Godox is a quality Chinese brand that offers alternatives to products from Canon and other high-end flash manufacturers at a lower price. Of course, there are some sacrifices here and there, but is compatibility one of them?
Godox flashes (aka Flashpoint), speedlights, and strobes are compatible with Canon cameras. Godox TTL speedlights (speedlite) such as TT685C, TT350C, V860C, V1-C, and V350C are the Canon variant and work with Canon. Studio strobes and flashes such as the AD200, AD400, and AD600, require a TTL-compatible trigger such as the Godox X2TC or X Pro-C.
If you are worried whether the Godox flash you are going for will be compatible with Canon cameras, rest assured, there shouldn’t be any issues. Just ensure you get the Canon version of the flash you have your eye on, and everything will work just fine.
How Do I Know Whether A Godox Flash Is Compatible With My Canon Camera?
Godox (aka Flashpoint), as a manufacturer, produces all sorts of lights, flashes, strobes, speedlights, and triggers for most major camera manufacturers. That said, they do as much as possible to make every product of their lineup as compatible as possible.
Of course, Canon will push back from time to time, after all, they need to sell their own flashes too. One of those examples is Canon removing the center pin on the camera’s hot shoe, preventing the use of third-party manual flashes.
Godox fixed that compatibility with a firmware update, meaning you can use your Godox flash on a “crippled” entry-level Canon camera.
Buying: If you’re buying a Godox flash, strobe or speedlight, then you need to look for the Canon variant of the product. The model number is appended with “C” for Canon. Other variants will have “S” for Sony and “N” for Nikon etc.
Already Own: To check whether the flash you have mounted is compatible with your Canon camera, simply navigate to “External Speedlite Control” in your Canon camera menu. You can find it in the red menu section. When you enter the External Speedlite Control submenu, if the flash is incompatible with your Canon camera, you’ll get a message notifying you of the incompatibility.
Otherwise, you should be able to control the flash from the submenu, provided there are settings that you can control.
When it comes to speedlights there are two main types of speedlights: manual and TTL-enabled ones. Manual speedlights are just that, manual. Every setting has to be input by the user.
TTL-enabled speedlights are capable of communicating with the camera, and the camera can adjust its outputs, which means that you can use TTL flashes in auto mode. Basically, TTL calculates the flash power required to light the subject at the correct exposure. Manual flashes don’t do this.
As for compatibility, it depends on which sort of flash or speedlight you have.
Manual speedlights, in my experience, work just fine regardless of the brand they are made for, as long as the flash and the camera have the center pin on the hot shoe. I’ve successfully used manual Nikon speedlights on my Canon cameras without any issues. Godox manual speedlights, such as the TT600 Thinklite, work on Canon cameras too.
However, to avoid future incompatibilities, because Canon can mess that up via firmware updates or outright crippling their cameras, make sure that you get a Canon variant of the flash if there is one.
For a number of years now, in my professional photography work, I’ve used Godox speedlights on my Canon camera. Personally use the V860II which is a TTL speedlight. And it works well for my work. If it didn’t, I’d get rid of it and pay the extra money for a Canon speedlight instead.
TTL flashes, or E-TTL II for Canon, require a bit more communication between the flash and the camera. For that reason, Godox makes Canon variants from all of the speedlights they produce.
For example, if you want to use E-TTL II with a Godox V1 speedlight, you’ll have to go for the Godox V1C. That is the Canon variant of the flash. That way, the camera will communicate with the flash perfectly, and it will be able to meter and change the flash power for you.
So, if you are looking for an E-TTL II flash from Godox, then these would be the compatible flashes: V1-C, V860III C, V350C, TT685C, and TT350C.
I’m currently using a TT685C, and it is fully compatible with every Canon camera I own, and I highly recommend it. You can get it for under $200.
Unlike speedlights, external strobes are a bit more complicated. Mainly because you aren’t mounting them directly on your camera, instead, you need to use a trigger device so you can fire those flashes. In this case, the trigger you use dictates the compatibility of the flash.
Just like speedlights, external flashes and strobes come in both manual and TTL (or E-TTL II) versions.
The trigger type enables the E-TTL II metering with strobes that support TTL. In other words, if you want to let the camera decide the power of the flash, you need a Godox trigger for Canon, like the X2TC or the X Pro-C. Along with a TTL-enabled trigger, you also need a TTL-capable strobe.
It is important to note that Godox strobes that support TTL can be used with every camera brand as long as Godox makes a TTL-enabled trigger for that brand.
In other words, if you own an AD600 Pro, and you have a Canon and a Nikon camera, both cameras can have TTL functionality with the AD600 Pro, as long as the triggers you use are compatible with the camera.
Currently, the only Godox strobes that support TTL are the battery-powered AD series of flashes, like the AD200 Pro, AD 400 Pro, AD600 and AD600 Pro, and so forth.
I’m currently using an AD600BM, which you can get for under $500. It is powerful and consistent, works beautifully with Canon, and the battery lasts forever.
Flashpoint Speedlights, Strobes and Flashes: Are they Compatible With Canon?
You may have heard of the Flashpoint brand and wondered if their line of strobes, flashes and speedlights are compatible with Canon cameras. Flashpoint is actually the same product as Godox, except rebranded for Adorama.
Flashpoint speedlights, strobes and flashes are all compatible with Canon cameras. For Flashpoint products with the TTL feature, the Canon variant of the product must be purchased for it to work correctly. A Canon compatible flash trigger must be used for studio strobes and flashes that have the TTL feature.
e.g. use the Flashpoint R2 PRO C (C for Canon) trigger (transmitter) with the popular Flashpoint XPLOR 600, XPLOR 400 and Flashpoint eVOLV 200 products.
Further reading: Flashpoint VS Godox: Are They The Same?
Compatibility Doesn’t Always Imply Consistency
In my experience, things that are compatible aren’t always consistent. When it comes to Godox flashes, they are very consistent when used in manual mode, regardless of the flash type (speedlight or a strobe). That is they fire every time and have consistent light output.
When you need TTL, on the other hand, Godox flashes are compatible, but they aren’t always consistent. You see, TTL metering (aka: through the lens metering) requires a lot of math done between the camera and the flash.
Canon doesn’t want to share their math and communication protocols, so Godox has to reverse engineer them. With that, communication isn’t always perfect. So if you really need a consistent E-TTL II metering, and consistency is of utmost importance, then a Canon speedlight is a better choice.
Godox will be consistent in around 8 out of 10 shots, and it is not too bad when it miscalculates. At the end of the day, Godox flashes cost a third of what Canon flashes cost, sometimes even less. In my book, that is a trade-off that I’m willing to take.