The Godox Wistro AD200 is a lightweight, portable flash, only slightly larger than the average Speedlight but way more powerful, about three times more powerful! It was introduced to appeal to the market of professional mobile photographers to use for weddings, events, street or other “out of studio” photoshoots. So why is it so interesting compared to other traditional flashlights? Well, think about what is most important for a photographer on the move, then think about what you need to be able to do, the answer is weight and light!
As a professional photographer, you ‘re probably carrying a whole bag full of equipment, in the old days you would. You carry a camera, several lenses, one or two flashes, batteries, film, and some filters may be, these days you will see chargers, more heavy batteries, and most likely also some other cameras like a 4K action camera. Sometimes even a drone, all that extra equipment starts to weigh on your body after a while, all the more reasons to go lightweight!
The problem with lightweight is the performance, imagine you ‘re doing a wedding shoot in the early afternoon on a nice summer day near the coast… GREAT! But what about the sun? You would need a very powerful and usually heavy flash to overpower the light from the sun in your photos, after a while that can be exhausting, it’s this market that is targeted by the Godox Wistro AD200. Let ‘s have a look at some of the properties of the AD200.
One very important detail is that the Godox Wistro AD200 is an exclusively off-camera flash, so it doesn’t have the shoe attachment to put it on your camera, not an issue for most photographers but it takes a bit of getting used to when on assignment, the downside is that you will need some sort of support to use it everywhere.
When you use a flash, you don’t want to change the battery every ten shots, so battery life is very important! So where does the Godox Wistro AD200 stand? First of all, it runs on a lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack instead of AA batteries, that’s at least one advantage. Secondly, it takes only a few hours of charging, and you ‘re good to go, they can last a solid two days of shooting in most cases. A small extra advantage is the battery life indicator that shows you when you ‘ll run out of juice to keep on shooting, a lot of standard Speedlights don’t have this feature, comes in pretty handy when you need reliable equipment!
TTL & High-Speed Sync (HSS) Setting
As all other Godox flash models, the AD200 also comes with full TTL & HSS support, they work good, and there are no reports of malfunction as far as I know with both Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras. However the Godox Wistro AD200 will switch automatically from TTL to HSS when the shutter speed is higher than 1/160, this can be a bit annoying when you want to move into the higher shutter speeds.
Godox released information that it will soon start supporting most other light systems as well, like the Fuji X system, for example, great news for the pro photographers among us that use Fuji systems!
The quality of materials chosen for this flash looks good enough; there is a small gap between the parts surrounding the light itself, this helps to extract the heat created by the light quickly but may become a risk when shooting in humid conditions or a surprise weather change.
So keeping your equipment clean and dry is essential, most photographers would recommend to open up and clean your equipment after an intense shoot, this will make your equipment last longer and save unneeded expenses!
The quality is surprisingly good if you take into account that it’s slightly larger than your average Speedlight but complete with the head and battery it only weighs in at 880g! However these 880g deliver almost three times the power of a comparable Speedlight, so what ‘s the secret? Simple, the powerful, a highly efficient lightbulb that use less energy to create the same result as any other heavier flash.
Does the Godox Wistro AD200 live up to its expectations when it comes to enduring the rough life of a moving photographer? It seems so yes, a photographer doesn’t always have time to rearrange his equipment neatly, so it needs to be strong and reliable, it can’t break when moving around in your bag or backpack … in short, it needs to shockproof, and it seems that this one ticks all the boxes!
Godox Wistro AD200 General use
Let’s face it, you ‘re a photographer specialized in weddings, events, street, portrait, etc. and you spend most of your time outside the studio. These days I tend to work with a backpack as it keeps my hands free, and I don’t need to watch out where my shoulder bag goes when I move around. So what’s in my bag you wonder, not only is there a Canon DSLR body with three lenses but there ‘s also a 4K action camera, spare memory cards, spare batteries, my tripod, a gimbal, all the chargers and … yes, even a 4K drone. By now you may realize that my backpack is getting pretty heavy and you ‘d be right; it’s getting way too heavy, so adding to that a reliable flash with batteries and charger isn’t helping! This is where the Godox AD200 comes in handy, lightweight, fast, reliable, and powerful.
The basics are simple; the lightweight construction is very good for intensive work as your hands and arms already carry a lot of weight, so you don’t need a heavy flash added on top of that. Most lightweight flashlights and Speedlights however only generate between 60 and 100 watts/second, the AD200 generates 200 w/s so it will give you a lot more possibilities in difficult light situations.
Will the AD200 block out the sun? No, you would need around 600 w/s to do that, but those lights will be way heavier than the AD200. The AD200 is the best compromise for the all-round photographer that is constantly on the move. No problems when you need to shoot on a warm summer day on the beach!
We all know the perils of photography, you just made a few great shots, you change your equipment for something else and toss the flash in your bag or backpack, after a day of shooting either in one place or all around the city.
You toss the bag in your car and head home, exhausted from a long day you end up on the couch and forget all about your bag. Next morning you check out the photos you made, and to your horror, you discover a crack in a plastic part on one of the pieces of your equipment, that’s a disaster because you have another shoot in 2 days! A good flash needs to withstand this rough life, so you don’t need to worry about damaging your equipment, another good reason to choose the AD200
Convenient? The AD200 has a built-in radio of 2.4GHz that is surprisingly reliable, no more misfires anymore, combined with its speed, makes it almost unmissable for any photographer. The AD200 is super fast when shooting at 1/16th of the power for moving scenes with random stuff flying around it has no problem keeping up with speed, and in most cases, the camera buffer will fill up before the AD200 stops firing, even in burst mode!
Downsides? As mentioned before, this is an exclusively off-camera flash, and since it’s a bit heavier than most Speedlights it isn’t very compatible with most handy supports, you will need to get used to a different setup at first. Secondly, it’s a bit too powerful for night shootings where you want to keep the colors and atmosphere of the moment, even when powered down to the minimum it usually overshoots all color with that bright white light.
Of course, most light systems also come with a wide range of accessories, I ‘m not going to mention all of them but maybe the most important one since this is an off-camera system, would be a support. Godox manufactured a versatile bracket that you can use with the AD200; it’s the Godox Bowens S-type bracket, the AD200 fits right in and can then be used in any direction needed.
Interesting is the simple attaching system of the filters, Godox provides filters in most colors for the AD200 and diffusers as well. The AD200 comes standard with both a flash lightning head and an incandescent lightning head, the power of this system required a diffuser in some cases, and the diffuser for the AD200 is easy to use and slides right on the used head. Even better is that all umbrellas, softboxes, and diffusers of Godox are compatible with the AD200 system.
Godox AD200 vs. Godox AD600
The AD600 has three times the power of the AD200 but is also way larger and weighs in at an incredible 3kg, that’s more than three times the weight of the AD200, so is it fair to compare the two systems? I don’t think so.
The Godox AD200 is an easy to use system, reasonably priced system that is lightweight, powerful enough for daily use and strong enough to resist the rigors of the daily life of a photographer.
Is it perfect in every situation? No, but then again, there isn’t a single piece of equipment that aims to be perfect in every situation, the AD200 gives you a good performance in most situations and is, therefore, a good general piece to add to your equipment. This system is great for any “on the go” photographer; it’s a hard and competitive life out there, you know!
The AD600, however, aims for a studio type setup, at 3kg it isn’t lightweight at all, and the 600 w/s light is useless as a supporting flash in situations where you want to keep the atmosphere alive in your shots. Yes, of course, it’s way better in portrait setups, but it’s not really an easy mobile system, is it?
Why should you Buy Godox Wistro AD200?
In general the AD200 has all the advantages you need as a modern all-around and “on the go” photographer, it’s a light, powerful, easy to use flash system that is compatible with most TLL and HSS systems, although it will not be perfect in every situation it does provide a good result in most situations.
A big advantage is the lithium-ion rechargeable battery and the long battery life combined with short recharging time.
The downside is that this system doesn’t have a shoe attachment so it can’t be put on the camera, it’s a purely “off-camera” system, and you will need some kind of support system to use it.