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Why Lithium Photography Flashes Are Here To Stay

polaroid cameraPhotography is an amazing type of art which invites creativity and offers endless opportunities for seeing and capturing the World around us. Many photographers from the early 18th century aimed to create unforgettable images or simply capture monumental or every day events around them. And they relayed on their equipment: camera, lenses, photography flashes, strobes and photographic paper. As technology improved over time so the different types of images in conditions not possible before grew exponentially. Night photography became possible with the introduction of flashes and strobes, low light photography with the advances of camera sensors producing low noise images.

It seemed like the camera flashes although adding HSS and wireless connectivity somehow still remained trapped to AA batteries for powering them. And as everyone knows, these are not exactly the most durable and powerful stored energy sources. AA batteries tend to charge slowly, drain fast and flashes powered by them require long recycle (the time between a flash pop and flash ready state) times.

So I was so happy to see Godox introducing their VING line – the world first rechargeable Lithium-ion powered hotshoe strobe. Two models V850 and V860C offer both manual and fully compliant TTL flash for both Nikon and Canon camera bodies.

As a manual flash, V850 uses lithium-ion polymer battery instead of AA-sized batteries and external power pack. This brings three advantages: fast recycle time, more flash times, and convenience. It is an all manual flash to fit camera flash brands e.g. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.

V850 is the manual flash which has single pin hotshoe and works with any camera in full manual mode. It has grade number of 56GN and with fully charged battery can produce up to 650 flash pops. Much better than 250 flash pops for most AA powered flashes on the market today.

V860C is the Canon compliant TTL hotshoe flash. It works in TTL mode with any Canon TTL compatible trigger as well can be used in full manual mode. HSS support for up to 1/8000 sec sync up is supported and does offer S1/S2 slave configuration. It supports 650 flash pops with fully charged battery too.

Godox also offers wireless triggers for their flashes. Two models provide both the basic trigger only capability and power management plus trigger model:

– FT-16S trigger it has single pin hotshoe, offers remote manual power adjustment of V850 and V860C and can also trigger (but not adjust power) other Godox barebulb flashes (AD180/AD360) and monolights (QT, QS, GT, GS).

– Cells II trigger is the fully compatible Canon TTL hotshoe trigger capable of catching the preflash signal. It can trigger V850, V860, Witstro AD180, and AD360 flashes in HSS mode. Very useful if you work in bright sunlight. You have to carry an FT-16S in your pocket to adjust power remotely.

One can find the manual flash V8500 for about $150 eBay.

The advantages of the lithium battery are multifold. Power equivalent to 12 AAs means faster recycle time and more pops. And changing the battery pack, it’s just one square block you can swap with one hand. I do expect the rest of the major flash manufacturers as Canon, Nikon, Yongnuo, Cheetah to follow suit and offer lithium-ion powered flashes in their line so photographers can have the freedom to shoot longer and with lower flash recycle times.

Agree, disagree, have another point of view on the topic? Drop me a line or add a comment.


Written by Trifon Anguelov

Trifon Anguelov Photography is based in Mountain View, CA and is providing Wedding and Events Photography services

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