Westcott FJ400 Versus Godox AD400 Pro: The New Best Value Strobe

Today, Westcott announced their new FJ400 battery-powered strobe. I've had an early review unit for a few days now, and Westcott seems to have done the impossible: they've overtaken the Godox AD400 Pro in its segment. 

Godox has taken over the strobe market in the last few years by creating a range of feature-rich, battery-powered flashes that are incredibly cheap. Their most popular monolight, the AD400 Pro, costs just $649, and it has many of the same features as Profoto's $1,700 B10

Today, Westcott announced the FJ400, which is obviously a direct competitor to the Godox AD400 Pro. It's not significantly better than the AD400 Pro, but it is cheaper, and that might be enough to sway the market. 

Size and Weight

The Westcott FJ400 is slightly larger than the Godox AD400 Pro. Westcott claims that they wanted a higher-capacity battery, so they made the housing a little taller and the battery much bigger. The FJ400 can fire off around 490 full-power flashes, while the Godox can fire 390. 

Some photographers will see the extra battery power as a plus, while others will see the extra size and weight as a negative. 

Mounts

Both the Westcott and Godox strobes come standard with a Bowens mount, but Godox sells additional mounts separately for Broncolor, Profoto, and Elinchrom. For most, this may not be a big deal, but being that we own Profoto gear already, this is a huge win for the Godox. 

Build Quality

This is something that I failed to mention in my video review, but it worth noting. Neither of these lights can compete in build quality with more expensive lights like Profoto's B10, but when you compare the Westcott and Godox, the Godox does feel like it has slightly better build quality. The FJ400 feels a bit more hollow, the plastic feels thinner, and the seams don't line up quite as evenly as they do on the AD400. The buttons on both the Godox light and remote click with a more confident feeling. The FJ400 certainly has the better screen, but the buttons feel a bit more flimsy. I noticed that if I spun the rotator knob on the FJ400 too quickly, it would register the opposite input, and I would have to slow down. 

Modeling Lights

The AD400 Pro has a 30-watt LED light that is crippled by a loud fan. It's great as a modeling light, but too loud for video. The FJ400 has a 20-watt LED light that is slightly less bright but still has an audible fan. Even though it's not as loud, the modeling light still isn't very usable for video. 

Common Features

Both the FJ400 and AD400 Pro have more similarities than differences. They both produce the same amount of light at full power, they both have nine stops of range, and they both have similar refresh rates, flash durations, and color consistency. Of course, both lights also have the ability to work on battery or AC power, and they have TTL and HSS settings. 

Remotes

Westcott has changed the game completely with their FJ-X2m remote. Now, instead of having to buy a different remote to work with each camera brand, Westcott's remote will work with every brand. Simply tell the remote which camera you're using, and you're good to go. If you use Sony, you can easily add a $19 adapter for their proprietary hotshoe. Westcott's remote has almost identical features to the Godox, and the range of the Westcott, Godox, and Profoto remotes were almost identical in our tests. 

Warranty

Godox has been able to keep their prices so low by not having an office in the United States. This makes repairs and warranty claims very difficult. Westcott is giving a one-year warranty on the FJ400, plus they have fantastic customer service. If you call them during business hours, a human will immediately pick up. 

Price

The Godox AD400 Pro was by far the best value in strobe lighting at just $649. Surprisingly, Westcott is selling the FJ400 for just $569, making it an even better value. 

Conclusion

The Westcott FJ400 is not significantly better than the Godox AD400 Pro. The Godox is a little smaller, it has more mounting options, and it has slightly better build quality, but the FJ400 has better battery life, a more advanced remote, and better service and support. Both lights are pretty evenly matched. But when you consider the $80 savings, I feel like the Westcott FJ400 has taken the lead as the best value in strobe lighting. And if you buy a package deal, you can save even more money. 

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58 Comments

Daniel Medley's picture

I don't think that is being suggested. But it seems that most of the people using Godox are cost conscious consumers. Godox has shown that there is a huge market for that segment. For those in that segment starting out, these strobes are direct competition; perhaps a better choice.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Most Godox users are smart consumers who are VALUE conscious. Most photographers want a good reliable light that works with all the features they need, at a reasonable cost. Some want that and the image (and exclusive) factor that comes with expensive strobes.

As a Godox user, I might choose these lights for the excellent value that is now increasing due to better support.

This is an important development because we see more and more brands issuing world-class strobes with excellent value.

That's also very important because we are more and more judged by our value.

I'm no Godox fanboy but if you buy Flashpoint branded Godox you get a person on the phone and a US based warranty backed by Adorama - which having used once I know they just did a 1:1 replacement and turned it around right away. The remote costs $30 more than the equivalent branded trigger (which is limited to one camera brand - but how many people are really using multiple) unless you need sony in which case you pay $50 more than the Godox pro trigger. So, you're within $30 on the total system cost on the Sony side.

Plus on the Godox you can run in color stable mode which is 150kelvin swing on color as opposed to the Westcott 300 kelvin swing. I don't need speed as much as I care about color.

Aside from getting the pre-production unit was there any payment for this review? I am assuming the B&H things are affiliate links and a long time partnership (thus not pushing the better Adorama option of the Godox / Flashpoint). But, what is the relationship with Westcott?

Personally, I'd go for the AD600 Pro, non-TTL for $719.
I never use TTL, so no need to pay for it.

Flashpoint version only... Or does it exist as Godox too?

Motti Bembaron's picture

Both Godox and Flashpoint.

I don’t seem to find mention of Godox version of it (AD600 Pro). My local dealer doesn’t have it too.

Motti Bembaron's picture

If you go to amazon.ca, you will see it as Godox (https://tinyurl.com/y4c9694p). In the US I guess it is selling under the flashpoint brand. By the way, I believe there are two other rebrands to Godox in the US|.

Your link points to TTL version

Motti Bembaron's picture

My bad. However, the Pro is TTL and HSS. I don't think there is a Pro version that is not. He probably meant the Godox AD600BM.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I think you're right, no Pro version w/o HSS and TTL.

Spy Black's picture

Flashpoint is rebranded Godox.

Some of Godox-designed products are available as Flashpoint only. Some Flashpoint products are not Godox at all. So, it is not that simple...

Adorama Exclusive, according to their site.

Daniel Medley's picture

I don't believe there's such a thing as a non TTL AD600 Pro. The Godox AD600 Pro is the exact same thing as the Xplor 600PRO.

This is it: https://www.adorama.com/fplfx600pb.html
Also, the TTL version was on sale for $729 last Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Daniel Medley's picture

Ah, okay. Thanks. I got confused with TTL HSS. I wish they made the 400 non TTL.

Ryan Stone's picture

This is just a rebranded rovelight 400.

Spy Black's picture

Is the Rovelight the same price or less?

Randy Nicholson's picture

Perhaps a head-to-head with these to see if it is just a rebadge or whether they just used the tooling from it with newer internals. This would be an interesting comparison.

Denys Polishchuk's picture

Which is originally a Jinbei HD-400 Pro ;) Simple rebranding, that's all.

Derek Johnson's picture

I bought into to Orlit RT 610 last year and absolutely love them

Wayne Denny's picture

Do those do HSS so you can use them at any shutter speed outdoors?

Motti Bembaron's picture

Absulutely getting the best value when using Godox. I am a former PCB user, I had two Einsteins, a White lighting head (800) and two B400's. I loved them, they worked amazingly well. However, carrying two heads, two batteries and two softboxes was just too much.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yeah, that's OK :-)

But with all seriousness, you have to consider the fact that those mono lights (Godox, Jinbei, Orlit, Wescott etc.) not only that they provide a ton of power but they also have a built-in battery and a radio system.

I am amazed PCB haven't yet come up with an equivalent system. The ability to have everything in one unit plus the ability to control the lights from the camera (as opposed to going back and forth to adjust the lights) is a huge plus.

I actually prefer HSS on TTL, I never use TTL but HSS helps me a lot on location.

Chad Andreo's picture

Former Einstein user here. The E640 cannot shoot HSS and the AD600 with battery is the same size as the E640 without a vagabond.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yes, but if you add the PCB battery then not only it is heavier but also much less mobile-friendly.

Chad Andreo's picture

I would compare the Digibee 400 to the AD200 series. The AD200 is battery powered, smaller and more powerful.

The dual ad200 setup is also more powerful and around the same size as the digibee 800.

Camera tech is improving rapidly and unfortunately PCB was a market leader in tech and performance, but PCb hasnt been the same since the owner passed away.

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