When I first saw a teaser for the GODOX AD100 flash unit, pitching a light that is roughly the size of a soda can, I thought, “Cool, but how useful will it be?”
Yes, there is some novelty to a flash this small! It is highly portable – the size of a soda can. And that is great for photographers who need portable lights out in the field. You can easily fit a few of these in your camera bag.
We now have 100, 200, 300, 400, and 600 watts per second strobes, as well as their speedlights (which are the equivalent to about 40-50 WS). The question remains, “Do we need this much variety?”
Let’s watch this brief introductory video from GODOX on the AD100:
The GODOX AD100 sits in a peculiar spot. Yes, it is super portable (even smaller than a speedlight), but does this small size translate to increased use by a significant part of the photography market?
This diagram shows the AD100 in the GLOW S2 bracket, allowing it to be connected to modifiers with Bowen-mounts. But are you going to connect this tiny light to a big modifier? My first impression is that most modifiers are going to far outweigh the light itself, leaving it prone to tipping over.
Your response might be, “Just secure it with some sandbags!” but that defeats the portability aspect of the light, doesn’t it?
I think this is a great light for event and wedding photographers. With this small form factor, you can easily fit a handful of them in a rolling camera bag with the rest of your equipment.
I remember when you had to haul around 4 big strobe units to a wedding or event, and hook them all up to a power pack. Those days are certainly behind us!
AD100 units would be easy to move around for portraits and the use of the light weight magnetic modifiers would cut down on weight issues.
The light weight would make them very easy to clamp to poles or pipes. Lack of weight or heft does make it an issue if you are using stands as even a slight bump could easily knock it over. Or maybe the light weight will make the stand less likely to tip.
When it comes to portrait photography, I feel like the GODOX AD100 is under powered for use by a lot of photographers. For portrait photographers who work predominately in a studio, the AD100 might find use as a hair light or a background light but it will need to keep up and not get overpowered by other lights.
While portrait photographers who work outdoors will most likely want a unit that can overpower the sun when that much power is necessary.
In this photographer’s opinion, I think you would be better off overall with the slightly larger AD300 (XPLOR 300 Pro). It is still the size of a lens and can easily fit in your camera bag, but offers the versatility of triple the power output.
But maybe I am wrong. I have yet to try the AD100, so if GODOX wants to send me one to try out, I’ll be more than happy to give you my first hand impressions.
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