The Godox AD200 pocket flash has been my sole external light source for a couple of shoots I have done in the past 2 months. This is one of its kind flash light that is so compact that it easily fits in your pocket, if you are wearing a pair of jeans.
A flash light which is almost the same size of a standard speedlight, has the flash output of almost three times that of a speedlight such as the Godox TT685. You get all the features that you need as a professional photographer in an external flash, be it built-in receiver, TTL functionality, HSS up to 1/8000 sec, guide number 60, second-curtain sync, multi-stroboscopic flash ability and flash exposure compensation.
In this review post, I am going to share my personal experience and observations about the Godox AD200 and do read the conclusion at the end of the post.
Built Quality and Physical Features
The Godox AD200 pocket flash feels strong and sturdy and it weighs around 1 kg, which a bit on a heavier side as compared to the TT685 or any flagship speedlight in the market.
The front side of this flash has interchangeable flash head mount, on which you can mount the Fresnel flash head or the bare bulb flash head. On one side of the flash you can spot the Lithium battery slot, unlock switch to change the flash head and a rubber cover which covers the 3.5mm sync cord jack and wireless control port. On the other side is the ON/OFF switch, mini USB port and a 1/4″ tripod/stand mounting hole.
On the back side of the flash rests an AV display panel which is big enough and you can clearly see various icons being displayed simultaneously. There are five buttons dedicated for respective functionality, a dial to adjust the flash exposure and the infrared sensor panel. The placement of the buttons, dial and the screen is just perfect and easy to use.
As mentioned above, you can switch between the Fresnel flash head and the bare bulb flash head as per the requirement. The only difference that you will see in this flash as compared to a speedlight is that the head can not be rotated. As the AD200 can not be mounted on a camera and can only be used off-camera, it hardly matters.
The Fresnel flash head is ideal for situations when you are shooting without a light modifier and want to use it as any other speedlight. But the additional feature that the AD200 has is two LED strips which can use used as a modeling light/continuous light which helps the camera to focus in low-light conditions.
The bare bulb flash head can be used while using this Godox flash with a light modifier, as the bulb is omnidirectional. I would choose to avoid using this head otherwise, as it is fragile and can be damaged while using without a light modifier.
Key Features and Performance
This $299 (Rs. 22,000 in India) flash features TTL, a technology which allows the flash to sync with the camera and automatically set the flash exposure based on the camera exposure. Using a flash on TTL mode is exactly the same as using the camera on automatic mode, just that the camera exposure helps the flash to set its own flash light output value to correctly expose the frame or the subject.
The TTL mode performance on the Godox AD200 is just perfect and works perfectly in sync with the camera exposure to perfectly expose the subject. I hardly came across any instance when I got an underexposed or overexposed photos when shooting on TTL mode. So if you are a beginner or if you shoot at a location where the lighting is constantly changing, use this flash on TTL mode and be assured that you would be getting correctly exposed photos.
HSS (High Speed Sync)
With HSS (high speed sync) functionality this Godox flash can sync up to 1/8000 sec which means that you can freeze fast moving subjects that too by lighting them perfectly. If you use a non-HSS flash, you would not be able to increase your shutter speed beyond 1/200 sec and thus you will end up using high aperture value resulting in deep depth of field.
Usually when you shoot using the flash light, the light gets fired from the flash the moment the shutter opens. So if you are shooting a long exposure photo of 2 seconds, the flash will fire the moment you press the shutter release button and the shutter opens. But by using the second-curtain sync feature you can make the light fire from the flash right before the shutter closed. Considering the above example, the flash will now fire just before the 2-second exposure gets over and the shutter closes.
Using this feature you can capture some really cool and creative photos, especially by playing with long exposures.
Flash Exposure Compensation
The flash exposure compensation feature is exactly like the exposure compensation feature in your DSLR camera. While using the Godox AD200 flash on TTL mode if you feel that somehow you are not getting the desired exposure on your frame or if you plan to try something different, you can adjust the flash exposure compensation.
FEC feature lets you reduce or increase the flash output exposure as per your desire, all you have to do is select an appropriate value. This feature lets you control the light without getting into the manual mode.
Godox AD200 Flash Output
This flash has a guide number of 60, and the flash out that you get is almost three times of what any flagship speedlight produces. I was able to exposure my subject correctly while shooting outdoors in bright day light condition, and trust me the flash is powerful powerful enough to overpower the background light even with a light modifier on. Imagine using three speedlight at a time, this is what exactly the AD200 does. It performed brilliantly even in the evening/night time as I used the in-builr LED light to ensure that the focus and flash exposure is correct.
Godox AD200 Flash Recycle Time
The recycle time on this flash at full power is quite impressive:
While using the flash at 1/1 power, the recycle time that I get is just less than 2 seconds
While using the flash at 1/2 power, the recycle time that I get is almost 0.5 second
With the recycle time of less than 2 seconds at 1/1 power, this flash light is a charmer for wedding as well as event photographers, and if you step down to 1/2 power you get the recycle time of only 0.5 second.
I mostly use a flash light while shooting fashion and portraiture, with this swift recycle time I hardly missed any shot. Even if you plan to buy this flash for wedding, action or event photography, I am sure you would thank me later.
Would I recommend this?
At $299, this pocket flash light by Godox is currently the best choice in the market for a fashion, wedding, event or even sports photographer. This flash has almost all the features that you as a hobbyist or as a professional photographer would require to get the required results, with almost three times the power of a speedlight. I have been playing with this portable flash for almost 2 months now, and I do not have any major complaint about this beauty, except for the display panel which would have been better for outdoor visibility.
The best part about the Godox AD200 is that there is a universal model of this pocket flash, pair this flash with the compatible trigger (Godox, Canon, Nikon or Sony) and use it as an off-camera light source. So if you are a multiple-camera brand user, this this is another reason you should consider investing your $299 (INR 22,000) in this Godox flash.
Technical specifications as provided on the official website.