GODOX MS300 – HOW TO SET UP A HOME STUDIO FOR $109

Godox flashes and strobes have come a long way from affordable alternatives to more expensive (often overpriced) strobes to leading the market in developing high-quality, reasonably priced lighting solutions. Take for example, the infamous Profoto A1 which sells at $1695 (USD) and compare it to identical Godox V1 at $259, they are almost identical in every feature and quality of light to one another but Profoto is selling about 8 times the price of a Godox. 

It is no wonder, Godox as a company has taken the lighting market by storm. Their AD400, AD200, and V1 have become the solution for photographers around the world for setting up studios and launching their photography businesses. 

Godox MS300 is a huge leap in providing a high-quality studio strobe at a fraction of an on-camera flash that not only delivers exceptional results but also comes in at only 109 dollars. This means that anyone who wanted to take up photography professionally or to improve their photography skills can easily do so for just about a hundred dollars.

What is GODOX MS300

Godox MS300 is a 300Ws monoblock strobe with stripped-down features that incorporates some of the best features of the company’s flagship strobes at an extremely competitive price.

At first glance, the unit looks solid in size and built to withstand daily use, of course, to save on weight and cost the unit is not built with metal housing and heavy housing but functions just as good as the Godox’s top of the line strobes

What is missing you might ask? There’s no TTL or HSS which means you have to learn to use the strobe in manual mode and that is a good thing for anyone starting photography. For one, I never use TTL in my studio because composing a frame with well-balanced lighting requires not correct exposure but the right placement of lights at appropriate power to create an image. 

Secondly, HSS which can be useful for scenarios that require working under the direct sun to get a certain look to control the ambient light often requires more than 300Ws. You can actually compose great images by balancing the ambient light with the use of Godox MS300 to create amazing images. More on that soon.

Is 300Ws Sufficient?

The power output of Godox MS300 is respectable but no means superpower to kill the sun to utter darkness. For 99% of studio applications it is more than enough and if you use it at about half its power you will get reasonable recycle time.  

One of the nice things about Godox MS300 is that it comes with a standard s-mount reflector, which means you can use to control the light to some degree and get greater light output.

Here are some important key features of Godox MS300.

Key Features

  • Model Number: MS300
  • Max Power: 300 watt seconds
  • Guide Number (ISO 100 with highly effective reflector): 58
  • Color temperature: 5600k ±200k, depending upon the power
  • Power adjustability: 1/1 to 1/32 power, adjustable in 1/10 stop increments
  • Operating Voltage: AC110V-120V-60Hz
  • Modeling Lamp Power: 150 watts
  • Modeling Lamp Type: Tungsten
  • Modeling Lamp Adjustability: 5% to 100%
  • Recycle time: (0.1s at minimum power, 1.8s at maximum power)
  • Flash duration: 1/2000~1/800s
  • Light modifier mount: Bowens S-type
  • Umbrella mount: 5/8″
  • Display: LCD
  • Wireless compatibility: Godox Xt16, XPro, and X2 triggers for wireless control. It also works with Flashpoint R2 triggers.
  • Dimensions: 11.1″ x 5.0″ x 5.0″
  • Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Price: $109

Recycle Speed

One of the most important features of a good strobe is its recycle time, Godox MS300 delivers an incredible recycle time of 0.1 seconds at its minimum power at 1/32 power. At the top of its range, the recycle time is 1,8 seconds which is decent but not exceptional. 

For the most part, in a home studio setting for a portrait session, you will most likely use about half to a quarter of its power setting which will put the recycle time at around 1 second which is a respectable recycle time. Again, it is important to remember that this strobe cost only $109 and delivers results far and above an on-camera flash. 

Godox MS300 is designed to provide a reliable, consistent flash output that is designed to be used for most photography applications like still life, product, food and portrait photography. If the intent is to shoot fast action or fashion then it is a whole different game that will require multiple light setups with assistants and powerful strobes. 

5 Reasons to Buy GODOX MX 300

  • Adequate power for most studio work
  • Works with a remote that can control the strobe settings
  • Bowens mount allows the use of affordable light modifiers
  • No need to buy speedring 
  • Incredibly low price for a strobe unit (best value dollar for dollar)

How to Use GODOX MS300

Godox MS300 has a very easy function layout for instant plug and play operation. For the most part, the output of the light is controlled by a big dial on the back of the unit that adjusts the power over a 9 stop range.

This big dial also serves to activate the group settings for your strobes so that you can assign them to a group to be controlled remotely from the flash trigger. No more walking up to strobes and dialing it one after the other, all the operation can be managed through the intelligently designed flash interface.

The GR/CH button allows you to control the channel and group settings of the strobe. Without delving into the technical side of operations, S1/S2 is for wireless slave setting, and then the third and fourth buttons are for the recycle beep and modeling light. 

You can check if the flash fires by pressing the white button to test-fire the flash. There is even a sync port for those times when everything else fails, you can still run a wire to trigger the flash. Hopefully, no one ever has to see the day when a strobe needs to have sync wiring used.

Of course, Godox did include a USB port for firmware upgrades that not even top of the line strobes most other brands don’t even have, kudos to Godox.

When you change the power settings of this strobe it is important to remember to fire the flash once before shooting, as this unit does not come with auto power dump. No big deal. If you forget just fire the next shot it will have the correct power setting.

Important to note here, Godox manufactures lights for third parties, Flashpoint is a rebranded Godox unit which is sold by Adorama, a large retailer in New York. If you buy or the other you will get an identical unit with only a name difference. 

Recommended Accessories

If you are setting up your home studio or just buying a strobe to add to your arsenal of lights, it would be important to consider getting the flash trigger, Godox XPro, and a light modifier.

There are plenty of light modifiers from Godox, my favorite is Godox Octa Softbox with Bowens Speed Ring (55″), it is large enough to use for just about all photography applications from product, food or portrait photography. Plus, Godox Octa comes with its own Bowens mount speedring that does not need to be purchased separately.

A second alternative would be Godox P90L Parabolic Softbox with Bowens Mounting (35.4″) because its parabolic shape provides perhaps one of the best light for any modifier. It is small enough to fit in just about all home studios and compact enough to take outdoors.

For a light stand that would last and is reasonably priced Manfrotto 420B boom stand is a smart investment. You would be very happy with this purchase as it would help your strobes from falling over and breaking. 

Verdict


Godox MS300 offers a high-quality strobe at an unbeatable price. Overall, it is the best bang for your dollar.

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