Chinese lighting manufacturer Godox has already released a few products in 2017 that have helped a lot of strobists build lighting kits with a modest investment. Most notably the Godox AD-200 (also sold as the Flashpoint eVolv) has become a crowd favorite for a portable and powerhouse flash.
More recently Godox added Fuji and Olympus/Panasonic versions of the TT350 (Flashpoint Zoom-Mini R2 TTL), which is a smaller speedlight aimed to be a better fit for mirrorless cameras.
The TT350 has TTL, HSS, and radio connectivity to the rest of the Godox lineup, which really helps Fuji users expand their flash options.
The Godox AD200 and larger AD600B (Flashpoint XPLOR) both received an expected firmware update recently which enables it to receive the flash signal and TTL information from the TT350O and TT350F, as well as the X1T-O/X1T-F radio triggers (the latter of which is expected to start shipping late July). If this wasn’t big enough news for Fuji/Olympus users, Godox also quietly updated their TTL speedlights (V860II and TT685) and AD360II as well.
The firmware updated on June 28th enables the TTL-capable X series lineup to do cross-brand TTL and cross-brand HSS. Any of the brand-specific lights designed for Canon, Nikon, and Sony all (such as the V860II-N, AD360II-C, and TT685S) can now function as TTL/HSS lights regardless of the brand triggering them so long as the master signal matches up with the camera brand.
When a Godox flash of one brand detects the master signal coming from another brand, it converts the signal and denotes it in the bottom left of the radio slave screen.
Cross-brand TTL isn’t a new concept, the Cactus brand has been rolling out X-TTL now as they add compatibility between brands. Unfortunately they are still limited to Sigma, Sony, and Fuji, which leaves out the two biggest camera brands.
Other proprietary systems such as the RoboSHOOT have managed to create X-TTL and HSS between Fuji cameras and Nikon flashes. Godox seems to be the first to crack the code across all the major brands, as around the world people are confirming compatibility between various brands. It’s worth noting that this information is the result of photographers from the Godox User Group on Facebook tinkering between flashes, as Godox made no official announcement on their website or social media.
Godox also has an X1R receiver for each brand that allows you to use the X1T transmitter to control (manual power adjustment, TTL, HSS, TTL compensation) non-godox speedlight products, such as the SB-910 and Canon 600-EX-RT. Some users are reporting after the firmware update that they can utilize the cross-brand functionality on the non-Godox products as well.
I myself was able to test this with a Godox TT350F on an X-T2 triggering the V860ii-N off-camera. As others experienced, the TTL worked as if it was for the native brand, and I saw no black bars when triggering in HSS (I had the TT350F set to no flash to ensure the result was only from the V860II-N).
I did try to flip the scenario, using a V860II-N on my Nikon D750 to trigger a TT350F off camera. While it worked in manual, TTL did not function. It seems the TT350 does not have the X-TTL. Since it has no usb port for firmware updates, it’s safe to say it never will.
These early successes of cross-brand functionality are exciting for a number of reasons. Photographers using multiple camera brands would have access to more of their lighting equipment without investing in 2 of everything. It also makes it simpler to borrow or try out the full functionality of a system. Most importantly, this could have a great impact on the pricing of flash equipment down the road. If companies are able to develop a single flash unit that can work across 6 camera brands with full functionality, they will be able to save a ton of money on development, organizing, and distributing that equipment, and (possibly) pass that savings on to the consumers.
While this technology is still developing, Fuji and Panasonic users can now enjoy TTL and HSS for off-camera flash on the following Godox equipment (with the Flashpoint rebrand in parentheses).
Nikon, Canon, and Sony users can now enjoy the same functionality they are used to across the various brands.