GODOX AD600 REVIEW - INITIAL THOUGHTS
In November I decided to upgrade my original Godox AD360 to the mk2 so I could take advantage of the TTL functions and also unify my flash system and controllers. So I was mildly irritated when less than a month later Godox announced the AD600. A serious upgrade from 360WS to 600WS. With the benefit of hindsight I would have waited.
Now the reason I decided to upgrade was simply because in the height of summer, occasionally I want to overpower the sun and found the AD360 sometimes left me short on power. I figured the new AD600 would plug that gap.
Anyway, in Jan I threw caution to the wind and ordered the AD600. My logic was that I would compare it side by side to the AD360 and sell which I liked the least. So here's my review. Bear in mind these are my initial thoughts and I will be adding to them as time goes on when I use it in the real world.
There are several versions of the AD600. It comes in both TTL & non-TTL and also with Godox S mount or Bowens. I opted for the Bowens mount which meant a longer delay so I guess they're the most popular at the moment and the TTL version. Whilst the non-TTL is cheaper, I figured it's probably more useful to have it than not.
My initial impression is that it's heavy. On paper it's a kilogram more than the AD360 including the battery. The bulb is gigantic in comparison to it's little brother. It's a lot larger but I do like the fact the battery is attached rather than needing to use the cable. For a wedding photographer the few seconds it takes to get it all out and attach everything together can mean the difference between getting the shot or not.
The bulb is well protected when not in use by a plastic cover which attaches to the mount.
The plastics used seem good quality and so far I've had no reason to doubt they won't last.
The handle on the side used to adjust the flash is very close to the body. In fact it sort of scrapes along the side which is a little disappointing to see. It's not a biggie but moving it out a millimeter shouldn't have been too hard for the engineers I'm sure.
The flash was easy to set up. Popped it onto my lightstand, press the ON button and it's ready. The interface is familiar but not identical to the AD360 Mk2 or the TT6xx flash series. It won't take you any time to figure it out. Unfortunately whilst i was poking at the various buttons and menu options, I accidentally pressed the test button on my trigger that I was holding and did a full power flash very close to my eyes. At 600WS, this is not a smart thing to do! I don't recommend this at all.
The flash will go from 1/1 to 1/256 power. TTL mode seems to work exactly as it should. I always seemed to get a good exposure. In fact it all seemed a little uneventful which is as it should be really. HSS just worked. In fact, it all just seemed to work.
I wanted to test the power against the AD360Mk2 and see how much more powerful the AD600 would be. So I put my AD600 on a lightstand using the beauty dish then took a reading at full power using my Sekonic L358 then repeated the test with the same beauty dish in the same position but this time using the AD360 Mk2 mounting using a speedlight bracket.
The results basically showed the AD600 is one stop more powerful than the AD360. This is consistent with what other users of the AD600 have found. What this means is that at the same distance, using the same modifier, the AD600 is twice as powerful as the AD360. It's a nice surprise since 600WS isn't twice as powerful as 360WS so I'm not complaining!
Here's an initial video showing the Godox AD600. I will update this review as time goes on.
USING WITH X1N-T
As mentioned above, the AD600 has the ability to go down to 1/256 power which is a great feature given the relative power of this strobe. However one small wrinkle is that out of the box, the trigger the X1N-T only goes down to 1/128. I mention this in the video. Well I've since found out that the latest firmware update from Godox fixes this. The link is below and whilst all the instructions are in Chinese, the procedure is relatively straightforward. A few tips though:
- Make sure you install the software BEFORE you connect the X1N-T to the computer. This is VERY important!
- If you are using Windows 8 or 10 then you will need to disable driver signing enforcement (http://www.howtogeek.com/167723/how-to-disable-driver-signature-verification-on-64-bit-windows-8.1-so-that-you-can-install-unsigned-drivers/)
- Install the Java 7 package that's contained within the package
The download link is here: http://www.godox.com/CN/Downloads.html
Once successfully installed you will now notice that firstly you have groups A-E now instead of A-C and secondly you can take the power down to 1/128- which is 1/256.
PURCHASING THE GODOX AD600
I've had a few email's from people asking me where I purchased my unit from. The company who I managed to find who had stock was Eachshot. Just to be clear though, I'm not associated with them in any way. It's just who I purchased it from. They have been very communicative via their Facebook page and told me the flash would be sent via their EU warehouse so there was no import duty to worry about. Well worth checking out the Eachshot website.