REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ProfotoB1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash
 
4.9

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good power output (24)
  • Durable (21)
  • Lightweight (15)
  • Good color value (13)
  • Attaches securely (11)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Portraits (23)
    • Outdoors (22)
    • Indoors (20)
    • General purpose (18)
    • Outdoor events / games (18)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro photographer (14), Semi-pro photographer (9)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (26)

    Reviewed by 27 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    I LOVE this thing

    By Pete Erickson

    from Bend Oregon

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Amazing
    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Lightweight
    • Powerful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • General Use
      • Indoors
      • Low Light
      • Night Time
      • Outdoors
      • Portraits
      • Special Events

      Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

      Sold my old Profoto B6 when this came in the mail. It's lightweight, powerful, and works beautifully. My assistants love not having the big bulky battery and chord to carry around and deal with all day. When doing the interior getting ready, toast, reception, indoor dancing etc. shots it doesn't take up the entire room. For outdoor shots people don't notice anything. If you use one of these for a long day of work, like at a wedding, you absolutely need the second battery. Just used the Nikon TTL remote for the first time last week and it works better than the Nikon TTL. I love this machine. Now to save up for a second one.

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      • No

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      4.0

      Love this Flash

      By Solar Installer

      from Western Massachusetts

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Outdoors
          • Portraits

          Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

          This is a great flash for on the go portraits. I use this at customer locations when we commission a new installation. No cords just set up, slide in an umbrella set a second flash on slave for a rear light. Perfect portrait. Would give five stars but the TTL function with the air remote is always a stop or more too low.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Manna from Heaven

          By JJJJ

          from Cranston, RI

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Color Value
          • Lightweight
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • General Use
            • Indoors
            • Outdoors
            • Portraits
            • Special Events

            Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

            It's an expensive light but it lives up to its advertising. It's portable and beautiful.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing light!!!

            By Russell

            from Powell, Wy

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Securely
            • Durable
            • Good Color Value
            • Lightweight
            • Long-Lasting
            • Powerful

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • General Use
              • Indoors
              • Low Light
              • Night Time
              • Outdoors
              • Portraits
              • Special Events

              Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

              I am a portrait photographer and this light is absolutely a must!! it is easy to use and lightweight! Gives plenty of light in any situation!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              great light

              By Jacquelynn

              from Tucson AZ

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Color Value
              • Powerful

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Indoors
              • Outdoors
              • Portraits

              Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

              The light output itself is great. Heavier than I expected, which means you need a VERY sturdy light stand or sandbags to hold in place if using on-location with an umbrella. I almost had a disaster even with a sturdy light stand when the wind took the light and gravity did the rest. My assistant caught it, but could have been a nightmare. In terms of triggering it, it took TONS of troublsehooting for me to be able to trigger it without a proprietary trigger. As a Nikon user, I bought it understanding I wouldn't be able to use the TTL function until the system was released, but I did clear ahead that my PocketWizard set up would work with it in manual. It did, after much troubleshooting with PocketWizard that involved fiddling with advanced settings on the PocketWizard (while plugged into the computer). Definitely needed a male to male cord to go with the PW set up in order to sync the light. Now it's all working, but I still cannot wait for the Nikon transmitter to be released. Then I'll be golden. Nikon users can trigger the light with the infrared on the pop up flash or with a Nikon off camera flash on the camera, however, I'd suggest you don't even bother. Indoors, it works within a certain short range, but once you're outside in bright light, it won't trigger it at all unless you are standing right up on the light.

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              • No

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              (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great for On Location Shoot

              By Rickey Allen

              from New York

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Good Color Value
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors
                • Outdoors
                • Portraits
                • Special Events

                Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                I have only one, going to purchase a second soon.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                The best I ever used

                By Rafael

                from NY

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Color Value
                • Long-Lasting
                • Powerful

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                    easy set up

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Profoto B1 - Worth every penny

                    By NW NJ Wedding Photographer

                    from Franklin, NJ

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Securely
                    • Durable
                    • Powerful

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Night Time
                      • Outdoors
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                      As a wedding photographer, portability, ease of setup and functionality all go hand in hand when it comes to maximizing time to get the best shot possible. The power that this "little" light provides is exactly what I wanted when it came time add to my lighting arsenal. Speedlites are great, but the quality of light that this flash produces is hands down much better than a mere speedlite. I still haven't put it through all the tests to give a full opinion, but in the cases where I've used it, I'm extremely happy. I've had one instance where it was misfiring, just after I upgraded firmware on the Air TTL controller, so I hope that's only a slight glitch. So far I've used it in manual on my Canon 1DX, as well as on TTL with my Canon 5D Mark III with equally good results.

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                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      A beautiful, consistent, portable light!

                      By Seattleite

                      from Seattle, WA

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Powerful

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • General Use
                        • Indoors
                        • Outdoors
                        • Portraits

                        Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                        It's a dream come true that this unit was made. I photograph everything from food and beverage to individuals. The quality of light from this B1 unit is phenomenal and on par with what I have had from the Pro 7B heads. The flexibility of setting up in minutes on location, range of modifiers and Air Remote compatibility was what sold me on this. The battery is AWESOME and has exceeded my expectations in terms of number of flashes during a shoot. I also picked up a glass dome attachment which I like to use with the beauty dish. Plenty of power for what I need and I could not be happier with this choice.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        This is no ordinary flash

                        By TPMc

                        from St Louis, MO

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Powerful

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • General Use
                          • Indoors
                          • Low Light
                          • Night Time
                          • Outdoors
                          • Portraits
                          • Special Events

                          Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                          This makes a flash easy to use. No wires to hookup are trip over. Just put on the stand and turn it on, you are ready to go. The TTL feature is wonderful and makes this flash easy to use.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • Yes

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          good quality/ love it!

                          By Shine

                          from Atlanta,GA

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Lightweight
                          • Powerful

                          Cons

                          • Short-Lasting
                          • Shot-lasting

                          Best Uses

                          • General Use
                          • Indoors
                          • Low Light
                          • Night Time
                          • Outdoors
                          • Portraits
                          • Special Events

                          Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                          good quality. it's very convenient for photo shoot. However, battery doesn't last as long as they said.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Easy, Fast, Accurate - AMAZING!

                          By Jeff

                          from Cheyenne, WY

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Securely
                          • Durable
                          • Lightweight
                          • Long-Lasting
                          • Powerful

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Family Portraits
                            • Indoors
                            • Night Time
                            • Outdoors
                            • Senior Portraits

                            Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                            The B1 500 AirTTL is nothing short of pure AWESOMENESS. I took it straight out of the box, along with the Air Remote which I attached to my 5D Mark III, powered everything on and voila - I was up and running within seconds. The accuracy of this light is top-notch. Switching from TTL to Manual is simple - if you want a bit more control over the light output, simply switch over to manual and kick it up a little, or knock it down.

                            I have used the AcuteB 600R for many years, and I am happy to not have a power pack and cables to lug around. I will not miss having to tell my assistant to adjust the pack up/down. I have full control right at my fingertips now, resulting in faster adjustments.

                            I am very impressed with the build and weight of the unit itself. It's very balanced, and the battery is so much lighter and more compact than the lead acid battery of the AcuteB 600R. I bought an extra battery, as I usually always do - but with a rating of 220 shots at full power, I highly doubt I ever exhaust it with one portrait session.

                            I've been a ProFoto user since 2006, and I am quite pleased that all my current modifiers work with the B1. I am not a fan of being nickel and dimed each time a system changes, by having to buy new accessories for it to work. Well done ProFoto!!

                            I am much more efficient with my clients now, and I can't be more satisfied - well, until I have a second unit for even more creativity on location!

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                            • No

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                            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            MikeSquire

                            By Mike Squire

                            from mjsquirephotography.com

                            About Me Pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Lightweight
                            • Powerful

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • General Use
                              • Indoors
                              • Night Time
                              • Outdoors
                              • Portraits
                              • Special Events

                              Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                              Really does what it says. loads of power and ttl works better then expected

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Worth the money

                              By Cy

                              from Fresno, CA

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Durable
                              • Lightweight
                              • Powerful

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • General Use
                                • Indoors
                                • Low Light
                                • Night Time
                                • Outdoors
                                • Portraits
                                • Special Events

                                Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                I upgraded from AlienBees to the Profoto B1's and I gotta say the difference is night and day. Build quality of the unit is solid and feels like a $2K light. As for the light quality I feel that it has a edge over every other competitor, especially with the availability of it's light modifiers. Now the real reason why I bought this was for the portability and TTL metering. I was very skeptical about to TTL because I am a manual shooter. I like to control the power out puts of my lights, but the TTL makes it so much quicker and easier. So far on all of my client work the TTL has gotten it right. This new unit has increased my productivity hugely, because I can schedule more sessions in one day now. I don't have to fumble with battery packs, extension cords, and triggers that need to be plug in. Just set the lights up and shoot.... I bought two of these units and as soon as I make the money back in a few months, I will definitely buy a couple more.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                A great off camera flash but expensive

                                By thefrenchguy

                                from Hilton Head Island, SC

                                About Me Pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Durable
                                • Powerful
                                • Well Designed

                                Cons

                                • Expensive

                                Best Uses

                                • General Use
                                • Indoors
                                • Low Light
                                • Night Time
                                • Outdoors
                                • Portraits
                                • Special Events

                                Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                Would be 5 stars if it was not so expensive. I use it on assignment and in studio - very versatile, flexible. Couldn't afford to buy the Air Transmitter but using it with my Pocket Wizard in manual mode. I am loosing the TTL advantage but not a big deal right now.
                                It comes with a very nice bag - well done - love it. The front glass is not easy to remove. The clip design does not match the rest of the unit.
                                Some photographer are saying that this unit is 10 times more powerful than a Speedlite. My test with my Sekonic L-478DR shows that the unit must be at 7 (power level) to match a speedlite at full power. But still more powerful; just not as much as I was anticipating. The big advantage - the recharge time, now you are talking. It is fast and keep up with the camera fast shooting rate. It is well design, solid construction and compact too. The next gadget should be a way to use it in studio while powered from an outlet and not being dependent on the battery.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Worth Every Penny!

                                By Chris Tucker

                                from Las Vegas, NV

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Attaches Securely
                                • Durable
                                • Good Color Value
                                • Lightweight
                                • Long-Lasting
                                • Powerful

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • General Use
                                  • Indoors
                                  • Low Light
                                  • Night Time
                                  • Outdoors
                                  • Portraits
                                  • Special Events

                                  Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                  I know Profoto is expensive, but I am someone that saves till I can buy the best and buy it once. And these were worth the wait! The convenience of having the battery a part of the head unit and not having to deal with cords and separate battery packs is a HUGE plus! I don't have to pay someone just to carry this equipment. Everything is easy to understand and the quality is top notch.

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                                  • No

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                                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Absolutely amazing

                                  By Christensen Exposures

                                  from Fort Worth, TX

                                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                  Verified Reviewer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attaches Securely
                                  • Durable
                                  • Lightweight
                                  • Long-Lasting
                                  • Powerful

                                  Cons

                                  • NONE

                                  Best Uses

                                  • General Use
                                  • Indoors
                                  • Low Light
                                  • Night Time
                                  • Outdoors
                                  • Portraits
                                  • Special Events

                                  Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                  I am an automotive photographer and most of my sets are out of studio so these are great for portability and they have incredible power. These are very impressive and I would highly recommend it.

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                                  • No

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                                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Worth It!!!

                                  By Sparks

                                  from San Mateo, Ca.

                                  About Me Photography Student

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attaches Securely
                                  • Durable
                                  • Good Color Value
                                  • Lightweight
                                  • Powerful

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • General Use
                                    • Indoors
                                    • Night Time
                                    • Outdoors
                                    • Portraits
                                    • Special Events

                                    Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                    I bought these lights for the convenience of not having to deal with cables out on location shoots. It is an amazing product! Easy to setup and makes life easier on shoots! Light is strong enough to overpower the sun. For some photographers, this product is a definite GAME CHANGER!

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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                                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great Lights

                                    By Randall Somebody

                                    from McKinney, TX

                                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Durable
                                    • Good Color Value
                                    • Long-Lasting

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                        I finally got these after waiting nearly 2 months on back order with B&H. I have the Canon EOS 1DX, so the TTL does not yet fully work with my camera. Profoto claims they'll have an firmware update to fix this in the next month or so. In the mean time, I have been using them in manual mode with great results. It's a game changer to be able to quickly setup studio strobes nearly anywhere.

                                        Once Profoto fixes the 1DX TTL issue and enhances the lights with high speed sync (which they are claiming they'll have by the end of the year), these lights will meet all of my needs (though a 1000W version would be absolutely perfect).

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                                        • No

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                                        (15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Pricey portable power

                                        By David from Charleston

                                        from Charleston, SC

                                        About Me Pro Photographer

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Durable
                                        • Long-Lasting
                                        • Powerful

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Flash:

                                            TL:DR: High quality, high price, needs the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C for full benefit.

                                            I've completed two professional shoots using the B1 and like it very much. One was a lifestyle shoot in my subject's living room, which was awkwardly lit with no overhead light and severe (blinding) afternoon sunlight from a side window. The second was a real estate shoot that included a large atrium and several spaces with uncovered windows. I had previously been lighting with multiple Speedlites. In both cases, The B1 delivered consistently beautiful light and I achieved my balanced final lighting faster than with a Speedlite solution. Despite more than 150 flash exposures on each job, in both cases the B1 battery still retained half charge. I experienced zero misfires when using the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C. Blending flash with ambient is easy with the B1. The freedom from mains during a location shoot is wonderful, and the extra power compared to Speedlites means that you can easily defeat bright sunlight and, if you wish, gain a couple of stops of depth of field compared to Speedlites. The "Ready" beep felt almost immediate after every shot, although when I was down to half battery and shooting at full flash power it probably stretched to 3/4 second.

                                            Controls are intuitive, satisfyingly built, and enjoyable to engage with as a user. TTL works great. Manual shooting works great. It comes with a nice transport case. There are a couple of subtleties that make it worth reading the User's Guide, but you'll be running with basic features as soon as you take it out of the box. The optical slave worked absolutely reliably. I didn't use the modeling light but it can be set to be full-on or proportional to the flash power. The modeling light can also be controlled from the Profoto hot shoe-mount Air Remote TTL-C.

                                            The killer feature, though, is a separate purchase, the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C. The B1 power can be adjusted from the Air Remote TTL-C head in your hot shoe, and you can, almost magically, jump from TTL to manual and back. For example, you can shoot in TTL, then add 0.3 stops of light from the TTL value as flash exposure compensation for the second shot. Or you can start in TTL and switch to manual for repeatability. A full battery charge in the B1 is rated for 220 full-power 500WS flashes, or an hour of full-power modeling light use which might be valuable for video. The built-in fan is quiet and turns itself on and off as needed. The top of the B1 has a receiver for a 7-8mm umbrella shaft, so if you're using a compatible umbrella like the Profoto (my other umbrellas also fit) then that eliminates the need for an umbrella swivel mount.

                                            Frankly, if you can afford the B1, you will want the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C hot-shoe mount controller. If you're not taking advantage of the B1's on-camera controller and TTL capability, then you could achieve the lighting output of the B1 far more cheaply.

                                            I'm thinking hard to come up with disadvantages beyond price...

                                            Still thinking....

                                            Mmmm....Be aware you will need a solid light stand, not the light fold-up kind that's adequate for Speedlites. I'm not sure the monobloc form factor is ideal if you want to boom; you'll need to counterweight your boom arm more urgently than with a generator+head design. If you want to gel the B1 to adjust color temperature, Profoto says to buy their "spill kill" reflector.

                                            The lack of mains power (battery power only) means that they're overpriced if you work only in a studio. They're a little too bulky/heavy for use in every single application (sometimes a Speedlite is still the best choice). They're also a little tricky to mix and match with Speedlites. I found it best to use my Speedlite triggers (Pocket Wizard Flex and Mini TT5) and then slave the B1 to fire at manual power from the Speedlite flashes...at least until I buy a couple more B1 units and can run exclusively Profoto off the Air Remote system.

                                            Probably the biggest problem with the B1 is that as soon as you try one, you'll be wanting to buy at least one or two more (the Air Remote system lets you control multiple B1s independently). You'll also be wanting to buy lots of Profoto modifiers or at least a speedring to fit your existing modifier inventory.

                                            Seriously, they're great. Being able to control 500WS from your camera with the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C, and being able to shoot TTL if you want to, are huge.

                                            Not cheap, but if it's in your budget you'll love its convenience, reliability, and power provided you also get the Air Remote TTL-C.

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