The Godox V1: Profoto A1 Killer?

The Profoto A1 was supposed to be a revolution in speedlights (though the company refers to it as the "world's smallest studio light"), though it carried with it the typical Profoto price tag. The Godox V1 is a very similar light with a much more affordable price. How well does it work in practice? This great video review discusses just that.

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this excellent video review takes a look at the Godox V1. The V1 is quite the intriguing flash, as it has many of the same features as its Profoto counterpart (including the same output of 76 Ws), but it comes in at a price well below the Profoto A1 and even below the flagship flashes of companies such as Canon and the like. Furthermore, if you're already deeply invested in the Godox system, it works well with other lights in the catalog. This, combined with its high level of portability and other features, make it an intriguing option for anyone from wedding photographers to on-location portraitists and more. I know I'm certainly thinking of picking one up for my Sony system. Check out the video above for the full rundown on it. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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It does not have to be a "killer", it's just another excellent option and extremely affordable one. People who are invested in Profoto will keep buying it regardless of price or ROI it gives them (real or perceived). People who are looking for a new system might very likely choose Godox but there are always people who will choose the more expensive option either due to brand recognition or other reasons.

Edit: Saying that, it seems Profoto took about $100 off the A1 price so maybe they feel they needed to compete a bit better.

I am a Godox user but I don't see myself buying the V1 any time soon. I have the V860 and V860II and both are great. The V1 does not give me anything extra that I need. I will buy the $7 round attachment and the round modifiers kit that go on it for the V860.

Some kits on E-bay sell the flash with two batteries. (The Canadian Ebay)

This is in response to the YouTuber comment. He says that having a propietary battery can be an issue when the battery is empty. He said that he could not find, yet, just a battery to purchase. I agree that you need to have a second battery and they sell a kit with two batteries.

You are right but still, Although I have four Godox that use the proprietary battery, I have seven batteries. Always good to have some extra. But you are correct, it takes many flashes to kill the battery.

The real Revolution was the AD200. But it's always appreciated to find a cheaper solution than the overpriced Profoto products.

The AD200's are truly amazing flashes.

It is fantastic in every way. Love it.

I bought 2, and was considering a 600, honestly I think I'll just get a third AD200

Why does everything have to be a "killer" instead of just an alternative or competitor? Besides, it's not going to kill the Profoto version.

Because they're not "competing". Godox is severely undercutting Profoto in terms of pricing while essentially offering the same thing. That's not competition.

Walmart killed 90% of small businesses in the US by offering products way cheaper and outsourcing it to China effectively a double whammy for everyone.

Amazon is selling many products for a lot less than physical stores.

Why is that a competition and Godox's is not?

Documentation to support this stat? Or total BS? Walmart didn't put close to 90% of small businesses out. It didn't even put 90% of RETAIL small business out.

Do a search on the term The Walmart Effect and you will read some interesting facts.

According to Investopedia:
"The Walmart Effect is a term used to refer to the economic impact felt by local businesses when a large company like Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opens a location in the area. The Walmart Effect usually manifests itself by forcing smaller retail firms out of business and reducing wages for competitors' employees. Many local businesses oppose the introduction of Walmart stores into their territories for this reason.

Here is the page:

"Research published in 2014 showed that neighborhoods with Wal-Mart supercenters enjoyed gains in taxable retail sales and the increase in total retail business permits. This research was published by Wal-Mart :-)"

here is a summary of research done on the Walmart effect:

Here is another article that deals with the Wal-Mart effect on small retailers.

There are many more if you look.

Outsourcing low-cost labour overseas resulting in low-cost merchandise, low (OR NO) municipal taxes and very low wages seem to be at the core of competition in the US.

You seem to have rather bizarre fixation on Walmart. Brick and mortar is so last decade...

Seriously, though. How do you randomly fit Walmart into a discussion about lighting gear?

The key word in our exchange is competition. Or you already forgot your previous comment that Godox does not compete fairly? Why is Godox competition is any different than Wal-Mart or other large boxes (to a lesser extent)?

In the '90s those large retailers used aggressive price reduction by outsourcing low labour manufacturing overseas, low retail markups and low labour workforce in their store to drive away small businesses that could not compete.

Those small privately owned businesses were generally located in a prime city location with lots of traffic (high tax revenue for the city) and generally paid much better salaries.

Godox uses the same tactics to compete against established names like Profoto.

It's not any different and I never claimed that it was. Again, that's not competition. It's disruption. Competition assumes that both sides have a chance (however small) to win.

With the caveat that I didn't have time to read those articles, I would posit that there is one significant difference between the Walmart effect and the Godox vs. Profoto argument.

Walmart didn't just offer lower prices, they offered convenience as well. A one-stop shopping experience in areas where you would otherwise have to visit at least 5 different stores in order to check off the same list. So while prices were certainly a factor in the long term, I believe convenience was what got people in the door.

Godox isn't offering a different "experience". They're not selling a wider range of products and competing with multiple, unrelated business models all at the same time. They're simply beating Profoto's prices, period.

On one hand, I can totally respect a company who treats their employees well, invests heavily in R&D, and passes that cost on as a slight markup to the consumer. On the other, I've seen first hand how companies get too bloated for their own good and while their employees enjoy certain financial benefits, the majority of the $$ is being pocketed by management or simply wasted through mismanagement. I'm not saying I know which way Profoto leans because I honestly don't know a lot about the company. But I wouldn't blindly support or defend their prices until I knew one way or the other.

It's interesting you mention how companies get too bloated and the management pockets most of the bonuses. I just read an article about Boeing being paid by NASA bonuses for bad performance (hundreds of millions). This is just the last of many bad things we find at Boeing lately. Speaking of a tax-funded bloated company that has tons of retired government bureaucrats.

As for what you say, Wal-Mart definitely offered convenience (on top of good prices) but the end results are the same and very many small businesses had to close doors.

I would argue that Godox offered the exact same thing, convenience. Their radio ecosystem controls all their flashes and strobes. They were one of the first (maybe even the first) to come up with not only an amazing battery capacity but also a built-in radio (look at the dismal Nikon radio gadget for comparison). Their flashes are also triggers and receivers so you can have on-camera flash and control other strobes or flashes. One of their best innovations was the AD200, a true smallest strobe available.

No one reinvents the wheel here but they offer an amazing convenience for a FAIR price. By the way, Godox has been manufacturing flashes since 1993, they have been around for a long time, they certainly know what they are doing.

You should have seen the contraption I had on my camera when doing wedding using Nikon flashes and Alien Bees strobes in receptions, it was insane. With the Godox system, I travel light.

As for how companies treat their employees, you are absolutely right, it may be a factor to consider when investing in a specific system. I am sure Profoto, being a Sweedish company treats their employees very well but do I know how Goox Employees are treated? Why can we assume they are treated badly?

Did Apple care how employees in Foxconn are treated? Foxconn assembles all iPhones and it's one of the most important companies in Apple's supply chain. When news came out that employees are paid extremely low and work crazy hours, Apple tried to be the hero and loudly condemned the company and promised to pressure the company to do better. However, that was lip service, Apple management knew exactly what is going on there.

Everyone tries to compete on price, quality and customer service. Speaking of customer service, I can't tell you the last time I called for service (any service) that was actually in North America. They are all in India and North America (for French-speaking). Again, cost reduction to get more profit and compete.

I don't see Profoto going away any time soon but meanwhile, we have more options that are at par as the brand names and are at fair price.

I never said that those things were competition, did I? Godox isn't competing. They're disrupting by refusing to play the same game that lighting manufacturers have played all these decades (or at least, through their low cost labor, low cost manufacturing and lax domestic IP laws, playing the game very differently in a way that brands like Profoto are unable to).

"... low-cost labor, low-cost manufacturing..." Well, Walmart and Walmart. How much in Walmart is manufactured according to your competition rules? How much in any big box retail store is made according to your ideas? Practically none.

Again, where do you see me claiming that Walmart is competing with small business? They aren't because there's nothing resembling competition there.

Walmart's competitors are companies like Target and Amazon, not Aunt Mary's General Goods Store.

Whatever you say.

Profoto is in no way in danger, the brand in danger are more amateur oriented brand, some have already died like Bowens. Profoto is in every rent house or every big rental studio on earth... where their is 0 Godox. So OK, some amateurs are buying Profoto strobes but, that's not the goal of the brand. Theses days I have a A1X, 2 B10 and one B4... and a bunch of modifier like the Cinereflector or magnum... and in addition, I can rent everywhere, I have service in the hour, I have the most reliable flashes... and all my friends, who own Godox Flashes can not say the same. But yeah... most of my flashes have been paid with only 2 ou 3 days of work, the price is not an issue, reliability and quality of light is the most important for me. Right now I am travelling by plane, with only one carry-on... with a Nikon Z7, 24-70mm S, Profoto A1X + 2 B10 + 2 batteries for everyone, Octa 2 and 2 nanopoles... I have enought power for 800 full power flashes in bright daylight, no cable, no adapter, nothing to worry about...

I would not consider Bowens to have been an "amateur oriented brand" at all. But yes, it seems like the high end brands (Profoto and Broncolor) seem fairly safe while Godox in its various forms is taking over the low end and killing off the mid-range brands. As an Elinchrom user, I feel fairly secure, but at the same time if Godox decides to release pack and head products that are comparable, then I would definitely be concerned because Elinchrom does not have a very strong USA presence as it stands. Fortunately, it seems that Godox is mainly targeting Profoto products, which makes sense since Elinchrom is a bit more esoteric.

In automotive terms, Godox has pretty much become Honda/Toyota and Profoto and Broncolor need to position themselves as BMW/Mercedes.

What this reminds me of when I see this is “Keyboardless iPhone just might be a Blackberry Killer(professional industry standard)”

Company’s need to change with the times to survive.

The way I see it, Godox/Flashpoint/etc made much more lighting options available to people like me who could never afford Profoto to begin with. My work is much, much better for it.

Exactly, I don't see it as competition, because I would NEVER have splashed out on Profoto gear anyway. Godox are an enabler, they enable the poor to have decent lighting.

What Ive learned, Godox is a throw away when it breaks. Also the menu system is not as intuitive or simple as profoto which was very important to me as well as the quality build of profoto. But yeah you're right I'm not ditching my top Quality profoto gear for a cheap Chinese knockoff. It has its place for many people just not people like me that are invested in profoto quality and ease-of-use.

The thing is that it really doesn't matter even if you throw away the Godox when it breaks because you can buy multiple units for the same price as a comparative Profoto unit and by the time it breaks, there will likely be a newer version of the product leveraging better technology.

I'm honestly not sure how Profoto fights this. If the prices were remotely similar, then I'd say that it's an easy choice if you're thinking longterm, but the prices are so far apart that it's just absurd—especially when the Godox units actually outperform their Profoto counterparts in some areas. Reliability is great, but who cares about it when for the same price, I can buy multiple lights and not have the downtime of sending my more reliable light off to be serviced when it does finally go down?

On top of that, Godox has everything from standard cheap speedlights to monolights in a single integrated solution whereas the closest thing you have to a speedlight for Profoto is the pricey A1. Add in the fact that even aside from the lights, just about everything else associated with Godox from the transmitter to ubiquitous Bowens mount modifiers and cheaper that their Profoto equivalents and it really becomes a huge price difference system-wide.

Hi Prof. Michael,

"But yeah you're right I'm not ditching my top Quality profoto gear for a cheap Chinese knockoff. It has its place for many people just not people like me that are invested in profoto quality and ease-of-use."

Please get off your high horse. I have Godox as well as Profoto and I have had stuff fail on the Profoto when it should not for the markup you pay: the plastic cover on the modelling light button on the B2 modei just fell off months after purchase. The tip of the rods on the OCF Octa were not properly glued on(common problem) and fell out. I had to loctite two tips back onto the rods.

I have the B1s and the battery died prematurely and for the price they should last more than a year.

"Also the menu system is not as intuitive or simple as profoto which was very important to me as well as the quality build of profoto."

Do you have problems turning dials and pressing buttons? I wish the $429 air had half the functionality of the $69 godox remote.

I just got a couple of AD200 Pro with head extension and am using it on the OCF Profoto Magnum. I also love the round head and magnetic accessories for changing filters quickly. It is 1.5 pounds lighter than the B1 pack+ head combo.

1.5 pounds adds up when you are using 3 to 4 lights to cover an event or job. And 4 ad200 are less than the cost of a Profoto 10b.

When a godox product fails on a job, you're more or less shit out of luck. When a profoto fails on a job, I can go to any rental house and rent another one. If a godox flash breaks, good luck getting it serviced. My profoto air remote had a hiccup and I was able to get it repaired a day later by an authorized repair center.

Also, every professional photo assistant knows their way around profoto strobes. Its the industry standard.

Everyone bashing the cost of Profoto vs godox are people who simply cant afford it. Working pro's can justify the price. Ive been slowing switching out all of my einsteins for profotos and would never look back.

"When a godox product fails on a job, you're more or less shit out of luck. When a profoto fails on a job, I can go to any rental house and rent another one."

When a profoto fails on a job you have to leave the job and go to a rental house. When a godox product fails on a job, you don't have to go anywhere because you bought 3 for the price of 1 Profoto and you actually have redundancy.

earth to sean: i have 3 godox remotes and i could buy three more for the price of the lame profoto air remote.

and yeah, if my profoto strobe breaks i can't tell the client i have go have lunch while i go to adorama rental company to pick up a spare b1x. godox gives me peace of mind because i now have multiple sets of strobes and remotes.

"My profoto air remote had a hiccup and I was able to get it repaired a day later by an authorized repair center."

so did the client hang around while your one air remote was repaired?

"every professional photo assistant knows their way around profoto strobes."

it's not hard to press a button on the severly underpowered profoto air.

"Everyone bashing the cost of Profoto vs godox are people who simply cant afford it. "

stop being pompous. i have profoto gear and just got godox. i can't afford to not get godox as their system is amazing for many of my assignments. soooo glad i do not have to lug multiple b2 and b1 as the ad200 often gets the job done.

You got your Air remote fixed the next day? Congrats! A Godox user can just go to Adorama and buy a new one on the same day and still have paid less than your single Air remote. Hell, they can have 2 more in their storage closet to swap to immediately and still have paid less. The same goes for the lights.

Unless you've got extra lights waiting, you're SOL regardless if the die on you during a job. Whether you use Godox or Profoto makes no difference in that regard. The only difference is that you can have redundancy with Godox for the same price as a single set of Profoto gear.

Also, any professional photo assistant ought to know that way around any strobe. It's not rocket science. Can you picture a professional photo assistant freezing up if they come across Broncolor, Elinchrom, Hensel, or Paul C. Buff lights? Please... 🙄

Also if your b1 head dies guess what? You have to send it in. You cannot replace it as Profoto said it is dangerous to fix due to some current or capacitor. If the barebulb on the ad200 breaks or dies guess what? I can replace it with the spare $39 bulbs i have in my bag. Profoto is RAID 0. Godox is RAID 6.

Eh. I recently sold my two B1X's on eBay because I was in school and didn't have as much time to photograph as I'd have liked. I'd only used them on four or five different shoots. The first time the buyer took the lights out to a shoot one of them failed. The lights were still under warranty, and one of the bulbs had burned out. They wanted him to pay $150 to replace the bulb, even though it was clearly a manufacturing defect because "glass parts aren't covered by the warranty." It's a bit odd that if the component most vital to the operation (not to mention its sole purpose) of a light fails on account of bad QC, they won't replace it. Given that experience I'm not all that hyped on the level of service.

Compare the size and power with the B10... the B10 si only 1.5kgs with battery and mounting head... and give the same amount of light as the B1 at 400J and the GODOX at 400J. The cost for a pro ... is really not a problem, a B10 is paid in 1 or 2 days of work and I don't need 4 of them to be sure to have a functionnal one. In my Carry On I have in addition of my Nikon Z7 and 24-70, a Profoto A1X and 2 B10 with extra batteries... no cable, no adaptor, nothing to assemble. And YES I have probem with button and dials and submenu when 1 action on my Profoto does the same as 3 or 4 on a Godox.

Niky, Not sure how you claim the B10 matches B1 as even profoto website states the B10 "Flash power: 250 Ws" whereas the B1x has "500Ws and 9 f-stops".

not suprised you shoot Nikon Z as you seem to be a one flash, one slot kinda guy. What happens when your 27,000 Ws B10 conks out. Do you go to repair it and tell the client to come back in a week?

So you can adjust the exposure on different heads on the profoto air with one button? The godox remote dial is way more effective than the simplistic profoto air remote. Unless you are lowering and raising your b10 to change exposure the air remote is very restrictive and it doesn't even show what power your lights are on just a +/- number

Ws is not a light output... B10 has a more efficient electric board and a different glass cover... with a light meter you can see that a B10 @ 250J give the same as a B1 @ 400J. B10plus is also more powerfull @ 500J than B1X @ 500J.

My main Profoto Remote is the A1X... I have a BIG dial and one button to select ONE flash or ALL... no submenu. I can correct every exposure immediatly... and Why on earth do you need to see the power setting of the flash? the only thing you need is to set a ratio and don't break it. If you ask a Profoto flash for 1 stop more and it can't, it will tell you that... and in addition if you change the power of several Profoto flashes at the same time and one can not do it... it will tell you and the other flashes will not change their setting, so you don't break your ratio...'s an amateur need to see the actual power setting.

you really drank the kool air nicky. next you will say the b10 is more powerful than the siros 800.

"'s an amateur need to see the actual power setting."


yeah, i bet you'd say the same thing about an odometer if profoto made a car.

in fact FSTOPPER made the same test as me and conclude than the B10 give the same output as the 400Ws Godox... but hey, make the test by yourself. Ws is not an absolute way to determine the amount of light... but the energy used.

If you want to make a comparison with car and odometer... think about RPM... you don't need it to drive, you need the speed and an indication you have ti change gear.

you claimed the b10 "give the same amount of light as the B1 at 400J and the GODOX at 400J."

To which I responded "Not sure how you claim the B10 matches B1 as even profoto website states the B10 "Flash power: 250 Ws" whereas the B1x has "500Ws and 9 f-stops".

To which you responded: "in fact FSTOPPER made the same test as me and conclude than the B10 give the same output as the 400Ws Godox.."

Are you walking back your claim about B1x vs B10 output? And if this is true then Profoto is scamming people who buy the B1x. So either way Profoto users are losing out on an overpriced b1x. ($1695 vs $2295)

BTW, I presume you are referencing this video:

It was widely lambasted as being biased so please if you can present us on a video on how your b10 outperforms b1x, godox 400, siros 800, and even the Speedotron 2403CX.

Profoto claim that the B10 use 250ws at full power and the B1W 500Ws... but what we measure is not power usage, but LIGHT... light is not Ws...

the B10 is not more powerfull than the Siros 800... that's why I own a Profoto B4.
What you can do with 1000Ws
Fstopper article about the B10 and 400Ws Godox

yep but you can not overpowered the sun or shape the light like you want with that

Exactly. I have been at a convention in Poland about Cosplay. 200 Cosplayers and 100 photographers in many many sets for 3 days. Because Cosplay is not a "real pro job" (most people dont get real money with cosplay pics in Europe), most of the photographers have Godox flashes. So during 3 days, I saw very talented people with Godox Flashes... and me with B1, B2 and B4 from Profoto.

...well outdoor with some light rain, mud, smoke, dirt, some falling... and so on... they all saw, that it was way more secure and easier for me to make pictures.

That does not tell, that Godox is crap, it's perfect, when you have a low budget and can afford to stop sometimes because it does not work as intended. But for a pro, who earn real money, Profoto is unbeatable.

Nicolas, ok big boy so you got profoto and you are the big man on godox campus.

"...well outdoor with some light rain, mud, smoke, dirt, some falling... and so on... they all saw, that it was way more secure and easier for me to make pictures.

how so? do you have special edition water-rain-mud-smoke-dirt-fall-proof profoto b1, b2, b4?

" it's perfect, when you have a low budget and can afford to stop sometimes because it does not work as intended"

lol. i have 2 b1x, 2 b1, 2 d2 and 1 b2 with two heads(gotta love that $215 3m extension cable) and a acute 600b(i love the bulb head on this). i also got 2 ad200 pro with a dozen accessories such as their excellent round head with head extension. the battery on the ad200 is invincible and i do not "stop sometimes because it does not work as intended" . I am using the Godox way more now because of the size, portability, extendability(different heads), weight, and RELIABILITY. I am planning on buying 3-4 more ad200 pro.

Please stop being a Profoto shill. The jig is up. Kneel down tonight and thank God(ox) for getting Profoto to get off their a$$e$ to provide you with a strobe that allows batteries and ac such as on the ad600.

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