Below I have chosen a 3/4 size guitar as my subject to demonstrate the Godox A1’s capabilities. This guitar is lit by three different light sources – The Godox A1 pointing straight at it, a Neewer AD200 from the right shooting through the Godox AD-S7 softbox and a Neewer AD200 shooting upwards and bouncing off the ceiling. Do note that both the Neewer AD200s were set to manual power mode, as these do not work in Auto/TTL mode. I have broken this up to show what the lighting from each source looks like, and also when they are combined. All shot in RAW (DNG) and converted to JPEG without other processing using Adobe Lightroom CC on the iPhone X.
Light from Godox A1 only:
Light from Neewer AD200 from right only:
Light from Neewer AD200 bouncing off ceiling only:
Both Neewer lights together:
All 3 light sources together:
With the three light sources, the image looks much better.
What I like about the Godox A1?
- It allows the iPhone X to shoot with multiple off-camera flash, e.g. Neewer AD200.
- It allows for shooting in RAW.
- The Godox A1 can be set as the transmitter only which controls the other lights while not contributing any light to the image. In this mode, the sensor does not need to be pointing at the subject, which means the flash can be kept out of the way.
- It can be used as an LED light source, which can aid focusing in dark situations.
- It can also be used as an additional wireless flash in combination with other Godox/Neewer wireless flash.
What could be improved in the Godox A1?
- Shooting in Auto mode works only with the Godox A1, as the other connected flash can only work in manual exposure mode (setting them to TTL mode results in them not contributing any light to the photo). It would be great if the App would allow for TTL estimation of the light from all light sources. But to be fair, as the iPhone camera lens aperture is always fixed, it is pretty simple to find the correct manual setting for each flash in each shooting setup.
- The App does not have the option to use the 2x camera on the iPhone X unfortunately. This is an important issue which needs to be addressed by Godox, as the lighting is particularly useful when shooting portraits – which the 2x camera would be useful for.
- Some of the RAW images captured look completely off when processing in the Lightroom CC or Darkroom App – I don’t know why. So I don’t think I would trust the Godox App to shoot RAW when they are important images.
I would have to say that the Godox A1 is not what I had expected it to be. It has been released for many months now, but yet there are no firmware updates for it – which is very disappointing. There are many aspects of the functionality of the Godox A1 which I do not feel are up to scratch. The first thing Godox needs to fix is to enable the use of the 2x camera on the iPhone X and other similar phones, since that would be particularly useful for shooting portraits. I don’t think anything can be done about the fastest shutter speed usable, as that is more to do with the actual rolling shutter used on the iPhone camera – but being limited to 1/30 seconds shutter speed means it is not particularly useful to freeze motion.
At the end of the day, the Godox A1 feels more of a gimmick, as I am unlikely to carry around the bigger Neewer AD200 flash and the Godox A1 just to shoot with the iPhone X; if I brought those, I would have brought a mirrorless camera as well. So sadly, although I wanted to like this flash, unfortunately there are just too many things wrong with it that I cannot recommend this flash. Save your money.
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