THE LIGHTWEIGHT MONOBLOCK STROBE?
Welcome to my review of the Godox Witstro AD200. Gone are the days of bulky studio lights – meet the AD200. It is about the size of a larger flash unit, but you can swap the “head” to turn it into a flash/strobe/LED versatile lighting unit. If you do not want to slave carry heavy lighting equipment around, this is your savior. Read on to find out more about this interesting gadget.
AN HONEST DISCLOSURE
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Website: Godox Witstro AD200
Get AD200 from eBay: Click here
X1 trigger: Nikon Canon Sony
Additional batteries: Click here
LED head: Click here
Reflector: Click here
Barn door/color gel: Click here
Godox AD-B2: Click here
Price: About USD 300 (as of Feb 2018)
One solid block.
Flash, strobe, LED, TTL, HSS, built-in receiver – All in one.
Affordable, flexible, and powerful light unit.
Not the most powerful, but very versatile – Use as a flash, LED, or strobe in the studio.
Lightweight, portable and good strobe alternative.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE SPECS & CONTENDERS
For you guys who are looking at alternatives for the AD200, I can only think of the AD360 (read my review here) – the bigger brother of AD200. While FlashQ has the Q20 (read my review here), a kind of similar system, but that is hardly a contender because of its lack of power. Thus, I will only do a side-by-side comparison of the AD360 here.
|Guide Number (at ISO 100)||80||52 (Flash) / 60 (Blub)|
|Battery Life||450 full power flashes||500 full power flashes|
|Recycle Time||0.05 to 4.5 secs||0.01 to 30 secs|
|Color Temperature||5600 +- 200 Kelvin||5600 +- 200 Kelvin|
|Size||220*95*75 mm||168*75*50 mm|
PACKAGE & BUILD QUALITY
Let us now go into the details of the Godox AD200. What is inside the package, how does it work, what kind of accessories does it have, and how well does this gadget actually work?
B1) THE PACKAGE
It is actually quite delightful to unbox the product. Because inside the box, is another box. Yep, the Godox comes with a carrying/storage case. A few unknowing folks who have not heard of Godox before might think of it to be some “cheap China knockoff”. But no, Godox has come a long way from that, and they produce some really good affordable equipment.
Anyway, you will find the following in the box:
- Instruction manual and warranty card.
- Carrying case. Not waterproof, although it seems pretty sturdy.
- The flash unit.
- Flash head.
- Bulb head and bulb.
- Charger and plug.
- Lightstand adapter. I suppose they gave this for a good reason, will get into that at the end of this review.
It did not come with a wireless trigger, obviously. You will have to get an additional Godox X1 wireless trigger to pair up with the AD200 (all the links are above in the overview section).
B2) THE FLASH
The flash itself has a changeable head, but otherwise, the design is pretty much “one solid block”. Nothing much at the top and bottom, only a standard 1/4 inch screw hole for mounting at the bottom.
On one side are the release catches for the battery and head, plus standard 3.5mm sync cable port should you decide to use wireless triggers from other brands. The other side holds the on/off switch and an additional 1/4 inch screw hole – So you can mount the AD200 either “portrait or landscape”.
Some of you guys may have noticed an additional “wireless” port beside the 3.5mm… Which is something that has baffled me. It is a standard USB port and seems to take a Godox XTR-16 wireless receiver… but the AD200 already has built-in wireless? Not sure about the purpose of this “wireless port”, maybe someone can shed some light on the mystery here.
The back of the unit is where all the action goes – the control panel. Godox users should be familiar with this one.
B3) THE BATTERY PACK
For the technical guys, this is a 14.4V, 2900mAh Lithium Ion battery. When using the flash head, this thing seems to last forever. Even on the bulb, it took a full 3 hours shoot without any issues. Don’t see a need to buy extra batteries, but they are readily available.
B4) THE FLASH/BULB HEAD
I guess that we do not need further introduction, this gadget is capable of “switching heads”. The flash head itself is rated at a guide number of 52m at ISO100, and that is already one powerful flash. Switching to the bulb head will give you GN60, which is capable of throwing out enough power to fill back even under daylight.
For you guys who have the AD360 and wondering if the bulbs are the same – No, the AD200 uses a smaller bulb. However, as the mounting design is the same, you can use all the accessories for the AD360 on the AD200.
Also for those who are wondering, yes, the AD200 has the modeling light mode which is sorely missing on the AD360. Either way, there is also a third party LED head available for the AD200 if you decide to use it as a continuous light.
This is what I love about the Godox, a ton of available accessories and you can even use AD360 accessories on it. While they do not come bundled with the “basic package”, you can get them pretty cheaply on eBay.
- Mini beauty dish
- Diffuser dome
- Color gels
- Barn doors
- … and a lot more
B6) TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
One flash not dishing out enough power? Then combine two of them together. Godox sure comes up with some fascinating ideas, and with the AD-B2, you can use two AD200 like one powerful monobloc studio flash… But you will need to buy 2 AD200 units to make this work.
Note: Godox is branded a little differently in some countries, and the AD200 is known as eVOLV 200 in certain places. The AD-B2 is also known as the eVOLV Twin Head Bracket.
EXCELLENT, NOT PERFECT
Overall, I cannot help but be very impressed with the Godox AD200. Lightweight, portable, versatile, and decently powerful. While this may be one of the best gadgets out there, there is one small hiccup that I still wish to pick on.
The AD200 is made to be a “powerful lightweight flash”, but it lacks a hotshoe. There is absolutely no way for you to use it as an on-camera flash, and the head does not rotate. I guess the reason why they gave a light stand adapter is that the AD200 is meant to be an off-camera flash unit.
Luckily for you guys, if you are looking for a powerful on-camera flash, there is always the big brother AD-360. Both of which, I will say are worthy buys.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Very versatile lighting unit.
- Affordable strobe alternative.
- Tons of accessories available.
- Good battery life.
- High-speed sync, TTL, and integrated wireless!
- Not as powerful as a good studio monoblock strobe.
- Slow recycle time.
- Not quite a bad thing, but missing the hotshoe as a portable lightweight flash.
- Can only be used off-camera.