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Profoto Reveals Upgraded B1X 500 AirTTL Monolight

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Profoto has been running full speed these past few years with the expansion of its AirTTL system with new monolights, brand new lighting systems, and lightning-fast power packs. So, it is only fitting that the company has come full circle since it has just revealed the upgraded B1X 500 AirTTL Monolight 1-Light To-Go Kit and 2-Light Location Kit. This upgraded model makes a few significant improvements, including a brand-new LED modeling light, which is 80% more powerful and has a CRI greater than 90, making it a great option for hybrid stills/video shooters. It also comes packaged with an MKII battery pack, which offers a massive 50% increase over the original for 325 full-power flashes on a single charge. Pleasing users of high-speed sync, the B1X now offers a full nine stops of power adjustment in HSS mode. Owners of the original B1 will be happy to hear that the new battery is backward compatible and that the HSS changes will be available as a firmware update.

To get the most out of this new fixture you should pick up or use one of Profoto’s AirTTL Remotes, which now include an option for Olympus shooters. This Air Remote TTL-O provides all the same features and functionality as the existing models for Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras, which includes TTL, manual control, high-speed sync, and a range of 1000'. On top of this, Profoto has a couple of other modifiers specific to the OCF line: the OCF Magnum Reflector and OCF Zoom Reflector. These hard reflectors are lightweight versions of Profoto’s existing models and help boost output and control the beam angle of the light from 40-80° and 55-85°, respectively.

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The only thing that Profoto did was change the modeling light from a 70 watt to a 135 watt equivalent power output.  Eveything else with the light appears to be identical to the B1 after a firmware update.

They also increased the battery output slightly.  Their initial batch of batteries have been recalled due to a safety issue so your not suppoed to handle or move them in any way.  The new batteries can also be used with a B1 if they ever get their supplier to make safe ones.

I for one am not impressed with Profoto initial product quality issues.

Highly impressed, good luck to you all. 

Slightly off subject, is there going to be a new version of B2 also?  I am planning to getting one. Should I wait?

Hi Ravi,

We have no information on future products from Profoto, but I would guess that as the B2 is a much newer product than the original B1, that we won't see any upgrades very soon. You shouldn't have any reservations about picking one up now if you need it.

Thanks!

Would the Profoto Air Remote TTL-N work/control radio remotes such as the Yongnuo iTTL versions so you could use the your SBs in conjunction with these higher powered flash heads?

Hi Martin,

Sorry but the Profoto TTL-N Air Remote is only compatible with AirTTL devices from Profoto. It is possible to use the Air Sync to directly connect to your speedlights to bring them into the AirTTL system, but that is without TTL.

Love that Profoto didn't have to offer the firmware update for existing owners, but offered it free anyway. Hurray!

This is one of the best aspects about this announcement, along with the fact that the new battery is backwards compatible. Huge for us existing B1 users.

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