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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 08 Aug 2017 (Tuesday) 20:10
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Godox A1 - New Smartphone lighting appliance

 
Angmo
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Post has been last edited 2 months ago by Angmo. 7 edits done in total.
Aug 26, 2017 12:13 |  #16

mmmfotografie wrote in post #18435920 (external link)
http://www.elinchrom.c​om/skyport/wifi.html (external link)

Also

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I could certainly find some more.

Yep. I use this setup and control my Elis from an iPhone, the new skyport trigger or Sekonic flash meter. Save complete shoot settings to PC or laptop too. Wifi firmware updates to all devices.

Godox is years behind. They only copy other folks tech.

Heck, I can shoot HS using the new Eli trigger with all my older strobes too.

The wifi setup cost like $30 I think. It was inexpensive anyway. The iPhone app was free.

They're all tools to get the job done. Enjoy.


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mmmfotografie
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Aug 26, 2017 17:12 |  #17

Don't be to harsh with Godox and they do development with some input from people outside of Godox. Godox brings a lot of stuff at a good price to the market and are changing the landscape off the market. A lot what was only reachable for customers with a large budget is now also available for a broader public.

Being 'late' with the APP and choosing for the A1 solution gave the the opportunity to fuse the 433MHz and 2.4GHz radio band into the A1 so it could control studio strobes and also the X system that is on is on the 2.4GHz band.


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Angmo
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Post has been last edited 2 months ago by Angmo. 3 edits done in total.
Aug 26, 2017 20:55 |  #18

mmmfotografie wrote in post #18437749 (external link)
Don't be to harsh with Godox and they do development with some input from people outside of Godox. Godox brings a lot of stuff at a good price to the market and are changing the landscape off the market. A lot what was only reachable for customers with a large budget is now also available for a broader public.

Being 'late' with the APP and choosing for the A1 solution gave the the opportunity to fuse the 433MHz and 2.4GHz radio band into the A1 so it could control studio strobes and also the X system that is on is on the 2.4GHz band.

Ive been to China many times. One year even, commuted there for one or two weeks a month for the entire year. Yep they copy.

Ive even seen them at trade shows -- Chinese engineer photographing competitors gear and motherboards on display.


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Talley
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Sep 04, 2017 14:46 |  #19

It's all of our faults when we sent all the manufacturing to china in the first place. We have developed a dependency on china now. If we kept everything state side we would be paying double for everything.


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mmmfotografie
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Post has been last edited 2 months ago by mmmfotografie. 4 edits done in total.
Sep 04, 2017 14:52 as a reply to Talley's post |  #20

We will still pay double of the pollution in China in the future. In China is production first and environment a lot lower.

People are depending on a intact environment.

Also without local production people don't have the means to buy local production. So that argument of double prices are not valid.

Look at where the intrest rates are. You loose money when you put money on a bankaccount. Europe has broken its own economy and the are hardly any people left between poor and very rich.
We are worried about North Korea now, but the is also a bomb under our society.

Buy local and produce local keeps us alive now and in the future.


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dmward
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Sep 04, 2017 15:16 |  #21

Angmo wrote in post #18437881 (external link)
Ive even seen them at trade shows -- Chinese engineer photographing competitors gear and motherboards on display.

That practice is common amongst technology companies at every trade show I've ever attended. I've done it myself for our engineers when working for a telecom manufacturer.

Its another version of engineers sitting around drinking beer and talking about their ideas at an industry standards conference. I've done that too.

Its time to get over thinking that the Chinese are second rate engineers. They're as good and innovative as anyone.

Its useful to remember that many of them got their engineering training in the US and Europe. And even more of their teachers did.


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Enzyme
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Sep 22, 2017 00:05 |  #22

A pre-productions review:

http://www.lightingrum​ours.com/godox-a1-review-9153 (external link)

I am still curious if this might be a useful tool, along the lines on my Einstein's cybercommander.

I assume the 1/45 sync speed limit applies only to a smartphone - not for strobes controlled by a DSLR.




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bobbyz
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Post has been edited 2 months ago by bobbyz.
Sep 22, 2017 11:29 |  #23

dmward wrote in post #18444451 (external link)
That practice is common amongst technology companies at every trade show I've ever attended. I've done it myself for our engineers when working for a telecom manufacturer.

Its another version of engineers sitting around drinking beer and talking about their ideas at an industry standards conference. I've done that too.

Its time to get over thinking that the Chinese are second rate engineers. They're as good and innovative as anyone.

Its useful to remember that many of them got their engineering training in the US and Europe. And even more of their teachers did.

Agree completely with Dave. I work in the valley and probably one of the best tech companies (not the fruit one) so know a thing or two.:)


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inkista
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Sep 22, 2017 18:57 |  #24

Another review here:

http://www.diyphotogra​phy.net ...trigger-looks-quite-good/ (external link)

The review notes that with the A1+app, you can save off a preset/configuration of all the settings on your lights with an Export command and then load them again with an Import command. The settings include what groups are used, what mode each group was in, power/FEC setting, etc. etc. It's in the video at around 8:33.

Until and unless that feature gets added to the Pro, this may be the main reason to pick up an A1 if you're not an iPhone foodie photoblogger. :) Also curious to see if the TCM feature of the Pro flows back to the app...


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dmward
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Sep 23, 2017 09:30 |  #25

inkista wrote in post #18458237 (external link)
Another review here:

http://www.diyphotogra​phy.net ...trigger-looks-quite-good/ (external link)

The review notes that with the A1+app, you can save off a preset/configuration of all the settings on your lights with an Export command and then load them again with an Import command. The settings include what groups are used, what mode each group was in, power/FEC setting, etc. etc. It's in the video at around 8:33.

Until and unless that feature gets added to the Pro, this may be the main reason to pick up an A1 if you're not an iPhone foodie photoblogger. :) Also curious to see if the TCM feature of the Pro flows back to the app...

The app appears to only work in M mode with X system lights. Each group has an A mode, but that appears to be limited to A1 devices.

After being frustrated trying to get an AD200 to work in TTL with the A1 I realized that it would be impossible to use TTL with a remote control devices like the A1/App because TTL needs a camera to communicate the TTL commands to the X system before and after the pre-flash.


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inkista
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Sep 23, 2017 13:51 |  #26

dmward wrote in post #18458614 (external link)
The app appears to only work in M mode with X system lights. Each group has an A mode, but that appears to be limited to A1 devices.

After being frustrated trying to get an AD200 to work in TTL with the A1 I realized that it would be impossible to use TTL with a remote control devices like the A1/App because TTL needs a camera to communicate the TTL commands to the X system before and after the pre-flash.

Ah. Makes sense. Bummer. No TCM, then. Looks like the A mode might be similar to an autothyristor, since it's using a sensor on the front of the A1.

Has anyone figured out how the A1 mini is going to be different from the A1?


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dmward
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Sep 23, 2017 22:38 |  #27

inkista wrote in post #18458769 (external link)
Ah. Makes sense. Bummer. No TCM, then. Looks like the A mode might be similar to an autothyristor, since it's using a sensor on the front of the A1.

Has anyone figured out how the A1 mini is going to be different from the A1?

Haven't hear about the A1 mini. Probably everything but the lights. :-)


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inkista
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Post has been last edited 1 month ago by inkista. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 29, 2017 15:25 |  #28

Ok, I got mine day before yesterday and have played with it. Just some observations on the thingie. (I also posted an earlier version of this over on dpreview).

First off, it works, but has a very narrow usage window. I purchased one more out of curiosity and gadget-lust than need, but I do know that the majority of my food photography is typically done with my iPhone either because I'm at a restaurant or because I'm too busy cooking to do a shoot set-up and I'm probably too hungry to waste the time while the food goes cold. :) The A1 seemed like a nice way to get a few better shots. And to be able to pop my lights with my iPhone just seemed like it might be fun.

I am, however, using an ancient creaky tiny little 5S, which is not listed on the compatibility list. The Godox Photo app loads and works just fine. But, unlike the 7 users, my maximum shutter speed is limited to 1/25s, not 1/45s, which limits usability even more. Ironically, I was constantly fighting overexposure, despite the GN of 8, because I was stuck at iso 40, f/2.2 (fixed), and 1/25s, with nowhere to go and doing macro-distance subjects. You will not be using this for fill flash in the sunshine. If I set the shutter speed in the app to "MIN", I get banding, which I assume doesn't happen with newer phones.

What's frustrating about using the app is that it's translated, so they do odd things like use PWD for "password" everywhere. Bluetooth connection is only through the app, not through the iOS system settings. They also don't tell you in the manual where the Bluetooth connection procedure is documented that the default initial password is "000000" :). [It's in the reset procedure section. I was a professional techwriter for 25+ years, this annoys me].

In addition, the app is too general-purpose, and completely ignorant of which lights you're using, so all settings are available at all times, regardless or not of whether you can use them. MULTI (which didn't work for me), LED panel settings, are not grayed out and fully selectable even when not applicable. This isn't a problem in most cases, but being able to swap between Auto and Manual for all lights when you really only have M for everything except the A1 is misleading.

You cannot control any lights in TTL with the app, as dmward explained. So, the "Auto" setting on the A1 is only for the A1. And weirdly, it's not just doing the simple autothyristor thing, but is actually metering with a noticeable pre-flash. There's a definite lag between the preflash and main flash burst with A, so watch for a double pop from the A1. The LED "modeling light" can be turned on/off, but brightness cannot be adjusted, though there is a proportional/50%/100% setting for it, which probably works for the studio strobes with modeling lights, but not the A1. (As I said, not graying out the inapplicable stuff leads you into wondering why settings aren't doing anything).

You can set the A1 to be any group that Godox understands. I've put it in Group E with no problems.

The App does make you swap back and forth between the camera mode and the flash settings page to adjust the lights, which is a bit of a pain, but not horrible. There is a slider on the camera screen that can be used to adjust the A1's power on the fly, but only in A mode. In M mode, it does nothing and for lights other than the A1 it does nothing. There are also two icons on the screen one on the upper left to bring up white balance settings, and one on the right that tells you if the lights have recycled. Neither are particularly intuitive, and the help in the app is your only guide. Good luck with that. You have to tap the gear wheel to get access to the ISO and shutter speed settings. Not one of the best camera apps I've ever used. ;)

The power setting in M is also annoying. The - and + "buttons" only go up and down by 1/3EV, and left/right swiping goes up and down by a full stop. I think I would have preferred a simple slider with the +/- for fine tuning. Also, on a 5S screen, I'm still scrolling, even for just three groups. The universal +/- at the top is not something you can hide if you just want to see the groups. The app definitely needs some refinement.

Also, for the selfie-driven among you, this app is not good for that, as it can't be used with the front camera. Selfies have to be done with the back camera, but the app won't fire unless/until you achieve focus and there's no face-detection AF, only AF by tapping the screen (facepalm).

OK. That's all the confusing not-expected stuff out of the way. The good stuff is that it works. You take a photo with the phone, and your OCF is in it. You can use the LED like a flashlight :) as well as a modelling light or main light. You can use the A1's flash like a flash. You can easily use a remote Godox flash (I tested my TT350-O and my TT685-C as slaves--both worked fine, although obviously TTL and HSS aren't in the equation from the iPhone). I have no X1T, so couldn't test how the app works used in concert with one.

The buttons and hardware controls on the A1, unlike the app, are very intuitive. You can set group, channel, mode and FEC/power level very easily. It's very easy to check the group, mode, power setting, channel, Bluetooth connection status, and battery level. The USB charging/firmware upgrade port is USB3 and they include a cable with a USB-A connector on the other end.

And yes, you can save off your lighting/group settings using the Export function and load them using the Import function. And you have to associate one of the photos the app has access to with the preset you've exported before you save it, so you have a visual reminder of what those settings were for. Too bad you can't use TTL and I don't see any HSS on/off setting. [facepalm].

I also found a secondary use for the A1 which is that if it's not connected to the iPhone via Bluetooth, it can still be used as an in-hand master/remote to pop the lights (say, if you were using a handheld light meter--the A1 has what I presume is a sync-in 2.5mm port). I also guess that you could use it on a different channel with an X1R as a remote shutter release if you had an on-camera X1T as your flash master.

As a slave, it works as expected. Granted, I was stupid and had my master set the group to M and HSS and kept wondering why I was only seeing flash in the top of the frame (headdesk). Once I took it out of HSS, sync was fine.

One other thing I found amusing is that the Flashpoint M1 comes in a white box with slightly upscale packaging. Almost aping Apple. But there's no case for the unit in the box. And Adorama stuffed it into a giant UPS express box to mail it to me 3-day for free.

Overall, probably of too limited use/too expensive for what it is for most folks, even the iPhone-only photographers, but a fun toy. An interesting first try, and if Apple ever figures out how to increase sync speed of the electronic shutter, or Godox manages to build the functionality into their transmitters or has the X1T talk do the camera communication with the app so that TTL and HSS with Godox lights is functional from the app settings, then it becomes very interesting. But maybe not quite there, yet.

Curious to see what firmware and app upgrades will bring.

In the meantime, I can snap food shots with my iPhone with a little OCF, and that's all I was hoping for. :)


I'm a woman. I shoot with a Fuji X100T, Panasonic GX-7, Canon 5DmkII, and 50D. flickr stream (external link)

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inkista
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Sep 29, 2017 15:28 |  #29

dmward wrote in post #18459059 (external link)
Haven't hear about the A1 mini. Probably everything but the lights. :-)

That would make sense, but I've also read the opposite guess, too: everything but the RF control. :) I like your idea better.

I have to admit that I really liked Robert Hall's wish that the Bluetooth/app communication capability be built directly into the Godox on-camera transmitter (say, next version of the XPro?).


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Godox A1 - New Smartphone lighting appliance
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