So, somehow we have managed to find ourselves working our way through reviewing all the popular entry-level flash units currently available on the market right now. The articles seem to be going down well so far and we are around halfway through managing to cover all the entry-level flashes so we have decided to make our Godox TT520 review the next article in the series.
Now, with the TT520 coming in with a sub $50 price tag it is definatley to be considered an entry-level flash unit. Now the problem with the entry-level flash unit market is that the Neewer TT560 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is such a good bit of kit that it totally dominates the price range and has done for some time. It has a massive customer base and an excellent reputation within the community making it very hard for any other flash unit in this price range to even stand a chance.
That said, the Godox TT520 is steadily building up its core customer base and growing a solid reputation of its own amongst the community. With the great performance and build quality of the TT520 relative to its price tag, we will be fully reviewing it to see how it performs in its price range.
User Interface And Control System
The image above shows the interface and control system for the TT520 and as you can see, it uses the standard entry-level flash system rather than the LCD panel with a rotary dial or directional pad that the higher price point flash units tend to use. There are two main benefits of the type of control system that the TT520 uses though.
The first is that it is much cheaper to put on a flash unit and lets the manufacturer keep the price tag as low as possible. The second is that it is very easy to use, and I mean most of our readers can probably get the TT520 out of its box and get it working without having a problem. This is great as we would imagine that the majority of the people looking to add the Godox TT520 to their camera accessories are probably shopping for their very first flash unit.
That pretty much rounds off the control system for the flash unit, it is so easy to use that there really is not much to say about it. Godox has tried to ensure that the flash is as easy to use as possible so that an entry-level photographer can get it working without having a drama and we feel they have done a good job of reaching that goal.
Performance And Functionality
As the control system and build quality of most of the entry-level flash units are all very similar, the performance of the flash unit is without a doubt the deciding factor of if a sub $50 price point flash will make it or not. Competition is tough and there are a bunch of flash units trying to establish themselves and carve out a market share so performance and functionality has to be great.
We have curated the list below of the key features that we feel anyone looking to purchase the TT520 will want to know about the flash:-
- Flash speed 1/300 seconds to 1/20000 seconds.
- Full support from Manual flash mode as well as S1 and S2.
- Eight variable flash outputs from 1/128 to full.
- Built-in wide-angle flash diffuser.
- Guide number (ISO 100) 33.
- Max vertical tilt – 0 to 90 degrees,
- Max horizontal pan – 0 to 270 degrees.
- Variable flash recycle time – 0.1-5 seconds.
- Color temperature 5600k.
- Maximum channels – 16.
- Wireless functionality included.
As you can see, most of the features are pretty standard for this price point but the variable flash recycle time is something that stands out as not many entry-level flash units offer this. The ability to customize the recycle time of your flash unit can help you when on location for a photography gig while allowing you to reduce the time it takes for your flash to recharge for its next activation but this does have its downsides.
Not only does a faster flash recycle time need more power and thus drain your battery life but the power also generates more heat. As this is an entry-level flash unit it does not have any heat dissipation technology on it meaning the flash unit can have a few problems with overheating. This is only really an issue when using the Godox TT520 for extended periods of time with a short flash time and a quick recycle time but we just wanted to make our readers aware of it.
Speaking of battery life, the TT520 takes Four AA batteries and one fully charged set of batteries will get your around 125 flash activations. This will depend on the flash settings you have though as well as the quality of the batteries you are using. We have seen a few people reporting that their average flash activations from the TT520 per set of fully charged batteries is around 250 but this does seem to be a minority.
All in all, we do feel that Godox has done a solid job with the TT520 and feel that the performance of the flash is definatley at the higher end of the price range helping it stand apart from the weaker products on the market.
Build Quality And Design
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the build quality and design of the entry-level flash units is almost identical to each other. This means that the flash units all have the same set of problems as each other with it being rare for any to stand ahead of the pack when it comes to build quality.
The TT520 is made from decent quality plastic when you consider how cheap it is that is both lightweight but it is not very robust. That said, we feel the flash unit will be able to take a few bums in your photography kit bag without issue but dropping the flash or any serious bumps will probably leave their mark.
The main problem with the Godox TT520 and it is the main problem with every other entry-level flash unit that we have reviewed on our blog is the battery housing. As you can see in the image above, just like the other entry-level flashes in the sub $50 price range, it uses the Two by Two battery housing rather than a One by Four housing.
This makes it harder for the flash unit to dissipate the heat coming from the batteries as they are all closer together and heat transference between the batteries starts to occur. Again though, as we said earlier, this only really becomes a serious problem when using the TT520 for extended sessions with a fast flash recycle time and a short flash duration.
Additionally, as we said, this is a problem that all of the other sub $50 flash units also share. Due to this, when it comes to the build quality of the flash unit we feel it is middle of the pack. Although it holds its own against the competition, it does not stick out for being either good or bad, just average.
Question – Is the hot shoe mount on the Godox TT520 metal or plastic?
Answer – The flash unit has a metal hot shoe mount.
Question – Will the Godox TT520 fit my camera?
Answer – The flash comes with a standard hot shoe mount so it should be able to mount the majority of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, Pentax, and Olympus cameras on the market. Even cameras with custom mounts like the Sony Mi Shoe mount come with an adapter to turn it into a standard hot shoe so we see no problems with that.
Third Party Reports
That brings our review of the Godox TT520 flash to an end and we have no doubt that it has the potential to help improve your flash photography image quality. Although we do feel that the TT520 could make a great addition to your camera accessories, we would recommend that our readers also consider the Neewer TT560 (Click here to check for product prices and availability).
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Igor Menezes Fotógrafo – 15 Anos – Daniele Dias – https://flic.kr/p/jCG2E8