Godox A1 phone flash system revealed

Godox has revealed the A1, an off-camera flash and 2.4GHz wireless trigger that syncs with smartphones via Bluetooth.

Godox A1

Godox has unveiled the A1, a radio flash system for smartphones. The Godox A1 is an off-camera flash and trigger in one unit. As well as its own built-in Xenon and LED flashes, the A1 has a 2.4 GHz radio trigger for synchronising your phone camera with any of Godox’s radio-enabled flashguns and studio heads.

The Godox A1 synchronises with an iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth. You can control the light using a smartphone app, which can trigger the flash or use the continuous LED lamp for video shooting.

The unit acts like a relay between a Bluetooth-enabled handset and Godox’s 2.4 GHz flashes, including the Ving and TT-series speedlights, Witstro-series bare-bulb flashes and Quicker monolights. You will also be able to adjust Godox-brand LED lamps via the app.

Pictures published on the manufacturer’s Facebook page show the Godox A1 synchronising a Ving V860 II flashgun with an iPhone via a camera app.

Godox A1
Godox A1 used as an on-axis flash for iPhone photography

The flash is completely wireless, allowing you to boost the power of your built-in flash by holding it next to your handset (there is a magnet/sticky pad to keep it there), or position it off-camera for creative lighting effects.

Godox A1
Using the Godox A1 as an off-camera flash with the iPhone

From the pictures, we can see that the Godox A1 has a manual power mode, with adjustment down to at least 1/16 of full power. There is also a TTL or Auto mode, complete with flash exposure compensation. You can control this from the buttons and dial on the device itself, or using the GodoxPhotos mobile app.

Godox A1
Using the Godox A1 as an off-camera flash with the iPhone
Godox A1
Triggering a Godox Ving V860 II flashgun with the Godox A1 and an iPhone

The GodoxPhotos app lets you adjusting the power levels of three groups of flashes, or colour temperature of three groups of bi-colour LED video lamps.

GodoxPhotos iOS app
Controlling up to three groups of flashes via Bluetooth with the GodoxPhotos iOS app

Another example setup is a portrait taken with the iPhone 7 Plus, Godox A1 and Godox Quicker 600 II monolight, at 1/20 second shutter speed and Iso-25.

Example photo with Godox A1
Godox A1 example. iPhone 7 Plus with Godox Quicker 600II. Aperture f/1.8 at Iso-25, 1/20 second. Picture by 觉摄 (Jue She)

And here’s the setup:

Godox A1 portrait setup
Godox A1 studio setup

If the A1 really works reliably, it could massively increase the creative options available to cameraphone photographers and even make it possible to shoot a whole studio session with a smartphone.

This isn’t the first time a company has tried to marry off-camera flash with cameraphones. A number of LED flashes are available, including the Nova and iBlazr.

Getting phones to work with Xenon flashes — the kind of bulbs used in speedlights and studio heads — is more difficult, but that’s what the Tric flash trigger is designed to do. App-based solutions have also been touted, using a kind of ‘reverse optical slave’ that takes a picture when it sees a flash going off — with mixed results.

What do you think of the Godox A1? Are you ready to swap your system camera for a smartphone? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Visit the Godox web site for more information and sample photos.

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.