Godox AD200 Pro Review
August 5th, 2019
Godox has developed a strong following for their lighting products due to a winning combination of good engineering, reliable performance, and reasonable pricing. That trend continues to the Godox AD200 Pro Flash unit. While Godox styles this a “pocket flash”, that is only relative to the larger flash heads (AD400/600) in their lineups that are larger (and squarer). Let’s just say one’s pocket would be quite full with this flash, but, more importantly, the unit is definitely compact and portable. It comes in a very nice carrying case with some accessories and provides a lot of versatility.
If you would like the full review, watch this video here:
Godox AD200 Pro Review
The AD series is not to be confused with a traditional speedlite unit that can be mounted on a camera hotshoe. It has no hotshoe connection, so must be controlled either via sync cable (3.5mm or USB wireless control port) or (better option) Godox’s 2.4ghz Wireless-X system. This comes either through a master flash unit (like the V1 unit I recently reviewed) or via a wireless flash trigger (I use the X-Pro).
The AD200 Pro comes with a couple of different heads (a traditional Fresnel along with a bare bulb option), though you can also use a round head (H200R) or LED Light Head (AD-L). The latter two are sold separately. The round head gives you a softer light spread than the traditional Fresnel, and the LED head is actually a way to get fixed lighting from the AD200 units, though the actual amount of light produced from 60 LEDs (3.6W) isn’t very impressive. The AD200 Pro produces 200WS of light using the included heads, which rates to a guide number of 52m (Fresnel) or 60m (Bare bulb). Here are the specs for the unit:
The bare bulb option is most useful for when one wants a big, softer spread of light that is less focused than with the Fresnel head. While the total light output is greater with the bare bulb, the light is also less focused, so in a shot with a single subject like this the same settings produce a dimmer image (at least for a big environmental portrait like this).
If I raise the ambient light in the same shot, however, you’ll find that the bare bulb result is more natural (less “strobed”).
And that’s kind of the point of the bare bulb approach. It allows you to light a group or environment with light that seems more natural and less artificial. It’s great that you have the option to use both with the AD200 Pro. It’s easy to change the heads:
The LCD screen and controls on the back of the unit are logical and fairly easy to use (though a quick scan through the manual never hurts).
Power comes from a 2900mAh Lithium battery pack (included along with a charger). It’s good for over 500 full power flashes, so for most shoots you’ll have no issue with running out of power. I also like the ability to have a confirmation beep (or not). Refresh cycles are between 0.01-1.8s, depending on intensity.
Another nice aspect of the AD200 Pro is a very nice flash holder. It’s solidly made of metals, and allows you to tilt the flash in a variety of positions. You can easily mount it to the flash unit on two different sides so that the AD200 can be setup in either a horizontal or vertical position. There’s a nicely designed locking knob that’s easy (and quick) to connect/disconnect. The flash holder also has a port to attach an umbrella or soft box.
I like using an umbrella with the AD200 to give a nice, soft light spread. Using an umbrella with the bare bulb will give a very soft and natural light pattern.
Shooting with the AD200 Pro
At the end of the day, however, it’s about the light…and the AD200 Pro gives you plenty to play with. There’s plenty of power on tap here to overpower the sun (my subject is strongly backlit by the sun in this shot).
The setup and the end result:
Hiding the AD200 Pro in bare bulb mode (the light is hidden behind the large boulder) allowed me to create a little drama in the shadowy basin near these rapids.
The setup and the end result:
Switching to the Fresnel head provides more intense, focused light, which I’ve used to pull down the amount of ambient light in the scene and allow the subject to be strobed in a more dramatic (but visually appealing) style.
I found the AD200 Pro worked seamlessly with my X-ProS control unit, allowing me to make easy changes on the fly. The working range is 100 meters (over 300 feet), which is more than plenty for most of us. I was roughly 50 feet away when shooting this shot:
I got good results whether shooting tighter headshots and just adding a bit of fill:
…to really ramping up the power to help overpower the sun:
You can do strobing (up to 90 times @99hz), HSS up to 1/8000th, and both front and rear curtain sync. There’s a lot of ways to play with the light, and the combination of power, portability, and not having to deal with a separate power pack makes these a nice location light.
So what’s changed from the Godox AD200 to the AD200 Pro? I haven’t used the original AD200, so I’m relying on what I can glean from the spec list, but here’s what I’ve spotted:
- Improved flash holder
- Slightly improved refresh cycles (upper limit is 1.8 vs 2.1s)
- 9 stop (1/256th to 1/1) output control vs 8 stop (1/128th to 1/1)
- Slightly expanded flash duration options (up to 1/15380s vs 1/13000)
- Compatible with more TTL systems (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax, and Panasonic vs Canon, Nikon, and Sony)
The tradeoff is a very slightly larger and heavier unit: 172x54x75mm (590g) vs 168x50x75mm (560g). The price is also about $50 higher, but that could be market forces due to the AD200 Pro being newer.
All in all, this is a very versatile, powerful flash unit at a reasonable price (around $349 USD). If you want an on-camera flash unit, I recommend the Godox V1 (which I love), but the AD200 Pro is a great option for either studio or environmental portraiture.
Godox AD200 Product Shots
Godox AD200 Pro Image Gallery
Purchase the Godox AD200 Pro @ Pergear (use code DUSTIN to get 20% off) | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | B&H Photo
You can purchase the X-Pro Control Unit for around $70 for Sony | Canon | Nikon | or Fuji
Other gear used in photo shoots:
Sony a7R III Camera: B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | Ebay
Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD: B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany | Ebay
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Purchase the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 @ B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany | Ebay
BenQ SW271 4K Photo Editing Monitor – B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK
Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud 1-Year Subscription
Alien Skin Exposure X4 (Use Code “dustinabbott” to get 10% anything and everything)
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Keywords: Godox, Godox AD200 Pro, AD200, Pro, Godox, Godox AD200 Review, Flash, Camera Flash, Dustin Abbott, Photography, HSS, Wireless, Godox X, X-Pro, X-ProS, Sony, Portrait, Sample Images, Godox AD 200 Review, Strobing, Video Test