There was a time when if you wanted a speed light or flash for your camera the choice was rather limited and comprised Canon and Nikon with a couple of third party manufacturers (including Sigma) chucked in for good measure. Well, times have changed and there are two Chinese flash manufacturers in the market who are now biting at the heels of the big boys, and both are starting to win a lot of customers.
The manufacturers I am referring to are Godox and Yongnuo, both of which produce great speed lights and flash units that do exactly the same job as the top end speed lights and flash units, but at a fraction of the cost.
Godox and Yongnuo speed lights and flash units are getting a lot of attention from a wide variety of photographers including total newbies looking to buy their first flash right through to seasoned professionals looking to replace their existing flash equipment.
This is all well and good, but it does pose the question of “Who makes the best flash – Yongnuo or Godox?”
The truth of the matter is that the Godox and Yongnuo range of speed lights and flashes are virtually identical and neither one is better than the other. In the end I opted for the Godox flash (the Ving 860) rather than the Yongnuo flash, and the only reason for this was because the estimated delivery of the Godox was 7 – 10 days whereas the estimated delivery of the Yongnuo was 10 – 14 days. There was also a “free delivery promotion” with the Godox Ving but as it was a little over £3.50 more than the Yongnuo flash the financial saving was negligible. The deciding factor was the faster delivery.
I have to admit that I don’t own a Yongnuo flash, after all I haven’t had the need to buy any speed lights or flashes since buying my Godox speed lights however I do have first-hand experience using a Yongnuo flash.
There are a few photographers in my local camera club who own Yongnuo speed lights so I have had the chance to check out the build quality, the features and how they perform on several occasions. I have to say that I am impressed with the Yongnuo however I do find the Godox quicker to set up/adjust, and because of this I will stick to the Godox brand unless Yongnuo come up with some kick ass speed light in the future that is.
Quick review of the Godox Ving 860
CLASS – Mid-range/ GUIDE NUMBER (200mm @ ISO 100 in metres) – 60m / RECYCLE TIME (FULL POWER IN SECONDS) – < 1.5 SECONDS/ MANUAL POWER SETTINGS - /1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32,1/64 and 1/128 TTL MODE - Yes/ STROBOSCOPIC MODE - Yes/ HSS MODE - Yes/ FLASH EXPOSURE COMPENSATION - -3EV - +1EV/ OPTICAL SLAVE – Yes/ OTHER TRIGGER – Wireless TTL slave mode/ SWIVEL FLASH HEAD – 0 degrees to 360 DEGREES/ FLASH HEAD TILT - -7 degrees to +90 degrees/ MANUAL ZOOM HEAD – (14) 20 - 200/ AUTO ZOOM HEAD – (14) 20 - 200/ BOUNCE CARD - Yes/ LCD DISPAY - Yes/ BATTERIES REQUIRED – SINGLE CELL BATTERY/APPROX PRICE ($USD/£GBP) - $199 / £161
When I ordered my first Godox Ving speed light I have to say that I was sceptical and wasn’t expecting too much. As you already know, I needed a cheap and cheerful flash as soon as possible so I really had no choice in the matter. When I ordered my first Godox Ving my intention was to use it for the photo shoot and then buy another Canon 600EX but I was so impressed with the Godox Ving I ended up buying three more so I could have a powerful and portable ganged lighting solution.
The first thing I noticed when I removed the Godox Ving from its box was the build quality, which is very good. I was expecting a cheaply made speed light but this was not what I got. The Godox Ving is a strong, sturdy and very well put together speed light that will last a long time. Okay, it isn’t as tough and durable as the Canon 600EX, but then this is to be expected. The difference in quality isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the Godox is lighter and more manageable than the Canon.
The Godox Ving is powerful (almost as powerful as the Canon 600EX but not quite), packed full of features (it has full manual, HSS and TTL modes) and is user friendly and very easy to use. The controls and buttons on the Godox are nicely laid out and logical, and everything “just makes sense”.
One feature I really like about the Godox flash is the single cell battery (which means no more AA batteries laying around) providing up to 600 full power pops. The battery life on this flash is awesome, and something you have to experience to properly appreciate it.
The Godox Ving is a cheap speed light and I managed to buy three of them for less than the cost of a single Canon 600EX. In fact, I managed to buy three speed lights together with three radio triggers (Yongnuo 622s – check out this review) and still have some money left over!! The Godox Ving speed light is awesome value for money and if you like to get a lot of bang for the buck (and let’s face it – who doesn’t?) you will get it with the Godox range of speed lights.
So would I recommend the Godox Ving/range of speed lights? Most definitely, and I guarantee that if you get one you will not be disappointed.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.