Which Godox Flash Should I Buy? | Godox AD Series Buyer's Guide
The Godox AD range of flash heads is by far the most popular of the Godox flash series and for good reason! Every light is powerful, portable, lightweight and exceptionally high quality, so it's no wonder that photographers are all looking to expand their kit using these lighting solutions. However, a few of the questions we often get asked are, what exactly is the difference between the lights in this series, what can each power level of the AD range get you, and which modifiers will these lights work with? To answer these questions, and more, we have created a comprehensive guide to buying your Godox AD flash head!
We have tried to cover all of the features, the specifications, the pros and the cons of every flash unit in the AD range so far, including the AD100 Pro. So, let's start with the newest of the AD series.
The AD100 Pro is the latest in the AD range and has caused a lot of buzz in the Godox user community! This little monolight is by far the smallest and lightest of the AD series, if not the entire Godox flash range. Yet, despite its size, this flash packs a punch!
Offering 100Ws of power in a compact body (sizing in at just 120x76x76 mm, of the size of a can for scale!), as well as 390 full-power flashes from a single charge of its rechargeable battery! This makes the AD100 Pro perfect for traveling photographers, event photographers, as well as any on-location shoots, due to its wireless, portable and lightweight nature.
The 100Ws of power is suitable to fill a softbox and so can be used with a range of modifiers and still produce an excellent effect within your work.
Due to its size, the AD100 Pro is a great light to hold and maneuver as you need. Because it is so light and small, it is perfect for squeezing into tight spaces and angles to achieve the perfect lighting. It can also be simply held in your hand and moved around accordingly which isn’t possible or can be uncomfortable with bigger and heavier lights.
This having been said, the AD100 Pro isn’t the most powerful of lights, in fact, it is the least powerful of the AD range, meaning that it may not be what every photographer needs! If you require more power from your flash or need a burst of light to overpower the sun, this isn’t the flash for you!
The AD100 Pro is one of the cheapest in the range, pricing in at £262 which is a massive bonus for this light. The price of this flash is reflective of the power it can give, as with all of the lights in this range.
The AD100 Pro has a magnetic round head, similar to the Godox V1 flash gun. This allows you to attach magnetic Godox accessories, such as the AK-R1 accessory kit. This light, however, does not have a speedring fitting and so cannot be used with softboxes or other modifiers without also purchasing the S2 bracket. The S2 bracket creates a Bowens S-Fit flash head and so makes the AD100 Pro compatible with all Lencarta softboxes and beauty dishes, as well as a range of Godox modifiers, such as the AD-S85 softbox.
The AD100 Pro then is perfect as a hair light or background light for all photographers, especially when used with gels and other lighting modifiers.
The AD200 is the perfect companion for many photographers, again thanks to its portable and lightweight nature. This flash is a step up from the AD100 Pro in terms of power, offering 200Ws of power to the user and a modular head unlike any other flash in the series.
Unlike the AD100 Pro, this flash is not a round head flash, making your lighting slightly different when used without modifiers.
This flash comes with 2 different bulbs as standard to create varied results in your photography; the AD200 comes with both a fresnel bulb and a barebulb, meaning that you can experiment and try different techniques. The barebulb is great for work with softboxes as it distributes the light evenly throughout the softbox. In comparison, the fresnel head is more suited to directional work.
This flash, besides the upgraded AD200 Pro, is the only non-round-head flash in this range. However, a round head attachment can be purchased to offer even more lighting options. The H200R round head attachment is also magnetic and so Godox’s magnetic accessories can also be applied to this feature.
The AD200 boasts approximately 500 full-power flashes, a recycle time of 0.01-2.1s, as well as HSS and TTL capabilities, making this flash an all-round very capable lighting solution!
This having been said, the AD200 pro again is not the most powerful of flashes and many require more power from their flash units. The AD200 was also improved upon in the form of the AD200 Pro and we would always encourage customers to look at the comparison between the two before purchasing.
The AD200 Pro and the AD200 have an awful lot in common; both lights offer 200Ws of power, a transmission range of 100m, TTL and HSS capabilities, 32 channels, around 500 full-power flashes, as well as both offering a lightweight and portable flash photography option.
However, Godox learned from the AD200 and what they learned they applied to the Pro. On the AD200 Pro they improved the recycle time from 0.01-2.1s to 0.01 to 1.8s, as well as offering a greater choice of power ranges (1/256-1/1 in 1/10th stop increments instead of 1/128-1/1 in 8 stops). They also improved upon the design of the flash by adding a sunken LCD screen to the unit which protects the screen against damage in the case of being dropped or blown over.
Whilst these two flashes are very similar, the AD200 Pro has the edge on the AD200, meaning that of the two, it is the AD200 Pro that you will struggle to find a Godox user without! The AD200 Pro is the most popular of this entire range for its versatility, and portable nature.
However, just as with the AD200, the AD200 Pro has the same shortcomings. 200Ws may not be sufficient for some photographers and an S2 bracket is needed to add most modifiers to this flash head. Furthermore, the S2 bracket creates a Bowens S-Fit flash head, meaning that this flash can’t be used with other popular modifiers, such as Elinchrom, Profoto and even the newer Godox fit.
To learn more about the difference between these two flashes, as well as the pros and cons of this flash, read our AD200 vs AD200 Pro comparison blog.
The Godox AD300 Pro is the 300Ws portable round head flash of the AD range. This flash offers an upgrade in power from the AD200 series, yet offers a different shape and build.
Just as with the rest of the AD range before it, the AD300 pro offers both TTL and HSS capabilities, as well as a wireless body that can be easily maneuvered and placed. The Bi-Colour modelling lamp is fully adjustable between 3000-56000K to offer a variation of lighting options from a single lighting unit.
The Li-ion battery provides approximately 320 full-power flashes to provide plenty of lighting during long shoots, whilst retaining its wireless natures! The battery provides a recycle time of 0.01 to 1.5 seconds and allows the AD300 Pro to provide 300Ws of power adjustable in 9 steps from 1/256 to 1/1.
The AD300 Pro is the everyman flash. It is small and lightweight, compact yet powerful, user-friendly and built to an exceptionally high quality! Whilst some may require more power, the AD300 Pro is versatile enough to work for almost any photographer. The only fault we can find with this flash is not so much a fault but a preference; the Godox fit head means that you can’t use this flash with Lencarta or Bowens S-fit softboxes without the addition of a Godox fit speedring. However, as this can easily be fixed, we can’t technically fault this light!
The Godox AD400 Pro offers 400Ws of power, again from a wireless and portable body, providing a powerful, yet maneuverable flash head for work both in the studio, as well as on location!
This flash was designed to provide a smaller and more portable option of the AD600 Pro, whilst still offering a good punch of power.
With approximately 390 full-power flashes, a recycling time of 0.01-0.9s and a power range of 1/256-1/1 in 9 stops, the AD400 Pro is a very powerful and high-quality flash that will enhance your shoots and results.
The AD400 Pro is 1kg lighter than the AD600 Pro, weighing in at 2.1kg. This makes this light a lot easier to move around and transport than the heavier lights in this series. However, this 2.1kg is a massive jump from the AD300 Pro (590g) and the AD200 series (560g). If you require a lot of movement in your work and work mostly on location, the lighter options may be best for you.
Despite the increase in weight, the AD400 Pro can hold its own both in the studio, as well as on location, in terms of power and battery life, increasing on the power of the lighter options, whilst maintaining a healthy amount of full-power flashes.
The AD400 Pro is also very versatile in terms of compatible modifiers due to the interchangeable heads that come with this product. The AD400 Pro comes with both a Godox fit and Bowens S-Fit head to allow this flash to work with a wide range of popular modifiers, including our own Lencarta Profold Range! This interchangeable head means that no other accessories are required to make this work with your existing or future modifiers.
The Godox AD600 Pro offers a vast amount of power perfect for work in the studio or on location when a bigger punch of power is needed.
One of the key points of the AD600 Pro is its capability to overpower the sun. Whilst the AD600 Pro cannot achieve this over the same range as the AD1200 Pro, it can certainly overpower the sun over a respectful distance that would suit most photographers! This makes the AD600 Pro the perfect choice for car photographers.
This ability to overpower the sun comes from the massive 600Ws of power that this light can produce. This light has a power range of 1/256-1/1 in 10 increments, a recycling time of 0.01-0.9s, as well as sporting TTL and HSS capabilities.
Whilst the AD600 Pro is a wireless flash, powered by rechargeable Li-ion Batteries, an AC adapter is available to create a mains-powered flash head. This AC adapter is great for studio work as it means that neither you nor your work is restricted by battery power on longer shoots. By offering the choice between mains or battery-powered, the AD600 Pro becomes an even more versatile, lighting option for all shoots!
The AD600 Pro also offers a very powerful modeling lamp, meaning that this light can also be used as a video light alongside its flash capabilities! Offering a 38w light, as well as a 4-hour battery life from a single charge, the AD600 Pro is a great tool for both videography and flash photography.
Unlike the other flashes in this series, the AD600 Pro is a Bowens S-Fit flash head and will work well with all Lencarta softboxes, as well as a range of Godox modifiers, such as the SB-FW Strip softbox.
Weighing in at 3kg, this light is significantly bigger and heavier than the smaller models in the AD range meaning that it is better suited for studio work than event photography. With this in mind, we wouldn’t recommend this flash to wedding photographers or event photographers as there are more portable flashes that would be better suited.
The AD1200 Pro is the flagship of the Godox AD range, offering a massive 1200Ws of power whilst retaining the portable nature of the full AD series!
The AD1200 Pro ring flash head, unlike the other flash heads in this series, is powered by an external battery pack making the ring head itself moveable and lightweight! Again, this light sports HSS and TTL capabilities and provides approximately 500 full-power flashes.
With a power range of 1/256-1/1 in 1/10th increments and a recycling time of 0.01-2s, this is a powerful flash that offers a fantastic amount of control over the light emitted.
The AD1200 Pro has the capability to overpower the sun over vast distances and so makes this a perfect flash for picturing larger objects outdoors. With this in mind, any architectural photographer or car photographer would benefit from adding the AD1200 Pro to their kit bag.
The size and power of this flash mean that it is not an ideal solution for event photographers, wedding photographers, or small product photography. For these subjects, we would recommend the more portable and lighter options of the AD100 AD200 and AD300 Pro.