Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the Holy Grail, the top-of-the-line flash from Godox, the AD600 PRO! We’ve taken it for a ride for a quick review.
The Godox AD600 has got 9.6 points out of 10 in our review, so we can say it is not a bad product. Although usually high-end photographers tend not to choose Godox products over Profoto/Broncolor/Hensel products, because they had some drawbacks. Godox is aware of this so they would like to aim this segment with their PRO series, or at least with the AD600 PRO. They aim it to those users who do not want to compromise. What does “no compromise” mean? For example color stability, light quality, usable modelling light and of course build quality. The Godox AD600 PRO shines in all of these. Let’s see…
This is a really big and heavy strobe: it weighs almost 8 lbs (3,6kgs), and it seems big because the base reflector is the part of the body (detachable of course). The AD600 PRO has no plastic protector cap as like as other studio strobes, so when you pack it into your bag, you’ll have to attach the reflector to protect the flash tube, or if you do not want to bring the reflector with you, then you should remove the flash tube for transportation. Although the flash tube is integrated into the glass dome, you can remove and store them together.
The build quality of the strobe is perfect, I guess the Broncolor Siros I’ve tested before wasn’t any better than this. The housing is made of good quality plastic but it feels that there may be some metal enforcement inside because the strobe is massive and has a good weight. The light stand socket is made of metal, it handle is big enough and the mechanism is good for holding bigger light modifiers as well. The handle, the umbrella socket, the connection of the battery, the user interface…everything is deliberately made, simple as Hell, all shows the attention on details by the manufacturer. The light stand socket has to holes one on the bottom as ususal and another at the side. I can mention only a single drawback here: the light stand socket cannot be moved on the bottom of the flash which would be good for better balance with heavy modifiers.
You can find the Power button on the bottom and the LCD screen on the side. I think this is much better than the strobes that have all these on the back, especially when they are placed high above on a light stand.
Flash tube and modelling light
The flash tube of the AD600 PRO has been completely redesigned. Instead of the old twisted tube of the AD600 the PRO has received a O-shaped one which protrudes from the body. This and the frosted dome around the tube make the AD600PRO’s light more even and more suitable to use with light optical light modifiers, paras and umbrellas compared to the old model.
The modelling light is way more powerful than in any other battery-powered studio strobe. The old AD600 has 10W LED, the PRO version features a 38W white LED modelling light that is equivalent to a 250W tungsten light approximately. It is suitable in the studio for photographing products, food as well as portraits. You can adjust it among 10% and 100% but it will switch off automatically in every 30 minutes (but you can turn it back on immediately for another 30mins). The AD600 PRO has some kind of duple fan-cooling system. One operates silently all the time when the strobe is on, but another – a little bit noisier – turns on temporarily in case of heavy usage. Using only the modelling light on max power for one hour has drained the battery by 25-30% (from 100% to 70-75%). In case of flashes, the AD600 PRO can do 360 full power pops before discharge.
Stability, flash duration, recycling
Stability is the biggest advantage of the AD600 PRO. According to the manufacturer there is only 75K difference in white balance during the power range. I’ve tested it and I’ve got such a result that I have never experienced before. The strobe has to modes: the default mode has quick flash duration priority that means 1/220s – 1/10.000s across the power range. When using this default mode, you do not need to fire the flash when you decrease its power, it solves emptying of the capacitors “silently”. In this default mode the difference in WB is 86K between min and max power.
This is really good itself but Godox has referred to something else when they mentioned color stability. There is a COLOR mode in the menu of the AD600 PRO. If you turn it on, the strobe starts to beep, it asks you to fire it manually. From this point every time when you decrease its power, you’ll have to fire the flash manually. In this color stability mode the flash durations will become somewhat slower but
the difference in WB across the full power range will be just 37K!
To be honest I’ve never seen such a perfrect result in this price category before!
As for the recycling time, Godox says it’s between 0.01s and 0.9s. I’ve measured 1.5s at 1/1 power.
I’ve tested the AD600 PRO with a Godox XPro transmitter and a Canon DSLR. The TTL works flawlessly, it’s stable, the metering is accurate. As well as the HSS, in case of quick bursts in HSS the exposure remains stable. I’ve noticed that maybe the HSS works differently in TTL and Manual mode. When I used it in TTL it seemed odd for me, all the shots were underexposed by 1-1,5EV regardless of what I was doing with my aperture or FEC. Turning it to Manual mode however the high-speed sync became perfect. Whether this was a bug, or maybe the XPro trigger’s fault or I’ve srewed up something…I really do not know.
All in all this strobe is really a good one and I am sad that it could spend such a small amount of time in my studio. I would gladly accept a set of these in my studio, the topic of strobe-purchasing would be done for long years I guess.