Godox Ving V850 System Review
The most unique feature of the V850 speedlight is its lithium-ion battery. This battery offers three distinct advantages.
First, it packs a lot more power than a set of AA batteries. While a normal flash will offer somewhere between 100 and 200 pops at full power, the V850 will deliver 650 full pops! This means, in essence, that the flash carries its own battery pack, without the added bulk and battery management troubles. In addition, when lowering the power, the number of pops increases dramatically, as can be seen on the following table:
|Power||Number of flashes|
Numbers below 1/2 become less accurate since the flash is likely to spend a lot more time idle, slowly depleting the battery. The point is, even at half power this flash will go on for a very long time, longer than any other flash or lamp on the market.
The second advantage of a lithium-ion battery concerns recharge times between pops. They are both very fast and very consistent even when the battery is running low. At full power, recharge time is about 1.5 second, which is very fast, even though not quite as fast as a regular flash boosted by a battery pack. At 1/2 power, recharge time drops to less than a half second. At 1/4, it is nearly instant, and actually becomes instant below that power.
Recharge times are so fast that, using a K-3, a photographer can use the burst mode at medium speed with the power at 1/4, and FULL speed is available at 1/8 power. That’s more than 8 pops per second, with the flash carrying on without missing a beat or a pop. If more power is needed, two flashes operating at 1/8 will give you a net power of 1/4 and still be cheaper than a more powerful system.
Recharge times also remain constant until the battery is nearly fully depleted. In my tests, only the last five to ten pops took longer to recharge, until then the delays were constant, a feat no AA battery will accomplish.
The third advantage regards the size of the battery, and by association its cost. While many studio speedlights can accommodate a battery pack to bring their performances nearer to those of the V850, it means that you would have to purchase and maintain at least 12 batteries per flash (a battery pack normally takes 8 AAs). Those batteries would still exhibit slower recharge rates as their capacity drops. They would need to be managed, labeled, recharged, and stored. Carrying backups will add to the inconvenience. Factor in the price of those batteries, a fast heavy capacity charger, and the battery pack itself, and you now begin to see why the V850 is such a bargain.
Run a flash too fast, however, and it can overheat. Luckily, Godox implemented an overheat protection feature to protect your flash. The number of continuous flashes that is allowed before the protection comes into function is listed below:
|Power||Number of continuous flashes|
If you let the flash rest at least once 30 seconds before reaching the limit, you stop being in “continuous firing” rate and the flash will not enter its protection mode. Also, when overheat protection is active, the flash does not stop working altogether; instead, it increases the recycle times, to between 10 and 15 seconds. Once protection mode is active, the best way to return to normal is to let the flash rest for 10 minutes. Removing the battery and keeping the battery door open will improve air flow and let the flash cool faster.
The speed and general performances of the flash are its strong point. Not many systems can compete with it, and none in such a small form factor.