After posting a few articles on various studio strobes over the last few months we have noticed more and more people reaching out for content based around various strobe lighting systems. One, in particular, that seems to be getting more and more requests is the Godox sk300ii that has proven to be a solid hit with the community due to its great performance, decent build quality, and low price tag.
Due to seeing so many people reaching out for a dedicated article going over a full Godox sk300ii review we have decided to make this the subject of today’s article. We know that we have a few readers who are photographers working from studios so we hope that our article will be able to help anyone in this situation who is looking to add a new studio strobe to their list of camera accessories.
Performance And Functionality
The power on the sk300ii can be adjusted in forty steps from 1/16 to 1/1 allowing you to tweak the output of the strobe as required to meet the needs of your session, the modeling lamp on the sk300ii is 150W and has three different modes of operation, off, proportional, and percentage with percentage settings ranging from as low as five percent to the maximum of one hundred percent.
One solid feature that the Godox sk300ii has is its ability to activate time and time again with little to no fluctuation. One of the main problems with the entry-level studio strobes is that their output can fluctuate pretty heavily from activation to activation and can get even worse if the unit heats up. Godox has included its own stability system to ensure that there is no more than a two percent shift in light output when used under the same settings helping keep your output stable during use.
It also comes with 2.4g wireless remote control transmission as standard allowing you to integrate the sk300ii into a multi-flash setup or trigger it remotely from your camera or wireless flash trigger if needed. Although common at this price point in the market these days, Godox has also added some anti-preflash tech to the sk300ii so it can sync with many popular cameras that have the one preflash setting to improve performance.
The Godox sk300ii also has a guide number of 65 and a color temperature of 5600k helping illuminate your subject in its daylight quality output. The actual flash tube on the unit is a German Heimann tube that can support nine different levels of brightness as well as a flash recycle time ranging from 0.1 to 1 second.
One of the best things about the sk300ii is its outstanding heat dissipation technology that we will go over more under the build quality section of the article. That said though, the heat dissipation of the Godox sk300ii really starts to shine when you are using a fast recycle time such as 0.1 second as well as a short flash duration. The unit keeps cool and we have not seen a single report to date from anyone complaining about the sk300ii having overheating issues.
When you take all of this into account as well as the fact that most retailers list the sk300ii at just over one hundred dollars it is easy to see why it is so popular. Many people, especially photographers just starting out with their studio business stock up on multiple sk300ii units as you can often deck your full studio out in the strobe for the price of one or two professional-level units. Many of these photographers have chosen to post their own, independent review of the flash unit that is well worth reading for some independent insight into its performance.
User Interface And Control System
As you can see from the image above, the system is based around the standard LCD panel, button, and rotary dial system that is extremely popular for studio strobes as it is so easy to use yet very effective. The LCD panel on the sk300ii is very clear and easy to read, even in low light conditions that you are likley to be working in if you are working out of a photography studio. All of the buttons are easy to locate and press as required and are responsive enough to register your touch first time without you having to press a button over and over again like you can with some compeating units.
Godox has also managed to fix the issues that some of their older studio strobes used to have with dropping the saved settings in the autosave memory that meant you would have to start from a fresh config when making tweaks. This ensures that you can quickly and easily tweak your Godox sk300ii settings during use and start with the current config that the sk300ii is using. Although this may sound like something simple, it is actually a great improvement over the older versions of the Godox strobes as it can end up saving you a fair amount of time over the course of a session if you tweak your config often.
Build Quality And Design
The sk300ii is pretty small for its price point and level of performance while also coming in at around the same weight as the compeating studio strobes on the market right now. Although Godox has tried to ensure that the sk300ii is as robust as possible, you can tell that some parts of the flash unit are a little flimsy to help keep the costs down. On the flip side of this though, as it is a studio strobe, we doubt that most of our readers will be backing it up and moving location on a regular basis so this should not be an issue.
One thing that really does help the Godox sk300ii stand out from the competition is its excellent heat dissipation that we touched on earlier in the article. The built-in cooling fan offers some of the best cooling at this price point in the market and ensures that there is plenty of airflow in the unit to keep it as cool as possible during use. This is the main area that other budget level strobes seem to struggle with but the sk300ii sets the bar for the competition to try and meet.
This ensures that even when using a fast recycle time as well as a short flash duration, the sk300ii should never get above fifty degrees and with a seventy degree operating temperature, it is very rare for the unit to have issues with overheating when compared to the number of issues that some compeating units can have.
The Bowens mounting unit on the strobe allows you to quickly and easily mount pretty much any other camera accessory you could need to the strobe when needed too. Although the most popular accessory we see used is a softbox but there are a number of things that you can mount to help you improve your image quality while capturing photographs.
Now, moving onto the two main negative points that we see mentioned so much for the Godox sk300ii. The first one is the sound from the cooling fan and in all fairness, after five minutes of use, even the premium level strobes that can cost much more than the Godox sk300ii make a similar amount of noise anyway. Although it is a little annoying, it is quiet enough not to contaminate your audio track if you are planning to do any videography work in your studio in addition to your photographs.
The next criticism with the units build quality that we see is that the sk300ii has no native battery capability, it always has to be plugged into a power outlet from the wall. Again, we feel that this is a little unfair due to the price point of the strobe and the fact that we are unaware of any compeating unit at this price point with a built-in battery.
That concludes our Godox sk300ii review and for its price tag, we feel that the Godox sk300ii is probably the best entry-level studio strobe available on the market right now. As we touched on throughout the article, it does have a few weak points for the performance that it can deliver blows the compeating strobes out the water and compete with units double its price.
If you would like to get some more information on the strobe then we would highly recommend that you read or at least skim some of these reviews of the Godox sk300ii that have been published by a number of independent photographers who use the sk300ii as their go-to strobe of choice. The offer some excellent information on the strobe and its capabilities and may help you decide if you want to add it to your collection of camera accessories.