FLASH OR STROBE?
Welcome, to my Godox Witstro AD360 review – a confusing gadget. While Godox brands it as a flash, it uses an external battery pack and a bulb. It also packs the power of a strobe, when it is using the standard hotshoe mount.
Flash, strobe or both? You decide.
This is one interesting flash strobe thing that I have used for over a year now. It combines both the portability of a flash, and the power of a strobe. Very affordable too. If you hunt for good deals, the Godox can cost lesser than Nikon’s SB910. But just how well does it perform?
Solid. Dropped it, still working.
Manual flash, missing modelling light mode. AD360 II support TTL though.
Affordable and powerful flash-strobe.
Use it like a normal flash or strobe in softbox.
Portable and good strobe alternative.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE SPECS & CONTENDERS
When it comes to flash / strobe things, I really can’t think of many. In fact, I think Godox is the only one doing it- Let me know if I am wrong. But when it comes to alternatives and competition, I only know one – also a Godox, the AD200.
|Guide Number||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|
Note that both AD360 an AD200 supports high speed sync. Godox also released the AD360 II which supports TTL, but the specs remain pretty much the same.
PACKAGE & BUILD QUALITY
Let us now move into the interesting part.
What is inside the package, what accessories does it have, and how well is this flash strobe thing built?
B1) THE PACKAGE
I must say that it was quite a good feeling when I first ripped open the box. Some people might think this is another cheap Godox toy, but the AD360 came in pretty strong.
The “basic” package consists of the flash, base stand, battery, bulb and a “bowl”… reflector dish. Definitely not a toy, but a complete package.
As with any other flash and strobe, it did not come with a wireless trigger. If you want off camera flash, you have to use your own transmitter / receiver. Or you can buy the official Godox wireless trigger, which allows you to control the power remotely.
B2) THE FLASH
The wind once blew and toppled my lightstand with the Godox inside. It smashed the bulb, and cracked the flash. A painful experience. I super glued the battle scar, and everything is working just fine. The AD360 survived, and it goes to show how rugged it is built.
The power port is on one side, and sync ports plus USB on the other. For those who are wondering what the USB port does, it only connects to the Godox wireless trigger, and pretty much does nothing else. So… duh. 🙄
On the front is a focus assist light, which I hardly even use. For those who wants to use the flash inside a softbox, the modelling light mode is sorely missing. You will have to use your own torchlight as focus assist.
Thankfully, the LCD screen is illuminated and there is no menu system. Just turn the knob to adjust the power and press a few buttons to set the mode.
The head is capable of rotating 180 degrees backwards, and tilting up to 75 degrees.
B3) THE BATTERY PACK
The battery pack is actually pretty light, and the battery / controller unit can be separated. Pretty cool for those who wants to bring around extra batteries. But the stupid thing is, extra batteries for the Godox don’t seem to be sold separately. You will have to buy two battery packs and discard the extra controller?
Anyway, there are two plugs, so you can use two flashes at once. A simple power button and LED to show the remaining battery. So far, the battery life seems to be good – survived many 3 hour shoots. Given that I did not always use full power. This pack should be able to take 2 flashes and still last pretty long.
Also note that the early batches had some battery problems, and I had the good luck to experience it. The battery died only after a couple of months of use, and I had to exchange it with the supplier. There seems to be no more issues afterwards though. The newer stocks and AD360 II should not face this issue.
What I do like about the AD360 is that it has a ton of accessories. While they do not come bundled with the “basic package”, you can get them pretty cheaply on eBay… and they are very useful.
- Mini beauty dish – I don’t use this. I have a full sized beauty dish and softboxes.
- Color gels
- Diffuser dome
Some people may piss on the Godox Witstro AD360 for being a “weak and slow” strobe light. But here’s the thing – it is a flash that is still way more powerful than any other “normal” flash out there.
Plus, it mounts onto the hotshoe. How crazy is it to have a strobe on top of your camera? Sure thing the recycle time is slow, just don’t use it for sports or some crazy shutter flapping action.
Priced at about the same as the top speedlights, the Godox is a very good alternative. In fact, I will recommend the Godox if you are not going for action shots. Put it into a softbox, and you will see this flash strobe thing shine.
- Affordable strobe alternative.
- Portable, uses a hotshoe mount.
- Tons of accessories available.
- Battery life is decently good, and I am sure the later batches have improved even more.
- High speed sync!
- Not as powerful as a good studio strobe.
- No modelling light. The red focus assist light is literally useless inside a softbox.
- Slow recycle time.
- Manual only… Although AD360 II has TTL.