Profoto Announces the World's Smallest Studio Light, The Profoto A1

Canon Rumors Guy

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<strong>Press Release – September 19, 2017</strong></p>
<p><em>The Profoto A1 might be the smallest flash we’ve ever made, but it’s still built to the same impossibly high standards we’ve set ourselves over the last fifty years.</em></p>
<p>Our focus with the A1 was to create a flash that delivers a truly high quality of light, which is why it features a round head which delivers light that’s both natural and beautiful with a pleasing soft-smooth fall-off, that blends seamlessly with the ambient light.</p>
<p><a href="https://bhpho.to/2wtL3zj">Preorder the Profoto A1 at B&H Photo</a></p>
<p>Thanks to a smart magnetic mount built into the head, light shaping tools and modifiers can be clicked on and off quickly and easily. Within seconds you’re being creative with light, shaping it. It also has a zoom function that allows you to make fine adjustments to the spread of light by simply twisting the zoom ring on the head, and for accuracy it has a modeling light built-in to the head – so you can see what you’re going to get before you press the shutter.</p>
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<p>We made it our mission to make A1 the first on-camera flash that’s easy to use from the box. The user interface is simple and intuitive with a large high-contrast display at its center. The less time you spend learning and fiddling, the more time you’ll spend shooting. And that’s ultimately what counts. Despite its size, or lack of it, the A1 punches above its weight in a good number of key areas.</p>

<p>Battery life is key when a photographer is right in the thick of the action, because the last thing they need to have to stop mid flow to change the batteries. The A1 has its own Li-ion high capacity battery built-in which lasts up to four times longer than AA batteries with no performance fade. So, you can shoot for longer with confidence.</p>
<p>And this is a flash that can keep up with you because it recycles four times faster than other on-camera solutions – that’s every 1.2 seconds at full power. Put simply, you’ll never miss a shot.</p>
<p>And while it’s true to say the Profoto A1 is our very first on-camera solution it’s also just as effective off-camera as a standalone unit, and integrated into a larger system of lights. That level of versatility is possible because Air Remote is built-in, which means the A1 offers seamless connectivity with freestanding lights like another A1 or bigger Profoto lights like the B1X.</p>
<p>And with AirTTL you’ll get a perfect exposure super-fast. Better still, you can lock the exposure with a single ‘click’ while still being free to fine tune that exposure in manual, giving you even greater control.</p>
<p>So, this is so much more than our smallest flash yet. This is shooting on the move, shooting with confidence and shooting with light shaping excellence. This is shooting off-camera and for the first time with Profoto, on-camera. This is the Profoto A1 – the world’s smallest studio light.</p>
<p><a href="https://bhpho.to/2wtL3zj">Preorder the Profoto A1 at B&H Photo</a></p>
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aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
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It's a regular flashgun. There's literally not a single 'studio' feature about it. It's nowhere close to the power of a studio head. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Canon 430 but a circle instead of a rectangle. That's it.
 
P

Pookie

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aceflibble said:
It's a regular flashgun. There's literally not a single 'studio' feature about it. It's nowhere close to the power of a studio head. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Canon 430 but a circle instead of a rectangle. That's it.

But it comes with a bag and shoulder strap too... that's gotta be worth $250 at least.
 

neuroanatomist

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Jul 21, 2010
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Pookie said:
aceflibble said:
It's a regular flashgun. There's literally not a single 'studio' feature about it. It's nowhere close to the power of a studio head. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Canon 430 but a circle instead of a rectangle. That's it.

But it comes with a bag and shoulder strap too... that's gotta be worth $250 at least.

Plus a StoFen equivalent and a Gary Fong equivalent. Another $300 there, right?
 

Juangrande

EOS 90D
Mar 6, 2017
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It's more than "just" a speed light. The light quality will be better than s typical flash without the hotspot of a typical flash and better softer fall off. Also it has an led modeling lamp that works proportional to the other Profoto lights for setting your ratios. It has a lithium battery that can be quick changed, it has a magnetic modifier system included that looks really good. And most important it has The Profoto hybrid TTL/manual metering that allowes you to take a quick TTL read than lock that setting into manual. If you've ever used it it's super quick, accurate, and time saving. It also has very fast recycle time, faster than a speed light.
 

Jopa

EOS R
Dec 11, 2015
1,054
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Definitely overpriced but sleek, as the rest of Profoto stuff. Leica of the lighting world :)
I bet $1 we'll see same circular shape Yongnuo Y1 with the same set of accessories within 6 months for under $120.
 

hne

Gear limits your creativity
Jan 8, 2016
314
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Looks to me like an AD360TTL with a non-removable reflector. For the times the price.
 

Viggo

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Dec 13, 2010
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I, mostly, love Profoto-gear and will not judge the quality without trying it. I even used my ad360 in Profoto softboxes, and even then, the quality of light with the B1 was much better.

However, since they failed for 7-8 months to make it work with the 1dx2 (supposedly fixed a week ago), I sold all Profoto.

Broncolor is even more expensive, but every aspect is quality. The color and power output consistency is untouchable by any other brand, and that saves sooo much time. And the modifiers that gives picture perfect results straight out of camera also saves time and adds fun.

The A1 can also control for example a B1, that adds value IMO. Buy a Canon 600 rt and a Profoto Air Remote and you have the same price as an A1.
 

winglet

EOS M6 Mark II
Jul 28, 2013
73
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Taipei, Taiwan
I do think it's a bit glib to dismiss it as an "overpriced speedlight". The lithium battery and the integration with other Profoto lights are definitely welcome. If the menu system is better than Canon's I'd pay something for that - I doubt it could be much worse. Other advantages also already listed.

Is it "worth" $1000? I dunno, but unlike some I'll reserve judgement until I've tried it. And as a lover of the B1/B2 you can bet I'll try it. If it's half-decent I'll dump my speedlights and never look at another AA in my life. Good riddance.

Why are people willing to pay for "build quality" in camera bodies but not lights?
 

Memdroid

EOS 90D
Nov 12, 2013
160
80
If these were 150-200 watts than it would be really interesting. But for that price I think it is a little overkill.
 

privatebydesign

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Nice blog post from an actual user.

https://neilvn.com/tangents/review-profoto-a1-flash/

aceflibble said:
It's a regular flashgun. There's literally not a single 'studio' feature about it. It's nowhere close to the power of a studio head. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Canon 430 but a circle instead of a rectangle. That's it.

Power wise he thinks it is about half a stop more powerful than the 600 EX RT, so around twice the power of a 430 EX. But that really isn't the point. If you are a Profoto owner it adds functionality, the video gives a good system integration case use of a function with different lighting setups yet all contained within the same fully integrated system.
 

pwp

EOS R6
Oct 25, 2010
2,530
23
Potentially useful if you're already locked into the Profoto eco-system. Otherwise it's hardly a compelling item.

To call it the world's smallest studio light is drawing a fairly long bow, it's a speedlight. At least it looks pretty cool if that's important to you.

-pw
 

winglet

EOS M6 Mark II
Jul 28, 2013
73
0
Taipei, Taiwan
Memdroid said:
If these were 150-200 watts than it would be really interesting. But for that price I think it is a little overkill.

C'mon now, how many shoe-mounted 200 watt self-contained-battery strobes of this form factor are in the market? I agree it would be interesting but it's not really realistic to claim that in the "con" column.
 

arthurbikemad

EOS RP
Jul 19, 2015
507
125
UK
At 200ws your up around the B2 with 1-250ws of power, I have seen people shoe mount it but you have the power pack to deal with. A grand for a hotshoe flash is a lot of cash but as said if you have profoto gear it makes perfect sense, I'd be shooting B1s but like the light weight heads of my ELB400s, the amount of time I use TTL is minimal so I can take it or leave it for now, TTL is an attractive feature for instant pop shots that are of a decent exposure if the TTL meters and gives the results your after that is, otherwise it's back to manual, saying that the one thing I'd like to have is profotos TTL lock feature (or whatever they call it), set the strobes to TTL, take a shot, the Air remote now stores the power used so when switched to full manual you now have a base figure to work with, again IF the TTL metered things how you might like. The market is getting rammed with options!
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,715
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privatebydesign said:
Power wise he thinks it is about half a stop more powerful than the 600 EX RT

It shouldn't be that difficult to calculate the GN for a specific power setting from the display. 76 Ws doesn't look that much, it's more or less the average power of units like the 600RT (I didn't find an official figure for it, but it looks to be between 60 and 75 Ws).

There are more powerful shoe mount units (i.e. the Quantum), although they usually need an external battery.

The recharge speed is not surprisingly either, because of the battery type. Nice to have in a compact design without external batteries and cables.

As other said, this looks a nice companion to a Profoto set, but as a standalone solution may add little.