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. 

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michaeljin's picture

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can buy multiple units for the same price as a comparative Profoto unit and by the time it breaks, there will likely be a newer version of the product leveraging better technology.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.

michaeljin's picture

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.

Michael Coen's picture

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.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

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

Nicolas Meunier's picture

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...

...it'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.

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

lol.

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

Nicolas Meunier's picture

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFnld2ld6Wo

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.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

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...

Nicolas Meunier's picture

the B10 is not more powerfull than the Siros 800... that's why I own a Profoto B4.
What you can do with 1000Ws https://nicolasmeunier.com/breizh-steampunk-society
Fstopper article about the B10 and 400Ws Godox https://fstoppers.com/originals/profoto-b10-versus-godox-ad400pro-best-s...

Nicolas Meunier's picture

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

Nicolas Meunier's picture

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.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

For your information the B4 is totally water, dust proof, it's completely sealed... ;)

for $10k or more(before it was discontinued) it should not only be waterproof but should have wings.

i use plastic bags on my godox ad 200 if it rains and saved $9600.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

Well... in a plastic bag without air circulalion, if you pop at the rate I can with the B4... you will surely see some smoke ;) You are very attached to price, but not reliability, power, versality, ease of use... for a pro, it means a lot of stress less and more money, with more good shots in less time. But yes, Godox ad Profoto clients are not the same, on one side people who want the cheapest solution and ready to spare a bit more time, or have to deal with some problem sometimes... and if I was today young and amateur I would love that too... and in the other end... you have pro, who have +1000$ paid client every day and can afford the best equipment as long as it is reliable, easy to use...

I have use more than 20 brands of flashes and review all the flashs equipments for mags here in Europe... and I have no problem with Godox, but something is very confusing : why all Godox users want all other brand users to be wrong... there is not ONE need... if your need is "cheap" OK... mine not, mine is "reliable."

My B4 has 6 years, has shot several 100 000 shots all around the globe... even in the jungle, on beaches in the sand, took the plane many times, boats and so on... and is like new... it's price is a very very old memory.

Hi Niky,

I am not against Profoto as you claim: "why all Godox users want all other brand users to be wrong"

If you read my post earlier you will see I have significant amount of Profoto gear. I use both brands and guess what, MY CLIENTS PAY ME FOR RESULTS, not the brand name on my flash.

The fairy tale Profoto is pitching from their dozens of "influensters" and endless youtube videos is one that Godox has dispelled: that the magical light that Profoto gear supposedly emanates without flaw is worth every penny. And that the bad nasty unpredicatable light from Godox will ruin your pictures.

"Well... in a plastic bag without air circulalion, if you pop at the rate I can with the B4... you will surely see some smoke ;) "

perhaps you should practice on your timing.

I definitely would say that godox is not competing with profoto per say. many people may like the profoto unit, but budget allowing would probably not be able to afford or pass on trying to save for it all together. Unfortunately I think where reaching a point where super high prices are not as justifiable as they use to be. If you add in everything it takes to produce and promote a profoto product I'm fairly sure there is a pretty nice profit margin that they make off of their products, and nestled into that cost is an exclusivity markup much like all major Brands.

olivier borgognon's picture

Purchased 2 godox v860II for fuji as no profoto exists yet for the system...

Seriously, 1 missfire on hotshoe out of 5 on full battery... during events. Cant even imagine the outcome off camera.

I needed an option for on camera needs... its worthless and the worst investment made in a long time.

So the godox profoto lookalike is the same.

Add to that the non option of firmware updates on mac for most flashes... well personally i know why i always went profoto, at least for me.

Hopefully others have good experiences with godox, and if so happy for them.

I am using the v860ii on my a9s and based on the performance I want to get the V1. The lithium battery is amazing and I will never go back to AA batteries. The TTL is very accurate on a9 + V860ii. Did you update firmware on flash?

olivier borgognon's picture

Am on a mac, unfortunately can t upgrade V860II if i am not mistaken. So no clue if it works or not... but for the moment, its really the pits, for me at least.

For the amount you save buying godox over profoto you can probably buy six PCs. Stop blaming godox when the solution is so simple. I cannot update Sony a9 firmware on my mac either but I was able to access one of five trillion PCs on earth to update to 5.0 when I was travelling in south east asia recently.

olivier borgognon's picture

I don't think we know each other... therefore however much i appreciate you loving godox, i would kindly ask you to just let me have my view on godox.

Every missfire is a lost op on a wedding or a commercial shoot, and having to have a pc to update a firmware is nowadays not acceptable, not for the cost, but because it is in my opinion a given.

As i said, happy that some like godox, and that it works for them, its great to know.

As my own personal experience the product is poor, it doesnt work for me, and i know why i go profoto.

Have a good evening thst being said and should you want to complain about my point of view. .. feel free to do so, if it makes you feel good.

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