In-Depth Comparison: Godox V1 vs Godox V860II vs Godox V860III

When it comes to quality flash and lighting equipment, Godox has emerged as a popular choice among photographers. The Godox flash range offers a diverse set of features catering to both amateurs and professionals. In this review, we'll be comparing three of their premium hand-held flash models: the Godox V1, Godox V860II, and Godox V860III to help you understand the nuances of each and decide which one is right for your camera setup.

If you're looking for a strobe light with more power then check out this article on the Godox AD1200Pro 1200Ws TTL Power Pack.

Godox V1 round head on camera flash

Jeff Fried's Insights on Godox Flash Usage in Commercial Photography

Drawing from his extensive experience in shooting events and portraits for Manhattan Magazine and other high-profile clients, Jeff Fried has developed a deep understanding of the nuances of using handheld flash in commercial photography. His practical knowledge, gained from using various Godox models and competitors, adds a layer of real-world expertise to this comparison.

Handheld Flash in Dynamic Settings

Jeff's preference for handheld flash, particularly in fast-paced event scenarios, highlights the importance of adaptability and quick adjustments. His experiences underscore how each Godox model can cater to these needs in different ways.

Godox V1: A Revolution in Design

The Godox V1, available in variations like the Godox V1 Sony, Godox V1 Canon, and Godox V1 Nikon, stands out with its unique round head design. This design is known to deliver a soft, flattering Godox light that's perfect for portrait shots. Additionally, the Godox V1 flash provides an even spread, reducing harsh shadows. With features like a built-in LED modeling lamp and a magnetic mount, the Godox V1 truly embodies versatility.

You need to make sure you buy the correct variation for your specific camera brand: Sony, Canon, or Nikon. The Godox V1 for a Canon will not work with a Nikon or Sony while the Nikon version won't work with Sony or Canon, and so on.

Jeff's Experience with Godox V1

Known for its unique round head design, the Godox V1 has been a go-to for Jeff in scenarios where soft, flattering light is paramount. He particularly appreciates the even light spread and the built-in LED modeling lamp for its versatility in portrait setups.

Godox V860II: The All-Rounder

The Godox V860II, also referred to as the Godox 860II, is the predecessor to the V860III. It provides a solid performance that's hard to overlook. It boasts a powerful output, making it a favorite for many. For those using Canon, Sony, or Nikon, the Godox flash has a unique model compatibility for each brand that ensures seamless integration. Be certain you buy the correct model for your camera brand. The built-in wireless X-System trigger in the Godox V860 series reinforces its position as a versatile Godox speedlight option. If you want to use the flash off-camera, the X-System requires a transmitter on the hot shoe of your camera — the transmitter also needs to match your camera brand. 

Real-World Application by Jeff

Jeff has often leveraged the Godox V860II's powerful output in various events. Its reliable performance and compatibility across camera brands have made it a staple in his photography kit, especially in situations where consistent output and rapid recycling are critical.

Godox V860III: The Game-Changer

Building on the foundation of the Godox V860 series, the V860III is the most recent addition. With a zoom range of 20-200mm and features like a quick release locking mechanism, the Godox V860III seeks to redefine on-camera flash standards. The debate between Godox V1 vs V860III often boils down to specific use-case scenarios given their distinct features.

Jeff's Take on V860III

The most recent addition to the Godox lineup, the V860III, aligns well with Jeff's need for a quick release locking mechanism and a broad zoom range. This model's versatility has proven beneficial in his wedding and event photography, offering flexibility without compromising on quality.

Modifiers and Accessories:

When considering any Godox flash, it's essential to note the available modifiers and accessories. These tools can greatly enhance the quality of light, whether you're using the Godox V1 Canon, Godox V1 Nikon, or any other variant.

If you are adding modifiers to your flash head, like a soft box or lantern, be certain purchase the Godox S2 Speedlite Bracket. This is a Bowens mount. Without it you will not be able to attach your modifier to your flash head. 

If you want to create soft light then you should consider the Godox SB-UE Umbrella Octagon Softbox 47.5inch. If you want hard light, then keep your flash head bare-bulb.

Want to better understand different kinds of light sources and how they effect photography? Check out this article titled "Understanding Hard Light vs Soft Light in Photography".

Jeff's Modifier Recommendations

In line with his practical approach, Jeff recommends specific modifiers like the Godox SB-UE Umbrella Octagon Softbox for softer light and highlights the necessity of the Godox S2 Speedlite Bracket for attaching these modifiers efficiently.

Use-case scenarios

Here are some specific use-case scenarios where each flash might be a better choice:

  • Godox V860III:
    • Wedding photography: The V860III's wide zoom range makes it ideal for wedding photography, where you may need to switch between wide-angle and telephoto lenses quickly.
    • Event photography: The V860III is also a good choice for event photography, where you may need to bounce the flash off of walls and ceilings to create a more flattering light.
  • Godox V1:
    • Portrait photography: The V1's round flash head produces more flattering light for portrait photography.
    • Product photography: The V1's round flash head is also a good choice for product photography, where you want to avoid harsh shadows.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which flash is right for you is to consider your specific needs and budget.


Interested to learn more about lighting for photography, check out this article, "Studio Lighting for Photography".

User Experience & Feedback:

The Godox V1 Sony model, for instance, has received praise for its seamless integration with Sony cameras. The Godox V860II, or Godox V860III, has been lauded for its reliability and ease of use.


Godox V1 Sony Model

The Godox V1 Sony model has received praise for its seamless integration with Sony cameras. It is fully compatible with Sony's TTL and HSS systems, and it can be controlled directly from the camera's menu system. This makes it very easy to use and configure, especially for Sony shooters.

In addition, the V1's round flash head is a big hit with users. It produces more natural-looking light than a traditional rectangular flash head, which is ideal for portrait and product photography.

Here are some specific user comments about the Godox V1 Sony model:

  • "This flash is amazing! It's so easy to use and the integration with Sony cameras is seamless. I highly recommend it to any Sony shooter."
  • "The round flash head is a game-changer for portrait photography. It produces such beautiful, soft light."
  • "This flash is incredibly reliable. I've used it for hundreds of weddings and events and it's never let me down."


Godox V860II

The Godox V860II is another popular flash that is known for its reliability and ease of use. It is also fully compatible with TTL and HSS systems, but it does not have the same level of integration with Sony cameras as the V1. However, it is still a very popular choice for Sony shooters because it is affordable and reliable.

Here are some specific user comments about the Godox V860II:

  • "This flash is a great value for the price. It's easy to use and produces great results."
  • "I've been using this flash for years and it's never let me down. It's a very reliable workhorse."
  • "This flash is a great option for beginners and experienced photographers alike. It's easy to use and produces great results."

Overall, both the Godox V1 and V860II are excellent flashes. The V1 is a better choice for Sony shooters who want the best possible integration and a round flash head. The V860II is a better choice for photographers who are looking for an affordable and reliable flash.

The Godox V860III is a newer flash than the V860II, and it has a number of improvements, including:

  • A wider zoom range (20-200mm vs. 24-105mm)
  • A quick release locking mechanism
  • A modeling light on the flash head
  • A slightly more affordable price


Godox V860III

In terms of user experience and feedback, the Godox V860III is well-regarded by users. It is praised for its ease of use, reliability, and overall value for the price.

Here are some specific user comments about the Godox V860III:

  • "This flash is amazing! It's so easy to use and produces great results. I highly recommend it to any photographer."
  • "I'm so happy with my purchase of the Godox V860III. It's a great flash for the price and it's been very reliable."
  • "This flash is a great all-around performer. It's easy to use, reliable, and produces great results."

Overall, the Godox V860III is an excellent flash that offers a good balance of features, performance, and price. It is a good choice for both beginners and experienced photographers alike.


Personal Endorsements by Jeff

Jeff's endorsement of the Godox V1 Sony model for its seamless integration with Sony cameras, and his reliance on the V860II and V860III for their reliability, further validate the user feedback and experiences noted.


godox v1 on-camera flash

Practical Tips for Potential Buyers:

Whether you're considering the Godox V1 flash or leaning more towards the Godox speedlight options in the V860 series, always take into account the type of photography you're into.

Jeff's Advice:

Drawing from his vast experience, Jeff suggests potential buyers consider the type of photography they are into and how each flash model can uniquely serve their needs.

Godox V860III vs Godox V1: A Detailed Comparison

Perhaps the best reason to buy the older version of the Godox V860 series (the V860 II) is the lower price point. That's a valid reason. But if budget is not a constraint for you, the V860III is a better purchase. With that in mind, let's compare the Godox V860 III to the Godox V1.

The Godox V860III and V1 are two of the most popular on-camera flashes on the market. They are both feature-rich and well-built, but they have some key differences.

Zoom range:

The V860III has a zoom range of 20-200mm, while the V1 has a zoom range of 28-105mm. This means that the V860III can be used with a wider range of lenses, including telephoto lenses.

Flash head shape:

The V860III has a rectangular flash head, while the V1 has a round flash head. Round flash heads are known for producing more flattering light, so the V1 is a good choice for portrait photographers.

Modeling light:

The V860III has a modeling light on the flash body, while the V1 has a modeling light on the flash head. This means that the V1's modeling light is more accurate in terms of how the light will fall on the subject.


Jeff's Comparative Insights

Jeff offers practical insights into the differences between the models, focusing on aspects like zoom range, flash head shape, and modeling light, which he has found crucial in his professional work.

In Conclusion:

This article, enriched with Jeff Fried's personal experiences and insights, not only provides a technical comparison of the Godox V1, V860II, and V860III but also offers practical, real-world perspectives. Jeff's extensive use of these models in various commercial photography scenarios adds a layer of authenticity and practicality to this comparison, aiding photographers in making an informed choice.

Check out Jeff's commercial and personal work.

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