GODOX – V860C VING ETTL Flash – Full Review

Following on from the success of the worlds first Lithium-Ion powered speedlight, in the V850 Ving, Godox are leading the way again with the new ETTL version V860C.

The V850 are brilliant inexpensive remote manual flashes, though for around just $50 more, Godox are really taking value for money to another level again with the full TTL version V860C.

 Godox V860C

 

To completely understand the V860C, it would really help to familiarise yourself with the original V850 here first. Because the V860C are almost 2 flash systems in one –

- A regular higher end TTL flash – along the lines of the Canon 580EX II, with HSS (High Speed Sync), Full Power (GN 58), Canon Optic Wirless Master and Slave mode (NOT radio master though).

- And a separate Remote Manual radio flash system – carried over from (and compatible with) the V850.

This remote manual radio system uses a separate inexpensive FT-16 radio transmitter, and compact FT-16s radio receiver unit, which clip neatly to the side of the flash and do not require any batteries.

 

Godox V850 and V860C with FT-16s Receivers

 

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

So when using Godox’s remote manual radio system, the V860C integrate nicely with the V850, and the larger bare bulb lights. All using the same simple remote power control system.

 

Godox AD360 and V850

 

A form of HSS (High Speed Sync) is also available with this remote manual radio system and the V850 / V860V / Witstro, when using an appropriate transmitter unit like the godox Cells II, or other TTL enabled radio transmitter units.

Radio Receiver – No Built-In Radio Transmitter

Please Note - The Godox FT-16 and FTR-16s remote radio system are not TTL capable. And the V860C flash unit does not have any form of radio transmitter built-in.

For TTL use with the V860C off-camera, separate TTL enabled radio triggers from other manufacturers would need to be used at this stage.

Otherwise the Canon optic wireless system can also be used with TTL off-camera. (The optic wireless is more limited towards line of sight, and indoors or avoiding bright light).

So the V860C are more like a Canon 580EX II (but with a bonus clip on remote manual radio system), than Canon 600EX-RT which have full TTL radio transceivers built in.

 

Lithium-Ion Battery

 

Like the V850, hidden inside the V860C is where the most ground breaking feature lies. The compact VB18 Lithium-Ion battery is mounted neatly inside the V860C, and provides a massive 650 full power pops.

And 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

 

Godox V860C Features

 

  • Full Power – GN 58 (m ISO 100)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery – 650 Full Power Pops!
  • 1.5 Second Recycle at Full Power

 

  • HSS to 1/8000th
  • ETTL II  TTL auto exposure for Canon EOS DSLRs
  • Master and Slave Modes for Canon Optic Wireless system
  • Manual, Multi, S1 & S2 Optic Slave Modes
  • Full Control Through the Canon Camera Menus
  • 24-105mm Auto and Manual Flash Zoom
  • AF Assist Light

 

  • High Build Quality
  • USB Port for Firmware Updates
  • Full 360 Degree Swivel and Tilt Head
  • Fast Clear & Simple Interface
  • Large Clear LCD Screen
  • 2.5mm Sync Port
  • Metal Foot with Locking Pin
  • Kit Comes with Battery and Charger
  • 12 Volt Car Charger Available
  • Inexpensive (around $180) – Excellent Bang for Buck!

 

  • Remote Manual Radio System with HSS to 1/8000th
  • 100M + Range & Very Reliable
  • Fast Simple Remote Manual Power Control
  • 1/3rd Stop Power Adjustments (1/128 – 1/1)
  • Manual, Multi, S1 & S2 Optic Slave Modes
  • Plug In Receiver can be Updated
  • Remote also Compatible with V850 & Witstro

 

Limitations

  • Optic Wireless Master Mode does not have ETTL Ratios
  • (Note – ETTL ratios can still be created by setting FEC directly on slave flashes)
  • No Radio Transmitter Built-In, or way to fire V850 & Witstro via radio.
  • Currently No External Battery Pack Option.

 

Functions Missing From the V850

  • Sound Prompt (the V850 sound beep actually helps a lot when using the FT-16 radio remote).
  • The V860C LCD is not quite as clear and fast for manual power setting and optic slave selection etc.

 

Other Updates from the V850

  • 30 consecutive full power pops (up from 20) before overheat protection cuts in.

 

Overview

 

The V850 released late last year where really a very impressive (and inexpensive) remote manual flash. And the Lithium-Ion battery was a game changer, particularly for people using a number of speedlites off camera.

The huge capacity of the 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 other impressive qualities of the V850 were the high build quality for the low price of just $120, and also the power which is really very close to a Canon 600EX-RT. And of course the V850 where the first (and surprisingly still currently the only) remote manual radio flash available.

The V860C build on the solid base of the V850 by adding full TTL function. And for around just $50 extra that puts the V860C pretty well out front as the best value for money TTL flash in this class.

And as a bonus the V860C can act as a complete substitute for the V850, or nicely integrate off camera with the V850, and even the Godox Witstro flashes.

The V860C were not designed to be all things to all people though, as they do not have any radio transmitter system built-in at this stage (like the latest Canon 600EX-RT for example). This means to use ETTL off camera via radio, other manufacturers external TTL radio triggers are required.

And also to fire V850 / V860C / Witstro, off-camera, with a V860C flash mounted on the camera hotshoe, again combinations of other manufacturers radio triggers may be required to enable this (particularly if you are interested in HSS off camera).

For what the V860C were created for though (an alternative to flashes like the Canon 580EX II, and YongNuo YN-568EX II etc), the V860C are another standout in their class.

 

V860C Kit

 

Like the V850, the V860C are available as a kit, with Lithium-Ion battery and charge included.

And again this just highlights the value in this flash, because for the same price of comparable flashes like the YN-568EX II etc, you also get 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.

 

Godox V850 Kit

 

Interface

 

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

The V860C being a full ETTL flash need to fit a lot more information on the LCD screen, and functions to the buttons. Though Godox have once again managed to keep the V860C’s interface as simple and intuitive as possible.

The V860C LCD screen has a more subdued tone and brightness though. Although I really like the original V850 screen, I can only assume this has been implemented intentionally, possibly so that you don’t have the brighter light in your face when working with the flash on-camera in dark environments.

 

Godox V860C and V850

 

The V860C is certainly still a nice looking flash and interface on the camera though –

 

Godox V860C

 

The V860C buttons are large and all have their own functions clearly marked.

I didn’t originally receive any user manual with the V860C samples, so I really had no choice but try and work through all the functions via trial and error.

And apart from a few settings in the optic wireless master and slave function, which took a little more trial, everything was very obvious and straight forward. Which is impressive for a fully enabled TTL flash, and ahead of many of the alternatives (well ahead of some).

The LCD interface is clean and simple, though there is no distance scale when using manual power settings.

The test fire button is large and easy to press, and there is a quick and simple ON – OFF switch.

 

Godox V850

 

Mode

The first button is simply the Mode button only. Pressing this scrolls through ETTL,  M (Manual), and Multi (or stroboscopic mode).

Unlike the V850, the optic slave modes are now moved to the second button, which makes selecting S1 and S2 a little less convenient for off camera use. Though that is not a big issue.

 

Godox V860C Mode

 

Zoom / Master – Slave

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

Zoom - goes from Auto, then Manual 24 to 105mm. And the selection stops at either end, instead of cycling back to the start again.

When Auto Zoom is enabled the V860C flash zoom head will follow the lense zoom, even with the flash head in the bounce position. Where the Canon flashes revert straight to 50mm when in the bounce position (and set to auto zoom).

 

Master – Slave - button scrolls though the Canon Optic Wireless Master and Slave modes, as well as the basic S1 and S2 optic slave modes.

S1 is a regular optic slave, which fires the flash from the light of any other flash. And S2 ignores pre-flashes, so a TTL flash can be used to optically trigger the V860C in sync as well. (S1 and S2 can only work with manual power settings).

There is more on the Optic Wireless Master and Slave mode further below.

 

Godox V860C Master Slave

 

HSS / SCS

The third button simply scrolls between regular first curtain sync, HSS (High Speed Sync), and SCS (Second Curtain Sync).

HSS also enables H-mode, which is the HSS function available when using the remote manual FT-16s radio receiver (which clips to the side of the flash).

 

Godox V860C HSS

 

Lamp / Custom Functions

Lamp - The lamp button obviously turns the LCD backlight on. Though like the V850 one slightly frustrating thing is that is goes out after just 10 seconds each time. And there is no way to keep it illuminated.

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 each time. This is one thing that could easily be improved on both the V850 and V860C.

 

Custom Functions - Of the 13 External Flash Custom Functions accessible through the Canon Flash Control Menu, only 4 have been enabled on the V860C.

  • 01 – Auto Power Off
  • 03 – FEB Auto Off
  • 04 – FEB Sequence
  • 10- Slave Auto Power Off Timer

Though I’m not sure the lack of any of the others are really going to be missed by most users.

The Functions are only displayed as numbers on the flash –

 

Godox V860C Custom Function

 

Though like most of the flash functions, the Custom Functions can be accessed through cameras enabled with a flash control menu (where the functions full descriptions are displayed).

 

Godox V860C and Custom Function Menu

 

FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation)

FEC can be set directly on the flash with +3 or -3 stops of adjustment. Or via the cameras FEC adjustment.

You can’t use both at the same time though, as making an FEC setting on the flash overrides the cameras FEC setting.

And FEC settings made through the camera are not displayed as numbers on the flashes LCD (as they are when set directly on the flash), only the FEC symbol appears.

 

No Sound Prompt

Unlike the V850 (and most other flashes available now) there is no sound prompt (or beep) enabled on the V860C.

On most flashes this sound prompt allows you to hear when the flash has recycled, or even when there was not enough power available to make a correct ETTL exposure.

But the sound prompt on the flash is particularly useful when using the Godox FT-16 radio transmitter, when setting remote manual power levels on the flash off camera. As this beep allows you to know power level setting have actually been made on the slave flashes.

This is another small reason why the V850 are actually a little better suited to the remote manual off camera use than the V860C.

 

Manual Power Setting

Manual Power Levels are set on the flash 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.

 

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.

 

Optic Wireless Master and Slave Function

 

Like the Canon 580EX II and other high end ETTL flashes, the V860C has an Optic Wireless Master and Slave Mode compatible with Canon’s Optic Wireless system

The Master function allows other compatible flashes to be controlled off camera as slave units, with full TTL and HSS etc available. While the Slave mode can even by controlled by the built in Master function found in recent Canon DSLR’s (using the pop up flash as the transmitter unit).

The optic wireless system is more limited than radio based systems though. More towards line of sight, and indoors or avoiding bright light. (And HSS is not available when the in camera (pop up flash) master function is used).

 

No ETTL Ratios in Master Mode

One unusual omission to the V860C’s Master function is that ETTL ratios can not be selected. So you effectively have a constant A:B:C ratio.

 

Godox V860C Master

 

I found that you can still however set different FEC directly on each slave flash, which then still allows an ETTL ratio of sorts to be created. Its just that you can not adjust that ratio quickly from the camera.

In Manual (or Multi) Modes you can select A, B, and C separately, and adjust separate power levels in each group, from the V860C’s master interface, or the camera flash control menu.

 

Godox V860C Master Manual

 

This lack of ETTL ratios is only for the Optic Wireless Master mode though. This has no effect when using external TTL radio triggers. And I get the impression Godox are aware that radio triggers like the YN-622C, and Optic Master function already built into cameras, have left the Master function on the flash as less of a priority now anyway.

The V860C Optic Master interface is very clear and simple to use though (unlike many similar TTL flashes).

 

HSS and H-Mode

 

The V860C are unique in that they basically have 2 methods of HSS (High Speed Sync) available. Allowing camera shutter speeds up to 1/8000th.

Regular HSS is used on camera, just like a Canon or Nikon Speedlite provides. As well as off-camera when using external TTL triggers, or the Canon Optic Wireless system.

H-Mode is only used off-camera, and with the Godox FT-16s remote manual radio system.

PERMALINK

MORE HSS and H-mode DETAILS HERE - Click to Expand

 

Regular FP HSS

The V860C allow FP HSS on and 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.

The regular HSS mode allows HSS when the V860C is mounted on the camera hotshoe. Or off-camera when mounted on external TTL radio triggers like the YN-622C, or when using the Canon Optic Wireless System.

The regular HSS mode will turn HSS On and Off automatically when the camera shutter speed drops below the cameras X-Sync speed. And it can also be turned on and off remotely from the camera when using external TTL radio triggers.

So the regular HSS mode is the most convenient, though the H-mode detailed bellow generally provide up to around 1 stop more light (which can be quite decent advantage).

Regular HSS is communicated to the flash through the full TTL contacts on the flash foot, or through the Canon Optic Wireless system.

 

H-mode HSS

H-mode HSS is only available when using the V860C off-camera, and as far as I understand only when the FT-16s radio receiver is clipped to the side of the flash.

H-mode is carried over from the V850, allowing HSS off camera with FT-16s receiver and suitable transmitter units like the Godox Cells II.

It’s great the Godox have now included H-mode in the V860C, as it means the V860C can function just like the V850 and Godox Witstro, and they can all be use together off-camera with the same remote manual and HSS enabled radio system.

H-mode must be used carefully though, as it pulses the flash any time it’s switched on, regardless of the cameras shutter speed. So this can put a lot of stress on the flash tube if used continually or unnecessarily.

H-mode can only be switched On and Off directly on the flash at this stage (which is away from the camera), so it’s not the most convenient method. As the current FT-16 transmitter has no way to switch H-mode On or Off remotely.

An advantage to H-mode though is that its generally provides up to around 1 stop more light compared to the regular HSS mode detailed above.

H-mode is communicated to the flash through a simple fire signal. This fire signal must be early though, before the camera shutter starts to open at all. And both H-mode (and regular HSS) actually require this same early fire signal to function.

For H-mode its up to the transmitter to provide the early fire signal. So the transmitter used must still communicate with the camera through the full TTL contacts, to be able to detect the early fire signal needed.

H-mode can also be used with the V860C using a Nikon Camera, provided a Nikon compatible transmitter unit is used.

 

The HSS results below show a direct comparison between H-mode and the regular FP HSS .

The H-mode results shown in the top row are from the V850, though the V860C are the same in H-mode.

The bottom row is the Canon 600EX-RT, though the V860C in regular HSS mode is also very similar to this.

Godox V850 HSS

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

 

Selecting HSS and H-mode

Selecting regular HSS or H-mode on the flash is the same process. As far as I understand the difference is that H-mode would be enabled if the FT-16s radio receiver is also clipped to the side of the flash. (At the time of writing this I’m waiting on the final version V860C to confirm this).

 

Godox V860C HSS

 

When used off-camera, H-Mode and regular HSS can be used on different flashes together at the same time, just depending on the method used to trigger the flashes in HSS.

There is more detail on radio triggering methods further below.

 

Full ETTL Contact Foot

 

Unlike the V850 foot, the V860C now being a full enabled TTL flash, have the full ETTL contacts on the flashes foot.

 

Godox V860 Flash Foot Contacts

 

The V860C contact pins do have a round base though, and Canon (and even YongNuo flashes) have now moved to pins which end in a very small pointed tip. This is to stop dust (or even oil) on the camera hotshoe contacts from blocking the connection from pin to contact.

So it may be important to keep any camera hotshoe, or TTL radio trigger hotshoes, clean. It’s not a big issue, but something to be aware of.

The V850 and V860C also have a safety locking pin in the foot.

 

AF Assist Light

 

The V860C AF assist light now comes on automatically, as you would expect with a TTL flash (having full TTL contacts on the flash foot, as detailed above) .

The AF light itself is the same laser style light pattern as the V850 uses, which is also much like the YongNuo YN-568EX etc.

These work quite well with the center focus point at least, provided you are at least about 0.8M from the subject.

They are not as good as the Canon and Nikon units, which have 2 AF lamps projecting long horizontal and vertical lines covering all AF points, though still generally decent for center focus point use.

 

Godox V850 AF Assist Light

 

The AF light is likely the biggest differentiating feature between the less expensive flash options, and the Canon and Nikon etc flashes. This is simply because most Chinese manufactures do not have access to the components required for the more sophisticated AF lights at this point.

 

Flash Power

 

Like the V850, the V860C state a guide number of GN 58m (ISO 100, 105mm zoom). And comparing directly with the Canon 600EX-RT they are really quite close.

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

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

Direct – Almost Equal
Shoot Thru – Equal
Bounced – 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 V860C’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). (V850 table shown below, as these are the same results as the V860C).

 

Godox V850 Flash Duration

Color & Consistency

 

The V860 are also fairly close to the Canon 600EX-RT in light color. While the YongNuo flashes for example 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.

 

Light Pattern

 

The overall the light patterns protected by the V860C at various zoom lengths are not quite as even as the Canon flashes for example. Though after testing this in more detail, the light is pretty even a cross the frame whenever the flash zoom is set to match the camera lense zoom. So this is really a non-issue even with direct on-camera use.

You can see an example image here compared with the Canon 600EX-RT at 50mm. With the lense zoom set to 50mm as well the evenness is fine. Even the 600EX-RT has some unattractive patterns at longer zoom lengths if viewed at a wider angle than the flash zoom is set to.

Godox have however updated the 14m flip down wide angle diffuser to provide a more even wide angle pattern.

 

Recycle Time

 

Although the V860C′s 1.5 second recycle time is fast compared to a Canon 600EX-RT for example (without an external battery pack), its also still at least twice as long as the 600EX-RT connected to Godox’s own PB960 battery pack.

So although the V860C’s Lithium-Ion battery is very good, it still can’t produce the super fast frame per second bursts some wedding photographers etc may need at times. As mentioned further below though, there are extra unused electrical contacts in the V850 / V860C battery compartment. So a faster high voltage option of some form may be yet to come from Godox.

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

 

Godox V860C Recycle

 

Though ideally with speedlites (in terms of manual power levels) 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.

 

Godox V860C Recycle

 

And this is where the V850 and V860C are brilliant. Because you can shoot 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.

Using the V850 (or even the V860C) off camera, recycle time is often much less of an issue. Because you can often just as easily add a second flash instead of an external battery pack.

This not only halves the recycle time, but allows more than double the number of consecutive flashes before heat protections slows that flash. And heat protection is really the main limiting factor with speedlites now. You can only have one flash mounted on-camera though.

 

Overheat Protection

 

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

The V860C will enter overheat protection mode and slow recycle down to around 15 seconds after –

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

This is an upgrade over the V850 which are currently limited to 20 shots at full power.

And 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.

With HSS enabled overheat protection will now come in after –

15 shots at 1/1 power
20 shots at 1/2
30 shots at 1/4
40 shots at 1/16
50 shots at 1/64

One thing I learnt after some pretty harsh testing with the V850, 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 (pretty extreme) testing, 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 the Lithium-Ion battery is also saving a large amount of heat stress on the flash, and the cooler the flash body is, the faster the heat is going to dissipate from the flash tube as well.

 

Lithium-Ion 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 / V860C 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.

 

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.

(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 and USB Port

 

Apart from the custom 4 pin FT-16s receiver port, the V860C only have the one simple 2.5 mm sync port, and now an additional Micro USB port (for all important future firmware updates).

This sync port appears to be covered by the rubber cover in most images when the FT-16s 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. Again that’s not really a big issue though.

 

Godox V860C Ports

 

FT- 16 / FTR-16s Power Control and Triggering (and H-mode HSS)

 

The V860C also support the excellent Godox remote manual radio system carried over from (and compatible with) the V850.

This remote manual radio system uses a separate inexpensive FT-16 radio transmitter, and compact FTR-16s radio receiver unit, which clip neatly to the side of the flash and do not require any batteries.

 

Godox V850 and V860C with FT-16s Receivers

 

The FT-16 transmitter are also the same as used with the already very popular Godox Witstro, as well as many of Godox’s other larger studio lights.

So when using Godox’s remote manual radio system, the V860C integrate nicely with the V850, and the larger bare bulb lights. All using the same simple remote power control system.

 

Godox AD360 and V850

 

H-mode, a form of HSS (High Speed Sync), is also available with this remote manual system and the V850, V860V, and Witstro, when using an appropriate transmitter unit like the godox Cells II, or other TTL enabled radio transmitter units.

Please click below so see more detail on the FTR-16s remote manual radio system and H-mode HSS.

PERMALINK

MORE DETAIL ON FTR-16s REMOTE MANUAL AND H-MODE HSS HERE - Click to Expand

 

FT-16 Transmitter and FTR-16s Receiver

The FT-16 transmitter provide 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 normally 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), though the V860C unfortunately does not have any sound prompt like the V850 and Witstro have.

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 with the Witstro etc. 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.

 

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.

 

H-Mode HSS (High Speed Sync)

 

H-mode is the second method of HSS available with the V860C. Though H-mode is only available when the flash is used off camera. Like the FTR-16s remote manual radio trigger system, H-mode is carried over from the the V850 and Godox Witstro.

And it’s great the Godox have now included H-mode in the V860C as well, as it means the V860C can function just like the V850 and Godox Witstro, and they can all be use together off-camera with the same remote manual and HSS enabled radio system.

H-mode is similar to regular HSS used with TTL flashes on camera etc, as the flash still 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. The second requirement for H-mode to work is an early fire signal, which fires the flash just before the camera shutter starts to open.

H-mode must be used carefully though, as it pulses the flash any time it’s switched on, regardless of the cameras shutter speed. So this can put a lot of stress on the flash tube if used continually or unnecessarily.

H-mode can only be switched On and Off directly on the flash at this stage (which is away from the camera), so it’s not the most convenient method. As the current FT-16 transmitter has no way to switch H-mode On or Off remotely. (Godox have not said yet whether this would be possible to implement with a new transmitter unit or not).

An advantage to H-mode though is that its generally provides up to around 1 stop more light compared to the regular HSS mode.

H-mode can also be used with the V860C using a Nikon Camera, provided a Nikon compatible transmitter unit is used.

 

Selecting H-mode

Selecting regular HSS or H-mode on the flash is the same process. As far as I understand the difference is that H-mode would be enabled if the FTR-16s radio receiver is also clipped to the side of the flash. (At the time of writing this I’m waiting on the final version V860C to confirm this).

 

Godox V860C HSS

Transmitter for H-mode

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 (likely towards the end of the year now).

 

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.

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 / V860C 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.

As most of these alternatives are using TTL radio transmitters anyway, they can also be combined with using the V860C as full TTL flashes off camera, with TTL radio receivers attached to the V860C foot.

 

TTL Radio Trigger Compatibility

 

As the V860C do not have any TTL capable radio transceivers built-in, and Godox do not yet have their own external TTL triggers available, the only current option is to use other third party TTL enabled radio triggers, if you would like full TTL function off-camera with the V860C via radio .

I have run through all the functions with the early sample V860C (and surprisingly) from my initial testing found all functions working with the –

 

Godox V860C and TTL Triggers

 

Please Note Though – This is just my initial testing. It takes a lot of time just trying to confirm all these functions a working correctly with a number of radio triggers, as well as the Canon Optic Wireless system.

So its very possible I could have missed some things, and that other issues may still be discovered once a number of people start using these flash / trigger / camera combinations in more depth and providing feedback.

Mixing third party flash and radio triggers is normally something I would try to avoid. Though its obvious the V860C are going to be one of the more popular TTL flashes available. And a lot of people already have the intention of using them with third party TTL radio triggers. So there should over time at least be enough user feedback to allow any compatibility issues to be well know and documented.

How fast, or if Godox will address any issues found with third party gear is unknown as yet.

 

V860C On-Camera – Firing V850 / V860C / Witstro Off-Camera

 

Unfortunately the V860C do not really offer any new options as far as firing or controlling the V850 or Godox Witstro off-camera, while the V860C is mounted in the camera hotshoe and as a TTL flash on-camera (as many wedding and event photographers like to do).

This was clearly not in Godox’s intended function for the V860C at this stage. Which is fair enough as they have plans for a more integrated solution possibly around the end of the year.

In the mean time though, third party radio triggers are again generally the current solution here. Particularly if you would still like HSS off camera with the manual V850 and Witstro / Cheetah lights.

More detail on V850 / V860C radio trigger alternatives can be seen in this post.

 

Godox V860C

  

 

Compared To

 

The V860C are clearly aimed as an alternative to the very popular, and relatively inexpensive, third party TTL flashes like the YN-568EX II from YongNuo, and similarly priced Chinese flashes from Oloong etc.

Though the V860C also have the build quality, and unique features which go a long way to even challenge the higher priced Japanese flashes in a number of respects.

Many of the TTL flashes in this class are purchased for basic on-camera TTL use, and as a stand alone flash used like this the V860C are really a standout for the price.

The one area the YN-568EX II do have an advantage is that they are guaranteed complete compatibility with popular TTL triggers like the YN-622C.

Although compatibility there also looks promising with the V860C so far, we well have to wait for more user feedback to really confirm that over a wide range of gear etc.

The V860C are the only Lithium-Ion powered ETTL speedlite currently available, so in that respect they are in a class of their own there.

 

Specs

SPECS HERE - Click to Expand

V860C Specs

Compatible Cameras

 

Compatible Cameras

This is the initial list of cameras tested as compatible by Godox. Other models can still be compatible, its just that they have not been tested by Godox.

 

Firmware Updates

 

The latest V860C firmware updates and instructions can be downloaded from the Chinese version of the Godox Website here – http://www.godox.com/CN/Downloads.html

At the time of writing this the latest firmware is available at the bottom right hand side of the page there.

To see which firmware version is installed on your flash, hold down the FN / Light button before switching the flash on, and the firmware version will be displayed on the LCD screen.

 

UPDATE – V2.2 – (MAY 2015)

1. To solve the problem of High‐speed Sync function can’t work when using CellsII‐C transceiver under the M mode.
2. To solve the problem of High‐speed Sync function can’t work when using S1/S2 optic slave flash under the M mode.

V2.1 -

To solve the slow recycle issue in the HSS mode.

V2.0 -

If you run into this problem: Underexposure occurs when you use the long-focus lens and bounce flash in TTL mode.
Solution: Press “MODE” button for two seconds until the flash icon blinks, thus entering “Bounce Flash Mode”. Then you can shoot with correct exposure. Pressing “MODE” button will exit.

 

 

Summary

 

Godox have taken value for money another step further with the V860C. I don’t think there is currently any alternative that is going to come close to matching them for the price. If their features and function suit your needs the V860C will be pretty hard to go past.

The original V850 do still have some small advantages for use as remote manual off-camera flashes, with an interface and sound prompt etc a little more suited to that.

Though the V860C can certainly still slip straight in as extra off camera flashes with the V850 and Witstro, and have the full ETTL function available for on-camera use when needed. If you’re really more of a remote manual / HSS person, then its nice to have a mix of both.

For Nikon users the wait shouldn’t actually be too long this time, as the Nikon version V860N is scheduled for around April.

 

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

 

The V860C for Canon are available now for around $170 –

V860C -

Amazon – TT860CV860CFT-16FTR-16sCells II

Ebay – V860CFT-16 / Neewer FT-16FTR-16sCells II

Adorama – FlashPoint ZoomFT-16 Set, FTR-16s.

 

Godox V860C – Brochure
Godox V860C – Website

See alternative radio trigger options with the V850 / V860C here.

Godox V850 – Full Review
Godox V850 – Brochure
Godox V850 – Website

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174 Comments
  1. fabvon 3 years ago

    Hey Havoc, what you you do in my situation?

    I have a 7D, never had an external flash before, and want to use the 7d’s bult in flash system to control the flash off camera. Would you choose YN568II or Godox v860c? I might not use TTL, just flash inmanual mode (I want to learn)

    Thanks!

    Fabvon

  2. fabvon 3 years ago

    Ops, I forgot to say… if I feel the 7D’s builtin flash system is not that good, I would buy a radio trigger. In this case, which one would you choose, YN568II or Godox v860c? They are both the same price as of now. Thanks!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi fabvon,

      The V850 and V860C have a big advantage with the Lithium-Ion battery (and the build quality is a bit nicer).

      The YN-568EX II have the advantage of safe compatibility with the YN-622C / YN-622C-TX.
      .

      If your pretty sure remote manual is all you need off camera, then either the V850 or V860C, used with the Godox FT-16 and FTR-16s trigger system should be fine.

      If you went with the V860C you would still have a TTL flash for on-camera use when needed (as opposed to the all manual V850). And the V860C does work ok on the YN-622C at this stage, if you decided to go with TTL triggers later.
      .

      If you were really keen on TTL off camera with the YN-622C, then as mentioned the YN-568EX II are the safest option. Or also if you did want AA batteries instead of the Lithium-ion. Thanks.

  3. Nick 3 years ago

    I have the Neewer V860c and the Yongnuo YN622C-TX / Yongnuo YN-622C system for use on my Canon 7D. I have two questions which I’d appreciate having answered:
    First, am I correct in assuming that any updates in the firmware for the Godox V860C should also be installed on the Neewer flash, and second, with this setup can I remotely adjust the manual flash power on a Godox/Neewer V850? I assume I would have no trouble remotely triggering the V850, and am aware that it does not have ETTL. Many thanks for your response.

  4. Karl 3 years ago

    1. Yes, firmware updates for the Godox V860C can be applied to the Neewer TT860. I’ve done this myself.

    2. No. The YN622C-TX (or even a YN-622C and using settings in the camera menu) can only adjust the power of a ETTL flash. Of course, the V850 isn’t ETTL. You could, however, buy an FT-16S trigger set and manually adjust the power of the v850 from there, and put the transmitter for the FT-16S on top of the YN622C-TX. That gets a little complicated, of course.

    • Mick Manson 3 years ago

      Am I missing something here? ETTL works fine but so does manual. On a 60D with a YN622C-TX on the hotshoe, and with a a YN622C as the only radio receiver on the V860C I can fully adjust manual flashes. Although I have not tried third of a stop nor Multi-flash yet.

      I have noticed that when using the kit as described above, output from the Godox seems to be a lot less in HSS mode at 1/8000th sec. than when using a YN 568 EX II.

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 3 years ago

        Hi Mick,

        Nick and Karl are referring to both the V860C and the V850. The V850 being a manual flash has no control through the YN-622C.

        Either the V860C or V850 have remote manual control through the Godox FT-16 / FTR-16s triggers, (and the H-mode variation of HSS if using the right transmitter).

        As Karl mention you can combine the Godox and YongNuo triggers in a number of combinations when combining manual flashes like the V850 or Witstro etc.

  5. spiro 3 years ago

    Does the v860 work as a master interface on top the yn-622?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Spiro,

      I’m not sure if you’re referring to Canon or Nikon there. For Canon it definitely won’t as the YN-622C do not operate like that with any flash.

      For Nikon the YN-622N do operate via a master flash interface mounted on top of the YN-622N on camera, though I haven’t had a chance to test this. Others may be more familiar with this combination.

  6. badphoto 3 years ago

    Hi Elv,
    Since its release until now I’ve seen reports on amazon about the battery: whether it arrived dead, or would die a few months afterwards. In both cases there I have not seen anything official from Godox about replacement for the faulty ones, or a new version of the battery has been made.

    Also the focus assist pattern does not match the camera’s focusing points.

    Do you have any news about those issues? Thanks

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi badphoto,

      Yes Godox have certainly had some bad batteries. The issue is supposedly rectified though, and new stock should be ok. There is no way to identify one battery from another though, so you really need to check with the seller if they have new stock since the issues.

      Godox have been informing sellers to replace any faulty batteries.
      .

      The AF assist light is really only designed for the center focus point (depending on how close or zoomed in you are etc). I’m not aware of any plans to change this as yet.

      YongNuo use a similar laser style AF light in their flashes and YN-622 etc. And the tried to improve theirs in the YN-E3-RT by making the pattern larger, but made it worse in my opinion, because now the focus points can easily fall in between any of the lines.

      So I personally prefer the Godox or original YongNuo AF light pattern. Ideally they do need to change this to something different though. Pixel tried something new with the Mago flash, so we may start to see more larger AF pattern lights emerge eventually.

  7. FrankB 3 years ago

    Hi Havoc,
    I recently buy the V860c to use it on my Canon 1D Mark IV. Before I buy it I send and e mail to the vendor which he replied to me and assured me that it works.

    I don’t know why is not listed on the website under the compatibility cameras list?! but there are some functions I think don’t work to god on this set up?

    I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the V860c.

    Do you have any inputs on this and do you know is there is a firmware update and where can I download it?

    Thanks

    Frank B

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Frank,

      I think the main reason Godox do not list all the cameras, is simply because they have not tested with all these models.

      So not listing the camera does not necessarily mean there are any compatibility issues. I have not heard of any particular issues with the 1D cameras.

      .

      The latest V860C firmware updates and instructions can be downloaded from the Chinese version of the Godox Website here – http://www.godox.com/CN/Downloads.html

      At the time of writing this V2.1 is available at the bottom right hand side of the page there.

      To see which firmware version is installed on your flash, hold down the FN / Light button before switching on the flash, and the firmware version will be displayed on the LCD screen .

  8. steven 2 years ago

    does it fits for fujifilm sl310 ?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Steven,

      The V860C should fit on the Fujifilm hotshoe, though they will only fire in manual. The TTL is only dedicated to Canon DSLR’s.

      If the flash is only for the Fuji (and your happy with manual only) then you may be better off with the V850, as you are not paying for the TTL function then that you can not use with the Fuji.

  9. Awesome review – I got some of these units a few weeks ago and they’re working just fine on camera. I have used them with a single pixel knight trigger and now experimenting with the godox rs-16 triggers and trying to get some ratios going….I like the idea you mentioned of using a simple FEC on the unit :)

  10. wesley 2 years ago

    I have read all of the comments and am getting into flash and want to use manual as that is the way that I find works for me while I have been shooting with a friend. I have been torn over the Yongnuo 600 or Shanny 600 until I found these flashes and I love the battery concepts, HSS and the ease of operation.

    After reading though everyone has mentioned the battery issues and warranty issues so I have been hesitant about getting this flash. I did more research and did find a company called cheetah stand and they have the same flashes but rebranded under their name. The best part is that they are in Dallas Texas, and offer a 1 year warranty on the flash and currently a 6 month battery warranty and the owner said in January that he is really confident with the new battery for his flash that he is going to make the battery a one year warranty as well. Off course the products do cost more then the Neewer brand but you get to speak to a US company and it comes with a 1 year warranty.

    Am I missing something but this seems like the answer to me.

  11. Timothy 2 years ago

    Hello awesome review I got one of these flashes and I love it , I really only use it in manual mode but it goes into sleep mode after a couple min . Anyway to turn that off I didn’t see that in the manual

  12. Julius 2 years ago

    Hello. Are there any reported issues of the flash “sleeping” after a minute of idle? I’m experiencing this issue, even with a fully-charged battery. Thanks!

    • Andy 2 years ago

      Hi Julius,

      I had the same problem and I found the solution.

      If the flash is set to Master in slave mode it will power off after 90 secs.

      If the flash is set to Slave 1 it will go into sleep mode after 30 mins. (It says 30/60 mins on the pdf)

      I found this info on an online pdf instruction manual

      http://www.godox.com/CN/InstructionManual/VING_V860n_20140626.pdf

      I hope this has cured any frustration.

      Cheers,

      Andy

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 2 years ago

        If this is regarding the V850, then you can turn the flash sleep mode off altogether in the custom functions.

        I think the V860N will work the same way.

  13. Eric Lefebvre 2 years ago

    So I have 5 of the 850 and 2 of the 860c … 2 of my 7 batteries have not survived the one year mark. I plug them into a charge and nothing! The charger doesn’t even acknowledge that they are in there,

    I also fear that 2 other batteries are about to go as well … was just charging them in prep for a product shoot (on location) tomorrow and that’s when I noticed two of them not charging and another 2 charged WAY too fast … so we’ll see.

    Just order 4 more batteries (160$ later) … anyone else had this problem?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Eric,

      Unfortunately many people have had this problem (please see this post), though hopefully the latest batteries have resolved the issue.

      It would be best to check with the seller you have ordered from that they actually have the latest GREPOW batteries as noted in the link above.

      Your batteries that charged too fast will have very limited capacity, and could stop charging at all at any time now.

  14. Joel 2 years ago

    Havoc,

    Have you experienced any issues with the V860 not firing consistently if secured too tightly to the hotshoe? I got one recently and if it is too tight, it doesnt fire properly. If loosened just a tad, it fires perfectly every time. Im wondering if this is normal, or if I should exchange the unit.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Joel,

      I haven’t experienced this, though I think that issue does ring a bell from some other reports (from quite a while back now).

      So I think you will likely need to exchange the flash.

    • Lionel 2 years ago

      This happened to me first the first time on Saturday. It was in a fast paced situation and though my first flash was defective. I then tried my 2nd flash, put it on nice and TIGHT, thinking tighter is better then nothing. Got to my 3rd flash, same thing. My lead photographed was convinced it was my camera but then we tried his Neewer flash on mine and it worked fine. I got home the next day and did extensive testing. If I over tighten no fire, if I slightly loosen it fires.

      No bueno.

  15. JP 2 years ago

    Hi,

    I am looking for a way to use all together 2 Godox V860c and 1 Profoto B1 with Air Remote TTL which is mounted ON-camera.
    The camera is a Canon 1Dx.
    I need Flash High speed sync.
    I use TTL for the Profoto B1 unit but I don’t want TTL for the 2 V860c, I need to control them manually.

    I put the Profoto Air remote on the camera and tried to set the 2 V860 to Optic mode. The V860 turn to Manual mode and that’s fine but I can not access to the High speed sync function anymore.
    What should I do for this ?

    (If that can be part of the solution, I also own 2 Phottix Odin receiver units + 1 Odin TCU.)

    Thanks for your help !

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi JP,

      This (and flash on camera) are always going to be the major limitations to the Profoto system unfortunately.

      I don’t know if the the Air transmitter has any PC sync out? If so, and if that provides the early HSS pre-sync signal, that would be the only way to access HSS for other lights via radio (by connecting another transmitter unit to this sync port).

      If you’re prepared to use an optic slave though, I think the V850 at least do still provide HSS using their built in optic slave. If the V860C are not allowing this, a way around that may be by connecting an external optic slave to the V860C’s sync port.

      I’m not sure why you can’t access the H-mode in manual though on the V860C, I’ll need to take a look at that.

      • JP 2 years ago

        Hi,

        Thanks for your answer !

        On the V860C, when set to S1 or S2 mode (and slave mode), the HSS can not be activated as it can be when in TTL and Master modes. I did test shots and it is actually not activated.

        “If you’re prepared to use an optic slave though, I think the V850 at least do still provide HSS using their built in optic slave. If the V860C are not allowing this, a way around that may be by connecting an external optic slave to the V860C’s sync port. ”
        > Do you mean there could be a solution with the Godox triggers ?

        Cheers

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 2 years ago

          I (almost) found a solution :-)

          I looked at the V860C and I see what you mean. And even the V850 will not allow HSS and S1 optic slave mode at the same time either unfortunately.

          So what I did is simply mount the Godox FT-16 transmitter on top of an SYK-3 optic slave unit, so the FT-16 transmitter then fires the FTR-16s receiver clipped to the side of the V860C.

          And this works triggered by the light from another flash set to HSS, but… only when the triggering flash is in manual mode unfortunately.

          So you wouldn’t be able to use the B1 in TTL mode like this.

          The only way around that would be an optic slave which ignores the first pre-flash, though I really don’t know how successful you would be finding one of those to work correctly.

          .

          The Cactus RF60 otherwise are a speedlite which have an optic slave mode with a HSS mode, intentionally designed for this use.

          Though again I really don’t know if TTL could be used with the triggering light source (and S2 slave mode on the flash).

          If you can live with HSS and manual on the B1 my first method could actually be quite good, as you’re not really relying on fragile optic triggering then (as you can put the transmitter and optic slave right near the B1 so it can’t miss the signal).

          • JP 2 years ago

            Hi Flash Havoc

            Thanks a lot for your time and tests !

            The solution you found sounds good but I need to keep TTL on the main light as my subjects move quickly at various distances from the light (sport photography).
            The new Profoto B2 seems to be the perfect solution in my case but I am surprised that this 250Ws light is more expensive than a B1…

  16. Katie 2 years ago

    Hi there,
    I’ve recently started working with a team that use pocketwizards, and have discovered that my trusty yn560-III’s do not get along well with them. Have you (or anyone else) tested these with pocketwizards? Specifically the TT1/TT5’s.
    TIA!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Katie,

      If you’re referring to the V860C working with the TT1/TT5 with TTL?, as far as I recall there was some feedback from users saying that after the firmware updates the V860C received they were working ok with the TT1/TT5.

      I haven’t tested this myself though (I’m hoping PocketWizard come up with something new before I buy them again).

  17. Paolo 2 years ago

    Hey Havoc, how do you rate this Godox V860c in comparison to the Phottix Mitros TTL?

    Looking for a replacement for my dead Canon Speedlite but still in doubt.

    Thanks

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Paolo,

      The Mitros have a Canon like AF assist light so they are ahead there. Also a well made level lock foot mechanism. They are around half a stop less power though, and their main weak point if you need to push them hard has been overheating issues creating increased recycle times. So they basically do around half as many shots as the Canon 600EX-RT before heat reduces recycle times.

      So if you had any issues with overheating of the Canon flash, the Mitros is not going to be any advantage there. Though some people have struggled with this, while others have never had an issue, so it just depends how you like to use them.

      The V860C have the advantage of the Lithium-ion battery, though they still can’t match the fastest recycle of the Mitors or Canon flash with an external battery pack attached (for short bursts). The V860C are a lot faster recycle than the Canon or Mitros without external battery pack though.

      The Canon 600EX-RT would be my first choice for an on-camera flash, though the Mitros+ with built in radio master are virtually essential at the center of the Phottix flash system, which is there main advantage. While the V860C are a fraction of the price of the Canon flash, and with battery pack basically built in, so they are incredible bang for buck in that sense. The Mitros/+ cost more but also provide 2 year warranty.

  18. YK 2 years ago

    I decided to get myself a copy after reading this excellent review. Turns out I was so impressed with the results that I bought a second unit plus an extra battery!
    I find the colour output more pleasing comparing to my 580II and generally more predictable although I do agree the light assist isn’t as complex as the Canon original.
    The scrolling wheel aren’t the best either as I accidentally over-dial all the time.
    I also find it odd that Godox doesn’t offer any power pack for the flash. Thus, I am forced to use the 580II with the PB960 when shooting outdoor.

  19. Guillaume Ménant 2 years ago

    Hi,

    Is the FT-16S receiver (V850/V860) compatible with FT-16 receiver (RS-600P) ? Can we trigger boths kinds of strobes ?

    Thanks !

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Guillaume,

      Both the FTR-16 (for RS-600P & Witstro) and FTR-16s (for V850 & V860) receivers are compatible with the FT-16 transmitter unit.

      So yes they will all work nicely together with the same FT-16 transmitter, for firing the flashes and remote manual power control.

  20. JL 2 years ago

    Can 2 CELLS II-C perform off-camera ITTL on V860?
    I was thinking 1 on camera, 1 as V860 trigger…

    And can this same set up do off-camera HSS on V860?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi JL,

      No the Cells II-C (for Canon) or Cells II-N (for Nikon) can not do TTL at all.

      The Cells II-N can not do HSS with the V860N either (though they can do a form of HSS with the V850 or Witstro)

      Where the Cells II-C (used on a compatible Canon DSLR) can do a form of HSS with the V860C, and V850 and Witstro.


      For ITTL and HSS with the V860N you would need to use TTL triggers like the YN-622N.

  21. nixland 2 years ago

    Hi Elv,

    I am about to try this flash. I ve tested with yn622c also the yn622tx on 5Dii and it works ok.

    My questions:
    1. The store sells the ftr16s with the ft16 transmitter in one package. They dont sell individual ftr16s.
    I already have ft16 for my AD360. So if I bought 3 V860c, there will be 3 ft16 unused. Do Godix sells the the ftr16s only?

    2. Why Godox H mode hss has 1 more stop than normal Canon hss mode?

    3. The unavailable beep sound, why they dont provide it? Any reason?

    Thanks

    • nixland 2 years ago

      About my question no. 1, unluckily the store doesn’t sell ft16s but I found another store that sell the individual ft16s.

  22. Richard 2 years ago

    Using the V860N for nikon, and the flash can’t be turned off remotely. Power goes down to 1/128 and then “of” on the FT16, but the V860 still fires at 1/128. Anyone else had this?

    Looking to add two V850’s, all being well.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Richard,

      I just checked this and it looks like you are correct. The V860N currently have no “of” setting, either on the flash or using the FT-16 transmitter.

      Strangely the the V860C does go to an “of” setting when using the FT-16 as transmitter. Even though there is no option to select the “of” setting directly on the flash itself.

      The V850 can be set to “of” directly on the flash, or via the FT-16 transmitter.
      _

      Hopefully Godox should be able to update the V860N in future firmware though.

  23. Glenn 2 years ago

    Great review. I was interested in changing my canon 580ii to the V860 as I’ve had problems with my set up. Been using the pocket wizards tt1 tt5 transmitters and I’m getting mis fires and mis comunications all the time. Done all the updates and spoke to the factory who have been more than helpful in replacing bits but it’s still not 100% your review doesn’t cover the reliability of coms between the units. Also I’ve waited a year for the godox ft16’s to add ttl to their system but it’s not happened. Any idea if they will do this soon. I’m running 3 of the canon 580ii’s with the flex pocket wizards and still anxious to change to a much reliable system.

  24. nixland 2 years ago

    Firmware uodate problem. I downloaded the firmware installer from YN site (2.1). Installation is OK, but when I run the program, and click the start button, there is an error “atlibusbdfu.dll not found”. I run in Win 7 and run as admin. Any help?

  25. Keano 2 years ago

    I know that the v860n underexposes in TTL off camera. How is the exposure regarding the v860c?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Keano,

      The V860C have an underexposure issue at longer focal lengths when bouncing the flash, though I don’t think its as bad as the V860N.

      And Godox have implemented a fix for the V860C where you hold the mode button for 2 seconds to enter a mode to compensate for this issue.

  26. Scooterapd 2 years ago

    After studying up on this site following a burn-out of my 580EX work horse, I opted to purchase a Ving 860C. After some initial testing, I ended up buying a TT850 and TT860 for a nice set, triggers and all.

    I do love the Lithium Packs. But not being able to fire continuously is a major shortcoming that keeps me from using this flash as a primary unit if I’m a primary photographer on weddings. I’ve also had my share of bad copies of these batteries. The Neewer units are the worst. Each one I bought had to be replaced.

    I’ve given these flashes plenty of chances as primary units when shooting second as well, but I still cannot trust them 100%. Exposures vary and the auto focus beam isn’t reliable enough for fast paced flash photography.

    Underexposure is a major problem when zooming.

    I haven’t been able to obtain the latest firmware.

    If they can fix the underexposure problem as well as allow for flash at partial power for continuous shooting, I will probably leave my Canon flashes behind. Until then, my 580EX is still my primary flash.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Scooterapd,

      I’m not sure if you know, since firmware version V2.0 there is a fix added for the lense zoom underexposure. If you hold the MODE button down for 2 seconds the small flash icon will blink on the flashes LCD screen. Pressing the MODE button again exits this mode.

      V2.1 fixed the slow recycle in HSS mode. Though no quick recycle mode as you’re after.

  27. Keyasa 2 years ago

    Hi guys,

    I’ve just picked up three V860N. The FT16 transmitter will fire the flashes no problem, but can’t adjust the power output remotely no matter what I try. Is there a trick to getting the V860N to start listening to the transmitter?

    Cheers

  28. gio 2 years ago

    Godox is not a reliable company.
    Their flashes do not have a protection between the mainboard and the glass screen.
    I had 2 bad experiences until now with them: both v860 have cracked screens and black around them. The outer screen (polycarbonate) has no problem, so it is a clear matter of overheating.
    The outrageous thing is that they sent one allready cracked like this and I thought it was from shipping and they did not want to take care of it and I let it go … But soon after this, the 2nd one I bought together with the cracked one has the same problem: cracked glass screen and unbroken polycarbonate screen.
    Godox sale representant sent me away with this reply: there is only 1% of broken products so you have 2 of 3 broken. We do not trust you (even if you bought much more products from us) and we will do nothing from you!
    So when a company treats like this a client that bought from them for 5k usd I tell you all: run from that company or else you will regret it when you will have problems with your products.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi gio,

      Sorry I’ve missed your comment previously. I’ve never heard of this issue though either.

      I’m not even sure there is a glass screen inside the flash head, as I melted the inner screen on the V850 when overriding the heat protection to see how long the flash would last with extreme abuse. Even after melting the screen the flash kept going.

      Do you have an image of the cracked screen and black around it?

  29. imagonman 2 years ago

    WOW, NO Ettl ratio mode? Why would one buy these then? For the battery system cuz its the nexgen of power? I mean if it can’t do Ettl ratio control on the remotes why not just go back to using flash powder? If I have to run around and adjust FEC on the individual remote slaves to ‘manually’ set ETTL ratio might as well get torches too. Seriously??????………………………….another OINK!

  30. hiwyx 2 years ago

    I’m having troubles with one of my 2 V860C bought in August 14.
    I never had lot of time to actually use them. They are both in really mint condition (the plastic is still on the IR), and probably have less than 50 flash (only test).
    Short time ago, I wanted to check that the batteries were still charged to avoid them dying.
    I was surprised that one flash was full and the other one was empty (not even able to turn on).
    So I charged the empty battery and 2 days later, I checked the flash again and… the battery is empty again.
    I’m still not sure the reason, if the battery is just dead and drains itself or if the flash has some kind of bad standbye and drains it.
    I’m going to put the “good battery” in the “bad flash” to check, but I definitely have a problem for a flash that old and that used…

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi hiwyx,

      The was a common issue with a number of batteries from last year. You can read all about that in the Godox battery issues post here.

  31. Mauro Rodrigues 2 years ago

    i have this setup:
    canon 70D
    2 flash Godox 860C
    2 receivers FT16s
    1 transmitter FT16s
    1 transceiver Cells II-C

    i’m having some trouble understanding some stuff, so can you explain me this:

    1- to fire the flash off camera by radio transmission, we have to have the Cells-II-C transceiver and FT16s receiver connected to the side of the flash, or is this wrong, and only fires optically?

    2- if we also have the FT16s transmitter we can change power levels remotely, but only on Manual mode on the camera and the button set to “Flash” on the Cells II-C transceiver? As i can understand if we change on the flash the M mode to Master or Slave, the FT16s transmitter doesn’t change the power levels remotely.

    3- if HSS is turned on the flash, and the camera is on Manual mode, the flash power consistency will reduce dramatically, as the shutter speed increases. Ex: 1/8000 f/4 | flash power 1:1 = i can barely see the effect of the flash, i have to be really close to the subject to see any actual light from the flash. Is this true? If i change to 1/450 | flash power 1:1 = i can see much better the flash light. Wasn’t the light supposed to be consistent throughout all shutter speed levels?

    4- If HSS is turned on the flash, will radio transmission of the Cells-II-C transceiver maintained? or will it change to optical transmission?

    5- In Tv mode, this happens when i put Cells II-C transceiver. Shutter speed is limited to 1/250 and ISO changes to AUTO if i press the autofocus button, even if it is selected as ISO100, is this normal?

    6- I change to Av mode, select a constant aperture F4, turn off the Cells II-C transceiver and point to a subject and take a photo, perfect exposure. I turn on the Cells II-C transceiver, i take the same picture, flash fires, and creates a total overexposed photo. Why is this happening?

  32. Antonis 1 year ago

    when will they launch the 2.4 version of 860v?

  33. Nathan 1 year ago

    I’m curious if anyone here has had problems with a loose foot on their 860. Mine wiggles, not where it attached to the hotshoe, but just above it. It freaks me out and I’m probably sending it back soon.

  34. ajfudge 1 year ago

    Just wondering if the FT-16 is compatible with the Godox Reemix II transmitter/receiver.
    Can one fire the other, and vice versa?

    Thank you.

  35. Frankie 3 months ago

    When i put the speedlites in hss they power of after 30s is there any way around this?

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