APril 2022: The Godox V1 flash system: it’s new for us, and it’s notably the first non-Canon brand equipment we’ve ever had. This post will explain.  Update as of April 2024: It’s two years later, we still love the Godox V1 system, and we’ve just acquired two of the new Godox V1C Pro flashes and new Godox x3 touch commander remote control unit.  So, stay tuned to the end of this post for more on that. 

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Say hello to the Godox V1 round-head flash system. These are the V1C, for Canon, but everything shared here applies equally to the V1N (Nikon) and V1S (Sony) versions. This replaces our Canon 600EX-RT system; though ground-breaking when it was released a number of years ago.

The Godox V1 flash system is different

There’s much to love about the new Godox V1 system unlike previous and typical third-party brands. This one’s different! First is the solid build quality. That smooth feel of the finish; the hefty, rugged-feel. As are the he precision movement of the switches and the user-friendly, intuitive menus and operation.

maine wedding photographers
maine wedding photographers

(above) (l) A set of 8 Godox V1s responding right on cue to a trigger signal sent for a master flash.  Middle photo shows the (all optional) diffusion dome, and right photo the barn doors. All attach easily yet securely with a small magnet set. The wireless communication is a huge plus as it’s rock-solid steady and reliable. Places that were “high interference” with the Canon 600s just don’t faze the V1s.

Comparisons between Godox and Profoto are inevitable

Comparisons to the “Mercedes Benz” of flashes, Profoto, are inevitable, as there are minor similarities between these two systems. While a comparison of the two is not at all the intent of this article, I will make a couple of quick comparisons. The Godox V1 flash costs a full two-thirds less than the Profoto A1. Putting that into perspective, the cost of two Profoto A1s would buy you SIX Godox V1s, with change left over. Don’t get me wrong, the Profoto A1 is certainly in a class of its own. But how close the Godox V1 system is can be described as amazingly so. 

Years of working with the name brand flashes and I still had to often regroup my thinking to set them up. And while far more reliable than their predecessor systems, the Canon 600EX RT system (along with the 430 EX RTs, too) had their bad days, too. Certain times and places, environmental radio interference could send our Canon flashes packing for the day. In fairness, the only real testing complete so far with the Godox V1 system has been in-house, as this is being written amidst in-house sequestering thanks the worldwide virus epidemic. But, there is every indication that the wireless communication is rock-solid steady and will be extraordinarily reliable, a premise also supported by reports from earlier adoptees of the system than I. Comparisons to the Profoto A1 are going to be inevitable, as there are beyond minor similarities between these two systems. A comparison of the two is not at all the intent of this article. I’ll leave it, though, to make a couple of quick comparisons. The Godox V1 flash costs a full two-thirds less than the Profoto A1. Putting that into perspective, the cost of two Profoto A1s would buy you SIX Godox V1s, with change left over. Even if the Godox flashes were to be a bit less rugged that their counterparts at Profoto, having a spare on hand is more than a realistic alternative at their low cost of entry. The price: quality ratio simply over the top with the Godox.

The Godox V1 flash system that we use for wedding photography

(above) The optional X Pro-C camera-mounted trigger is perfect for when on-camera flash isn’t needed; it will seamlessly control all off-camera flashes in multiple groups, E-TTL/TTL or manual.

The round head design of the V1 system promises to shape light in very flattering ways. Speaking of shaping, the $59 accessory kit is a fantastic add-on at an amazingly low price. And, everything attached with powerful but very welcomed light-weight magnets. Included in the kit are a dome, wide-angle diffuser, gels, barn doors, even a spot grid. All in a nice carry case.

An on-camera V1 acts as the primary/transmitter unit to control triggering of any off-camera flash (receiver) units in use. The on-camera unit can be set to flash as desired or be used solely as a trigger with the flash off. A dedicated X Pro-C trigger can be shoe mounted and serve to control all the V1s you may have set up in a large space.

All the radio functions offer manual settings or TTL/E-TTL functions, too.

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(left) The accessory kit includes many great magnetically-attached parts, including the wide-angle diffusion lens and a narrow-angle grid. And, yes, the grids can be stacked to further narrow the beam. (right) A dedicated battery pack replaces the need for more typically seen individual AA cells and features long life capability. 

maine wedding photographers

Godox V1 amazing batteries and battery life!

And, the batteries! No more fumbling around with 4 separate AA cells…the V1 uses its own high-capacity Lithium Ion battery pack. Reports are that they are good for several hundred full-power flashes. Now, most of us use well under full power shots, so it is likely that one pack will serve even wedding photographers for the duration of an entire day and evening. There is little left to be desired, and Liz and I look forward to our next Godox V1-related post that highlights real-world results with them. We have 8 of them plus the trigger, so we’re ready for any situation requiring artificial lighting, from single flashes on camera to a room full of 8 used off-camera. 

New 2024 Updates

Godox, not sitting still, has just updated the V1 flash with the new V1 Pro,, lower below. And the new Xnano touchscreen wireless trigger, pictured immediately below. Both of these items have just arrived as this update is being published, and a more complete review will be published once we put these items to use in the soon coming wedding season.  Stand by for more!