Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 Review
By Yvonne
2022-09-27

Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 blurs the lines between studio strobe and flash. The Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 is small enough to be carried in your bag but still delivers all the power and off-camera operations you would expect from a monolight.

Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 Review

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Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 blurs the lines between studio strobe and flash. The Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 is small enough to be carried in your bag but still delivers all the power and off-camera operations you would expect from a monolight.

The pros

  • Compact and light
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Popular systems can use wireless TTL
  • Magnetic modifiers that snap-on
  • Flashpoint R2 & Godox X compatible

Cons

  • Separately sold wireless transmitter
  • A small, but brightly lit modeling lamp

The Flashpoint Xplor 100 ProTTL R2 ($299) is a compact flash designed to fit into most modern camera systems. Although it isn't as powerful as bigger monolights but it is much more portable. Its small size makes it ideal for handheld use. The Xplor 100 can also be used on a light stand. The Xplor 100's unique form makes it stand out from the rest, earning it Editors Choice.

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For Travel

Flashpoint, a brand house-owned product is sold exclusively through Adorama photo specialty retailer. Godox manufactures the Xplor 100 Pro. It's also sold as the Godox AD100Pro—aside from branding, the flashes are identical.

The Flashpoint edition was sent to us for our review. The Flashpoint edition comes in a travel bag with a soft zipper. It holds the battery, removable mount for light, adapter and USB-C cable. It is functional but not extraordinary. I imagine most will use it for storage and to keep track of accessories—the Xplor 100 is shaped a lot like a lens and is sure to find a comfortable place in most camera bags.

Xplor and Soda Can

Without the the light stand mount installed, the Xplor 100 is a cylinder that measures 4.4 by 3.0 inches (HD) and weighs 18.5 ounces. The mount screws into one of two tripod threads on the bottom and works with standard light stands and provides tilt adjustment and an umbrella mount.

You also have the option to use a quick-release tripod plate. This is what I would do, attaching the Xplor100 to a small tripod. You can also add the flexible-leg Joby GorillaPod (Opens in new window). This light is easy to hold and allows you to be creative when mounting. If you go this route, leave the plate on all the time—the Xplor 100 rolls freely without one and can very easily spin off a table if you're not careful.

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Rechargeable battery

The Xplor 100 has the same rechargeable batteries as the Flashpoint Zoom L2 R2 TTL or the Godox V1 round-head flashes. It uses a small cradle to charge via USB-C, and while you may be tempted to leave the AC adapter at home and plug it into your MacBook to charge, that's not an option—I had no luck getting it to work with any USB-C-to-USB-C cable.

Battery in Charging Cradle

It works fine with cables like the one included, with a square USB-A port on one end and a small oval USB-C connector on the other. Thankfully, these are very common, so you won't be left scrambling if you misplace the included cable. Flashpoint also sells a three-battery multi-charger for $35, which uses an old-fashioned AC power cord.

The Xplor 100 can be powered by a fully charged, fresh battery for 360 flashes at full power. This is a little less than what you can get from the Godox V1 (480 shots), however, the V1 provides less power at full blast (76Ws), than the Xplor100 (100Ws).

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Output power

In most cases, you won't need full-power flashes. Expect longer battery life. I managed to get hundreds of exposures with lower flash power. The Xplor 100 was used for product photography and it still reads full.

You can expect to get about 1.5 seconds between flashes at full power, although it will fire faster at lower settings. At power ratings 1/32 or lower, I was able match the Sony A7R IV's 10fps rate. After a 60-shot burst of flash, the cooling fan started to work but the flash didn't stop firing.

It is possible to use high-speed sync at shutter speeds up to 1/8,000 seconds in single shot mode. It doesn't work as well for burst capture, but that's more about how the tech works than the flash itself—high-speed sync makes the flash fire for longer than normal, and a 10fps camera snaps a few exposures in that interval.

Dome diffuser accessory

Where most monolights use a simple flash tube, the Xplor 100 places its flash behind a fresnel head, with a bit of zoom power. It's the same basic design in the Godox V1 (also sold as the Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 TTL), and supports the same magnetic modifiers. For $59 you can add a kit with a dome diffuser, barn doors, snoot, grids, and color modifiers. It also works with the larger Bowens mount, you just need to buy the Glow S2 Bowens Mount Bracket ($25).

A proper modeling light is a drawback of the fresnel heads. Instead, the Xplor 100 uses a tiny LED. It's bright, but you shouldn't use it with a live model—it's about as fun to stare into as a solar eclipse. If you are looking for a good modeling lamp, consider a more traditional light like the Xplor 300.

Direct flash versus off-axis flash

Wire-free operation gives you plenty of freedom in positioning the light. With an on-camera flash you're limited to tilting or bouncing the head in order to direct light. You can position any wireless strobe to fire from different angles, and the Xplor 100's small frame certainly lends itself to creative experimentation—it can squeeze into smaller confines for mounting, and is very effective as a handheld flash.

TTL Wireless Transmitter

The Xplor 100 has a 3.5mm connector for triggering with a sync cable. It also supports optical control. However, to make the best of it, you will need to pair it up with a wireless remote.

R2 Pro Mark II

Flashpoint sells the R2 Pro Mark II transmitter ($69) for a number of camera systems. It mounts in the hot shoe. You can get one for Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony systems.

The transmitter must be purchased separately but works with the Flashpoint R2 system. It also makes changing camera systems a bit less of a hassle—just buy a new transmitter and keep using the same flashes.

Godox sells the same transmitter as their Xpro TTL. The two systems are interoperable—I regularly use the Godox V1 and Flashpoint Xplor 300 together, both fired from the same R2 Pro transmitter.

Rear Controls

Support for TTL operation means that you won't have to fiddle with power settings, the Xplor works in conjunction with your camera to determine the right power settings for your exposure. It's effective, and can come in handy when you're using the flash to cover events or to light a candid shot.

You can also control the lamp manually using the remote, or the buttons on the back. You can adjust the output power from 100% to 1/256. The Xplor 100 features a monochrome LCD display and a control dial. There are also control buttons to the rear. Everything is as expected—the only trick is a two-stage power-up process, in which you need to turn the rear dial after pressing the power button. This clever feature prevents your light from turning on when you carry it in your bag.

Create the World Your Studio

You wouldn't be wrong if you described the Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 like a flash wearing a monolight's clothes. It's not bad. The Xplor 100 can go places bigger strobes cannot, finds a spot in a camera bag easily, outclasses other flashes in terms of power, and goes where larger strobes will not.

It will cost you a little more than the Godox V1, but it is worth the extra money. You get more for your extra cash. The Xplor 100 has a stronger construction, from a material perspective, and because it doesn't have a tripod foot or hinge, which are two possible break points.

Flashpoint Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 with Barn Doors

It's also more powerful and includes a cooling fan, so you can use it more effectively for burst capture. Magnetic modifiers and a handheld form factor encourage creative photography, and it works just as well when mounted on a light stand.

The Xplor 100 wireless strobe is not the only one that's battery powered. They are portable versions of studio lights. The Xplor 100's form is unique, which makes it stand out from other lights.

The Godox V1 is still our favorite flash for photographers. However, if you like your lighting off-camera, the Xplor 100 Pro TTL R2 will be a great choice. It has been awarded Editors Choice.

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