Profoto A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon

Profoto A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon

Profoto A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon

B&H # PRA1AIRTTLC MFR # 901201

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Product Highlights

  • Built-In AirTTL, Use On or Off Camera
  • Recycling: 0.05 to 1.2 Sec
  • Li-Ion Battery: 350 Full Power Flashes
  • High Speed Sync, LED Modeling Light
  • 9 Stop Power Range, 76 Ws Output
  • Weighs 1.2 lb Including Battery
  • Optional Wireless TTL with Air Remote
  • Includes Bounce Card, Dome Diffuser
  • Wide Lens, Flash Stand, USB Cable
  • A1 Bag with Shoulder Strap
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Compatibility: Canon Cameras

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Profoto A1 overview

  • 1Description

In what seems like an annual event, Profoto rolls out a new product that's either an enhancement to a product in their existing roster or a product that's a ground-breaking experience. While they're firmly entrenched in precise TTL technology with the D2 and B1X battery-powered fixtures, and have given us a smaller form factor plus TTL with the B2, the introduction of the A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon is truly a game-changer.

The A1 was created for the professional photographer looking for portability and performance features or the ambitious non-professional who recognizes quality lighting but wants it comfortably and easily without the hassle of an overly technical interface. The A1 is easy to use. You can literally take it out of the box and start shooting. Your first shot is nearly always a keeper. The old adage about not judging a book by its cover simply doesn't apply here. The A1 is a good-looking flash, in fact, even its packaging could compete with Apple for design. Weighing 1.2 lb including its battery, the A1's sleek matte black finish not only appeals to the eye but to the tactile sense as well.

The first thing you'll notice about the A1 is its 2.75" round, tilting, rotating head which is the physical feature most responsible for the A1's natural-looking light with its soft gradual fall-off. While we rarely use superlatives, we've heard the light quality described as "beautiful" and I'd have to agree. The auto-zoom built into the head handles focal lengths from 32 to 105mm and the included Wide Lens gives you wide-angle coverage from 14 - 24mm. You can override the auto-zoom function at any time and make your adjustments manually. A filter kit with graduated CTO conversion filters and a fluorescent filter is also available to modify the unit's daylight color temperature.

The A1 performs as well as it looks and feels. It recycles in 0.05 to 1.2 seconds - significantly faster than most flash units in its class and has action-stopping flash durations from 1/800 to 1/20,000 second. The A1 supports HSS (High Speed Sync) allowing you to shoot at shutter speeds as short a 1/8000 second instead of 1/250 to blur a distracting background using a wide aperture while controlling strong ambient light behind your subject. The 76Ws head has an LED modeling light that can give you a preview of how the light is falling on your subject. It can be turned on or off, set to automatically adjust proportionally to the power level selected or just switched to manual where it can be modified by hand. All adjustments are indicated on the exceptionally readable white on black LCD display

The A1 is powered by an included Li-Ion battery that has a capacity of 350 full power flashes and thousands of partial power shots. Power is topped up on an exhausted battery in about 80 minutes with the included 100 - 240 VAC charger. The battery doesn't fade as its power is used, operating at peak performance until it's exhausted. Purchase of an additional battery is recommended.

So far, we've been discussing the A1 used on-camera but when used off-camera it really earns its name as a "Studio Light." The flash has a built-in transceiver that allows it to be used with other A1s, B2s or D2, B1 and B1X monolights. All the Air Remote wireless controllers can trigger the A1 at distances up to 1,000' and the Air Sync will give you simple wireless triggering, while the Air Remote will let you wirelessly adjust power, grouping, channel selection and modeling light on/off. It's the Air Remote TTL however, that allows you to explore and control the A1's full capabilities. It wirelessly allows assignment of channels and groups as well as TTL and power level. In fact, the A1 has a switch that allows you to set your main light to TTL, switch to manual operation to adjust manual units in other groups to ratio their output, then switch back to TTL and return to the original TTL setting which was stored for you. The A1 also has +/-3 stops of exposure compensation that can be modified from the remote for your specific needs. The light also comes with a Bounce Card, 180-degree Dome Diffuser, Flash Stand and a nylon bag with shoulder strap for storage and transport.

Flexible and easy to use, I think it's safe to say that the A1 is a remarkable addition to Profoto's roster. Is it an on-camera or an off-camera studio light? The fact is that it's both and the choice of how to use is yours.

  • Round head with soft, smooth and natural fall off
  • AirTTL and HSS for fast professional images
  • Smart magnetic click-on mount for A1 Light Shaping Tools
  • 5 Dedicated A1 Light Shaping Tools available
  • LED modeling light integrated to the head
  • Air Remote built-in (3 groups, 8 channels)
  • Rechargeable and exchangeable Li-Ion battery
  • 1.2 Sec recycling time to full power
  • TTL/MAN switch
  • Built-in auto-zoom in head with manual override handles lenses from 32 to 105mm
  • Wide Lens handles camera lenses from 14 - 24mm
  • Auto focus (AF) assist
  • Large Hi-Res LCD display
  • TTL Support for Canon
  • Compatible with all Profoto Air Remotes, wireless range up to 1,000'.
  • Profoto A1 specs

    Mount Shoe
    Guide No. Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Exposure Control Manual, TTL
    Vari-Power Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Bounce Head Yes
    Swivel Head Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Distance Range Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Zoom Head Full Frame: 32 - 105 mm
    Off-Camera Terminal Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Recycle Time Approximately 0.05 - 1.2 Seconds
    Flash Duration 1/800 - 1/20000 sec
    Flash-Ready Indicator Yes
    Compensation -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
    Slave Timing Modes Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Wireless Operation Method: RF
    Distance: Up to 1000' / 304.80 m
    Mode: Master, Slave
    Wireless Communication Channels 8 Channels
    Wireless Groups 3 Groups
    Power Source Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 8.6 x 10.2 x 3.5" / 21.8 x 25.9 x 8.9 cm
    Weight 1.232 lb / 560 g Including Battery
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 4.2 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 10.5 x 8.5 x 3.75"

    Profoto A1 reviews

    A1 AirTTL-C Studio Light for Canon is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 14.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding All-Around Flash I primarily photograph sporting events and take flash photos before/after events and in some cases, where I am permitted to use flash during an event (like wrestling), I often use HSS.� The A1 excels at HSS for me and allows me to utilize HSS in burst mode, never missing a shot, whereas my previous camera brand flash would not be able to keep up. Additionally, the battery location/convenience of quickly replacing it when needed and the included accessories that attach via magnets are outstanding. From a Guide Number perspective, at 76WS, it is as powerful (but not more so) than my camera brand flash. This is an expensive flash, but it is every bit the same Profoto quality build exhibited by my B1 and B2 lights; and seamlessly works with them in a mixed lighting setup.
    Date published: 2018-01-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very nice Very nice speedlite. It is already here in Russia. I've been using Canon 600RTs for 2 years now. This one is much better. Here are things it has, 600RT does not have: lithium battery, modelling light, it does not overheat (we have a winner). After 2 shoots with it now, total of about 1000 pictures, the battery still has 20% left. Continuous bursts of up to 5, it never gave a dark shot. 600RT would start givings blacks after 2 or 3. I kept power level under 8. On the second day I was using HSS only (power also under 8). Not a single black shot for two days. Overheating was never an issue (as it would have been if 600RT was used). Some minor negatives: (1) sits not quite tight in camera shoe (5dmIV), it might lose contact (so far did not happen). (2) firmware upgrade didn't work at first, I had to repeat the steps several times before "Upgrade" button become enabled. After the upgrade, the unit would not turn on. Replacing the battery fixes the problem (3) Integration with canon camera is very minimal, but this could be considered as a plus, it is easier this way, more straight forward, than digging into the camera's menu.
    Date published: 2017-11-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! , selling my Canon flashes, anyone interested? Seriously, I've had a love hate relationship with my canon flashes, the 600 RT and 600 II Rt, while good they always seem to fail at just the right moment, like shooting multiple shots and the flash just would't recycle fast enough, even with the best and freshest batteries. Very frustrating to say the least. A couple years ago I broke down and bought a couple B-1 Airs and fell in love with Profoto equipment. On location I can have them up and running in a minute or two and they have never failed me.� When I first heard of the A-1 I knew I had to have one, and from what I read I loved the quality of light form the round flash head. While I only just received it from B&H earlier today and haven't used in on a commercial shoot I can tell from testing everything is going to change for the better. The quality of light is really beautiful although using it with Canon 24-105 and not using any modifiers there is a really strong fall off in lighting on the edges, this can actually be a nice effect in some photos but once I placed the three modifiers on the light everything changed, the supplied bounce card is as good as it gets, a beautiful quality of light. The dome defuser also was quite nice but once I put the wide angle diffuser it covered the 24mm lens just perfectly especialicy if using the flash directly which I do use sometimes at events. I tried shooting multiple flashes to see if I could tax the flash creating the same issue I've had with my Canon speed lights, even with the batteries right out of the box and not fully charged the flash didn't miss a beat Now I can use the A-1 flash in conjunction with my B-1 Air's seamlessly.� My suggestion is to of for it, you just may fall in love all over again! Richard
    Date published: 2017-12-20
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expensive Flash with some flaws Perhaps the quality of light is slightly nicer because its a round head, and perhaps the menu setup is a little simpler than other flash. The Modeling light is nice for low light event coverage, but there are some inexcusable flaws on a unit that costs this much. The flash doesn't feel firmly fixed to the camera, it wobbles a little and more importantly the pivot of the head itself is loose, allowing it to rotate too easily when the camera is by your side. The magnetic attachments are also not designed for anyone who might move through crowds or have the flash by their side. Both these points made the flash feel generally flimsy (I hadn't found the TTL switch or the zoom head changed unexpectedly, but I'd guess it might be an issue). The battery unit is awesome as oppose to AA, but doesn't hold a charge as long as I'd hoped and at $100 a battery I didn't feel like owning a few. The power button being the same as the test button isn't ideal either. A few times I blasted someone instead of powering it off. Unfortunately this flash had to be sent back. I was hopeful for this addition to my B2's and to move away from the Canon 600's but it looks like I'll be waiting for the issues to be fixed in the next model.
    Date published: 2018-01-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have used mine once shooting an event Shot over 400 pictures and didn't come close to exhausting the battery. In contrast to the Canon speedlights, the A1 fires every time it is supposed to. The recycle time is in another league. It has a different sound to it versus speedlights. I used my Canons with external power and never got the consistency of performance�that I did the first time out with this. �Canon lights are going up for sale.
    Date published: 2017-12-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you use Profoto this is a welcome addition I shoot weddings, mitzvahs, and other events. I use B1s and B2s for these venues to provide ambient light on the dance floor. For fill, I have traditionally had an assistant follow me around with a B2 on a pole with a mini softbox to provide a pop of fill flash when capturing the action on the dance floor. While the lights up on stands are sometimes enough to create a really nice lighting effect, individuals are not always strategically positioned to take full advantage of the light. The A1 is the perfect solution allowing my assistant to do other things. TTL on camera for fill with the ability to trigger my other Profoto lights in the room providing ambient light. A great combination. Worth the price if you are using Profoto equipment.
    Date published: 2018-02-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from If You Want to Improve Your Portraits, Buy It! I am a videographer first and photographer second, but many times I am asked to shoot portraits of friends, family, graduates, etc. When Project Lunacy (offshoot of Shutterfest) came to Las Vegas in 2017 I hopped on the opportunity to learn more about photography. When i arrived I got to use the Profoto A1s long before they were released to the public (November 13-15, 2017). Using this light outside while backlighting a subject with the sun was no problem. It not only can control the other Profoto lights but is a very powerful studio output light in the form factor of my SB-700. Really loved the light and the circular head made the fall off a lot smoother than the usual boxy light heads most of us are used to. So yes they are expensive but short of buying a set of B1s or other profoto lights they are extremely portable, affordable (by comparison), and give off a large amount of beautiful light.
    Date published: 2018-01-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I am so happy with my A1 I know lots of people are saying it's just an expensive speedlight but I am super happy with my A1. I like that all my lights are from one system and can all work together effortlessly. The A1 is also very powerful for such a small light. Easy to carry and travel. More importantly I like the quality of light from the Profoto system.
    Date published: 2018-03-16
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