Profoto or Godox – Which One Would You Choose? Many photographers start out with their first DSLR using the built-in camera flash. After experiencing the harsh light and washed out faces of built-in camera flash the photographer invests in an on-camera flash product for his or her photos. Eventually the photographer begins using OCF with remote triggers. OCF is used on-location and in the studio. I went through this on-camera flash to OCF process in my photography. I wanted better results. One day, I saw THE LIGHT. A Profoto B1 monolight.
THE LIGHT (Profoto)
THE LIGHT I saw was during a Matthew Jordan Smith training session during the summer of 2016. He was using two (2) Profoto B1’s during the class (as of this writing the new model is B1X). The photos he was taking using the B1’s was simply amazing. The B1’s could be used on-location and the studio. Same light output no matter where you are. The B1 had the reputation of over powering the sun if needed. I set a goal to purchase a set of B1’s for my photography until I saw the price tag of the B1’s. Oh, my goodness! Profoto is very proud of their product. A single B1 would cost nearly $2100 (USD … rounding up to whole dollars for this blog post). A Profoto B1 on-location kit consisting of two (2) monolights costs $4200. If you choose to use Profoto’s remote trigger, you are out of pocket another $420. Extra batteries costs $300 each. An investment of $6000 USD would give me a lighting kit that could be used in the studio and on-location. Unfortunately, I did not have an extra six thousand dollars to be invested. My plan was to save and budget for the purchase of the Profoto B1’s.
Profoto B1 in Studio
In April of 2017 I had the opportunity to use a set of B1’s on a fashion photo shoot in a studio. My assignment was high key lighting photos of the models. The B1’s came as part of the studio rental along with a set of Profoto soft boxes. I was more impressed with the B1 lighting. During post process you could tell the difference. I was convinced more that going to professional monolights with Profoto would be key to taking my photography to the next level. Then one day I saw ANOTHER LIGHT!
THE OTHER LIGHT (Godox)
A photographer colleague on another studio shoot had a set of Godox (Xplor) AD200 flashes. The AD200 set he had was a speedlight head and a bare bulb head for use with light modifiers. He had been using his set of flashes (2 speedlights) for several weeks and was impressed with the lighting results he was getting. I began my research on the Godox using YouTube. Instead of researching on the AD200 I discovered the newly released Godox AD600pro monolight. Several pro photographers had very good to excellent reviews on the Godox product. Could this be the monolight I was looking for?
The next step in my investigation was the retail price of the monolight. Much to my surprise a single Godox AD600pro monolight was less than $900. A $1200 savings over the comparable B1 (now B1X). Based on my YouTube research and feedback from the “experts”, the AD600pro performed just as well as the Profoto B1/B1X. A remote transmitter for the monolight cost $70 … AMAZING! I would save $251 over the comparable Profoto remote transmitter for Nikon. By now I was getting excited. I could purchase my monolight kit sooner rather than latter at a reasonable cost. I made the decision to purchase the Godox AD600pro.
For half the cost of a Profoto on-location kit a Godox 2 light setup with transmitter and parabolic modifier, I invested in the gear you see in Table 1 above. The price was right, but how would it perform in real world conditions? Read on.
I had an opportunity to shoot with the Godox AD600pro monolights several weeks after purchasing. It was another high key photo shoot assignment. This time it was close-ups of models showcasing natural hair creative designs by a local hair stylist. I am glad to report that the AD600pro monolights did as advertised and confirmed the reviews by the “experts” on YouTube. One thing I observed between my shoot with the Profoto B1’s and the AD600pro’s; I did not have to change a battery during the six-hour photo shoot. I attributed this to the efficient use of the power settings for both lights and placement of the parabolic soft box to the model. During post processing I noticed the even light distribution and consistency of color. At this point I was convinced I made the right choice given my goal of owning pro monolights and budget.
PROFOTO OR GODOX?
Based on performance and budget, the Godox investment was right for me. It is still a risky investment because Godox is a Chinese company. With all products your true test of your investment is in support. Will I get the support I need if one of the Godox devices malfunctions or breaks? Only time will tell. At some point in the future I will invest in Profoto. For now, I am a fan of the Godox lighting solutions.