John L. 5 years ago

    Any idea when the Cells transmitter for Nikon will be coming out?

    Also, what is the difference between the FT-16 and FT-16s? I have 3 of the Witstro AD-360 units and FT-16 trigger sets already, so I’m wondering what is needed to make them work together?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi John L.,

      Godox are working on the Cells II for Nikon at the moment. They can’y really give an exact time as it just depends how long it takes to reverse engineer the Nikon protocol completely. Though they did say “soon” for what that is worth.

      The FT-16s radio set uses exactly the same transmitter as the FT-16. So its really only the receiver unit that is slightly different. I assume the “s” is for speedlight.

      That FT-16s receiver is designed to be more compact now and fit closely to the side of the flash. It also uses a different connection now, not a standard USB port. Which means it won’t mount to the Witstro/Cheetah Lights. The connection should clip the FT-16s to the flash more securely though.

      So you can use your existing FT-16 transmitter with the V850 and Witstro/Cheetah flashes (at the same time). You just need an FT-16s receiver for each V850. Thanks.

      • John L. 5 years ago

        Thanks for the additional info! That totally cleared things up for me on the FT-16/16s. These V850’s are making me strongly consider selling my Yongnuo 560 III’s just for having fewer AA’s to worry about… being able to use the HSS function without having to buy additional AA powered receivers for everything by using the Cells II would definitely get me to go ahead. I know I could switch to Canon and have what I want now, but switching camera systems over an aftermarket radio trigger doesn’t make economic sense to me right now. First world problems…

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi John L.

          Yes, I wouldn’t switch camera systems, the Cells II for Nikon is definitely coming. Ideally they need a combined transmitter as soon as possible too, but I’m sure that will come eventually as well.

          Yes its going to be very hard to go past these for speedlights if you have the Cheeta/Witstro flashes as well. All controlled by the same transmitter, never have to worry about battery changes or charging AA’s. Its a very sweet system.

          • John L. 5 years ago

            So, I figured out that syncing at 1/8000s on a Nikon D7000 with the AD-360 is quite simple using a single Yongnuo YN-622N with the Godox FT-16 transmitter and receiver. Press Mode and Set on the flash to set it to HSS, plug the FT-16 usb receiver into the flash, set the camera flash setting to 1/320* (Auto FP), place YN-622N on top of camera, then place FT-16 transmitter on top of YN-622N, finally turn YN-622N on before turning FT-16 on. Camera and YN transmitter are tricked into thinking the FT-16 is a flash and send the HSS signal to the FT-16… no need for additional YN-622’s on the flashes. Also, I was able to place the YN-622 between the camera and flash and achieve HSS with the flash on camera as well. I don’t have other types of triggers to compare the power output to and haven’t done significant testing, but placing a single YN-622N between the flash and camera or between the camera and a FT-16 will definitely allow HSS.

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 5 years ago

            Thanks John,

            Another person mentioned the same working with the Canon YN-622C, but I can’t see that working at all. If anyone else has this with the Canon version please let us know.

            The same can be done with the PocketWizard Mini TT1, no receiver required. But even with the timing adjustment available there people are reporting mixed results (some very good, some not good at all).

  2. Armin 5 years ago

    So customs down under seem faster than in germany. Thanks for your preview! 2.5mm port annoyes but great package in sum.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Armin,

      Yep it arrived faster than expected. I just wanted to put a preview up for now as a lot of people are wanting to know if the flash is up to scratch as they want to start ordering as soon as possible.

      But its built really nicely, better than its price point really, even without the new battery system. And its one of the few flashes that really match the Canon/Nikon units for power. The Lithium-Ion battery does as advertised, and that is brilliant.

      Please let us know what you think still though. Thanks.

  3. Alex 5 years ago

    Does the transmitter use the same fractional power adjustment with the V850 like the Witstro or does it use the decimal values like the studio lights?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Alex,

      The transmitter is the same unit as used with all the Godox lights using this radio system. So it can be set to 1/3rd stop fractional setting like the V850 and Witstro, or decimal values like the studio lights. But the Witstro and V850 both use the 1/3rd stop fractional setting, so they will work well together.

      Unless something has changed with the transmitters, it is hard to mix the decimal and fractional lights though unfortunately, as the transmitter settings go back to zero every time when you switch from decimal to fractional. Thanks

  4. loveboy 5 years ago

    Looks very nice.

    Can you remote-adjust the zoom at all?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi loveboy,

      No you can’t adjust the zoom with the current FT-16 transmitter.

      I do wonder if this feature may possibly be built into the FT-16s receiver though, to be enabled once there is a new transmitter available. Godox are not commenting on a new transmitter though at this stage. Thanks.

  5. George 5 years ago

    HI I am so far with Nikon D3x and Fuji XE 2 .What i need to work for both cameras, and when?

    Many thanks.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi George,

      To fire the flash, and use remote manual power control, you just need the standard FT-16 transmitter, and FT-16s receiver for the flash units. The FT-16 transmitter should work fine on on both cameras.

      The FT-16s receiver for the V850 should be available around the end of the month.

      For HSS use, this would only work with Canon and Nikon Cameras, and the Cells II transmitter for Nikon is not available yet. Godox says they should be available soon though. Thanks.

  6. Ragnakon 5 years ago

    I getting more and more interested in those flashes.maybe I will sell my yn560 III.
    But my main concern are those, like I think, very very bulky transmitter. They are just so big,especially with the Cell II.
    Yongnuo should hurry with their new flashes and remote controls so I can compare and plan for my future flash system.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Ragnakon,

      Yes, the transmitters are not ideal, (though a lot of people do like the big PocketWizards), but I’m sure Godox will have a new combined transmitter eventually. I’m not sure how long that may be though as they have a lot in the works already.

      But the current transmitter is at least very good for simple remote manual control. Its quicker and easier than any of the current (much higher priced) TTL triggers.

      And at least Godox do currently have a remote manual transmitter option. YongNuo have really dropped the ball on this one. They could have had a simple transmitter for this a long time ago.

      • loveboy 5 years ago

        Yeah I’m not a fan of these silly upright designs; though they’ll work well enough in the hand. Really need a minimalistic hotshoe mount one too.

        Totally agreed with Yongnuo… I’ve more or less given up on them now, time to move on to something a bit better supported.

  7. the Flasher 5 years ago

    As great as the flash is its achilles heel is the radio trigger conundrum which users have to solve to get the functionality they want.

    So you can get the flash but you have to wait till the end of the month before you can buy the radio power control trigger and the if you want HSS you have to buy another trigger Cells II ( do you have to buy 2???? a tx and rx …it doesn’t specify this in the specs)

    And if you shoot nikon you have to wait even longer for HSS.

    So price wise the total is: (using Ebay USD Pricing)

    Flash = $119.95

    FT-16s = $40 approx?????

    Pair of Cells II for HSS = $109.95

    Total approx: $270 plus shipping and any import taxes you might incur

    I’m suddenly thinking its not such a great deal?????

    • loveboy 5 years ago

      You only need one Cells II (per Camera), assuming you can buy them one off.. you don’t need one for the flash I don’t think? .. and that’s a one off cost, ie not for every flash.

      Given that most OCF users will be using multiple flash units, the cost of a single Cells II is pretty low, per flash head.

      And of course, for those of us who don’t want HSS (me 🙂 ), then presumably the FT-16 transmitter is cheaper. I have no idea how the prices of these are going to be structured, really.

      I also don’t need 4 chargers…

      So it’ll be interesting to see the “kit cost” of, say, 4 x V850 (w/4xBatteries), 2x chargers, 4x FT-16s Rx and 2x FT-16 Tx. I expect it’ll still work out very economically.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Yeah.. I think these are really very well priced.

      The Kit with battery and charger is $119, so I would expect the flash alone would have to be $99 or less.

      The YN-560 III at cut throat prices are $75, and the V850 is a better quality flash.

      The Lumopro 180 is probably the only other manual comparison of and that is $199, with no remote function at all (and still AA batteries).

      .

      The current FT-16 transmitter and receiver set, sell for around $60 the pair (though you can get them as low as $28).

      The FT-16 receiver is usually around $30 each, so I would expect the FT-16s receiver would be similar.

      The Cells II is only required as a transmitter as loveboy mentions. I’m sure they would be offered as single units as CheetahStand.com does.

      Again I think there would have to be a combined HSS transmitter at some stage. Doing the reverse engineering is the hard part, and they are still working on that for Nikon.

      Godox have really tried to step it up with the simple user friendly interface on this flash. So I’d be reasonably confident any new transmitter would be pretty good too.

      I was expecting (hopefully) just under $200 per flash. Even with charger kit on each flash they have come in much lower at around $150 each with receiver. And that would be less if you don’t need so many chargers.

      I suggested a four dock charger option by the way. That would be great too.

      • the Flasher 5 years ago

        Hmmmm… interesting so you only require 1x Cells II transmitter for HSS….this means the new FT-16s has inbuilt HSS receiver which is a feature the normal FT-16 doesn’t have.

        regarding the shape of the FT-16 trigger, It is quite large but it is very light so i hardly notice its on the camera and my only concern is that it doesn’t have a locking pin in the foot which i would prefer for secure fitting. Also the LCD screen could be a bit larger and the power up and down buttons could be a bit larger and actually point up and down rather than left and right!!!

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Flasher,

          The current FT-16 receivers also work with HSS when using the Cells II as transmitter.

          This is not actually something the receiver needs to be enabled for, its just the transmitter that must pick up and send the early pre-sync signal.

          That’s why you can still do HSS with other manual radio receivers attached to the flash (like the Phottix Strato II). You just need the dedicated transmitter, which in the case of Phottix is the Odin. Thanks.

  8. Tino 5 years ago

    The FT-16S is now avaible in there ebay store.
    “The FT-16S works with all camera systems such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.”

    How should this be possible with all this different Hot Shoe standards? Any thoughts?

    • loveboy 5 years ago

      Everyone (except some Sony/Minolta models) use the same hotshoe as far as the physical fit, and “single pin” (in the middle) goes. They are all capable of triggering a flash.

      Once you get beyond basic triggering, like picking up zoom position, or HSS, or TTL, or detecting flash present/ready, or whatever… then they all become incompatible fast.

      But for simple slave flash, a basic hotshoe is all you need, and this is the same on most cameras.

      • Tino 5 years ago

        Aaaah, got it! I thought the Ft-16S trigger supports HSS… but only the Cells II do. So i have to use my 622C’s. Thanks mate!

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Tino,

          The FT-16s receiver still supports HSS, you just need the Cells II as a transmitter. (The Cells II transmitter is compatible with the FT16s receiver).

          If you use YN-622C or other TTL triggers for the HSS you will need the YN-622C receiver on each flash. And the FT-16s receiver as well if you want remote power control (with the FT-16 TX held in hand). Thanks.

          • Tino 5 years ago

            Yes, I think it’s a shame that the FT16s transmitter doesn’t support the HSS feature. So you need an extra component to enable HSS. Anyway, I’m going to buy the flash and the FT16s right now and if i need HSS i will use the 622’s 🙂 . Btw.: thanks for the great (p)review!

  9. Kent Doo 5 years ago

    Note that the Yongnuo YN 622C works with the godox AD 180/360 in HSS mode, No need for Cells 2 if you already have the Yongnuo and shoot Canon.
    So I presume it will work with this new flash also.
    Tested on my Calumet Genesis 400 unit (same as Godox 360).

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Thanks Kent Doo,

      I didn’t try the YN-622C with HSS because I couldn’t find a PC to 2.5mm cable (and I have ton of cables). But I tried the other TTL triggers (Odins King etc) and its working much the same as the AD 180/360. So the YN-622C should be fine.

      But you do need a YN-622C receiver attached to each flash. The Cells II don’t require extra receivers and they give me about 1/3rd stop more light. But if you wanted to use the Godox flashes together with other TTL/HSS speedlites, then using other TTL triggers is a handy way to combine them all. (With the Odin you only need to use manual Strato II receivers). Thanks.

      • Jbm 5 years ago

        Hi, II have a stupid question, but I need light on it. Would it be possible to control a canon 430 ex II and two V850 with the phottix Odin for example ? By controlling, I mean firing the strobes AND controling each srobe’s power.

        If not, do triggers exist to do that ? Or , is it better to wait for yn 622 tax for example?

        Thanks a lot

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Jbm,

          Sorry no the Odin can not control the V850 power levels. You would need to do that with the FT-16 transmitter held in hand. What the Odin can do is fire the V850, and use HSS, but that still requires an extra receiver attached to the V850 (Phottix Strato II would do in that case).

          No other triggers do not currently exist to control both the 430EX II and V850, and the YN-622-TX would be much the same situation as the Odin. The only way this will happen is if Godox provide a TTL trigger and compatible receiver for the 430EX II. They are definitely working on more TTL gear, but whether that will extend to a receiver for other flashes I don’t know. I think first priority would be their own TLL flashes. Thanks.

          • Jbm 5 years ago

            Thanks a lot for your response, it make sense for me now.

  10. Jacques 5 years ago

    These are now available on Amazon and eBay for around $100 with battery and charger, and on eBay without battery or charger for $75. The FT-16s trigger set is also available now for $35.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Thanks Jacques,

      Amazon – Neewer TT850FT-16s set

      • Chris 5 years ago

        Are there any differences with the Neewer brand on Amazon vs the Godex brand elsewhere?

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Chris,

          No the Neewer brand is exactly the same unit as the Godox, they just have their own brand name screen printed on instead. A lot of companies want to do this now so they they only warranty and service the units that they have actually sold themselves.

          The Neewer brand are mainly sold by New Harbour on Amamzon, as far as I understand they are based in Hong Kong but ship from a base in New Jersey USA. I have questioned them before and they said any returns would go to NJ as well. Thanks.

  11. Will 5 years ago

    Any chance you could adjust power settings with a pocketwizard and ac3

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Will,

      Sorry no, you can fire them with PocketWizard’s though (provided you have a PW receiver attached), and then use the FT-16 transmitter held in hand to change the power levers.

      The FT-16 transmitter is currently the only way to change the power levels remotely.

      If using other flashes and triggers I just think of the FT-16 like a TV remote. Though it is handy if you have somewhere convenient on the camera to mount it (like a pass through hotshoe on another transmitter). Thanks.

  12. Adrian 5 years ago

    I’m currently using Nikon spec PW TT1 & TT5’s

    Can I place the V850 on top of the TT5 and achieve HSS?

    If I have a V850 on top of a TT5 and then run a sync cable from the TT5 into 2nd V850 would both flashes achieve HSS.

    If this works, I would then only need to purchase a FT16 & usb receivers for the V850 to control power output? I would not need to wait for a cells II to be available for Nikon?

    I currently only shoot in manual mode & the lack of 1/3rd stop settings with my Nikon SU800 is highly annoying. The ability to control the V850’s with the FT16 with 1/3rd stops and the lithium battery makes purchasing 4 or 5 of these V850’s a no brainer.

    Regarding the Cells II, would I be better off sticking with the PW TT5’s or selling them and purchasing a Cells II when it becomes available for Nikon?

    Thanks Adrian

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Adrian,

      I try not do comment on the PW function with HSS anymore, because they are fairly complicated and I don’t want to give misinformation. But I don’t think you can use the TT5 hotshoe, I think the flash needs to be connected via the sync cord. You could probably use a splitter cord to run that sync cord to 2 flashes.

      Yes you should be able to use the PW instead of the Cells II for now. But people are getting varying results. Some people have them working fine on standard settings, while others haven’t. PocketWizard have a timing adjustment and a number of ways to utilize that, the problem is knowing the correct, or best setting. And those are not easy to track down at this stage. So it may be a lot of trial and error.

      If you are only using the V850 or Godox flashes, then the Cells II would be much easier as you don’t need the extra PW receivers on the flash units. And no setting to worry about, as the Cells II are already set to go.

      So you may want to experiment with the PW for now and see how you go. Again I don’t like to comment on this because it opens a can of worms which I don’t really have any good answers for, but some people have simply placed the FT-16 transmitter on top of a TT1 on the camera hotshoe, and that was enough to fire the flashes in HSS with just the FT-16 receivers. Again that hasn’t worked for everyone, and I don’t know the settings to make it work otherwise. But you might like to experiment. Thanks.

  13. Bret M 5 years ago

    Hey FH, what do you think the longevity on that lion battery is going to be like? I’ve ordered inexpensive Chinese batteries for both my old rebel xti and that one barely holds a charge after 1.5 years and the one I bought for my MacBook Pro bloated up and died completely after a short 2 months!
    That’s my only reservation, I have several yn-560’s and I know I can always find quality AA eneloops… I’m a little scared that even if this flash is built nicely that the battery will fail after a while.

    Thoughts?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Bret M,

      Actually I think this is one of the good things about Godox supplying the battery, because they are decent quality and pretty reasonably priced. I’ve had very little luck with third party Lithium batteries for Canon cameras. So many of them are just complete rubbish, so I end up paying full price for the genuine Canon ones.

      I think a couple of years is around the general life cycle of Lithium-Ion batteries though. This battery is equivalent to 12 AA’s, so for $30 – $40 it wouldn’t really be much more expensive. Its definitely a little more expensive than YN-560 and Eneloops, but I never expected it to be as close as it is really. Thanks.

  14. Donovan Dennis 5 years ago

    Hi Flash Havoc,

    I have read your articles and i’m enjoying this Godox product progress. I have xenergizer and witstro AD360 and i have already order this V850 with FT-16s receiver only (they are in shipping progress). I’m lucky that i get the pre-released FT-16s receiver only from my local dealer.

    i just want to drop by and share my experience with Ft-16 trigger. To make this FT-16 work with HSS mode, just put your FT-16 transmitter on the any TTL enabled trigger like Pixel king, pixel king pro and maybe YN622 (not yet tested). I have enjoyed using 1/8000s with AD360 only with stacking the FT-16 transmitter on pixel king transmitter hot shoe on my camera hot shoe (Nikon D7100). So i dont need Pixel king receiver as much as my Godox flashes. One pixel king transmitter and this is enough.

    And FYI, you can use Xenergizer in 1/8000s too (with help of pixel king transmitter, FT16 stacked at the top), although it shows some exposure different in your frame the bottom part is 2/3 stop higher than top part. But in some condition it doesnt matter.

    im happy with my godox system.

    Thanks

    • Jacques 5 years ago

      Donovan,

      I’ve got a drawer full of Lumedyne gear and am considering replacing it with Witstro and/or Xenergizer, mainly for events and location portraiture. I’ve researched both extensively and am aware of the design and spec differences. I’m curious why you chose both rather than just one or the other. Would you share your thinking about this and what roles you use them for? Did you get the 600W Xenergizer for more power than the Wistro? I generally like a pack & head configuration rather than a monolight config, mainly for the lighter head weight at the end of a lightweight boom (Cheetah Boom).

      • Donovan Dennis 5 years ago

        Hi Jacques,

        There are some reasons why i choose to have xenergizer and also witstro. Mainly i shoot interiors and products.

        1. Higher Power. By 600ws i can use this Xenergizer to be used with large modifier. But please note that Xenergizer head seems cannot hold large modifier. That’s why i made some modification on Xenergizer by using Bowens mount speedlight bracket so my Xenergizer head can be used with large modifier like Octa 140cm or Large Beauty dish. For example, in interior photoshooting i create the ambience light by using this Xenergizer with Octabox in order to catch the small aperture like F/11. To create accent in the room details, i use witstro.

        2. Modelling Light. I need this to control reflections from glossy surface. I love to use this xenergizer in my studio, because sometimes power cables can be very annoying. With this large battery capacity i can shoot freely without any worries the battery will go empty. i can shoot about 500 shots in one day photo shoot, and my xenergizer power setup is about 1/4-1/1.

        3. Xenergizer is cheaper than AD360. This is a very strong reasons too. So i can get additional lightsource with bonus extra power with xenergizer.

        For your field of work i think witstro is the best answer. With xenergizer you cannot move very freely like witstro.

        Regards

        Donovan

        • Dr. Hobbo 4 years ago

          Hi Donovan.

          I’m looking to buy the Godox Xenergizer 600w, but I’m not sure if it can hold large modifiers. I read your modification with a Bowens mount speedlight bracket, but I can not see how do you this modification.

          Can you post any picture or send me a photo?

          Thanks in advance!

          Greetings from Spain!

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 4 years ago

            Hi Dr Hobbo,

            There is a new version of the Xenergizer coming, with a much stronger mount. So you won’t need to do any modifications.

            They are available now as the Lencarta Safari II. Thanks.

    • Gordon 4 years ago

      so you are saying, by attaching the ft16snto the hot shoe pass through on the pixel kins, you will also pass through the hss triggering?… I have the PK hss ttl transmitters for Sony. I will be trying them out as soon as I get the flashes and radio triggers from Amazon.

  15. badphoto 5 years ago

    Hi, thanks for the review and info on this new flash. Couple of questions:

    1. Will there be a version with the HV port, in case you want to 1 sec full manual recycle and plug in the old battery pack?

    2. Looks like the battery is 11.1 V 2000mah li-ion proprietary. How much is one of these? Will there be even higher capacity available?

    3. Will there be 200 w/s or GN 200 versions in the future? I think this is where you can count it as a serious off camera flash. It’s laughable that it’s been more than 20 years since the Vivitar 283 and the industry still keeps churning out less than 100 w/s shoe mount flashes and everyone keeps paying for them even at $500. The Lumopro, after 2 incarnations and still no bigger capacitor, at $200 is a joke.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi badphoto,

      Manufacturers generally don’t give away much information as so to what may come in the future, so its not easy to answer question like those.

      Regarding point 1. and possibly 2. as well, I have certainly let Godox know that I’m not confident the lack of HV port, or slower recycle than some fast packs can produce, will translate as well to a TTL version of the flash for on camera use (which no doubt they will be working on). I personally doubt they will add a HV port, but there are 2 extra small sets of contacts in the battery compartment which are not being used with the current battery, so there is clearly allowance for something other than the current battery to go in there. Godox have not commented on what that may be.

      For manual off camera use though as the V850 is mainly aimed at, I don’t see recycle as much of as issue, because overheat is really the most limiting factor. To get around that you can simply add a second flash and run both at 1/2 the power, allowing recycle as fast as any battery pack, but more importantly a lot more pops before overheat. A second flash is not much different in price/size/weight etc to an external battery pack. Mounting the second flash may be the challenge sometimes though.

      I’m not sure of the V-18 battery price yet as there are not many listed yet. I would expect around $30 though, and like most Godox products you can find some good prices on Amazon and Ebay etc. I doubt Godox would be concerned about more capacity (as the current capacity is already huge) but possibly there could be something else to come which may boost recycle or attach to an external pack. Godox have said there is no option for that currently though.

      There are already 150WS and 300WS Godox Witstro units. These are bare bulb so do not suffer the overheat issues of regular speedlites. The battery packs are separate, but I would be surprised if they are not eventually combined into one cordless unit option. Thanks

      • badphoto 5 years ago

        I’m aware of the Wistro’s. They are solid flashes and it’s good that so far proven dependable by those who have used them. But the Ving, with the quick recycle and “on board battery pack” if you will, follows a diffent path, which is small foot print and ultra portability. At least I hope that is what’s in the minds of its designers. With the Wistros you get more choices of reflectors and modifiers, but you commit to more weight and a much larger storage bag to carry around. While for the strobist, smaller is better, less is more, and there is definitely a gap in the market for a Nikon SB-28 sized flash that is the more powerful than 60w/s / GN 120 the better. (3 of these, 2 bogen nano stands, 2 westcott collapsible umbrellas, all in a tripod case and you have an ultra light go anywhere set)

        So cramming in bigger or more capacitors should not be a problem, is it? If 20 years ago it was doable for a camera shop guy souping up the Vivitar 283 to 300ws, I’m sure it’s not beyond reach for the bright minds of a young, hungry company out of 1 billion people 🙂

        The issue remaning is heat to that little Xeon tube. Has anyone seriously looked into a cooling solution? Active cooling even?

        The best from the cheap oldies seem to be the Sunpak 611. Don’t know what they did, but thermal burn out is not an issue.

        In any case, 15 or so full manual shots and “rest for xx minutes” is quite goofy. What do you do, tell the model to go for a smoke break?

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi badphoto,

          I’ve actually been saying similar things pretty much since Strobist started, and even spelt it out with designs years ago. But to be fair most of the Chinese companies are only just getting their first speedlights together. Pixel for example don’t even have their first flash ready yet.

          So I think we will start to see some more rapid advancements now, and some real dedicated off camera flashes emerge. Godox alone are obviously really listening, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they are first with an AD180/V850 integrated wireless unit.

          Nissan have actually already shown you can make a hybrid speedlight with a quartz bulb and air cooling vents, with the MG8000 Extreme.

          Its only a matter of time until the pieces of the puzzle start coming together now in some really convenient lights. They may not be cheap at first, but as we’ve seen the prices start coming down as the volumes go up, and more economical version are made.

          One of the issues that people would always say would prevent higher power units happening was the flash durations at full power would get too long, and that is true of some of the higher power Sunpak flashes. But Godox have proved with the 150WS, and 300WS Witstro they have not increased durations from a regular speedlite (or color shift issues).

  16. badphoto 5 years ago

    Thanks for the insights. About long duration at full power as a con, I thought it’s a pro because that helps with “burn in high synch” riding on the tail end? Or am I missing something here?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      No worries, long flash duration, pro or con, depends on what you’re after. If you need maximum power to fight the sun you generally need to stay at the cameras X-syn.

      But at full power most speedlights start loosing light in the frame from about 1/160th upwards. This is because the flash duration is longer than the shutter speed, and all the light can not make it into the frame in the shorter time the shutter is open. So by 1/250th you loose 2 to 3/10ths of a stop of light in the frame.

      So on a 600WS monolight for example you’re throwing away 200WS, just bouncing light off the shutter. That’s why good lights like the 400WS Elinchrom Quadra have more sun beating (or ambient killing) capability than many other cheaper 400WS lights which commonly have longer flash durations at full power.

      For long duration “Hypersync” etc, a long duration is better. But you’re taking a power loss unless you’re prepared to open the aperture and deal with narrow depths of field. And even then (depending on the gear used) staying at X-sync in the main provides more ambient killing ability.

      Lights like the Einstein and now Profoto B1 have dual modes, which offer 2 flash duration options. I don’t know how far that could be extended though to suit long duration sync better.

      What is really interesting though is the LED Light Cube, as you can select any duration, (hopefully to match your shutter speed), but you get the full light in the frame, not riding the low power tail of a regular Xenon tube flash pulse. The cube may not be all that powerful, but it may actually provide more light for long duration sync than bigger lights. So that will be interesting to see.

  17. badphoto 5 years ago

    Thanks for link to LED Light Cube. Looks interesting and quite out-of-the-box thinking. I hope they succeed.

    A couple of additional thoughts:

    1. For flashes designated as off camera, Godox and other Chinese companies should think of their own chassis designs and ditch copycatting Canon and Nikon’s, which are TTL and designed primarily for on camera. What I mean is, would it save cost and/or improve cooling if for instance the flash is one solid rectangular block with no bounce and swivel moveable head? This feature is almost irrelevant off camera. Sure, some people would cry for things like infra-red focus assist for “just because” reasons, but who would put these flashes on camera? General idea is simpler, more powerful, ports in logical places, and small over all foot print.

    2. As for over powering the sun, I’ve always wondered about the camera side of things. It’s been ages since the first 1/250 top synch bodies. How much money or what does it take to get 1/500 or 1/1000 on Nikon and Canon bodies? There were a few 1/500 bodies back in the film day if I recall correctly, but after that things have been stepping backwards. Don’t know about you, but I feel short changed by Canon that the 5d II and III top sync at 1/200.

    Also I have not investigated why, but pro-sumers point and shoots like the Canon G series or the Panny LX’s can sync fine at any speed. For my use 1/1000 is enough, and both my G3 and LX5 can do that. Mirrorless can do that too? Is it something that can never be done with an SLR?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi badphoto,

      Yes the certainly can (and hopefully will) move away from the tradition speedlight design for more dedicated off camera flashes. The move to Lithium power now is a great start though.

      Compact cameras have an electronic shutter, that is why they can sync at any shutter speed. There are DSLR’s with electronic shutter as well, like the Nikon D70 and D40, and the original Canon 1D. The reason they can have electronic shutters is they they use CCD sensors, and not CMOS sensors which they have all moved to know.

      Mechanical leaf shutters (mostly found in older medium format camera systyems) can also sync to very high shutter speeds, some new mirrorless cameras like the popular Fuji X100s can now do this. This brings up issues with radio triggers being too slow though. You can read Zack Arias etc talking about this.

      But no, focal plane shutters like in most DSLR’s will probably not get faster. Full frame like the 5D are just big and slow shutters. Mirrorless are obviously where things are changing and evolving to new concepts now .

  18. badphoto 5 years ago

    Funny thing from Zack Arias that Wein and infra red trigger optical are brought up. I’ve still holding on to a few sets of Wein 1 and 2 channels. So far they’ve worked fine for me, though I have not tested them over long distances. Manual specs said top sync 1/250, and since the ancient days of my Canon T-90 until now there hasn’t been any case of black banding at that speed or camera rated top sync. These infra-red transmitters also trigger the regular open channel optical XLD super slaves (the yellow looking expensive ones) with range spec of 1 mile. Any hacking idea for over 1/250?

    Back to the Ving 850, another thing is I would appreciate an update after some time about the self discharge rate of the battery. If it is low self discharge, then this proves solid as a flash always ready to go, you don’t have to worry about charging/maintaining the battery so much. Thanks

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      You can use the optic slaves as part of a long duration sync hack, but I don’t think there is any way to increase sync speed on their own. They are just the messenger, and they can send the message faster than radio triggers, and as fast as a sync cord.

      I’ve been playing with the V850 quite a lot so I haven’t let it sit around for long periods to see how much it discharges over time. But its a world of difference to the AA’s, because I always put those on the charger even after small amount of use, otherwise you know they won’t last all that long next time you need them.

      I’ve had one of the Godox PB960 sitting around for quite a while and that seems to hold its charge fine.

      Between the two of them it just simplifies things dramatically.

  19. Emric 5 years ago

    I really hope the remote trigger will work with Sony Alpha… anyone knows?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Emric,

      If it has the standard hotshoe it should be fine with the FT-16 transmitter. If its the Sony type shoe you would need the adapter.

      Its only a single firing pin transmitter, so as long as you can get the basic sync signal it should be fine. Someone may be able to confirm for you though. Thanks.

  20. Neil 5 years ago

    Hi FH

    Thanks for the reviews and info it has been very helpful.

    I have a question regarding the Godox Cells II triggers – it seems unclear as to what older EOS bodies are supported – the statement says 5D and older – do you know what 1D series bodies are supported and what sync speeds for example the 1D Mark III?

    Thanks

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for that.

      I’m not aware of any issues with older cameras off the top of my head, did you read something stating (or not stating) older cameras?

      The sync speed should go all the way to your cameras maximum.

      If you turn the H-mode off, then that would be using the long duration sync method (or Hypersync etc) and that would give different results at different shutter speeds, but regular flash pulsing FP HSS (H-mode on) should cover the frame at any shutter speed.

      I put a an explanation of both types of sync in this post about the Odin ODS, if that may be of interest. Thanks.

  21. Neil 5 years ago

    Thanks

    I have a 1D3 and acquired the Cells II C to run HSS with the AD360 and these V850 but the trigger does not fire when the shutter is released – if using the FT16 the 1D3 triggers the strobes and can sync up to 1/320, max sync for the 1D, before banding starts to appear.

    The Cells II C when used on a more modern body such as a 700D triggers up to max speeds (1/4000 in the case of the 700D.

    So it appears to be a compatibility issue within the Cells II C trigger and the older 1D bodies, these triggers should be able to fire the strobes whether using std sync speeds or HSS mode. Unfortunately Godox have not responded to any support calls / emails etc hence trying to see if another user of these strobes have 1D series bodies which function in HSS
    .

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Ok thanks Neil, I’ll see if I can get any information from Godox. I assume you don’t have the original Cells II to try?

      If anyone else has tried the 1D III with either trigger though please let us know. Thanks

      • Neil 5 years ago

        Thanks FH

        I am trying to find a reseller who may have the old version – but so far all have the new C version even though some advertising material shows the original version…

        Thanks for your help.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Neil,

          Unfortunately Godox said they haven’t tested with the 1D III, so it could be a compatibility issue. They are working on a new version now, so an update to the Cells II c is unlikely if that is the case.

          Hopefully someone else can try this with the 1D III so we can narrow down if all the Cells II have the same issue.

  22. Mark Vincent 5 years ago

    Hi Flash Havoc, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I’m a bit confused. I currently own 2 Canon 430EXii and can remotely adjust their power level with the YN622C. Is it possible to adjust the power level of the V850’s with the YN622C?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      You can’t adjust the V850 power levels directly through the YN-622C (or flash camera menu), but all you have to do is place the FT-16 transmitter on top of the YN-622C on the camera hotshoe like this, and you can adjust the V850 directly on the FT-16 (which is much quicker than the YN-622C/camera menu).

      If you want HSS with the V850 as well, then you need to attach a YN-622C receiver to the V850 via a PC sync cord. You can even attach it to the YN-622C receiver with the 430EX II still mounted on top as well like this (substitute the Witstro for the V850).

      There is more about triggering options in this post about the Witstro, the V850 works the same so that all applies the same way to the V850, though that post does need updating regarding PocketWizard an some other triggers. Thanks.

  23. Peter A 5 years ago

    All the pieces finally have arrived! First got the Newer V850 but with the Euro cord for the charger. Took me a while to see that the same cord works from my Nikon battery charger. They did send an adapter. Now the remote is here. I really like it, already! Simple to see and change. Going to need to make some kind of reminder to turn the power off! Rcvr fits pretty close to the body and is pretty small (almost built-in). Recycle time at full power is very quick, and as fast as I need. (Wish the Mitros was like this!) Didn’t think I was going to care that much but… not having to change (or worry about) AA batteries quickly became very very appreciated! Ganging & grouping with other flashes without having to worry about cords or triggers also jumped way up my Oh Boy! response. May have to wait just a bit longer wondering if Godox will announce a TTL model & Odin-clone before I purchase from Phottix?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for the feedback. A TTL model is definitely coming! And possibly not that far away now.

      Whether there will be any sort of transmitter built in, or how these systems will fit together, Godox are not commenting as yet. Which makes me a little nervous, but we will just have to wait and see. They are on the edge of something awesome here, I just hope they do pull it all together nicely (from the star). Thanks.

      • badphoto 5 years ago

        An additional suggestion for the future version, or TTL, other than more power and cooler flash tube already mentioned: If they add the HV port, and they should, please make it independent from the on-board battery power. In other words, no battery needed for the flash to function with just the HV port. This not only saves weight, but gives professional redundancy of 2 independent power sources. So HV not just for HV sakes but serves as backup power source, and vice versa. (So far only the expensive Metz 58 AF, and the old Sunpak 611, 383 and 4xx series, and the Vivitar 283, have this feature, but unfortunately their low voltage recycle time is slow at 5+ seconds for full manual power).

        I’m sure this is something everyone’s going love.

  24. Meddin Studios 5 years ago

    Just received a few V850’s and tossed them into a wedding gig this past weekend. Loved them! They do overheat quite quickly though. The Li-Ion packs though are a dream considering I had to charge 50 AA’s for our 580EXII’s and only half a dozen V850 packs. It’s definitely the way of the future for on-board flash.

    I’ll post a picture of my setup with the Cheetahs. The V850’s were only room fill.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Great stuff, thanks for the feedback.

      When you say they overheat quickly, do you mean at full power?

      They certainly won’t keep up with the Cheetah’s if you need to run them at high power levels. But even at half power as long as you take a 30 second break within every 60 shots, they just keep going.

      A vented head and quartz bulb (basically bare bulb) would be a big advantage though.

  25. Gindi Photo 5 years ago

    Is there a sync port on the FT-16 transmitter so that I can connect it to the camera’s PC terminal when I have a flash mounted on the hot shoe? From every online picture and video it appears that it does not.

    I use external flashes in addition to speedlights mounted on my camera’s hot shoe, using radio slaves (Pocket Wizards, etc) to trigger the remote flash. I’m sure I am not the only person who does this. Why didn’t Godox put a sync port on the transmitter? Am I missing something here?

    I realize there is a sync port on the 850’s so I can connect my existing radio slaves to that, but I like the idea of controlling the power level remotely. And it looks like you can’t connect a Pocket Wizard to the 850 for trigger purposes and also a FT-16 receiver just to control the output settings remotely because the FT-16 receiver covers to sync port. Can someone offer some clarification?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Gindi,

      Sorry no there is no sync port on the current FT-16 transmitter, but you can use a hotshoe to sync cord on the FT-16 foot like this.

      The FT-16 transmitter is not perfect in a number of ways (mainly that you need a separate Cells II transmitter for HSS) but Godox are definitely working on a new transmitter. How long that will take I don’t know, with Chinese new year coming that usually sets everything back a few months now.

      But why don’t you connect the PocketWizard transmitter to the cameras PC sync port, and put the FT-16 on the hotshoe? If you have a TT1 you can mount the FT-16 on top of that (and HSS will still even work with the V850 if you can get the timing setting right on the TT1).

      No the FT-16s receiver does not cover the sync port, its just the rubber cover that sits there when you attach the receiver, you can move that cover out of the way and still access the sync port. So you could attach PW receivers to each flash as well if you really wanted to go that way. Thanks.

  26. jmefun 5 years ago

    Hi FH,
    Thanks for the review and a great site.
    I received Neewer TT850 and FT-16s yesterday, ordered from Amazon.

    I tried it on Sony a7r, with FT-16 xmitter connected directly to hot shoe. Everything worked fine up to 1/200 sync speed (a7r rated sync speed is 1/160)

    One weak spot of the design is the remote radio receiver connection to the flash. Since the 4-pin connection does not have solid locking mechanism, receiver can wiggle easily on flash body. When you try to grab the flash using the lower body, if you touched receiver, you will jiggle it. Over time, this might loosen the connection and it will fail. Hopefully, this won’t be the case.

    I loved this flash/remote combo. So easy to use. I got couple of YN-622C, but got tired of waiting for the new Youngnuo transmitter with manual power control.

    Please ask Godox to design a HSS transmitter for the Sony A7 series, then it will be golden 🙂
    Also, either redesign the receiver/flash connection interface, or better yet, have a new flash with built-in radio receiver.

    Again, thanks for all the good info you shared.

    I couldn’t be happier with the 850 flash system. Time to get a couple more to complete my flash setup.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi jmefun,

      Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear you like them.

      Yes, I don’t know why Godox have not located the receiver into a recess in the flash body so that it can’t move at all. But my guess is that they simply intend to use the same receiver for a number of applications. Maybe it even need a little space between the flash body and receiver case to aid radio range.

      I don’t think the 4 pins will loose contact though, because you can see they have made them quite long and spring loaded, so they are very much designed to allow for this movement.

      But what I am going to do is put a small piece of velcro between the receiver and flash, so that that takes up any movement. Then I will gaffa tape the receivers to the flash body, so only the channel dial is accessible. Because I’d like to leave the receivers permanently attached to the flashes, and not have them get caught by an edge and damage the receiver (or flash socket). As you say its hard to handle the flash otherwise as well.

      Seeing the way things are going now I’m more and more convinced that plug in receiver modules are they way to go. It just leaves so many more options open for expanding and making the units compatible with changing systems. Firmware updates are not enough to allow for new transmitters using a different processor chip. We’ve seen how that’s become a limitation already with some systems.

      It would be nice if the receiver module plugged in neatly recessed into the flash body though.

      • badphoto 5 years ago

        Elv

        Why did Godox make incompatible receivers between the Ving and the Wistro? I hope they are not starting to play the gouging game like Quantum and other American companies. If you have both types, at the very least it’s quite annoying to have one more silly thing to keep track of. It’s already an issue that you can’t use the plug-in receivers for other standard sync port/hot shoe flashes

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          I think Godox realized that the fairly delicate and intricate USB port was not the ideal way to connect the receiver. The 4 pin system in the V850 is much more robust now. So I would be surprised if they don’t use that connection most of the time now in other new lights as well.

          The new receiver also clips in place now, where the USB port has nothing to hold a cord or receiver module in place.

          So I think the only reason they have made a new receiver is to improve it, otherwise I’m sure they would have preferred not to make another new receiver at all. I still think they should switch to 2.4GHz as soon as possible, because 433MHz is going to be more difficult to get good range with transmitter etc built into flash units in the future.

  27. Gindi Photo 5 years ago

    Hi FH.
    Thanks for the info. The bracket with hot shoe sync cord is an interesting idea:
    http://flashhavoc.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IMG_8606_a1200.jpg
    What is that bracket you have there that supports the hot shoe? The downside to this setup is the FT-16 may block the view of my left eye.
    Best idea for now I think is use the slaves I have (I find Quantum much more reliable than PW) and use the FT-16 as a remote just to change power. Glad to know you can connect the FT-16 receiver to the v850 and still be able to plug a sync cord in there.

    Thanks again for the info and for this great site. I have only just learned about this new breed of speedlights and slaves, and about this site.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Gindi,

      Ok thanks, the bracket shown there is just a basic straight bracket you often find on ebay etc. I mainly just did that as an example though, its actually pretty inconvenient with a trigger mounted on that side of the camera, because that’s generally where you want to rest the camera on your hand in portrait position.

      To actually use a bracket to mount a transmitter like that, a reporter style flash bracket would be better, where they position the flash (or trigger) in front of your right hand on the camera grip, where its right out of the way.

      Yes Quantum receivers should do the job fine for now. Once Godox release a new transmitter then you could evaluate what may be the most convenient option then.

  28. Avantia 5 years ago

    I received my V850 just before christmas and WOW, I was impressed at the build quality.

    I already own a Wistro 360 and I’m glad they use the same transmitter !
    However, whats the point of the Cell ? I was going to buy a Odin TCU but now I’m confused.
    In my case, a Cell would be just as good and cheaper, right ?

    Thanks for all the useful info.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Avantia,

      Yes a Cells II would make more sense if you just need a HSS enabled transmitter for the V850 and AD360.

      The Odin has the advantage of a timing adjustment which can possibly get more light out of the system in HSS. But its not worth getting all Odin transmitter and receivers for all the flashes if you’re not already using them for a TTL speedlite system as well. The Cells II works with the current Godox receivers so its a lot more economical. Thanks.

      • Avantia 5 years ago

        I actually have a pair of Stratos II Multi for backup purposes. I reckon they’re compatible with the TCU.
        The Odin can remotely control flashes just like the Godox/Cheetah/Lencarta ones, right ?

        On the other hand, the Godox/Cheetah/Lencarta dedicated triggers are smaller and fit snuggier.

        Decisions, decisions.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Avantia,

          No the Odin can not directly control the Godox/Cheetah Lights. It will only fire them and provide the early sync signal for HSS. You would still need to use the FT-16 transmitter and receivers to use the remote manual power control.

          Godox are working on a new transmitter as well, which I would expect will combine the FT-16 and Cells II together. I don’t know what the expected time frame is like on that though unfortunately.

  29. panchoskywalker 5 years ago

    Does HSS works when it’s on camera?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi panchoskywalker,

      Sorry no there is no HSS with the V850 when mounted directly on the camera hotshoe.

      Godox will have a TTL version coming which will have HSS on camera. But I think you would have to expect to pay more for that. Thanks.

  30. vioch 5 years ago

    Flash manual states: “to wake up the flash unit …. press the camera release button, or press the trigger TEST button”.
    For mine V850 release button wake up the flash if is camera’s hot shoe only….
    And neither pressing trigger TEST button nor pressing release button with trigger in camera’s hotshoe wake up flash.
    Could anybody confirm this function to work?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi vioch,

      I just tried this and had the same result as you, nothing on the transmitter or camera would wake the flash.

      But I would never have know this if you hadn’t asked, because the flash has so much battery power and you can simply turn the sleep mode off altogether. So I’m not sure why you would really want to use sleep mode anyway.

      If you did have to use sleep mode though, you can put a Godox Cells II receiver on the flash foot, and that will wake the flash using the same FT-16 transmitter. I tried that and it works. But the best option is to simply leave sleep mode off altogether. Thanks.

      • vioch 5 years ago

        Hi Flash Havoc,
        and thanks for reply.

        I just needed to know that everything is okay with my flash. =)
        So your reply confirms it.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          No worries, thanks for letting us know.

          I’ll mention this to Godox as it is quite strange. But I would suspect its just that the current FT-16 transmitter is the same one use with earlier lights, and may not have all the capabilities yet to enable functions being built into the new lights.

  31. Vardhan 5 years ago

    Hi Flash Havoc,

    How can a Nikon SB910 integrate with two of these godox flashes + transmitter and receiver pair ?
    Is there a way to trigger the SB910 from the godox transmitter ?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Vardhan,

      As mentioned the Cells II used as a receiver attached to the SB910 would be the way to simply fire it for now, using the Godox FT-16 transmitter.

      The Cells II are only currently available for Canon, but you can use those on any flash just as a simple receiver to fire the flash. The Nikon version Cells II should be coming soon though.

      You could possibly even just use the optic slave in the SB-910 for now to fire that as well, as the optic slave in those are pretty decent. I say that because we also don’t know what Godox will have in the way of new triggers coming either.

      You could buy a Cells II for Canon just to fire the SB910 for now, but if money is tight it may be worth at the least waiting for the Nikon version (so that could be used as a HSS capable transmitter as well). But Godox could possibly have other options available too. Thanks.

      • Kennui 5 years ago

        I’m planning to buy a kit of 4x with backup batteries. Does this mean the following will all work together in this setup:

        FT-16s trigger on camera (D7000)
        V850 flashes with FT-16s receivers
        Other flash with Cells II transceivers (Nissin di622II to be exact)

        It’s a lot of money to drop on a single system, but it looks very promising. It’s too bad I can’t find backup batteries online, only locally where it’s a bit expensive.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 5 years ago

          Hi Kennui,

          That is correct. Its an FT-16 transmitter though.

          I can’t be 100% sure about the Di622 II but it should work. You only need one Cells II unit for each flash.

          Batteries are available on Amazon. CheetahStand.com in the USA will likely stock them as well.

          Yes its a bit of money for a set like that. But where I live it would all still cost less than one Canon 600EX-RT. So I find it pretty incredible value really.

          Thanks, and I hope you enjoy them!

  32. Bill 5 years ago

    can I use PIXEL King for Nikon Wireless TTL Flash Trigger Set with Ving v850 ?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      The Pixel King will not control the power levels of the V850 if that’s what you are meaning.

      They could be used to simply fire the flash. And the FT-16 transmitter then held in hand to change power levels remotely.

      The Kings should also provide the early fire signal for HSS with the V850. Though I’m not sure if you would need a King receiver on every V850 flash, or if simply stacking the FT-16 transmitter on top of the King transmitter on the camera would work.

  33. Jean-Baptiste 5 years ago

    Hi FH,

    I apologize for asking again a question you already respond several times but I need to be sure that my english is sufficient to me for understanding.

    I will receive soon a V850 with FT16s, and I realize I won’t be able to fire my Canon 430 EX II in slave mode. But with a cell II attached as receiver to the 430 EX II, it will fire it ?

    Thanks a lot for your time and apologize again for my language.

    BRGDS

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Jean-Baptiste,

      No problems.

      Yes the 430EX II should fire attached to a Cells II set to receiver mode, with an FT-16 transmitter on the camera hotshoe. Thanks.

  34. alberto 5 years ago

    I just received the Cheetah branded V850. I have to say am impressed with the flash. But even more impressed with the trigger system. It’s amazing, I can control each flash’s power output from the trigger. Am just surprise that canon or nikon has figured this out yet. I can not wait for the Nikon version of Cells 2 trigger.

    Am assuming that the Cheetah, Godox and Neewer versions are all the same. Thou the Neewer version does use a slightly lower capacity battery. I wonder if the receiver and flashes work no matter what brand they are?

    Well, I decided to get Cheetah brand because it was the only company that actually called me to answer my questions. Plus, they have a actual office you can visit in the States. Godox never return any of my emails and seems to have no representation state side. Neewer, don;t even bother.

    Safe bet, always go with the man that goes out of his way to make sure you are happy with what you order.

    • alberto 5 years ago

      Meant to say…. am surprise that canon or nikon “has not” figured this out yet.

  35. Alex 5 years ago

    I’ve looked through the comments and can’t see a confirmation that HSS is possible with the 5DIII. Sorry if I’ve missed it. I was looking at getting a cells II starter kit (http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/godox-ving-v850-wireless-starter-kit-with-cells-ii-for-canon-hss-up-to-1-8000s.html) but want to be able to use HSS. Will this do it with the 5DIII?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Alex,

      That’s correct, HSS works with the 5D III if using the Cells II as transmitter. Thanks.

      • Alex 5 years ago

        Thanks! Looks like I’ll be getting one of these kits then, as I’m tired of waiting for Yongnuo to bring out the YN600ex-rt, and I’m going to be using them on manual anyway.

  36. Dino 5 years ago

    Any idea if they will have a high-speed sync option for micro four thirds users. This will be an invaluable addition. As much as I love Olympus’ fl-600r, I think I hate having to use 4 AAs more. Plus the recharge rate on a full pop takes quite a bit of time. I already ordered one of these units for Off Camera usage. Thanks in advance

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Dino,

      Its probably not likely for a while unfortunately. Not until they have Canon and Nikon well catered for, and then Sony are generally next in the sales figures.

      Its a bit of a convoluted work around, but if you have a HSS enabled flash on the camera hotshoe, you can often pic up the early HSS signal needed from that, by placing an optic slave in front of it. That optic slave is then attach to a radio transmitter, to then send the early fire signal to the flashes via radio. So its not simple, but its pretty much the only other option.

  37. Bernard 5 years ago

    Hi,

    you talk at length about the battery life of the flash itself, but what about the battery life of the transmitter? Can you give a rough estimate? Thanks and thank you for a great review!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Bernard,

      I’m really not sure about that one, except to say its really not something I have noticed an issue with or would personally be concerned about at all.

      Some TTL triggers will basically go through a set of Alkaline batteries in a day, I don’t think these would go through batteries anywhere near that fast. It would likely depend on just how often you are changing power levels and firing etc.

      But in general they are transmitting much less of the time than TTL triggers.

  38. Regina B 5 years ago

    greetings,

    are the N3 Godox Cells functional with the NEEWER FT-16, if so, is it able to perform hss?

    https://www.eszen.com/store/products/n3-godox-cells-twin-set-nikon-all-one-transceiver

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Regina,

      I don’t think there are any Nikon Cells II available at this stage. That store may be getting a little ahead of themselves.

      Once they are available though, yes they should be compatible with the FT-16 and FT-16s receivers to allow HSS.

  39. Mark 4 years ago

    Ok, so I am planning on getting one of these 850’s, (or should I wait for the 860?), but I am a little confused. First off, what is the difference between the FT-16, and this one?

    Also, if I am shooting with a Canon 500D and want HSS, do I need to pickup a Cells II also?

    Thanks,

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      You need the second one with the FTR-16s receiver for the V850 and V860C.

      The first link has the FTR-16 receiver for the Godox Witstro and many of the Godox Studio lights.

      The FT-16 transmitter units are all the same, its just the FTR-16 and FTR-16s receiver units that are different.

      Yes you would need the Cells II or some other TTL trigger combination if you would like HSS with V850 and V860C H-mode HSS.

      If you need a TTL flash for on camera use as well, then yes it would be worth getting for the V860C (they are available now).

      If you don’t need the TTL I still find the V850 are a little nicer for off-camera flash use. Thanks.

      • Mark 4 years ago

        “The FT-16 transmitter units are all the same, its just the FTR-16 and FTR-16s receiver units that are different.”

        That makes sense, thank you for clarifying.

        In regards to the TTL question, while my camera does have TTL 35-zone SPC, is it worth the extra $80 for the 860 over spending about the same for a HSS triggering system since most of my work is off-camera anyway.

        Great site btw.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 4 years ago

          Hi Mark,

          I think that’s something you would have to weigh up for yourself.

          If you’re not really needing a TTL flash for on camera use at times, then I would prefer the V850 a little more for off camera use (even if it wasn’t cheaper).

          If you decide to get a second flash later, then it may be handy to have one of each so that you have a TTL flash on hand if needed.

  40. Fred 4 years ago

    The issue I am having with the V850 is that the camera Olympus Em1 is not detecting there is even a flash on the hotshoe. Is this normal?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Fred,

      Yes that is likely normal, as the V850 and FT-16 transmitter are single firing pin only.

      The camera generally needs a compatible flash or trigger with the extra communication pins on the foot to be recognised as a compatible flash unit. Thanks.

  41. utan 4 years ago

    Between Godox v850 and YN 500EX which is better?

    Thanks!

  42. Axel 4 years ago

    Hi, im from México, I bought 2 v850, after 4 months a battery support only 200 or 250 shots and only 1/4 or 1/8 of pottence, 1 month after the other battery was the same problem, sorry for my bad english.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Axel,

      Where did you purchase them from, and have you tried to exchange them with the seller? Thanks.

      • Axel 4 years ago

        I tried, but the warranty was only for 30 days, i bought 2 more batteries but i wish to know what Is the problem, battery, charger, flash or whay. Thank you

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 4 years ago

          Hi Axel,

          It would be the battery, as there have been a number of faulty ones (though this issue should be resolved now).

          I’ve sent you an email at your Jarvher address. Thanks.

  43. keano 3 years ago

    Elvis – Is there a simple way to trigger the 850/360 with the Phottix Odin? Can you play an Odin receiver on the FT-16. I know you would have to control the power with the FT-16 in hand but just to trigger the light this should work right?

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