Photos show Profoto is expanding their range with first ever speedlight

Sep 15, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Photos show Profoto is expanding their range with first ever speedlight

Sep 15, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

Well, this is an exciting bit of news. It looks like Profoto will soon be announcing their first hotshoe flash. Yes, that’s right, a Profoto speedlight. It’s a bold, but inevitable, move, I think. The existing flash companies have to do something to survive and compete, or they disappear. There’s so much more gear available now, and a lot more pressure on companies to innovate and really deliver what users want instead of what the company simply wants to sell.

The suggestion of a new Profoto product first came from Lighting Rumours, last month. With an official announcement expected in the next few days, LR were fairly sparse on the details. Simply that it was “more than just a new version of an existing flash or a new light modifier” and that something “big” is to be expected.

Rumors Dot Camera thought they figured out what it is. They believe that the product is called the A1, due to a page that temporarily appeared on the site of a French Profoto distributor. The page has since been deleted, and all they managed to get was a screenshot of a Google search result. But we found the cache.

They weren’t entirely sure what it was, but given the whole “not a new version of an old light” thing, one can make some educated guesses. And they assumed that it would be a hotshoe flash. Now, I’ve stumbled across some photos that suggest their guess was correct.

Well, some new information has come in to DIYP, along with photos. According to our source, the Profoto A1 Air TTL is going to be a hotshoe mounted flash. But it will be very unlike those we’re typically used to. For a start, look at it. Instead of the traditional rectangular head, it features a circular Fresnel head, designed with light shaping in mind.

The specs I know so far…

  • TTL & Manual control
  • Power : 76Ws
  • 1.2 Second recycle time
  • 360 full power flashes on a full battery
  • 80 minute battery charge time
  • 9 stop adjustable power (down to 1/256th)
  • Supports High Speed Sync
  • LED modelling light
  • Weight 560g

It features its own Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, offering 350 full power flashes on a full charge. Whether or not this is removable, or whether an external charger is available is unknown. Despite the number of flashes available on a charge, it would be silly to not be able to pop this out and replace it with a fresh one during a shoot.

It’s a rather expensive speedlight, though, sources suggesting it to be around €990 including VAT (no word on a US price yet). It’s certainly not for those who just want to buy a $69 Godox TT600. But, it might convince a few of those existing Profoto users who want a complete system, and understand the value Profoto bring to the table, to stick with the brand.

On the back there’s a rather large LCD, which four buttons below, that presumably change in function depending on what you’re doing. There’s also the ubiquitous dial, test button, and also another button which presumably turns on or off the modelling light feature. If you plan to use the modelling light ability for video, there’s no word on brightness or how long the battery will last when using it.

It’s interesting to see the moves that the big name players in the flash world make recently. Godox have taken a big chunk of the market over the last couple of years. From both the established brands and other cheap Chinese manufacturers like Yongnuo. So, the competition to remain current is getting fierce. For Bowens, that move was to go into liquidation. Profoto, on the other hand, look to be following in Godox’ footsteps.

The thing that makes Godox so popular is that they offer a complete range. Everything from simple cheap manual speedlights that support HSS all the way up to 600Ws strobes with 1200Ws heads. Other lighting companies typically only do one or the other, as Profoto have in the past. Speedlights or strobes. Now Profoto look to be offering both.

We can expect an official announcement, according to LR, on September 18th. All we can do for now is to wait and see. It’s an awfully expensive flash, though, if the price I’ve seen is true. For those that missed it, the expected price I’ve seen was €990 including VAT. You could get seven Godox V860II for that kind of money, with change to spare.

Update : The Profoto A1 product page is currently visible on the website of French Profoto retailer, digimage.fr, and here’s the cache for the page that rumors dot camera found.

Update : The specs I saw were specifically for the Profoto A1 Air TTL-Canon. There was no mention of other brand compatibility, but presumably they will eventually release for other brands which Air TTL currently supports (Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Fuji).

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

26 responses to “Photos show Profoto is expanding their range with first ever speedlight”

  1. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    76w is good, as in the shape of the lens. But at that price it will be goodbye Profoto, as Godox will bring out something much cheaper and just as good

    1. Patrick Bourque Avatar
      Patrick Bourque

      It’s all ready done. Godox has a 200watt for 399 Canadian dollars.
      http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Witstro_Pocket_Flash_AD200.html

    2. Paul Richards Avatar
      Paul Richards

      Patrick Bourque I’ve got that, but its not a hotshoe flash

  2. BetterRockHill Avatar
    BetterRockHill

    Looks cool. I like the display. But, $1000+ for an on camera flash. Wow!

  3. Matt Sweadner Avatar
    Matt Sweadner

    It seems like a no brainer to have a round head on a speedlight. I wonder why no one has done it till now. I’m not counting the AD180 or 360. Even though they have a hot shoe, they’re so big, not self contained, and lack the fresnel head.

    At €990 Euros, that’s $1200 US Dollars, which is an insane for a speedlight imo. I just don’t see that happening when someone could get one each of a V860, AD200, AD360, and AD600 of the Godox system for the same money.

    I used Profoto on a large product shoot. One of the 4 brand new heads was malfunctioning halfway into the shoot. That was disappointing. Some people talk about “light quality.” I’m not a light snob so I consulted with the Creative Director since I used an 860 and sometimes a 180 for popping None of the retouching team noticed any issues with my different brand of light being brought into the mix. I did like the Profoto mount but couldn’t imagine spending that much per ws of power.

  4. Darren Jenks Avatar
    Darren Jenks

    Nearly $1000!!! :O Are Profoto insaine? That’s an absolute joke of a price for a speedlight. Who the hell do they think they are, Canon? lol

    1. Harold1966 Avatar
      Harold1966

      990 euro is even over $1000, at the moment it’s $1184. But that’s including 20% VAT (TTC: tout taxes comprises, all taxes included).

    2. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
      Sergi Yavorski

      They are producers of boutique gear. Definitely not for frugal photogs

    3. Scott Lightner Avatar
      Scott Lightner

      Probably last longer than a y-fone…

  5. Michael Gara Avatar
    Michael Gara

    This will be the market leader! INCREDIBLE!!!!

    1. Michael Gara Avatar
      Michael Gara

      in case you can’t see the GIF above…. it’s of Professor Frinks Sarcasm meter ;)

  6. tjsouzaphoto Avatar
    tjsouzaphoto

    if it works with the air ttl that will be a plus

    1. frankyvee Avatar
      frankyvee

      Plus 900 hundred dollars.

  7. Yanny Nao Avatar
    Yanny Nao

    I don’t think it can replace ad200.

  8. Saso Domijan Avatar
    Saso Domijan

    Quite true.. there is a wide angle available for it in some online stores.
    https://www.foka.nl/product/12232930/profoto-101224-wide-lens-voor-a1

  9. Gil Gabo Avatar
    Gil Gabo

    They’ll sell plenty.

  10. Rumors Dot Camera Avatar
    Rumors Dot Camera

    Nice detective work there! Good job getting the images and the cached page. I couldn’t get that to work so I’m glad you continued to dig into it.

  11. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
    Sergi Yavorski

    Too little to late. And for the price, I’ll get 2 canon latest flashes. But I suppose fans of boutique gear will be interested.

    1. Giulio Sciorio Avatar
      Giulio Sciorio

      Lol boutique gear. Get real, Profoto is the #1 brand for professionals and rental houses world wide.

  12. Mad Sushie Avatar
    Mad Sushie

    DAMN! 990$?!!

  13. Hernani Jon Onyok Cañete Avatar
    Hernani Jon Onyok Cañete

    I WILL WAIT FOR A CHINESE VERSION,LOL!

  14. Pim Hendriksen Avatar
    Pim Hendriksen

    Insane pricetag. No interest at all, even though I am a profoto user. People that are intereseted in flashes with these specs….just shop at Godox. 1/3rd of the price for the same specs.

  15. Gary Abigt / Select Models Avatar
    Gary Abigt / Select Models

    WOW… well I’ll stick to my CheetahLight with 360ws for half the price… ;) http://www.modelmayhem.com/2623

  16. Jimmi Tofthøj Avatar
    Jimmi Tofthøj

    Gary Britton

  17. Oleg Avatar
    Oleg

    Very cool stuff. The only hope the price is wrong. It shouldn’t be more than Canon / Nikon 600-series.

  18. davv Avatar
    davv

    in other words : profoto ackowledges the godox product line, but not its price range.