Godox V860III Camera Flash Review and Gallery
October 4th, 2021
Godox has become one of the few companies that reliably pumps out new flash and strobe options on a regular basis. I did my first Godox review in mid-2019, and, since that point, I’ve done at least a half dozen others. I’ve used bargain flashes in the past, and the bargain origins of the gear is usually pretty obvious. Godox products, however, are inexpensive compared to first party flash units, but they aren’t cheap in either build or performance. That’s true of the new Godox V860III on camera flash unit that has recently been released. There are a number of new key improvements that make the Godox V860III 76w/s camera flash worthy of your consideration if you are looking for a new TTL lighting option for your Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, or Fuji camera system.
Let’s break down those key upgrades in bullet form, and, if you want more details, you can watch the video review below.
- Inclusion of a new 2W LED modeling light, controllable in ten stages. I actually prefer this modeling light to the one on the excellent Godox V1 flashes because of the color temperature (5300k) and that it is located on the front of the flash unit rather than on the flash head, which means that it continues to work properly even if the flash is set up in bounce mode.
- New quick release locking mechanism rather than rotary locking dial. This is much quicker and less clunky than the old style locking dial.
- Switch to the VB26 2600 mAh lithium-ion battery pack from the V1. I love this battery pack and also the compatibility across a lot of other Godox flashes (including some of the small AD series flashes). It makes sharing batteries and/or chargers easy. The battery pack is (conservatively) rated at 480 full strength flashes and has a 1.5 second recycle time.
- New switch that allows you to instantly change between Manual Flash or TTL.
The new features are all welcome ones to me that add to the real world usability of the V860III. It is also worth considering a few of the existing strengths of the flash as well. First of all, I love the Godox’ Wireless X system where wireless capability is baked into the flash unit itself. I’ve used flash triggers and receivers for years, and being able to ditch some of those components really simplifies the workflow. The Godox V860III can either be used as a command unit to control a variety of other light products from up to 100 meters away:
It can also be controlled as a wireless slave unit from a command unit on camera like the Godox X-Pro. This allows one to control multiple light units in a variety of ways and to get far more pleasing lighting results (and also total control over the direction and intensity of the light). I used the X-Pro to get the V860III off camera and to allow for more pleasing light for this shot:
And yes, it did help that I was using the brilliant Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM for this shot as well!
The V860III is a powerful unit, with a guide rating of of 60m (197′) at 1SO 100. You can zoom from between 20-200mm, giving you flexibility for the kind of coverage you need. I had plenty of power to front fill my model while using powerful evening sun behind her to rim light her hair:
Above all, though, I love the Godox flashes and wireless systems because they just work. I find the light output and temperature to be extremely consistent, and I also get more consistent TTL results than I used to get in times past. I often went to manual with strobes in the past because TTL wasn’t consistent enough to rely on. TTL performance is much more consistent with the Godox system, and all of the shots shown in this review or gallery were shot in TTL mode. I was particularly impressed when shooting the product shots I did in this series for two reasons. First of all, I focused using the modeling light on the V860III in an otherwise dark environment (very helpful!), but I was also impressed that the lighting was soft and flattering and without blowing out the subject.
So is there anything that I don’t like about the V860III? A couple of things still could use some improvement. First of all, while I like the quick release hot shoe lock, it feels quite “plasticky” and vulnerable to breakage (though that hasn’t happened with any of my Godox flashes, fortunately). I also find that the menus are still a little confusing until you get familiar with them. I’ve tested and used about six Godox strobes, and it still took me 5-10 minutes to figure out how to wirelessly trigger the flash as a slave unit. I would like them to make the menus less obscure.
But these are mostly nitpicks. The truth of the matter is that this is a LOT of flash of $230, and gives you 95% of the performance of many first party flashes for less than 50% of the price. It’s no wonder that Godox flashes are a favorite with so many real world photographers who have to consider budget as a part of their purchasing decisions. If you want more details and footage of the V860III in action, check out my video review below…or just check out the photos in the gallery.
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Thank you to Pergear for getting me a review sample of the V860III. As always, this is a completely independent review. The opinions here are completely my own.
Portraits taken with the V860III
Product Shots taken with the V860III
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Keywords: Godox, Godox V860III, Godox V860 III, Godox V860III Review, Godox V860 III Review, Godox V1, V1-S, V1-C, V1-F, V1-O, V1-N, letthelightin, Flash, Camera Flash, Dustin Abbott, Photography, HSS, Wireless, Godox X, X-Pro, X-ProS, Sony, Portrait, Sample Images, Godox V1 Review, Godox V1-S Review, AK-R1, VB-26A1
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