We have tested The Original Godox Product, The Flash which Godox bacame world-famous from, The Flash that brought the “bare-bulb” phrase into public awareness.
The Godox Witstro AD360 (together with AD180) was the first member of the Witstro-line. It’s second generation has become TTL+HSS compatible and lacks the 180ws version.
The 360ws Godox AD360II is so big and heavy that even the manufacturer does not recommend to place it on the camera hotshoe…it would look awful anyway. From this point of view however it does not matter if you have a Canon or Nikon compatible version because the flash is compatible with both as a Slave. You put the appropriate transmitter (eg. Canon, Nikon) on your camera, and the AD360II will work with it regardless of its own brand-compatibility.
This is really a big flash. You may not notice it on pictures but if you hold it in your hands, your first thought will be “uh!”. It’s tall, it’s wide and it’s thick as hell. Build quality is good anyway.
You can tilt and swivel its head by pressing the Lock button on the side. It turns almsot 360 degrees, and you can tilt it even downwards (-15 degrees). You may think that the screw on the side of the head tightens the flashbulb, but it’s not. It’s for tightening the reflector provided with the flash which is not too big and will fit in your bag conveniently together with its diffuser cup.
The flash tube has glass protection so you can touch it without gloves. It fits into the head only in one way which is shown with a red dot.
There are several connectors on the side of the flash, flash-sync (jack), PC-Sync, micro-USB for firmwares, and one for Godox’s USB-type wireless dongle which does not make sense because the AD360II has built-in receiver. You’ll use it only if you want to insert this flash into an older 433MHz system with FT-16. The power connector is on the other side, the wire is spiral so the whole idea is clever and space-saving.
Now you could find out that the AD360II has nor built-in battery, neither AAs. It has a separate battery pack that can feed two flashes simultaneously. With a battery pack like this a regular speedlight would fire for eternity+1day, however the 360Ws AD360II can fire 450-times with full power.
The battery-pack is quite big but the battery itself can be detached from the bottom. I wonder why the pack and the flash are so big, I guess Godox will make these a bit smaller in a future III. generation. See AD200 as a good example.
The AD360II is able to work in Master and Slave modes, in case of Master the LCD will turn green, in case of Slave it turns orange. As this flash is aimed to be placed on light stands, you can change its hotshoe to another baseplate with 1/4″ screw hole in it.
Power and color temp
The AD360II is a 360Ws flash so it equals the power of 5-6 speedlights approximately. As this is a bare-bulb flash, it is hard to measure that. However the quality of light is more important in this case. A bare-bulb flash can fill softboxes and umbrellas with light much better than a speedlight with reflector head. The bigger the light shaper the greater the bare-bulb’s advantage.
As for the color temperature the Godox AD360II performs well. It has around 5600-5800K WB at full power, and around 5900-6200K at minimum power. Although at minimum power it’s light gets a bit greenish tint.
As for the stability the Godox got A-grade from be regarding both the power- and the color temperature-stability. This applies for the TTL exposures too.
Recycling and performance
The Godox AD3600II is not lightning fast to be honest. Despite its huge battery-pack the flash needs 4 seconds to recycle at full power. Luckily when you adjust it to a half power, the recycle time will become drastically shorter, around 1sec, and at 1/4 power there will be no noticeable recycling time. At 1/8-1/16 power it can keep up with a 7fps camera-burst until about 10 frames.
BUT! You can buy optionally a special cable called DB-02. With this cable the battery-pack charges the flash from both sockets so the recycle times will be halved.
As for the number of flashes, the Godox AD360II performed in a lovely way. During the test I did a corporate headshot session with 25-30 people. The AD360II had played only a fill-flash role at 1/64 power however the battery status did not change during the entire shoot. Arrived with full battery, did 400-500 shots at low-power, and left the location still with full battery. Wow!