May 12, 2014

Godox Ving V850 System Review


The world of flash photography has evolved quickly over the last few years, driven by the increased interest in studio photography using compact, battery-powered speedlights instead of large flash lamps. The world of “strobist” photography (spearheaded by the likes of David Hobby and Joe McNally) is changing, with many new companies challenging the older manufacturers, be they OEM or established third-parties.

Godox V850Flash and trigger

The market is now much more diverse than before. Some photographers will choose to use older manual flashes, such as the Vivitar 285HV, Nikon SB-600 or even the Pentax AF 500FTZ, add a set of radio triggers and start shooting. Others will use wireless TTL (in which case Pentax is not the best choice), living with the limitations of these systems in a studio.

Recently, a new trend has emerged: fully manual flashes with good power and reliability, offering the ability to control the flash’s settings remotely. At least three companies currently offer, or will shortly release to market, such systems.

The first, Yongnuo, is now a well-known manufacturer of manual and TTL flashes, as well as various camera accessories. Its system, based on the YN560 iii flash, will be complete once the next generation of triggers is released. For the moment, the YN560 iii flash can be triggered via radio remote, but no flash setting can be remotely adjusted.

The second, Cactus, will soon release their RF60 flash and V6 trigger, allowing complete control via remote. This excellent system is reviewed here.

The last, Godox, has offered for some time a trigger solution for high-power flash lamps and bare-bulb flashes, and recently released the Ving V850 flash (also sold under the Neewer TT850 and Cheetah Light V850 rebadges). Godox’s system currently offers complete remote controls for their lamps and speedlights, but what sets the V850 apart is the use of a lithium-ion battery, a first in this industry. Such batteries provide more power and faster recycle times than what the typical AA batteries can offer. With its 1.5 second recharge rate at full power and 650 pops on a charge (you read that right), the Godox V850 is effectively a flash and battery pack all-in-one. The low price of the flash (between $100 and 130) makes it a compelling choice for many.

In this review, I will look at the Godox flash system in detail, presenting the V850 flash and the RF-16s trigger system. I will cover physical descriptions, operations and performance tests.

Review written by bdery.

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