They Took Me by Surprise: We Review the Neewer Q4 Outdoor Strobe Flash and QPro Wireless Trigger

They Took Me by Surprise: We Review the Neewer Q4 Outdoor Strobe Flash and QPro Wireless Trigger

Recently, a few photographers I know have been raving about Neewer’s gear. So, when given the opportunity to review their new Q4 Strobe Flash and its QPro wireless trigger, I jumped at the chance. Here’s why it far exceeded my expectations.

A long time ago, I had a few bits and pieces made by Neewer in my equipment cupboard. It was all right, but I hadn’t been so impressed with it that it would be a brand I sought out. But with the proliferation of cheap, low-quality equipment on the market now, it seems to have upped its game. Consequently, some superior accessories at great prices are now appearing from the brand. The Q4 Strobe and the QPro Wireless Triggers fit into that category.

First Impressions of the Newer Q4 Strobe

On unboxing and assembling the flash head unit, it was evident that this was a very well-built, solid piece of equipment. It arrives in a robust nylon carrying case with wide webbing handles. The flash is housed inside, supported by a molded, expanded polystyrene box and lid.

Inside the case is the flash unit with a reflector, lithium battery, bulb, power adaptor, and power cord, plus an adaptor for attaching the lamp to a flash stand.

The flash unit itself is very robust. The casing frame is made from a very strong polycarbonate and an ABS-Polycarbonate alloy. I was hard pushed to tell whether it was made from aluminum. The front plate has a metal Bowens mount. There’s also a metal carrying handle at the top of the flash unit.  

The bulb is stored separately and needs fitting; after aligning a red dot on the bulb and one on the main unit, it just pushes firmly into place. Similarly, the battery needs to be slotted into the unit and charged.

The rear of the flash has an LCD display and various control buttons: Menu, Mode, Settings, modeling lamp, HSS (High-Speed Sync), and group/channel selection. There’s also an adjustment dial. On one side there is a 3.5mm sync port and a USB-C port for firmware updates. The other side has the housing for the Lithium battery to slide in. On top is an optical receiver for using the flash as a slave and the carrying handle, Then, on the bottom, the standard  ¼-20 UNC threaded socket, so it can be mounted in most tripods, and there are the vents for the cooling fan.

The light stand adaptor, confusingly called the top handle in the instruction manual, is also well made. The angle locking nut allows the flash head to be tilted. When releasing it, changing the vertical tilt of the flash still requires some pressure, and there is a firm click as it steps between the different angles, so there is no chance of the head just flopping downwards, like some cheap adaptors are prone to do.

First Impressions of the Newer QPro Trigger

There are wireless triggers available for Nikon, Sony, and Canon. Those who read my articles will be aware that I shoot with an OM-1, and sadly, as yet, there is no trigger for Micro Four Thirds. However, I was able to use a sync cable from my camera to a Nikon wireless trigger to fire it; I fitted a hotshoe adaptor between the flash and the camera, so no unwanted contacts were made. I also called upon my friend, William, who uses a Sony a7R III, to try the Sony trigger.

Like the Q4, the QPro trigger is again well made. It fits to the hotshoe and is tilted upward at an angle, making it easy to see when mounted on the camera. It has an array of buttons: five for changing the channel/group, and four function buttons, plus menu, mode, and test buttons. There is also an adjustment dial. It linked to the Q4 flash with no issue.

There’s a possibility to set the trigger and flash to five groups (M/A/B/C/E) and 32 channels, and they are easily connected together.

A Real-World Test of the Q4 Flash and QPro Trigger in the Field

Because this is a flash designed for outdoor use, I wanted to test it outdoors. However, it was a bright but extremely windy day when I first put it through its paces. So, William and I walked to the local woods for a bit of shelter to try it out.

First, I attached it to one of my larger studio light stands. The handle stand adaptor connected firmly to both the stand and the flash, and I was not at all worried about it falling off as I walked. It balanced well on that stand for carrying.

I also had with me a large 120 cm Neewer Parabolic Quick Release Soft Box. I was pleased to note that I could walk with the entire setup, including my camera, a third of a mile from my house to the trees without discomfort.

The Parabolic Soft Box requires a little bit of strength to assemble, and I found it much easier to fit the flash to the box than the box to the flash. Of course, it required the removal of the reflector dish first, which was easily achieved; modifiers are released by pressing a button on the front of the flash unit. The softbox fitted firmly to the flash with no signs of slackness.

The Parabolic reflector of the softbox before the honeycomb or diffusers were added.

We tried various configurations of the flash with the softbox’s Velcro-attached two diffusers and honeycomb, which fastened and removed relatively easily. I have other softboxes that are far more difficult to reconfigure.

Switching the flash unit on requires pressing the power button, then unlocking the unit using the dial. This dual action prevents accidentally turning the flash on and subsequent wastage of the battery; if you don’t unlock the unit, it turns itself off after a few seconds.

Once switched on, it is possible to control the flash’s power from the trigger. The flash works with through the lens (TTL) metering, although I prefer using flashes manually, and with the sync cable that was what I was doing. Meanwhile, William used TTL.

Me taking the photo of the honeycomb shown in the image above. Sony A7R III, ISO 100, 27mm, f/4, 1/250 s. Sony images used with kind permission of William Harris.

In use, the flash is impressive. It has a respectable guide number of 72 with the reflector dish fitted, although slightly less as a bare bulb, and the flash is 400 W. This meant it was powerful enough to illuminate William and me when we were modeling for each other, even when reducing the shutter and aperture down to darken the background under the trees. That was despite it being a bright summer’s day. The results using the various modifiers were pleasing too, although using both the internal and external diffusers in the softbox did reduce the amount of light significantly. That was expected, but something to consider when using this.

OM-1, ISO 80, 12mm, f/8, 1/250 s. with the Honeycomb attached to the Q4.

The modeling light is bright, and even in daylight, I could see the difference between it being switched on and off.

The trigger operates on a frequency of 2.4 GHz and can fire the flash at a distance of 328 feet (100 meters). I tested it in my house, which has solid brick and stone walls, and it worked consistently with the flash upstairs and the trigger down at the far end of the building. That was impressive, as I have cell phone blackspots in my house.

The recharge time between flashes is almost instantaneous.

Sony a7R III using the honeycomb. ISO 100, 27mm, f/4, 1/250 s.

Full Specifications of the Q4 Outdoor Strobe Flash    

  • Power: 400 Ws   
  • Flash Duration: 1/209 s to 1/10,989 s   
  • Recycling Time: Approx. 0.01-1.2 s   
  • Power Output: 9 steps: 1/256-1/1   
  • Flash Modes: M/Multi (Wireless Off), TTL/M/MUTIL (receiver unit of radio transmission)   
  • Optical Slave Flash: S1/S2   
  • Delay Flash: 0.01-30 s   
  • Stroboscopic Flash: Provided (up to 100 times, 100 Hz)   
  • Sync Modes: HSS (up to 1/8,000 s), first/second curtain sync   
  • Full Power Flash: 400  
  • Modeling Lamp (LED): 30 W 5,600 K, CRI or 95+   
  • Color Temperature: 5600 +/- 200 K   
  • Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC): Manual
  • FEB: +/-3 stops in 1/3 stops increments   
  • Wireless 2.4G Q System: 32 Channels, 5 Groups (A, B, C, D, E), 2.4 GHz
  • Transmission Range: 328 feet (100 m)

Wireless ID: In order to avoid interference, you can change the wireless transmission channel and wireless ID of the master and slave unit and make them consistent before triggering.

Shot with the diffusers fitted to the softbox. Sony a7R III, ISO 100, 27mm, f/3.5, 1/60 s. Note the softer shadows and wider spread of light.
  • Power Supply: Lithium Battery (included) / DC Adapter (included)   
  • Energy Saving: The flash can be set to automatically power off without operation for 30-120 minutes.  
  • Trigger Modes: 2.4G, S1/S2, 3.5mm Synchronous Cord, Flash Test Lead   
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery: 21.6 V, 60.48 Wh (2,800 mAh)
  • Masking Function: Yes   
  • Built-in Silent Fan: Yes   
  • Built-in Buzzer: Yes   
  • Display Flash Duration: Yes   
  • Battery Power Indication: Yes   
  • Display: Dot Matrix Screen   
  • Strobe Size: 7.3'' x 8.3'' x 2.2'' / 18.5 x 21.2 x 5.5 cm   
  • Net Weight with Battery (no flash tube or reflector): 4.4 lbs (1.98 kg)
  • Gross Weight: 5 lbs (2.25 kg)
  • Package Contents: Q4 Flash Strobe, Modeling Lamp, Standard Reflector, Lithium Battery, Handle, Power Adapter, Power Cord (US Plug), Carrying Case
  • QPro Wireless Trigger and Parabolic Softbox available separately

What I Liked and What Could Be Improved

Neewer has clearly grown over the last ten years from a company producing low-cost, not particularly high-quality accessories to one that is producing some great kit. This is a superb flash unit and a deserved winner of the iF Design Award 2023. Similarly, the QPro triggers and the softbox really come up to the mark.

Shot with an OM-1, ISO 80, 40mm, f/4.0, 1/60 s using the Neewer QPro with the reflector.

Things I Liked

  • Ease of Use: I am one for not reading the instructions, and I figured out how to use it without doing so. However, I do advise reading the comprehensive instructions manual, which is far better than most gear manuals I have.
  • Robustness: the build quality of all the parts I tested is excellent.
  • Weight: the flash weighs a reasonable 4.96 lbs (2.25 kg) with the bulb and battery connected.
  • Design: the flash, trigger, and softbox all look and function like pro-end gear.
  • Battery life: despite extensive use, the 2,800 mAh battery was still ¾ charged at the end of the hour-long shoot; it’s rated for 400 flashes at full power, so far more at reduced power.
  • Flash Power and Features: It has a respectable guide number of 72, which means it would light a subject at 72 meters at f/1. The distance halves with each stop. So, f/1.4 = 36 meters from the flash to the subject, f/2 = 18 meters to the subject, f/2.8 = 9 meters to the subject, f/4 = 4.5 meters to the subject, f/5.6 = 2.25 meters to the subject. There are some more powerful (far more expensive) flash units out there, and many less powerful too. But this was beyond sufficient for anything I would use it for.
  • More importantly, though, it can reduce the flash power up to nine stops to 1/256th full power, which is an important feature for any flash work. It also has flash exposure compensation from:3 to +3 stops in 1/3 steps. Furthermore, the recycling time is amazingly fast.
  • It also has High Speed Sync (HSS) capabilities up to 1/8,000th of a second shutter speed and a flash delay from 0.01 seconds to 30 seconds. There is first- and second-curtain compatibility.
  • Connectivity: a fabulous long-distance wireless control between the flash and the QPro Wireless Trigger.
  • The 30-watt modeling light: it is bright.
    Shot with a Sony a7R III and the Q4 fitted with the reflector. ISO 100, f/4, 1/250 s. I was approximately four yards from the flash; note the strong shadow behind me.

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • There was a lot of single-use plastic packaging that could be reduced and replaced with cardboard. Pleasingly, Neewer assures me this will change to all recyclable packaging with the next mass production.
  • The nylon case's expanded polystyrene inner is not great. However, I have seen pictures of the new case with foam inserts that will be supplied with the new production and it looks far superior.
  • It would be great to see a Micro Four Thirds version of the trigger.
  • The battery level indicator button is tiny.

In Conclusion: My Final Thoughts on the Neewer Q4 Strobe Flash, QPro Trigger, and Parabolic Softbox

This is a fabulous system, especially considering the price tag. I have some more expensive, albeit older, studio flash heads that don’t match up to this in terms of performance.

Sony a7R III using the honeycomb. ISO 100, 27mm, f/4, 1/250 s.

As I said at the start, I was surprised at how good this gear is. The design has been clearly thought through. Combining the exceptional build quality and the functionality make it far better than I expected for its price. Yes, there are more powerful flashes out there, but many of these hold a premium price three or more times the cost of the Q4.

It’s portable and quick to set up and use, so perfect for outdoor shoots. I can see this appealing to the wedding and on-location portrait photographers, plus pet and vehicle enthusiasts.

Because it’s built for the outdoors doesn’t mean it can’t be used inside. I can see some small studios using this system too, as it will save trailing power cables. Hobbyists and enthusiasts who want to use a good quality flash large flash would do well with this gear too.

I can highly recommend the flash and the triggers. At the time of writing, the Q4 Flash was currently only available for preorder on the Neewer website but will no doubt be available from other retailers on its release this month. The triggers are already available, as are their softboxes.

Ivor Rackham's picture

A professional photographer, website developer, and writer, Ivor lives in the North East of England. His main work is training others in photography. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being. In 2023 he accepted becoming a brand ambassador for the OM System.

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Does neewer have a deal with godox or are they just wholesale ripping them off? The Q4 looks original enough but check out the Q3 (AD200).. the Z1 (V1).. and that remote looks suspiciously like an xpro.

Thank you for the comment.

This article is about the Q4, as you state it's an original piece of kit. It works well, as I report.
It's inevitable that equipment evolves to look similar. Look how alike all DSLRs evolved to look. If you covered the labels, many would be hard-pushed to tell a Nikon from a Canon.
Also, just like various car manufacturers share the same parts to save on manufacturing costs, it may well happen in the camera industry too. Having similarities in design is actually advantageous because it's easy to swap between different models.

I totally get your question Natalie. Neewer has had some similarities with Godox in the past. I would be interested in this unit if, like in similar Godox configurations, the unit would fire with the X1 controller. I’ve purchased additional Godox lights through various suppliers and under different brand names and have found everything working universally. If Neewer is developing their own branded Godox system, things can only get better. Ivor, this light looks durable for quick shoots in the woods, it will be interesting to see full studio lighting system work with them. Thanks for the breakdown and stats. Let’s hope Neewer keeps improving their systems.

Thanks, Eric,

I had lots of Neewer and Godox triggers years ago, with both receivers for studio flashes and for camera flashes. This was long before Godox improved the quality of their gear; they were once a manufacturer of cheap accessories. I bought them for running training courses and recently dug them out; they still work.

Although they looked similar, they were not entirely interchangeable. Both makes of transmitter fired the Godox and Neewer studio flash receivers, but only the Godox transmitter would fire the Godox camera flash receiver, which was a bit odd. It's possible that the channels overlapped, but the Neewer transmitter was a narrower band and those receivers would not register them.

I'm all for compatibility and similarity between models and what Natalie sees as a disadvantage, I see as an advantage.

This model has a unique design and not another brand's design.

That quick shoot in the woods was over two hours, and I've used the lights a lot since writing this article, indoors and out. Being designed for outdoor use, it is incredibly robust, and I would say better built than my Godox studio lights. It also has a wider range of power outputs. In a small home studio setting, it is more versatile because it doesn't trail power leads. Of course, it's not designed for large professional studios, but for what it is, it's a super piece of kit.

There is some really good gear now coming out of the Neewer stables, which is good to see.

--- "Does neewer have a deal with godox"

From what I understand, they have deals with brands. Godox being one of them. For instance Q3 is made by Godox with a fixed fresnel head. Neewer sells them for a cheaper price.

Useful to know. Thanks, Eddie.

Neewer is a company that rebrands, almost exclusively. As an example Neewer's "Z" flash is in fact made by Godox . . . it is the same unit as a Godox V1.

Major difference is that Godox has a dealer network (and supposedly service network) whereas Neewer does not. Otherwise the unit is the same thing . . . with a different label.

While many might like to dump on the rebranding issue . . . everyone does it and has been doing it for years. Profoto does not make modelling lamps or flashtubes, nor some of their more esoteric lamp heads . . . neither does Broncolor. They buy them from the same cheaper source somewhere else, put them in a box with their logo, and charge you three times the price. It has been going on for decades. Ford, GM, Toyota do not make oil filters, air filters, etc, etc . . . they buy them in bulk from a mass marketer, then resell them at grossly inflated prices to the stupid public who actually believe all the advertising hype.

Want a really good deal? Godox's V1 sells for about $250+ usd at most retailers. Get together a group of friends who all want a small portable system and are looking for a two or three light system. Find ten friends who want that . . . make a bit of effort . . . and you can find the unit wholesale for about $60-75 each with a minimum quantity of fifty units.

Thank you, Paul. That's an interesting read. As far as I am aware, this flash is not a rebrand but an original product, but I entirely get your point.

Looks pretty cool, what are the features that make it "Outdoor" instead of "Indoor" ?
I just wish that the fiddly Godox remote was iphone compatible or more user friendly like the Profoto

The long-life battery power and its lightweight yet robust design I would say are the main features that make it designed for outdoor use. It isn't waterproof, so I wouldn't use it in the rain.

Sounds like marketing jargon...the could of least made it in a camo color scheme.

Interesting thought, Mike. It's the battery power that is the main difference.

I'm pushed to think why camouflage would be needed. When the flash fires it would no longer be camouflaged. Also, not every outdoor environment or situation is suited to camouflage.

What subjects are you considering using the flash on that you would want to hide it from? I would use it for outdoor portraiture shots, such as weddings. For that, a smart, uniform black is far better, isn't it?

It was a joke. Camouflage would just make it harder to find at the end of the shoot. :)

Calling a light "outdoors" is new to me. Is it just a name or are there real differences? I have been using indoors lights outdoors for 40 years.

Is it weather/waterproof and more shock resistant than the indoors version, does the remote have a longer distance?
Are the power specs the same as the original? Is the duration of the flash faster? Is it lighter so easier to trek around the woods?
Having a longer lasting battery is not an outdoors thing, it is a normal advancement in technology.

Maybe I missed something.

I think it was just a casual way to remark in passing that you could use it outdoors without a cable to a power supply. I've been using studio flash since the 80s and even though battery-powered ones have been around for a good while, I still find them a bit novel to use outside. Depends on your age I guess :)


What does the power plug look like? I'm in Ireland so use a 3 pin plug but they only sell 2 pin Euro plugs with the Q4 in the EU. I need an adapter but don't know if the Q4 has the two pin plug directly on the power block or if it's on a lead that will allow me to buy a recessed 2 pin adapter. Otherwise I need to try to find a flat adapter with no recess.

There are no pics of the power block or cable anywhere in videos or on their web site. Can you post a pic or let me know if the 2 pin plug will fit into a recessed adapter please?


The version I was sent came from the USA, so it had an American 2-pin plug. But this would be easily swapped for a Euro 2-pin or UK 3-pin plug. The end that plugs into the charger is a standard IEC C7 7amp 2-pin female, the same as you find on most radios, DVD players, battery chargers etc. So it's easy to swap. The input voltage for the charger is 100-240v.

Thanks Ivor. I found a pic of the two pin plug eventually but it had no info on voltage or Amps. That's great, I'll get a couple of three-pin 240V 7A C7 cords from Amazon. Thanks for the help, I've pre-ordered two Q4s. They will get some of the lengthy bulk from my Elinchroms out of my studio. If they're good I might get a couple more to replace my Westcott flashes as well, the Wescott triggers are crap for GFX 100s and Sony A7r V.

Hum, no such thing as a 3 pin 7A C7 cable by the looks of it. Nearest is 5A but most are 3A. Have to resort to adapters it seems.

Well, after a week talking to Neewer support they finally heard back from their product people and they tell me a 3A cable is fine.
They gave me a link to a three-pin 3A cable that I had already looked at on Amazon but I didn't know if it would be safe. Apparently it is, according to their mail. So thought I'd post this here for anyone else who might have the same question.

That's good to know. Thank you for taking the time to feed that back.

Could you not change the wall plug on the supplied cable?

Hi, more news unfortunately. I thanked them for the info and said I had seen the cable but didn't know if it was safe or not. Got another mail today saying sorry, the previous person had sent me the mail to show me the type of connector and I should contact the seller. The seller is Neewer, the people who were telling me to contact the seller! So their customer service sucks to put it mildly.

It's usually impossible to change plugs on this type of gear nowadays, the cable is usually sealed in. And I'm not enough of an electrician to cut the cable and guess where the two cables fit into a three pin plug! No worries, I have bought two little adapters which will do the job. I'll only be plugging in to charge the batteries, I use my Westcott flashes on battery and only plug them in when they need charging.

Oh well. Sometimes simple things don't go quite right.

The transformer is rated at a maximum of 1.6 amps. So any C7 3 amp cable will be more than sufficient. I just use the one that came with my camera battery charger. They are sometimes called figure-of-eight plugs.

In Ireland, Curry's stock them: LOGIK is a reputable make. So to do Harvey Norman:

Thanks Ivor, that's very useful! That will solve my proiblem :)

Well, final reply to say the lights have turned up. The three-pin 3 Amp cable works perfectly.

The lights are incredible for the price. Much smaller than they look in photos and built like tanks.The Bowens mount is the easiest version of the mount to use that I have had. The adapters for my Elinchrom softboxes work great and the Westcott softboxes should fit too as I've swapped them around before.

Everything worked out of the box on my Sony A7r V with the Sony trigger for the lights. Just had to change group for one light so I could adjust the flash compensation differently for each light. HSS is a dream, no problems at all. Love these lights, will be buying more if they last a few months. Can't believe the quality for the price.

Thanks for your review Ivor, I probably would have missed these otherwise!

Thanks for the feedback and enjoy using it.

Another knockoff Chinese product, no thanks

Knockoff of what? What other brand/model has a square strobe/monolight with 400ws battery operated?

Precisely, Eddie. Thank you.

Says the guy who uses an ipad Pro and an a7r III, both of which are made in China :)

Yes, it's a bit daft and not a very well-thought-through argument. One could equally say that Canon, Nikon, Sony, et al ripped off Harold Edgerton.

My A7R III is made in Thailand, as are all the R3's, thank you.

As for the iPad, is it a Chinese brand? No, it's Apple, and the device is made to THEIR exacting specs and build quality. This is a massive differentiator between a Chinese-brand product.

That comparative argument is a real pathetic attempt to make a straw man argument it's not even funny.

A7r III was made in China, later cameras have moved to Thailand. But I won't bother arguing more with someone whose whole argument was "Another knockoff Chinese product, no thanks" with no actual reasons. Have a nice life, bye bye :)

Neewer is a rebranding company.

A large part of their flash array (not the q4) is actually Godox equipment.

Main difference? Godox has opened up a presence and with that the possibility of service. Neewer has not yet done that . . . though perhaps in the future.

At the moment they, along with all the other companies that are rebranding "Godox" gear,offer the walmart solution . . . bring it, or send it back andf they will replace.

Not professionally attractive by any stretch of the imagination.

As for the "parabolic" soft box?

It wouuld be nice if fstoppers, who are click baiters supreme, might actually offer a review that was factual.

Karl Taylor, whose presentation I really dislike, but nod to the fact that he understands the equipment and physics far better than any fstopper will in a billion years, puts to rest for your eyes, all the bullshit about "parabolic" softboxes. Look up on youtube his video about "parabolic" softboxes, and within a few minutes you will see what a pack of garbage it is . . . but fstopper monkeys will of course spend the extra cash on worthless junk, and then in hushed voices say, "but it's parabolic" . . . like they think that fast aperture lenses make up for their lack in the maleness department.

The ONLY time parabolic "works" is when you can move the light source within the reflector. Anything else is a load of marketing crap. Further, any and all "parabolic" this or that when finished with a diffuse white surface are counter to the very idea of "parabolic" . . . which in the photographic world, to those who actually know what they are doing, implies being able to focus the light spread.

Broncolor Para does that . . . they copied it from Briese (no one on this list cold ever, ever afford Briese), Profoto aped Broncolor then got sued, withdrew, but now are back with a variation. There are a few cheapo wannabees, probably the best being Parabolix, but they too, fall down by finishing their units in soft white. Godox has entered the fray, along with Westcott . . . and are nothing more than a marketing scam.

There are only three real choices to work the "magic" of parabolic . . . Briese, Broncolor, and Profoto . . . all the others are a total waste of money.

Seek out the video I mentioned. Watch it, then watch it again.

It will save all the wankers a lot of money.

A rebranding company that is producing unique gear?

Despite your diatribe trying to discredit the article, the flash and the softbox work well. The Broncolor Para has the ability to unfocus the flash, whereas the parabolic dishes of most brands place the flash at the focus point of the dish so the flash is permanently focused. It's the reverse of a satellite dish or a radio telescope where the receiver is fixed at the focus point.

There is another big advantage of the Neewer. The Broncolor Para 222 costs $7900 compared to about $620 for the entire Neewer kit shown above, more than ten times less. I've been using it for over a month now including for professional magazine shoots. For the money, gives excellent results.

Do you own a Broncolor Para?

Whatever your motivation for attacking the article, Fstoppers, and the equipment, please don't use obscene language in your comments. There are young people who read these articles.