For every “natural light” photographer, the moment eventually comes where one can no longer get away with hiding behind the weatherman as an excuse for postponing a shoot.
Having been reliant on the bureau of meteorology for far too long, I came to realise that this far-from-ideal, panic-inducing situation had to change.
So, my 2020 Covid-induced pivot-point became that of education and upskilling in the form of learning the basics of studio lighting.
Knowing where to begin in terms of artificial lighting can be a daunting task. Thankfully, it was made somewhat easier by being able to jump onto sites like Shotkit and read through the thoughts and musings of fellow pro photographers who have taken the road less travelled.
I’ve found this site to be a literal light in the dark when it comes to knowing what’s best to have in my kit as I turn my hand to studio lighting equipment.
So of course, when I was asked to review the Godox DP400III Professional Studio Flash, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on an affordable, entry-level professional strobe to work with from my home studio.
Straight out of the box, the assembly and setup of the Godox DP400III was a breeze, and the well-built aluminium body impressed me with its sturdy and durable build.
Paired with some additional Godox Bowens mount modifiers and the Godox Xpro (N) trigger, I felt ready to start putting into practice everything I had learned, almost immediately and with very little fanfare.
Let’s take a closer look at the details of this popular strobe light.
Table of Contents
Godox DP400III Studio Flash Specs
- AC mains powered
- Sturdy aluminium build
- Solid mounting points with very good (almost 180-degree) rotation
- Bowens mount & umbrella point for modifiers
- Large LCD display
- Excellent recycle time (1 sec)
- Easy to assemble and operate
- Affordable professional studio strobe
- Doesn’t come with any kit reflector
- Not ideal for use outdoors due to being AC mains powered
With built-in Godox wireless X system, the upgraded DPIII series studio flash has faster recycle times and is Bowens compatible with various studio flash accessories.
DPIII series studio flashes are ideal light sources for wedding, portrait, fashion and product photography.
Some key features are:
• 99 wireless ID settings (01-99) to limit the interference from other nearby systems
• Built-in Godox 2.4G wireless X system supports wireless remote control and triggering
• 1s recycling time
• 61 steps of power output from 1/64 to 1/1
• Bowens mount compatible with various light effect accessories
• Auto recover the adjusted settings once restarted
• Accurate colour temperature, stable power output
The Godox DP400III feels like a really quality built pro studio strobe.
Constructed of aluminium housing and a solid accessibility handle, the build feels sturdy and durable.
The metal mount points feel robust and offer both horizontal and vertical options for mounting the strobe to lighting or c-stands.
The Bowens mount and additional umbrella point allow for various modifiers to be paired with the strobe, making it pretty versatile if you’re like me and already have a huge collection of softboxes, umbrellas and other lighting accessories.
Size & Handling
The Godox DP400III is a good-sized strobe, weighing in at just over 2.5kg (5.51lbs).
The aluminium construction makes it feel sturdy and well-built without being overly cumbersome – which makes it quite portable.
It doesn’t come with a carry bag out of the box, so I’ll be investing in a smallish pelican case to take this flash with me to locations other than my home studio.
With 61 steps of power output from 1/64 to 1/1, the Godox DP400III packs a punch for a small studio strobe.
I tested it in my home studio (approx 4x4m space with 2.7m backdrop) on my beautiful old Pentax 645 medium format camera as a subject with great results.
I shot this image on my Nikon D850 at f/4.5 160ISO at 1/125sec shutter speed using a power output of 1/64 on the strobe with a Godox Bowens Mount Octagon Softbox and Honeycomb Grid modifier attached.
I used the Godox XPro (N) trigger to wirelessly fire the flash and shot handheld. With a hugely speedy recycle time of 1 second, the strobe fired every time without fail and setup was incredibly user friendly.
The colour temperature felt pretty accurate right from the get-go and the raw/edited versions above show very minimal colour cast.
The Godox DP400III is AC Mains powered using an IEC cable, making it highly portable and perfect for most indoor scenes.
The strobe comes with a 150W E27 modelling lamp inside the box and offers 1/1 – 1/64 power output with a super speedy recycle time of 1 sec.
My only disappointment was that this flash doesn’t come with an option for battery pack power for outdoor use.
(If you need something portable and don’t mind a decrease in power, the Godox AD200 is a portable battery-powered strobe that’s particularly popular with wedding photographers.)
The Godox DP400III features a large digital LCD display that’s incredibly user friendly and offers buttons with single functions for group/channel, modelling lamp, test fire, S1/S2 slave mode, wireless, custom function and beep.
The select dial and set button are simple to use and offer both decimal and fractional options.
An inbuilt USB port and sync cord jack allow for Godox legacy triggers to still be used with the flash.
The Godox DP400III comes from the Godox DPIII series of professional studio strobes. The series offers 400/600/800 and 1000w models.
For those starting out with studio lighting the Godox DP400III is the perfect entry point strobe for a small studio space.
Those photographers more well versed in studio lighting might prefer the more powerful output of the 800 or 1000 versions of this strobe. These would prove more versatile in larger studio spaces and in a variety of conditions.
Value for Money
For around the US$220 mark, the Godox DP400III is great value for money for those getting started with professional strobe lighting (like me).
It’s perfect as a single light source for a home studio and portable enough to be taken to small studio locations with relative ease.
Paired with the Godox XPro (N) trigger, setup and operation was a breeze.
Godox DP400III Studio Flash Review | Conclusion
Overall, I found the Godox DP400III a great entry point for professional photographers setting up basic studio lighting.
The quality of the build was impressive for the affordable investment and the outcomes delivered were well above expectations.
Ease of use is really important to me as someone only recently familiarising myself with studio lighting and the Godox DP400III really delivered in that respect.
With the Godox DP400III, it was almost a case of plug and play: it requires very little set-up and has clear and intuitive settings.
I’ll definitely be using this flash in my home studio in the future and look forward to adding a few more to my kit as I develop my studio lighting skills.
I really couldn’t recommend the Godox DP400III more highly to anyone looking for a quality built studio flash for a really accessible and affordable price.