I recently received the AD600PRO from Godox, and this battery-powered studio strobe is definitely something that every photographer should get familiar with and strongly consider! I have been testing it and shooting with it for a few weeks, and every step of the way it has been absolutely spectacular. I'm going to cover a number of the most salient features and specifications of the AD600Pro, and I'll drop in a number of images from my most recent photo shoot, which exclusively involved the Godox AD600Pro paired with a FotodioxPro 28" Beauty Dish.
One of the greatest technical features of this light is the +/- 75 Kelvin specifications on it's color consistency. I have used the AD600Pro in a wide variety of rooms and situations, but every single time, if I set my white balance to 5600, it's absolutely perfect. Now to be fair, I have never had any complaints with the Elinchrom studio strobes that I have been using, either. The type of work that I do doesn't really require an insane amount of color consistency. But, as with all things gear related, quality matters!
The greatest surprise when I unboxed the unit and started to delve into using it was the amazing build quality and construction of the light. Often I feel that shortcuts are taken with the durability and strength of a product. Just like camera bodies, there is a huge range of 'build quality' that goes into lighting gear. Given the Godox price point (extremely reasonably priced,) I was anticipating a little bit of a sacrifice in the construction quality. I was absolutely mistaken. Everything from the main body of the light, the protective sleeve/reflector, and the attached handle are premium quality and durability.
When the light arrived, I took a few minutes to carefully read the entire instruction manual. It was clearly a translated manual and not written by someone who's a native English expert, but it was 100% understandable and usable. In some cases, manuals can be almost impossible to use when from a different native language, but Godox definitely took care to ensure that the manual was clear, concise, and detailed. I did not, however, read the controls for the XPro controller which was sent along with the light. I found that everything was absolutely clear and intuitive. I have been using off-camera flash for a few years, and I have used Phottix and Elinchrom triggers. There wasn't a thing that I tried to do that wasn't just completely obvious and easy.
Godox Flexibility & Compatibility
Godox does not handle the retail end of their product line in the US market (where I am located.) Instead, there are a few different branded versions of the Godox lights available. The fantastic thing about their system is that the remote triggers and all of the various lighting options are completely compatible across the line-up. So, if you happen to find a terrific deal on the AD600Pro through the Adorama branded version, but then find an AD200 deal or the AD360III at another location, your controller will work, and you can take advantage of all different opportunities and sales.
Standard Bowens Mount
One thing I absolutely love about the Godox light is that it uses a widely available type of modifier mount. Rather than go with a proprietary design that would force you to use their own modifier, or to force all the modifier companies to retrofit an adapter ring, Godox made the decision to use a standard Bowens modifier mount.
Simple High Speed Sync
One of the big things that I found myself outgrowing with older lighting options was my desire for High Speed Sync. In particular, I like to photograph dancers. Nothing gets more frustrating than seeing blurred images of something that needed to be sharp, especially feet and hands. With my old-school lighting options, I was limited to about 1/200 or 1/250 of a second. With the AD600Pro, you can use HSS to jump all the way to 1/8000. All you need to do is to go into your camera's menu and make sure it's set to allow external lighting to go above 1/200. Then make sure you are in H mode (High-Speed Sync).
What About the AD600?
I have to confess, I have never used an AD600 other than the Pro model. One thing that's very much worth noting is that the original version has a slightly longer battery life (although it's a tiny bit slower to recycle,) and although it's not quite as color-consistent as the Pro, it's VERY good. The non-TTL version of the AD600 sometimes goes on sale for $399. At that price, you can get two f them for the price of an AD600Pro. Would I order the cheaper one? Yes! Based on the extremely high quality and the impression I have from the AD600Pro, I would certainly have confidence in their product to get the original AD600.
Where To Buy
Godox isn't set up to sell their gear directly from their website. I have set up a partnership with www.adorama.com where you can purchase the Godox line as part of their FlashPoint branded version. Adorama is a phenomenal resource, not just for gear, but for educational content and information. The link below is for the AD600Pro along with the X-Pro controller. Please note, the controller needs to match your camera brand. The link should guide you to the Canon option, but switch that if you shoot a different brand.
A Word About the Modifier
I used the the FotodioxPro 28" Beauty Dish for every photo in this article. I will be posting a separate review on the modifier alone, so I'll keep this brief, but it's a phenomenal value! The 28" is quite large, and you will definitely need a bit of storage space in order to keep it around, but it's a GREAT value, and it creates a wonderfully contrasty quality of light. If you are reading this article prior to June 5, 2018, you can get a 15% discount for ANY Fotodiox product by visiting their store at www.fotodioxpro.com and using the code morris052018 at checkout!
I am absolutely thrilled with the AD600Pro. This is currently my only Godox light, and I definitely need to get additional lights in the Godox ecosystem! The wireless options in the Godox technology will allow the studio strobe to be used with Canon speed lights, but personally I feel that the extra power and integration of something like the AD200 or some of the other Wistro lights would be a wonderful way to move forward.
About the Author:
Mark is a professional photographer working in the eastern United States. He is based in suburban Philadelphia, but shoots regularly in New York and eastern North Carolina, as well. Specializing in wedding & portrait photography, he is particularly a obsessed with capturing special events, moments and emotions.
In July, 2018, he is teaming up with Connor Hibbs to offer a special 3-day workshop in portraiture at the 155th annual Gettysburg re-enactments. If you are interested in Portrait Lighting, and action portraiture, you can learn more about that opportunity here.
In Fall of 2018, he will be presenting a hands-on gear show through the Pennsylvania Center for Photography. Details about that opportunity will be available as the date gets closer!