Godox Propac PB-820 battery pack review

No longer a throwaway Chinese brand found only in obscure online shops or eBay, Godox products are now widely distributed in Europe by companies such as Walimex and Elemental. Their latest multi-front assault on the portable flash market include the Leadpower LP750 pure sine wave battery pack, the Reemix RMII wireless trigger and Propac PB-820 high voltage battery pack, reviewed here.

Godox Propac PB820

The most striking feature of the Godox Propac is its lime green cover. For the less brash photographers amongst us, fear not, the PB-820 is also available in black. The top panel is incredibly simple, featuring a single DIN 45326 socket (compatible with Quantum Turbo cables) which doubles up as both the output and input port. Power is controlled by a simple on/off button and charging status is displayed by a ring of LEDs. Strap lugs on each side allow the fitting of a shoulder strap (no strap is included) or there is a belt clip.

Warning: The Godox Propac is not compatible with all types of Quantum chargers, despite what is written in their instruction manual. Please see here for more information.

Most surprising for me was the battery pack’s light weight. The Propac is a mere 502 grams which belies its size (150*104*44mm). From this compact package the manufacturer claims you can get up to 320 full power flashes. Inside the Propac is a 9.6V nickel metal hydride 2000 mAh battery.

Working in events photography, I regularly use the Propac with an on-camera TTL Nikon SB-800 and take well over 300 bounce flash photographs in a night. I’ve never seen the unit below half charge, even when neglecting to charge the pack between two jobs. Indeed, my AA batteries, effectively only powering the speedlight’s liquid crystal display, ran out more quickly than the Propac.

For European users at least, cables are easy to come by. Elemental Europe sell Sony, Canon and Nikon cords for £20 apiece, while Walimex Pro also have them for around €20. Quantum cords, by comparison, go for over £40. The Din connector is secure and reliable and I have never feared for it coming loose, even pushing and shoving with revellers in a crowded nightclub. Even with half a pint of someone’s drink spilled on the pack, nobody got electrocuted and there were no apparent electrical problems. That said, don’t try this at home!

With AA batteries alone, a Nikon SB-800 recycles from a full power flash in around 5 seconds or so. With the Propac, that time is slashed to under a second.

Where to buy

You can buy the Godox Propac PB820 for around US$200 on eBay, €160 from Foto-Walser and £159 from Elemental.

Update: This battery pack is now sold in the USA, rebranded as the Bolt Cyclone by B&H Photo.

  • http://www.pahountis.gr george pahountis

    does this means you could power a q flash with this pack?
    thank you for the review!

  • chuck

    dealextreme sells it WITH cables and free delivery worldwide for $110: http://goo.gl/ZV9Qs

  • Trail

    Whats the difference between this godox and this then, apart from more than twice the cost, less battery power, lighter weight and only one output?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190383397498&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    • David A. Selby

      Perhaps we should do a comparison?

  • http://www.fotoshopaalten.nl Roland Stolte

    Hi,

    You can also get it here in the Netherlands:

    http://www.fotoshopaalten.nl/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=PB-820+accupack

    Pricing includes, a powerpack, cable, a set (4 pieces) of extra Maha 2400 AA batteries (only the green edition) and free shipping.

  • http://www.pahountis.gr george pahountis

    ”Perhaps we should do a comparison?”
    yes please!!!

    • David A. Selby

      We have written to iShoot/Photoloving to see if they are prepared to offer us a sample unit to test.

      • Juan

        That would be great! I like the Godox, but the feature that I like from the Ishoot is the double output.
        I shoot with double speedlight mounted on a bar inside a softbox.
        May be I can build a double cable for the Godox. I should buy two cables….

  • Trail

    I would have bought the IShoot one a long time ago (because 8 AAs are awkward to charge for the CP-E4), if only it had a decent warranty – 7 days isn’t much.

  • lukeap69

    I have been using the iShoot batteries for more than a year now and I have had no issues up to now. I use them with 580EX II, Sunpak 120J and Shining portable strobe. Excellent product.

  • http://foliotab.com/site/1466259078 Raw4waR
  • Juan

    Does anybody tried to powered two speedlights with one of these. I think I can build a double cable from two cables…. Any thoughts ?

  • http://www.tiffinbox.org Seshu

    How long does it take to charge one of these units? Is it 2 hours or 6 hours?

    • http://foliotab.com/site/1466259078 Raw4waR

      2 hours

  • pat_b

    Hi
    I use it on Nikon speedlitght , very good product

    @Juan If you have any solution to plug one Godox for 2 speedlights can you telle me how ?

    @Seshu Never more than 2 hours but the propac was never empty

  • http://www.joyfay.com nikola
  • richard

    bought one from deal extreme it worked for 1 day then would not turn on again.

    deal extreme have not replied to any of my emails so i would suggest avoiding them and use some other seller on Ebay

    • Davidos

      I had a problem with mine too. Seems the connection to the 580EXII was not all it should be. The fix was simple. I was able to tighten the connection points in the end of the cable that goes into the flash with a strong pin. Works flawlessly now. ;)

  • looma

    Someone wrote a review about these, and said that it contains 8 AA rechargeable batteries.

    • Juan

      I read another who said is just 4 battery cell inside.

      Mine after a year, look like doesn’t hold the charge anymore. First flash after charge take 3 seconds now, and it was just 1 second when I bought it.

      Any similar experience or solution ?

  • smoothie

    This is a great product that works very well with my old 550EX.
    Good finish and a great strap. Connectors are not locked but cables are tight anyway. *****

  • http://photogallery.biswas.ch Gautam Biswas

    I am interested to get one ProPac PB820 to power my Canon 600EX-RT. But would like to know if the Propac has the thermal cut-out safety feature to prevent meltdown of the flash when fired in rapid succession.

    • Frank

      The Canon 600EX-RT, just like all hotshoe flashes, still used those outdated regular flashtube, has overheating circuit protections.

      Do not use the 24-70/2.8L or 24-105/4L unless you want to melt the Fresnel lens.

  • Frank

    I prefer using the Godox Propac PB960 Battery Pack with my ATG Gold MG8k Flash.

    Just to let you all know that this is the only set up that can keep up with my ATG Canon EOS-1D C camera. Yes, that’s a “C” not “X”.

    I can change the battery under 20 seconds rather than waiting for it to recharge when battery runs low or out. Love that extra battery adapter for the PB960.

    The PB960 is a better choices over the USA overpriced Turbo 3.

  • Jo

    I have both the black and green one and they failed me miserably. They do fire every second but after around 100 they start missing the next shot. In my last event I thought something was wrong with the first because three consecutives shots were near to a black out and so i swapped it with the other. I used Canon 600 ex-rt. Same problem. Utterly disgusted. Now I aim for a Quantum.

  • Ronna

    Just got the battery pack and am confused if I need to have AA batteries in my 580exll speedlite as well. I believe I do as it won’t work without the batteries but why does the flash need the internal batteries? When the batter pack is hooked up, does it only pull energy from the battery pack? Lets hope so. Thanks,

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      The flash needs internal batteries to power the screen and the control panel.

      • Eman

        Just purchased the pack last week and I had the same question. Thank you David. ~Eman

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