There is a new controller in the Godox line-up. This controller returns to the flat configuration of one of their earlier models. At first, a lot of folks might wonder why they returned to this shape, but I think it offers a great set of options!
The original X1 controller (pictured above) was incredibly popular, but the one glaring problem was that it was fairly tedious to get into the menu system to adjust the power of each group of lights. The ability to quickly and efficiently change power to various groups of lights is the most important function of the controller, and eventually Godox updated to a new controller, the X-Pro.
The X-Pro (above) made a huge improvement in accessibility to the individual groups. Along the left side, beside the LCD screen, one has instant access to all five groups. They are labeled on the screen, and you can see those buttons above. It also tilted the display up on an angle, and in most applications, this is really convenient. It didn't take long for many Godox users to make the jump over to the X-Pro. The one obvious exclusion on that controller is the removal of the hot shoe from the top of the unit.
Now the arrival of the X2T essentially combines the best improvement of the X-Pro (the direct access to your five lighting groups) with the functionality of having a hot shoe atop the unit. That hot shoe can be used not only for a speed light, but for a vast number of other accessories that have hot or cold shoe mounts (microphones, monitor displays, etc.).
The one function that is not included in the X2T that I would love to have is TCM. TCM Transform is a very useful tool for setting the power of your lights without a light meter. First, you set your light to TTL, and allow the camera and light to determine the power setting needed. Then, you press the TCM button, and it converts the setting over to manual, but it keeps the power setting from that TTL shot. So you have that power level set now in manual, and can dial it up/down as you see fit. It's very handy in certain situations.
So which controller will I be using on a daily basis?
The answer is: both of them - for different purposes. The X2T will be the controller I use at wedding receptions. I'll have my Off Camera Flash set up throughout the room, but I'll also have a speed light atop my camera for fill flash, when I step out of the area that is covered by my OCF. This will be a big improvement from what I had done previously, which was to continuously remove the controller to use a speed light, then swap back and forth. Now I'll have one setup all the time.
The X-Pro will remain my controller for working in the studio where I don't need that hot shoe. I like the ergonomics and functionality of that controller, and unless I have a specific need for the hot shoe, I'll default to the X-Pro.
Mark Morris is a co-founder of www.photographerscooperative.com and is also the Director of Education at Cardinal Camera, in Lansdale, PA. He lives in North Wales, PA with his wife Alexis.