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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Value: $109.00

Product Highlights

  • Built-In AirTTL, Use On or Off Camera
  • Recycling: 0.05 to 1.2 sec, 76Ws
  • Li-Ion Battery: 350 Full Power Flashes
  • High-Speed Sync, LED Modeling Light
  • 9-Stop Power Range, 76Ws 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

Canon Cameras Nikon 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 (6 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
Exposure Control Manual, TTL
Vari-Power Auto: 1/256 to 1/1
Bounce Head Yes
Swivel Head Yes
Zoom Head Full Frame: 32 - 105 mm
Off-Camera Terminal Proprietary
Recycle Time Approximately 0.05 to 1.2 Seconds
Flash Duration 1/800 to 1/20000 sec
Flash-Ready Indicator Yes
Compensation -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Slave Timing Modes Instant Sync
Wireless Operation Method: RF
Distance: Up to 1000' / 304.80 m
Mode: Master, Slave
Wireless Communication Channels 8 Channels
Wireless Groups 6 Groups
Power Source 1 x Proprietary Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
Dimensions (W x H x D) 4.3 x 3.0 x 6.5" / 108.0 x 75.0 x 165.0 mm
Weight 1.23 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 4.6 out of 5 by 34.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don’t waste your money I purchased a $1000 Profoto a1 light from B&H Photo less than a month ago. The flash head was not staying in place (lose). I was told by Profoto service department to return the light for repairs at no cost to me. The service rep was stated, Profoto failed to place the proper springs in the flash head when the intital batch went out. I paid out of my pocket to return the flash and waited 2 weeks for the flash to be fixed and returned to me. When I contacted Profoto regarding my flash I was told the flash would be repaired and sent over-night the next day. The flash was mailed to me, but the repairs never took place. The flash is basically flimsy and wobbly. This is very disappointing considering I have never had an issue when my Canon flash and it cost considerably less. I want my flash replace immediately or just give me my money back.
Date published: 2018-04-28
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 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 4 out of 5 by from Great studio light This flash or studio light as they say is a really good quality product. It does indeed produce soft light as it says, the recycling speeds is tremendously fast and loved it when shooting dance performances in wedding. The only reason I am giving this 4 star is that I didn’t like the shoe-mount, it’s wobbly even when you tight, It’s mentioned by other reviewers as well. Another problem with shoe-mount is that the lock macenism is round turning knob, so you really have to make sure you turn it the right way, I have sometime turn the knob wrong side and it fell down twice, it should have instead a flip-like knob which can easily distinguish between lock and unlock. Other than that The profoto A1 is recommended!
Date published: 2018-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than expected. I followed these strobes when they released and considered it hype. As amazing reviews started being posted I pulled the trigger on the A1 strobe. Its everything people are saying. Amazing recycle time. Since I alreading have B1's and B4 packs the system is very similar. The light quality is top notch! I like the soft attachments and they produce great light. The strobe does fit well on the Canon bodies as I've read some negative comments about this I found it to be false. The strobe layout is extremly easy and functional to use. I found the Canon strobes to be very difficult to use at times. The build quality is very sturdy and feels like a well built unit. I really like the ability to tweak the output with the rotation of the dial. Going from TTL to Man is again real easy. Canon was always a downer to go into settings to change from TTL to Man. My only complaint is..... I can't find batts anywhere. I've searched across the country and everyone seems to be backordered. I shoot proffesionaly so I dont have 30 minutes to wait for the unit to charge back up.? ? ? **** And one complaint about BH**** The unit arrived used. It had scratches on the body and battery pack. When I called to notify them of the situation I was suprised what a HASSLE it was. They wanted photos and had to send the unit back which took time. They offered zero compenstion. It was like business as usual. I explained to them that its basically fraud to send a used item when I purchased a Brand New item but they didnt care. I really think BH hopes that the customer needs the item or won't notice that its used. This is the 2nd time BH has sent a used item passing it off as new. The other time I needed the Profoto strobe head and just kept it without. Really thought BH was better than this!!!
Date published: 2018-05-14
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 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 Air system not ideal for weddings and live events The A1 has serious drawbacks for weddings and live event photography.  1. You cant have the on-camera-flash in TTL, and have multiple off-camera flashes in manual mode on separate channels, that you can control independently of each other. During the ceremony-processional, reception-introductions, and formal dances, the subject-to-camera-distance is changing, so I need the on-camera-flash in TTL mode. I need the two off-camera flashes in manual mode, and to be able to fire one, the other, or both, depending on the lighting I want.  Problem is... if the on-camera flash (channel ‘A’) is in TTL, ‘B’ and ‘C’ HAVE to be in TTL also.  If the off-camera flashes are channel ‘D’ and ‘E’, I can control ‘D’, but ‘E’ ALWAYS fires. I cant independently adjust channel ‘E’. Leaving the off-camera flashes on B and C in TTL gives very inconsistent results when switching back and forth between B and C in TTL, and I don’t have the time to take a test shot in TTL, switch to manual and adjust every time the subject turns their head. 2. Two photographers with A1’s can’t both control off-camera flashes in channel D. My 2nd photographer and I are both shooting on-camera A1’s in TTL mode. Photog 1 is set to channel A, photog 2 is set to channel B, and we set our flashes to not trigger the other’s channel.  However, we BOTH want to trigger channel D and E.  It simply does not work. Your flash either doesn’t fire or fires the other photographer’s flash, even though your unit is set to not fire their channel.  EPIC FAIL for live events with multiple photographers. My Quantum system enabled us to do this. 3. The air flashs often do a full power dump after changing settings. Waste a shot, waste time, waste of power. 4. The heads turn themselves off too easily and can only be turned back on, on the flash head, not from the air remote. 5. I would greatly prefer it if the on-camera A1, displayed any manual-mode-off-camera flash’s actual power setting, not a ‘relative’ adjustment amount.
Date published: 2018-11-19
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