Review: Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TTL Battery Powered Monolight (Sony TTL)

The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TTL is a professional grade monolight with a competitive price tag.

The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TTL Battery Powered Monolight is an improved version of the already excellent Flashpoint XPLOR 600. While Flashpoint may be a relatively new player in pro grade camera lighting equipment market compared to established European brands like Broncolor, Elinchrom, and Profoto, they have been developing and releasing new products at a rapid pace–putting the old guard on notice with competitively priced products as well as offering support to camera systems that didn’t necessarily get the same level of love from the European brands. For those not aware, Flashpoint is actually one of Adorama’s in house brands, with Chinese lighting equipment manufacturer Godox being the OEM, and the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro can also be found under the Godox brand as the Godox WITSTRO AD600 Pro.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • TTL built in
  • Improved Bowens mounting system
  • Compatible with almost all camera systems on the market as long as you’ve got the corresponding remote
  • Excellent battery life
  • Very fast recycle time
  • Completely wireless when using included battery pack (optional AC power adapter available if you’re planning on using this in a studio environment and want to keep the light plugged in at all times)

Cons

  • Not compatible with flash tube and battery pack from previous generation XPLOR 600
  • Did not fire once during testing, despite audible beep signaling the monolight was ready to be fired again (might have been a result of batteries in R2 Pro remote running low)

 

Gear Used

The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TTL Battery Powered Monolight was tested with the Sony A7RII, Sony A7RIII, Nikon D850, corresponding Flashpoint R2 Pro triggers for Sony and Nikon, and the Glow EZ Lock 60″ Octa Quick XXL Softbox.

 

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TLL Battery Powered Monolight was taken from the official Adorama product page.

Model Xplor 600Pro TTL
Power 600Ws
Guide Number 285 ft /87 m ISO100 – with standard reflector
Compatible Cameras w/R2 Wireless Radio Canon E-TTL II, Nikon i-TTL, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm
Flash Mode Wireless off
M/Multi
Slave Unit of R2 radio transmission
TTL/M/Multi
Flash Duration 1/220 to 1/10000 seconds
Power Output 9 Stops: 1/256~1/1
Stroboscopic Flash Up to 100Hz
Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) Manual.Adjustable±3 stops in 1/3 stop increments.
Sync Mode High Speed Sync (up to 1/8000 second), First-Curtain Sync, and Second-Curtain Sync
Delay Feature 0.01~30 seconds
Color Temperature 5600±200K
Mask Yes
Fan Yes
Beeper Yes
Modeling Lamp (LED) 38W/4800?K / TLIC: 93
Optical Slave Sensor S1/S2
Direct Sync 3.5mm Sync cord and Optical Slave Sensor
Flash Duration Indication Yes
Display Dot-matrix LCD Panel
Wireless Flash Function Slave, off
Controllable Slave Groups 2.4Ghz
5 (A, B, C, D, and E)
Transmission Range (approx.) 2.4Ghz
262ft / 80m
Channels 2.4Ghz
32 (1~32)
Wireless ID 2.4Ghz
99
Power Supply Lithium Battery pack (28.8v/2600mah)
Full power flashes 360
Recycle time Approximately 0.01-0.9s
Battery indicator Yes
Power indication Power off automatically after approximately 30~120 minutes of idle operation.
User selectable in Custom Functions
Dimension (with battery) 10×9.65×5″/ 250x245x125mm(sans flash tube & reflector)
Net Weight (with battery) 6.6lb / 3kg

 

Ergonomics

The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is slightly longer and heavier than its predecessor, but looks significantly sleeker and feels a lot more premium. Here is the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro next to my Sony A7RII with the Flashpoint R2 Pro remote attached.

While you will find the controls and display on the rear of some monolights from competing brands, Flashpoint has chosen to keep most of the controls as well as the display to the side of the XPLOR 600 Pro, just as it had done with its previous model. I personally prefer this style because I can see the settings much easier when I’ve got a monolight setup on a C Stand, as the display is still visible from the side of a monolight as opposed to when the display is on located on the rear and the monolight is angled up towards the ceiling.

A large LCD display along with most of the control buttons can be found on one side of the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro. The LCD display shows the current settings of the monolight at all times, and the back light will turn on whenever you’re adjusting any settings. Beginning counterclockwise from the top right, you will the buttons for Group/Channel Selection, Wireless Selection, Mode Selection, Menu, High Speed Sync, Modeling Lamp, Audio Beep, Flash Recycle Indicator/Test, as well as the Mode Dial and Mode Set button.

Curiously, Flashpoint elected to relocate the power button to the bottom of the XPLOR 600 Pro. I’m not sure what the rationale was behind the power button’s relocation, as the power button was located on the side along with the other buttons on the predecessor. Perhaps it got turned on too easily in storage?

Moving towards the top rear of the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro, you will find the Wireless Control USB Port, USB Type-C Port, 3.5mm Sync Cord plug, as well as the lithium ion battery pack. The Wireless Control USB Port is designed to work with older Flashpoint R1 (Godox FT-16) receivers while the USB Type-C Port is used exclusively for firmware upgrades. If you’re one of the five people still using PC Sync Cords with digital cameras, the plug is there too. On the top left of the battery is the Battery Charger Port, as well as the Charge Level Indicator and the Battery Status button. Pressing the Battery Status button will cause the Charge Level Indicator to light up, showing how much charge the battery pack has.

On the opposite side of the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is where you’ll find the Bowens mount modifier lock release. A reflector comes included with the XPLOR 600 Pro, simply slide the modifier lock release back to remove the reflector if you want to attach any other Bowens style modifier to the monolight.

Here’s a look at the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro with the included reflector removed. The flash tube is no longer recessed like the predecessor, spreading light much more evenly.

You can see the 38W LED modeling lamp underneath the flash tube. It’s much brighter than the 10W LED modeling lamp from the predecessor.

Here’s a top down view of the front of the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro with the flash tube attached, along with the Flashpoint R2 Pro remote and the included reflector. You will also notice the umbrella holder to the right of the light stand mount.

Here’s a view of the front of the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro with the flash tube removed. You can see the flash tub sockets surrounding the 38W LED modeling lamp, along with the Bowens mount. Note that the flash tube for the XPLOR 600 Pro has been redesigned from the ground up, and is not backwards compatible with existing XPLOR 600 monolights. XPLOR 600 flash tubes are also not compatible with the new flash tube socket design of the XPLOR 600 Pro.

The light stand mount on the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is much improved over the one that came attached to the previous model. The new light stand mount thankfully no longer makes loud obnoxious clicking noises when you’re adjusting the tilt angle of the monolight.

The included lithium ion battery pack is removable. You can purchase an optional AC Adapter that uses the same connection mechanism if you plan on using the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro in a studio environment. Extra battery packs are also available if you shoot on location frequently and do not have access to AC power. I haven’t managed to drain the battery pack on the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro during my tests, but mileage may vary. Note that the battery pack of the XPLOR 600 Pro has been redesigned as well, and is not backwards compatible with existing XPLOR 600 battery packs.

 

Build Quality

The fit and finish on the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is top notch, and feels like a much more premium piece of equipment when compared to the already solid Flashpoint XPLOR 600. While the XPLOR 600 Pro didn’t take a spill like its predecessor during our tests, I’m sure it’ll hold up just as well. In fact, the reflector that comes included with the XPLOR 600 Pro feels a lot more solid than the one that came with the XPLOR 600. A reflector cover is also included with the XPLOR 600 Pro, and the combination of the reflector and reflector cover provides much more protection to the flash tube when transporting the monolight than the plastic flash tube cover that came with the predecessor.

To be fair, the Flashpoint lights still aren’t as solid as Profoto’s options, but for the price point one really can’t complain.

 

Ease of Use

The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is a very versatile monolight, especially when paired with the Flashpoint R2 Pro remotes. You can certainly control the XPLOR 600 with the original R2 trigger, but the R2 Pro triggers are much more user friendly, and are available for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony. The R2 Pro remote gives you much quicker access to all of the functionalities of the XPLOR 600 Pro (toggling between TTL and Manual mode, adjusting light output, turning the modeling lamp on or off, etc). Recycle time with the XPLOR 600 Pro was consistently quick, never exceeding a second at full power, and taking even less time with the light output dialed down. High speed sync also worked flawlessly. As of press time, Flashpoint currently supports the widest array of camera systems on the market. During my tests of the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro the monolight functioned flawlessly, with the rare exception being when it failed to fire despite the recycle beep signalling that the monolight was ready. This may have been caused by the fact that my R2 Pro remote was starting to run low on batteries, after replacing the batteries in the remote with fresh ones however, I was unable to replicate the misfiring issue with the XPLOR 600 Pro.

 

Image Quality

When shooting on location, I always prefer to use monolights over speedlights whenever possible. While monolights are larger in size, their light outputs are significantly more powerful while recycling much faster than speedlights. This allows me to work quickly and efficiently, provided that I have an assistant on hand to hold the monolight or to make sure the monolight is securely attached to a light stand. I can also light a much larger area using a monolight with a large modifier, as I did in the image above, which was shot using the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro modified with a Glow EZ Lock 60″ Octa Quick XXL Softbox. Here are a few more images from the same shoot using this monolight and modifier combo.

Color consistency with the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro was excellent, with little to no discernible color temperature differences detected during my tests. This is a definite improvement over its predecessor, which had the tendency to produce warmer images on occasion. To give you a bit more insight into this, we often manually white balance to 5500K daylight when shooting and the results stayed consistent.

 

 

 

Conclusions

Likes

  • Superb build quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Consistent performance

Dislikes

  • Honestly none

With a MSRP of US $998.00, the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is certainly less affordable than its predecessor. However, with all of the improvements that Flashpoint has packed into the XPLOR 600 Pro, the price premium is well worth it in my opinion. Featuring excellent built quality, premium fit and finish, consistently performance, exceptional color accuracy, speedy recycle times, and outstanding battery life, the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro is a professional grade monolight with an aggressively competitive price tag, and serves as an excellent alternative to the pricier monolight offerings from competing European manufacturers.

The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TTL Battery Powered Monolight earns five out of five stars.