Profoto Upgrades Compact Studio Light to the A1X, Adds Sony Model

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Profoto has done it again. Now, the company has made small tweaks to its smallest flash to create the next-gen A1X AirTTL Studio Light. This camera-mounted strobe made a huge splash when it was first launched, supporting Canon or Nikon TTL systems and high-speed sync. Now, while there is, in fact, improved performance, the biggest news is that Profoto is bringing this advanced speedlight to Sony.

The A1X will deliver the same amazing light quality that the original light featured, thanks to its rounded head and various light-shaping tools. The upgrades come to performance. Most appreciated is a new Li-Ion Battery Pack that is rated for 450 full-power flashes on a single charge—that’s 100 more than its predecessor. Also, it will recycle in just 1 second flat, has 20 wireless channels compared to 8, and the interface more closely resembles the B10.

Getting into the general specifications, the A1X offers AirTTL and HSS, a magnetic mount for A1 Light Shaping Tools, an LED modeling light, and a built-in Air Remote for working with other fixtures. It also comes with a bounce card and dome diffuser. The A1X AirTTL Studio Light will be available for Canon, Nikon, and Sony systems. A new Off-Camera Kit is being made, as well, which includes the A1X and a Connect Trigger for quickly and easily moving the flash off-camera. This will also be made in Canon, Nikon, and Sony varieties. 

In another fun turn of events, Profoto is bringing the 20 channels found in the A1X to many of their other Air-compatible lights. This will help limit interference in busy venues. Firmware updates will be made available for the original A1B10, D2, and Connect, meaning that all these existing lights and the new A1X can be folded together into elaborate setups with ease. Instructions can be found on My Profoto for registered products or in the Profoto mobile app for select lights.

Are you excited about the upgraded A1X? Ready to add it to your kit? Please be sure to stop by the Comments section, below, to share your thoughts on this release.

6 Comments

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I'm very disappointed. It looks as if Profoto still hasn't understood what was wrong with the old one. Still, there are too many buttons you can accidentally hit. I can't see any flash head lock buttons. The flash head sits very loosely on the A1 and swings easily only when you walk a little. Everyone expected Profoto to fix this on the next model, but I see no changes. The manual zoom and Man/TTL button system is both too easy to get in accidentally. This makes the flash very difficult to use in settings where the image must sit on the first attempt and cannot be taken over.

It was always my biggest issue with the A1 that the head was tilting forward so easily. I've swapped my unit 3 times and had one sent over from Sweden and they all had the same problem. They have solved it now with the A1X, it's much harder to move and is very rigid. 

How's the performance of the A1X?

Do you use it as an off-camera flash, or as a more powerful on-camera flash?

Is it reliable in both roles? 

I'm wary about putting that thing on my camera, with a listed weight of 1.23 lb / 560 g Including Battery

It weighs about the same as a Canon or Nikon pro flash.  But it is about 1.5-2 stops less powerful when you need it - on the long end, because it does not zoom in as far as other pro flashes.  But it recycles a lot faster and doesn't overheat.

I agree.  The sloppy head is horrible.  I have mine taped in place with a ton of gaffer tape.  I also have the zoom ring taped, and the TTL/Manual button taped.  Seeing a pattern?

They needed to put a real on/off switch on and make it waterproof.  The process of turning it on, locking it, unlocking it and turning it off is absurd.  I bought 2 of the A1 flashes, but there is no reason to buy this one.  Disappointed.

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