GODOX V850 VING – Lithium-Ion Flash Review

The new V850 Ving from Godox would have to be one of the nicest inexpensive manual speedlites currently available. And they are not just a pretty face, Godox have slipped some groundbreaking features into this very impressive little flash as well.

UPDATE – There is now a full TTL version V860 also available – Full Review Here.

 

Godox V850

 

Firstly the V850 are the first inexpensive manual speedlite available with remote manual power control via radio.

Power levels of a number of off camera flash units can be adjusted remotely from a fast and simple transmitter unit, either mounted on the camera hotshoe, or even held in hand.

And not only that, HSS (High Speed Sync) is also available off camera when using an appropriate transmitter unit (for Canon or Nikon).

A compact FTR-16s radio receiver units clips neatly to the side of the flash and does not require any batteries.

 

Godox V850

 

The FT-16 radio transmitter provides one of the fastest and simplest remote manual power control interfaces currently available, and controls up to 16 groups of flashes.

Being a single firing pin on the transmitter foot it can also be used with just about any camera with a standard hotshoe.

The FT-16 never miss a beat, and range will easily reach 100 meters. In real use that’s a big practical advantage over many higher priced TTL systems currently available.

 

Godox FT-16s and FT-16

 

And the FT-16 transmitter are the same as used with the already very popular Godox Witstro.

So the V850 integrate seamlessly with the larger bare bulb lights, all using the same system of remote power control.

And all with HSS off camera if needed (for Canon and Nikon, and using an appropriate Cells II or similar transmitter unit).

 

Godox AD360 and V850

 

Hidden inside the V850 though is where the most ground breaking feature lies. A small note on the battery door is the only hint that there is actually something pretty special about this flash –

 

Godox V850

 

The V850 are the worlds first Lithium-Ion powered speedlight, replacing AA batteries altogether.

The compact VB18 battery mounted neatly inside the V850, and providing a massive 650 full power pops! With full power recycle time of just 1.5 seconds.

 

Godox V850

 

The compact 11.1V 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery literally replaces 12 AA batteries, and all the hassle of battery management that goes with them!

That’s effectively an external battery pack built directly into the flash, without all the extra size, weight, and inconvenience of an extra pack.

 

Godox VB18

 

Features -

  • Full Power – GN 58 (m ISO 100)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery – 650 Full Power Pops!
  • 1.5 Second Recycle at Full Power
  • Fast Simple Remote Manual Power Control
  • 1/3rd Stop Power Adjustments (1/128 – 1/1)
  • HSS to 1/8000th Off Camera (with Cells II or appropriate TX)
  • 100M + Range & Very Reliable
  • Manual, Multi, S1 & S2 Optic Slave Modes
  • Fast Clear & Simple Interface
  • Large Clear LCD Screen
  • High Build Quality
  • Full 360 Degree Swivel and Tilt Head
  • 2.5mm Sync Port
  • Manual AF Assist Light
  • Plug In Receiver can be Updated
  • Metal Foot with Locking Pin
  • Kit Comes with Battery and Charger
  • 12 Volt Car Charger Available
  • Remote also Compatible with Witstro
  • Inexpensive – Excellent Bang for Buck!

 

The V850 are really a very impressive inexpensive flash, and they were quite an unexpected release.

The huge capacity of the V850’s Lithium-Ion battery means you simply don’t have to worry about batteries anymore, and the time consuming battery management that goes with them. Which really can get pretty ridiculous if using a number of speedlites and AA battery packs.

The V850 build quality is very high for a $120 flash, and power is really very close to a Canon 600EX-RT. In HSS I was surprised to find that light output is even well above the (much higher priced) Canon flash.

The V850 have transformed speedlites into a serious tool if needed, though the added convenience makes them much more enjoyable for anyone using them. And the V850 are priced to be affordable to most people. The the V850 really are a game changer.

 

The first thing you notice about the V850 is that the box is around twice the size of a regular speedlite –

 

Godox V850 Kit

 

And that’s because the kit version at least comes with its own charger and Lithium-Ion Battery.

When you start to think this flash is just $120, but that also includes a battery equivalent to 12 AA rechargeable batteries ($30), and a charger that will charge all that in one go. A good 8 Cell AA charger costs $70+. That’s $100 there already, and not to mention the cost of an external AA battery back to put all the batteries in.

I have to pinch myself sometimes that this flash even exists, let alone the fact that you’re basically getting it for little more than the cost of just the equivalent batteries and charger (in the old AA money).

 

Godox V850 Kit

 

 

Interface

 

Godox received a lot of praise for the super clear and simple user interface of the Witstro, so they have clearly tried to bring as much of that goodness to the V850 as well.

The result is not quite as good as the Witstro (because they actually use a different type of LCD screen which are constantly illuminated), but nevertheless the V850 are still very good, and likely the cleanest and simplest LCD style speedlite interface currently available.

The LCD screen is very clear, and the buttons are large and all have their own functions clearly marked. Anyone could easily pick up this flash and use most of the functions without having to go through the user manual first.

The test fire button is large and easy to press, and there is a quick and simple ON – OFF switch. Both of which are much better than many other speedlites currently provide.

 

Godox V850 Interace

 

Mode

The first button is simply the Mode button only. Pressing this scrolls through M (Manual), S1 and S2 optic slave modes, and RPT (or otherwise known as Mulit stroboscopic mode).

S1 is a regular optic slave, which fires the flash from the light of any other flash. And S2 ignores preflashes, so a TTL flash can be used to optically trigger the V850 in sync as well.

 

Godox V850 MODE

 

MORE V850 INTERFACE DETAIL HERE - Click to Expand

 

Zoom

The second button adjusts flash head Zoom on short press, and Custom Functions when held down for 2 seconds.

The Zoom goes from 24 to 105mm. And the good thing is that it stops at either end, instead of cycling back to the start again as some flashes do. This really helps to adjust the setting by feel if needed without seeing the LCD screen. An animation can be seen here.

There is currently no remote control of the flash head zoom with the current FT-16 transmitter. And Godox have not said if this function may be possible or not with a new transmitter at this stage.

 

Godox V850 Zoom

 

Custom Functions

There are only 2 simple Custom Functions. Sleep Mode time, and the time the AF assist light stays on after you press the MF button to turn it on (or take the last shot while it’s still illuminated).

Sleep mode is either OFF, 3, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. Though the flash has so much battery power its likely best to just leave the sleep mode off. Because the current FT-16 transmitter at least will not wake the flash from sleeping at all. Though I really don’t see much need to use the sleep mode at all with this flash.

The AF assist light is either 10, 20, or 30 seconds before it automatically goes off. You can turn it off manually by pressing he MF button a second time as well though.

 

Godox V850 Custom Functions

 

HSS (High Speed Sync)

The third button is MF (or AF assist light) on short press, and HSS (or H Mode) when held down for 2 seconds.

H Mode is simply released by pressing the Mode button once. An animation can be seen here.

H Mode or HSS can not be turned On or Off from the current FT-16 transmitter. And this is likely one of the biggest shortfalls of the current system. Again Godox have not indicated as yet whether or not this can be implemented with a new transmitter unit. There is more detail on the HSS mode further below.

 

Godox V850 HSS

 

Test Fire Button

The Test Fire Button / Recycle Indicator Light (illuminated red) is big and easy to see and press. Why on earth Canon and YongNuo etc make tiny dome shape Test Fire buttons that are ridiculously hard to push I have no idea. But the V850 is a big improvement anyway.

 

LCD Backlight

Probably the one main point to criticize about the V850’s interface, is simply that the LCD back light constantly goes out after just 10 seconds. And there is no way to keep it illuminated.

Its not that easy to see the screen indoors without the light on. And even pressing any of the buttons to make an adjustment does not automatically turn the light on, you have to remember to press the light button first.

This may sound trivial, but its really a bit annoying. And again the flash has so much battery power, there should at least be a custom function option to keep the light on all the time. That is one of the great things about the Witstro, the screen is always lit.

Like most speedlite LCD screens the viewing angle from above is not very good. From the sides its quite good, and just ok from below.

 

Godox V850 LCD Light

 

Sound Prompt

Holding the 5th button for 2 seconds turns the sound prompt On and Off.

This is a bit weak on the V850 compared to the Witstro. Its not a huge issue, but the sound prompt is very good on the Witstro, which really helps when setting manual powerl levels remotely with the FT-16 transmitter. The sound prompt gives you a clear indication the power level has changed on the flash, without having to see the LCD screen (which is often too dark to see on the unlit V850 LCD anyway).

 

Godox V850 LCD Sound Prompt

 

Power Setting

Power levels are set via the scrolling wheel, in 1/3rd stops, from 1/128 to 1/1.

This is very fast, as turning the wheel instantly starts changing the power levels, no need to press the SET button first, or after changing levels.

Again the settings stop at either end, instead of cycling back to the beginning. Which is a good thing. An abbreviated power setting animation can be seen here (its still 1.5MB though).

 

Godox V850 Power Levels

 

This is being picky, but like the Witstro flashes, Godox have gone to the extra effort of displaying power levels in both positive and negative increments, depending on whether you are scolling up or down in power level.

I personally think this is unnecessary, and even adds a little to confusion, as its possible to mistake a positive or negative fraction. From a distance these can look almost the same, but they are really over a stop apart. So all full number first would simplify these ( 1/4+0.7 and 1/8+0.3 ). That’s really being picky though.

 

Godox V850 Power Levels

 

Battery Level Indicator

With such large battery capacity, a battery level indicator is almost mandatory, otherwise you could be often recharging the battery unnecessarily.

The only small criticism here is that 4 bars would be give more of an indication than just 3 bars provided on the LCD screen indicator. 2 bars left showing could mean there are as many as 400 shots left, or possibly closer to just 200.

The battery charger does have 4 bars though, so the battery can be placed in that quickly to get a better indication if needed.

 

Single Firing Pin Foot

 

Before looking at Radio Triggers and HSS etc below, its important to understand that the V850 are only a simple single firing pin manual flash.

So there can be no communication beyond a simple fire signal through the flash foot, to cameras, or to more advanced TTL radio triggers etc.

The V850 also has a safety locking pin in the foot, which the Witstro lack.

 

Godox V850 Foot

 

 

Remote Power Control and Triggering -

 

FT-16 Transmitter and FTR-16s Receiver

The FT-16 transmitter provides very fast and simple remote manual power control. You simply press the + or – buttons to instantly bump the power levels up and down (in 1/3rd stops, from 1/128 to 1/1).

A sound prompt on the flash lets you know that the new power setting has been sent and adjusted successfully on the flash (which is great for when you can’t see the LCD screen).

The transmitter dial with letters and numbers looks a bit confusing, but its really just a simple dial with 16 different groups. Match the transmitter and receiver group, and you can change the power level of that flash (or group of flashes). All groups will always fire unless you set the power level of a certain group down to OFF.

Sound Prompt and AF Focus Assist Light can also be turned On and Off remotely for each group.

 

Godox V850 & FT16

 

The FT-16 are currently 433MHz, though they are not like the cheap short range ebay triggers often associated with 433MHz. They never miss a beat, and have solid range which will easily reach 100 meters. In real use they have a decent range advantage over most higher priced TTL systems currently available.

And they have no pre-flash to cause issues with light meters etc. The fire signal is also separate from the power level control, so they are not trying to communicate a lot of information before every shot. Just a simple reliable fire signal.

The FT-16 transmitter has a single firing pin foot, so it will work on just about any camera’s regular hotshoe to fire the flashes. Or the transmitter can be held in hand like a TV remote to change power levels, and other radio triggers etc then used to actually fire the flashes.

 

FTR-16s Receiver

The FTR-16s receiver unit is an updated version of the original FTR-16 receiver used on the Witstro, and many of Godox’s other studio lights.

The more compact FTR-16s is now connected to the flash via a specially designed 4 pin connection, rather than a standard USB port used previously. This new connection clips the receiver into place on the side of the flash, and also has much more robust electrical connections as well. The receiver has no batteries as its powered by the flash.

Even though there is still some gap between the receiver and flash body, the 4 contact pins are spring loaded with quite a lot of travel, so they will still make good contact even when the receiver is pushed in and out against the flash body.

This works well, though I would personally like to leave the receivers attached to the flashes. So I’m planning to also Velcro the receiver to the flash body, and then cover them over with Gaffa tape, so that the edges can not get snagged anywhere and pull the receiver away from the flash. I’ll look into a separate post on that.

 

Godox V850 & FT-16s Receiver

 

The advantage of separate plug in receivers (rather than built into the flash) is that they can be updated later, allowing the system to evolve without the flash itself becoming obsolete.

For example, even though the 433MHz system works well for now, we still hold out hope Godox may even switch completely to a 2.4GHz radio system at some stage.

 

Godox Witstro / Cheetah Lights

The FT-16 transmitter are also the same as used already with the popular Godox Witstro.

The V850 integrate seamlessly with the larger bare bulb lights, all using the same system of remote power control. And even with HSS off camera if needed (using an appropriate Cells II or similar transmitter unit).

And there are no AA batteries in any of the flashes now, which creates a very convenient and portable system with very little battery management at all.

 

Godox AD30 and V850

High Speed Sync – HSS

 

The V850 allow FP HSS off camera, similar to the HSS Canon or Nikon Speedlites provide. The flash pulses many times, basically acting as continuous light source for the time it takes the small slit between camera shutter curtains to move across the camera sensor.

Though HSS is only available off camera with the V850. (Remember this is a single firing pin flash, so it has no way of communicating HSS signals when mounted on a camera hotshoe). And a suitable transmitter like the Godox Cells II is also required to enable HSS.

I was pleasantly surprised when testing side by side with a Canon 600EX-RT, to discover the V850 actually provided considerably more light in the image than the Canon flash. From around 1/2, to nearly a full stop more light at higher shutter speeds.

The 600EX-RT does provide more even light across the frame with less gradient than the V850 though. Still any extra light available in HSS is a significant advantage.

The results below are with a Canon 50D crop sensor camera, and Godox Cells II transmitter. Results with full frame and other cameras may vary.

 

Godox V850 HSS

 

MORE DETAIL ON HSS HERE - Click to Expand

 

To engage the HSS (H Mode) on the V850, simply hold the third button down for 2 seconds, and the HSS symbol will display on the LCD screen as shown below. Press Mode to switch H Mode Off again. An animation can be seen here.

H Mode can not be turned On or Off remotely from the current FT-16 transmitter unfortunately, it has to be done directly on the flash. And Godox have not said as yet whether this would be possible to implement with a new transmitter unit or not.

 

Godox V850 HSS

 

To enable HSS a compatible transmitter unit is also required. This transmitter needs to communicate with the camera, detecting the early pre-sync firing signal required for HSS. So this transmitter must be dedicated to the camera, much like a compatible TTL flash unit would be.

Godox currently have the Cells II transceiver available for Canon, and a Nikon version should be coming soon.

The Cells II transmitter must be mounted DIRECTLY on the camera hotshoe. They won’t even fire on a short TTL cord connected to the camera hotshoe otherwise.

The FT-16 transmitter can then be held in hand (a bit like a TV remote) if you would like to change manual power level remotely on the flash.

 

Godox V850 and Cells II

 

This current system of 2 transmitter units is obviously not ideal, and its highly likely Godox will provide a new combined transmitter at some stage. I would imagine likely in the first half of this year.

 

Nikon and Other HSS Trigger Options

The Cells II are not the only HSS trigger option though, as most TTL radio triggers can also provide the early pre-sync signal required for HSS with the V850 / V860.

A few TTL triggers now even have a timing adjustment which can fine tune the timing, possibly allowing more light in the image.

For Nikon owners, currently the simplest option that appears to be providing good results for many people, is by simply stacking the Godox FT-16 transmitter on top of an inexpensive YN-622N transceiver, mounted on the camera hotshoe. No extra receivers (other than the FTR-16s) are required on the V850 / V860 flashes then.

 

This method doesn’t quite work so simply with the Canon version YN-622C though. As the YN-622C only provide the early fire signal required through their PC sync port (whether they are acting as transmitter or receiver).

 

Godox FT-16 and YN-622C

More detail on alternative triggering method with H-mode HSS can be seen in this post.

 

Flash Power

 

The V850 state a guide number of GN 58 (m ISO 100), and comparing directly with the Canon 600EX-RT they are really quite close.

Which is impressive because most flashes like YongNuo are over all really around 2 to 3 tenths bellow the Canon flash.

Speedlites have varying light patterns, and some have a hot spot in the center helping to boost the guide number. So I compared them direct, through a shoot through umbrella, and bounced of the ceiling at the same settings.

Direct – Equal
Shoot Thru – Equal
Bounced – V850 1 to 2 tenths less than the 600EX-RT

 

 

Flash Duration

 

I do not have the equipment needed to measure flash durations, though its fairly normal for speedlites to have T.1 duration longer than 1/250th of a second at full power, and this can be seen by comparing images at 1/1250th x-sync, and then longer shutter speeds. Because the flash duration is longer than 1/250th the shutter needs to be left open longer as well to allow the flash time to get all of its light out.

The results below are only light from the flash in the image, no ambient light. And the V850’s duration looks to be very similar to the Canon 600EX-RT at full power. From around 1/160th you loose about 3/10 of a stop of light moving to 1/250th (which is quite normal).

 

Godox V850 Flash Duration

 

Color & Consistency

 

The V850 are also fairly close to the Canon 600EX-RT in light color. While the YongNuo flashes are quite different in comparison.

And there is also very little color change at different power levels. Well within the stated 200 degrees variation across the power range. Speedlites, being relatively low power, generally do not suffer from color shift issues at different power levels though anyway.

 

 

Recycle Time

 

The V850’s 1.5 second full power recycle time is pretty respectable, though its definitely not rocket ship fast like Godox’s own PB960 external battery pack can provide with some other speedlites.

Full Power recycle at 1.5 second is good, but not super fast –

 

Godoc V850 Recycle - Full Power

 

Though ideally with speedlites its best to be using them at 1/2 power or less if possible anyway, so that they are not going to overheat too quickly.

And at 1/2 power, recycle time is around 0.5 seconds. Which in practical terms is almost instant.

And this is where I find the V850 is brilliant. It can bang away like this for over 1200 shots, with virtually instant recycle time (provided you break for at least 30 seconds once within every 60 shots avoiding the heat protection). And all without the hassle of any external battery pack.

 

Godoc V850 Recycle - 1/2 Power

 

Compared to the Canon 600EX-RT at full power without an external pack the the V850 is considerably faster, around 1.5 seconds vs 2.2 seconds or more.

YongNuo flashes like the inexpensive YN-560 III however, without any battery pack, are actually a little faster than the V850. Considering they are a bit less powerful, you could say basically around the same times.

I think that shows that the V850 battery is likely not acting like a High Voltage Battery Pack, and sending power straight to the flashes capacitor like an external High Voltage Pack normally does. (As there would need to be a transformer squeezed into the flash somewhere as well to bring the battery voltage to 330 volts or so first).

And the V850 does not have any external HV battery port, so there is currently no means of speeding up recycle further if you really need that. Though as noted further below, there are actually extra electrical contacts in the V850’s battery compartment. So Godox have obviously allowed for some other power source than the current VB18 battery in the future.

As it stands, for general off camera use I think the V850 are brilliant as they are. Though I have mentioned to Godox that I’m not sure this is going to translate as well to a TTL version of the flash, where wedding photographers etc often do want super past recycle for a short burst of shots. Off camera you can simply double up the flashes to half the recycle time if needed. But you can only have one TTL flash on the camera. So it will be interesting to see what the TTL version (expected around March) will be like with regards to recycle times.

 

 

Overheat Protection

 

Recycle times are one thing, but the main limiting factor with speedlites is really overheating.

The V850 will enter overheat protection mode and slow recycle down to around 15 seconds after –

20 shots at 1/1 power
30 shots at 1/2 + 0.7
40 shots at 1/2 + 0.3
60 shots at 1/2

Though as long as you pause for at least 30 seconds within those periods the flash won’t actually go into overheat protection mode at all. And knowing that its best to try and stay out of heat protection mode altogether, otherwise it probably is a little excessive once it starts.

But at 1/2 power for example, its rare that you wouldn’t pause for at least 30 seconds at some point within 60 shots anyway. So even if shooting pretty fast most of the time, the protection mode will hardly be an issue if you can avoid full power when possible.

At full power, its best to be mindful to slow down before the flash does it for you (as 15 second recycle is no fun).

 

Godox V850 Temperature

 

I did a lot of testing with the V850 to see how durable they really are. I didn’t kill the V850 (its still going fine), though the front lense is all melted now. I did blow the flash tube in a YN-560 III trying to keep up with the V850 though. I had to really cheat the overheat protection on both flashes to do that.

What I learnt from that testing though is that the Lithium-Ion battery does not get hot like the NiHM AA batteries do (as it would likely be dangerous if they did). With exactly the same number of shots in the test above, the NiHM batteries were so scorching hot I could not even touch them, while theV850’s Lithuim-Ion battery was just a little bit warm at most. So that’s saving a large amount of heat stress on the flash as well, and the cooler the flash body is the faster the heat is going to dissipate from the flash tube as well.

The V850 User Manual also states there is only 10 consecutive shots in HSS mode before the heat protections cuts in. But the flashes I have tested at this stage do 20 shots even in HSS.

 

Battery

 

The compact VB18 11.1V 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery literally replaces 12 AA batteries.

Provided I counted correctly, I was able to get 645 full power pops from the one battery. And the recycle did not start to slow right down until the last 5 pops. That’s compared to around 210 pops which a set of 4 AA Eneloops would generally provide.

So the Lithium-Ion VB-18 really does replace 12 AA NiHM batteries. And the hassle of charging and managing them all.

And that’s just for one flash and AA pack. With a number of flashes the V850 really save a lot of time and hassle with battery management, and extra gear to organise and carry.

 

Godox V850 VB18 Battery

 

The supplied battery charger fully recharges the VB18 battery in around 2.5 hours, and again its well made.

Both the battery and charges are also shaped nicely so that a number of them can be stacked together in a compact package. And a 12 volt car charging adapter is also available as an option.

One thing that would be a nice option would be a multi dock charger, which could possibly charge up to 4 batteries at once. That may not be that much smaller, but at least it would only need one power cord and power outlet then.

 

Godox 850 Charger

 

The VB18 slides into the V850’s battery compartment quickly and effortlessly, and clips in place behind a spring loaded lever, just like most DSLR battery compartments.

Unlike messing about messing about with AA batteries, if you do need to change the V850’s battery, you can do it quickly, and literally in the dark if needed.

And there is no spring pressure then on the actually battery door. Which negates the need for all the crazy engineering that has previously gone into trying to perfect a battery door the won’t eventually break.

 

Godox V850 Battery Compartment

 

Inside the V850 battery compartment there are actually two extra sets of smaller electrical contacts. Which are not being used at all with the current VB18 battery.

One extra set on the back wall where the main power contacts are –

 

Godox V850 Battery Compartment

 

And another extra set of contacts on the side wall of the battery compartment.

 Godox V850 Battery Compartment

 

This suggests that at the very least that Godox have made plans for some other form or power supply in the future.

These could possibly be a direct path to the capacitor like a regular external High Voltage battery port provides. Meaning faster recycle times with a some form of high voltage battery, or battery pack, yet to come (likely for the TTL version of the flash, due around March).

That is just my speculation though, they could even be some form of communication port.

UPDATE – These may actually not be contacts at all, just cutouts in the flash case to allow the circuit board to fit in. As everything is packed very tightly inside the flash with the larger battery compartment now needed.

 

 

Ports

 

Apart from the custom 4 pin receiver port, the V850 only has the one other simple 2.5 mm sync port.

This sync port appears to be covered by the rubber cover in most images when the receiver is mounted, though its actually accessible with the receiver still in place if needed.

As much as I hate whine about a mini-phone port (as they are much better than regular PC sync ports), it is a little frustrating that Godox could not have kept with a 3.5mm port instead of 2.5mm, especially as the Witstro units and even the Cells II use 3.5mm ports. That’s not a big issue though.

 

Godox V850 Sync Port

 

 

AF Assist Light

 

The V850 has a manual only AF assist light, which can actually be turned On and Off remotely from the FT-16 transmitter, or directly on the back of the flash.

The beam is a bright sharp lazer style projection similar to what the current YongNuo flashes use.

This is clearly aimed more towards the coming TTL version of the flash though, as it has pretty limited us off camera, and on camera its not particularly convenient to turn On and Off manually either. Without TTL contacts on the current flash foot its impossible to operate automatically with the camera focus (or half shutter press etc).

For a mainly off camera flash like the V850 (or Witstro units) I think an LED modelling or video light could be much more useful here instead. Particularly with the remote control already available from the FT-16 transmitter.

 

Godox V850 AF Assist Light

 

 

Compared To

 

At the time of writing this the V850 are really the only inexpensive remote manual speedlite currently available. And likely the only Lithium-Ion speedlite to be available for a while until others catch up.

The remote manual flash coming from Cactus in a few months will likely be the most comparable alternative we know of at this stage (though don’t expect Lithium-Ion power).

The YongNuo YN-560 III are likely the flash most people will currently be choosing between though. The YN-560 III should have actually been the first inexpensive remote manual speedlight available, but YongNuo have been very slow to release a transmitter which will enable the remote power control already built into the flash.

The YN-560 III are still a great little flash for what they are. Though the V850’s built quality alone is better, and considering the flash without battery and charger (as the YN-560 III comes) does not cost that much more, the V850 come out pretty favorably in comparison. That’s even if they didn’t have the Lithium-Ion battery, currently available remote transmitter, and HSS option.

Where YongNuo have also dropped the ball a little with the YN-560 III, is that they are not directly compatible with their other popular systems like the YN-622. So there is no real incentive to not go with another brand option like the V850, as they are no more or less compatible with YN’s other systems.

How well Godox will integrate the V850 into their own coming systems other than the current manual Witstro also remains to be seen.

 

YN-560 III vs Godox V850

 

 

Specs

 

SPECS HERE - Click to Expand

Godox V850
Type Lithium-ion polymer powered camera flash
Compatible Cameras DSLR cameras with universal hotshoe
Guide Number (1/1 power @ 105mm) 58 (m ISO 100) 190 (feet ISO 100)
Flash Coverage Manual zoom from 24 to 105mm
Flash Duration 1/300 to 1/20000 second
Color Temperature 5600K±200K
Rotation Angle Vertical -7° to 90°, Horizontal 0 to 360°
Exposure Control
Flash Mode Manual Zoom from 24 to 105 mm
Flash Ratio 1/1 to 1/128 in 1/3rd stop increments , OF
High Speed Sync Triggering Up to 1/8000 second depending on the camera. A high speed trigger e.g. Godox Cells II required.
Wireless Power Control Wirelessly control flash power ratio, focus assist beam, or buzzer, as well as trigger the flash. A FT-16S flash trigger is required.
Multi Mode Provided. Frequency 1 to 199Hz and Times 2 to 100
Flash Recycling
Power Supply Lithium-ion polymer battery pack (Godox VB18)
Battery Capacity 11.1V/ 2000mAh
Charging Time 2.5 hours with AC charger
4 hours with car charger
Power Saving Enter sleep mode after certain period of idle operation (time adjustable or disable.)
Full Power Flashes Approx. 650
Flash Ready Indicator Red indicator lights up when flash is ready to work
Control Panel
Flash Ready Indicator Wide LCD panel
Sync Mode Sync cord jack, hotshoe, wireless control port
Focus Assist Beam Manual on or off
Sound Beep Buzzer Manual on or off
Overtemperature Protection Function Activated after 20 successive full power pops, 60 pops at 1/2 power etc.
Sleep Function Sleeping time is 10 minutes by default. Time is user adjustable.
Power-Off Memory Function Settings will be remembered and recovered after a restart.
Dimension
Size 190 x 75 x 60 mm
Weight 530 g (Li-ion battery included)

 

Summary

 

The Godox V850 are spot on value for a well designed and well built remote manual flash. With the Lithium-Ion battery they are standout.

The Lithoum-Ion battery is small revolution, and saves lot of time and extra gear to manage. The remote manual control is very fast and simple. HSS sync is excellent.

No more swapping out a ton of AA batteries, or needing to attach battery packs all the time. Used at half power you have basically instant recycle time which is ideal.

And combining flashes is even more practical when you don’t have to attach battery packs to them all or worry about changing batteries. ( And its hard to believe all of this cost less than one Canon 600EX-RT where I live ) –

 Phottix Multi Boom 28" & Godox V850

 

Even just hand holding a single flash or 2, the freedom of not having a battery pack hanging around all the time is brilliant. (The new Phottix Multi Boom 28″ shown. 16″ version here).

 

Phottix Multi Boom 28" & Godox V850

 

For current owners of the Witstro bare bulb flash units the V850 are really the obvious companion speedlite choice (using the same remote manual transmitter and HSS etc).

 

Godox AD30 and V850

 

Godox will have an ETTL version of the V850 due around March. And a Nikon ITTL version should follow.

The question that is a little up in the air right now is if or how the current manual V850 will integrate with the new TTL flash.

I’m sure Godox are well aware many people want to integrate the current flashes with a TTL flash on-camera. But I really don’t know what there intentions are with the coming flash at this point.

I think its highly likely a new transmitter will come sooner or later as well, basically combining the FT-16 and HSS enabled Cells II.

 

 

Price and Availability

 

Available now for around $110 –

Amazon – TT850, V850FT-16, FTR-16sCells II

Ebay – V850FT-16 / Neewer FT-16, FTR-16sCells II, ($24 FT-16s SET!)

Adorama – Flashpoint Zoom, FT-16 Set, FTR-16s.

 

See alternative radio trigger options with the V850 here.

Godox – V850 Brochure
Godox – Website

V860 TTL version also now available – Full Review.

.

228 Comments
  1. Joel Richards 1 year ago

    Thanks for getting back to me. Lindy says the tube is a BGGP6330XRH but so far I haven’t had any luck sourcing it. I’m not going to mess with taking the thing apart until I’m sure I can find the necessary parts for a reasonable price. Just wanted to make sure this little tidbit was public somewhere.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 1 year ago

      Ok thanks Joel.

      Did you not have any luck with XenonFlashTubes.com?

      And I assume Lindy could not supply a tube to you then either?

      • Joel Richards 1 year ago

        No luck with XenonFlashTubes.com I emailed them (everything says “contact us”) and never got a response. Lindy was pretty clear it wouldn’t make sense for them to fix the flash but she didn’t outright say they couldn’t supply the bulb. If I can’t find a source I’ll contact her again.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 1 year ago

          Ok thanks Joel. Please keep us updated if you come up with anything, thanks.

  2. Edward 1 year ago

    Hi wanted to ask.

    What is lighter if i was hand holding the flash the V850 with battery and trigger on it or the 180 tube flash with trigger on it and then i would have the pack on my belt.

    Would have a small dish on each one to i see just ordered the Godox beuty dish i have a 360 right now looking at getting a 180 or a V850 next. If i got a v850 and added a small 12 inch dish it looks like the parts would end up maybe weighing more adding to the over all weight of it as it looks like it needs a bracket to hold the V850 intoa dish vs it just slipping on the 180 or 360.

    This would be for shooting weddings as a hold off camera flash as i walk around and shoot.
    Thanks

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz:

©2016 FlashHavoc.com - PRIVACY POLICY

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?