The Godox A1: An Off-Camera Flash System for Smartphones

The Godox A1: An Off-Camera Flash System for Smartphones

Chinese lighting manufacturer Godox has just released a few details about their most recent project: an off-camera flash for your smartphone. The Godox A1 is more than just a constant light, offering several options in what they are calling their first “phone flash system.”

The A1 can be synced with any iOS or Android phone via Bluetooth. An app will give you several options for controlling the light. This includes the ability to fire the HID flash, or to use its three built-in LED lights as a constant light for video. Additionally, the combination of the A1 and the app can be used as a transmitter to fire off any other flash or strobe inside of Godox’s 2.4 GHz system.

At first glance, this light might not seem like a valuable option to an experienced photographer. But a deeper look into what all it is capable of, combined with its convenience and size, show that Godox might have a very useful tool. For example, I love taking candid pictures of my family around the house, and with the always-improving cameras on our smartphones, I do not mind using my iPhone’s camera for this at all. The problem I have as a photographer, though, is often the lighting. The direct flash that the iPhone has rarely provides the quality that I desire, making indoor photo, and especially video, very difficult in a poorly lit room. The Godox A1 might be exactly what I am looking for as a photographer who values getting quality shots of the candid moments that come up, but does not want the hassle of setting up a full camera and light system to get the photos lit well.

Godox has released a few sample shots of the light in use, shown above. All details and specs of this light will be made available upon its official release, expected in the middle of August.

[via PetaPixel]

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19 Comments

Jim McCourt's picture

I get the need for this, more than once I've been wishing I had a quick OCF for my iPhone for quick family sessions that just materialize out of nowhere. Low light is the enemy of camera photos so if you can improve on that, you instantly get better photos. To be able to sync with an existing more powerful godox flashgun at the same time just makes it exponentially better. Glad someone is innovating!

Spy Black's picture

This is actually a pretty cool idea, inasmuch as it will probably accelerate the demise of pocket cameras further. I can see every "shot with an iPhone" fanatic going nuts over this. Still a cool idea, although you have to carry it like a pocket camera with you.

I think it will only be a matter of time until you see this feature in speedlights, and even monolights. Then all you'll see in sites like these are articles about fashion and product shoots "shot on an iPhone", and nobody will ever buy another D5 or 1Dx ever again.

The end.

E Port's picture

Considering my Godox gear is always with the DSLR, it would be equally easy just to grab the 'real' camera. Throw the trigger on the hotshoe, turn on the camera. Really think this is just Godox trying to tap into the mobile market, so people can say it was 'shot with an iPhone'

Motti Bembaron's picture

There are many who do not have a DSLR and take lots of photos with their phones. According to some study, over 80% of photos are taken with a phone. I think DSLR photos count for less than 10%.

So why not tap into this market?

E Port's picture

I was discussing how this device doesn't really apply to DSLR owners as much, but definitely agree it will be useful for mobile only photographers.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yes that's true, not something for a DSLR. However, if price is not too crazy, I might order one for my phone. Just for the fun of it.

Motti Bembaron's picture

But...they are Chinese...probably stole IP from a Western company and shamelessly selling it for a fraction of the price...lol

I love Godox and where they are going. They have a way to go in regards to customer service and also in regards to their products. However, judging by the improvements their achieved from just two years ago, I have no doubt that they will be number one lighting company in a couple of years.

I own four of their speed lights, two AD200's, light modifiers and of course triggers and receivers, they work so well.

Keep it up Godox!

Darren Nana's picture

Whilst IP theft and reverse engineering has unfortunately been known to happen (and i reluctantly say this for want of derailing the comments from topic) your opening sentence is openly a racist comment and really has no place here or anywhere for that matter :-/
For the benefit of doubt (based on the fact you love their product), I assume that it was a joke with no malice intended, but many will likely find it offensive. I would certainly not appreciate being tarred with a particular brush simply because of where I came from...

Motti Bembaron's picture

It was very much a joke. In a statement Bowens released, they blamed every Chinese and his/her parents for their misfortune. They never blamed themselves, the biggest reason they closed doors.

The unfortunate thing is that there are many, mainly in the US, who think it is wrong for us to support the Chinese companies. According to them they are all thieves and we should instead buy overpriced gear from ,local brands...That also manufacture in China but choose to charge us as if it was made locally.

The sad thing is, they paint the whole nation with one brush. talking about racism.

Companies like Goodox, Phottix, Selens and and many others are giving us a chance to practice our profession without putting a second mortgage on our homes.

Bravo!

To make sure those companies keep evolving and innovating, I do my little bit and whenever possible, buy whatever I need from them.

Darren Nana's picture

I assumed as much and didn't want to come across all righteous and preachy - It was merely a cautionary comment and I appreciate that it wasn't met with hostility.

I fully agree regarding the rest of your comments... Wasnt aware that Bowens had gone under though! missed that one. A shame, good products even though they'd started getting a little more pricey (albeit not to Profoto level and beyond).

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yes, they closed their doors. Watch Joe's video, I am with him 100% on that https://goo.gl/TEmjfj. Cheers!

Mike Stern's picture

It only looked racist when Darren replied. Until then it was only sarcastic and funny.

We all know what happened in the past. And it's ok. It's not a unique case for China. Many companies are examples to what he said. Part of life.

Alex Cooke's picture

I'm going to buy 500 of these and stick them in my Para 220.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Oh yeah! If you can afford the Para 220 you sure can afford 500 of those :-)

Alex Cooke's picture

I just got a once-in-a-lifetime deal from a guy who needed to sell his quickly! All luck.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Even then, you could probably buy a new Nikon pro camera with what you pay for something like that. But seriously, here is an item that, to me, is just way overpriced.

I admit, I never saw the Para 220 close or touched it but even if I had all the money in the world, little chance I would spend that kind of cash.

Alex Cooke's picture

It's worth it to me in the time I save. I can shoot anything, and I instantly have a beautiful d&b look. It saves a boatload of time in post.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Well, hat's what important right? If you find the value in it, sure. I am not a studio shooter so most of my modifiers are light, small and cheap :-).

Regardless how much I paid for them, I am always amazed at how those things hold up even after taking so much abuse. I sometime hope they brake so I have an excuse to buy something.

The Para 220 looks like a great modifier, though

Jon Winkleman's picture

could be a great accessory...if they are inexpensive. if they are priced like a cheap fun WTF accessory they could be a big hit. If they are priced in the range of 3rd party hotshoe speed lights I can't see many people spending their money on this instead of lighting and gear for a real camera