WPPI 2018: A Closer Look at the Profoto A1, the Speedlight that's a Studio Strobe

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Looks like a speedlight. Feels like a speedlight. Fits on your camera like a speedlight. But, it’s not a speedlight. The Profoto A1 is a compact light for your Canon or Nikon camera’s hot shoe (or off-camera bracket) that is a studio monolight in a speedlight’s clothing. Here at the 2018 Wedding and Portrait Photographers International show, in Las Vegas, we got to take a closer look at this new powerhouse from Profoto.

To be fair, it is a bit bigger than your average speedlight, but that super-sized speedlight frame is what gives you the advantages of the Profoto A1. Most on-camera speedlights feature a rectangular aperture for the strobe light. The Profoto A1 has a large, circular 2.75" opening that lets photons go flying.

AirTTL (through-the-lens) capability makes the Profoto A1 function just like your favorite OEM speedlight—taking the guesswork out of exposures and letting you forget the test shots and handheld meter work. Plus, a built-in modeling light lets you visualize the light spread prior to firing the strobe.

Shaping the light is easy, thanks to the magnetic attachments that click onto the A1 with a satisfying attraction. Profoto A1 light modifiers include the

Soft Bounce

Gel Kit

Dome Diffuser

Bounce Card

Wide Lens.

Remember the four factor. The Profoto A1 is powered by a Li-Ion battery that provides illuminating power for the unit that lasts up to 4 times longer than a AA-battery-powered speedlight. And, with that power, recycle time is about 4 times faster than traditional speedlights.

Like other Profoto lighting systems, the relatively diminutive A1 still has the same tactile feel of the Profoto line that speaks of quality and workmanship.

Are you ready to get your hands on the Profoto A1?

9 Comments

The Profoto / Canon system works great!  I can use the A1 as an accent light with my B1s or use it by itself for lighting off camera.  The light quality is better than Speedlites.  You do have to attach modifiers to use it at really wide angles but I can live with that given how capable and handy this light is.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Stewart! We are glad the lights are serving you well!

Still no Fujifilm

Pitchforks. Check.

Torches. Check.

See you at Fujifilm HQ at sundown!

Haha! I'm more than willing to wait. My experience using a Canon one on-camera for event photography in manual mode made me a believer!!! C'mon, Profoto, I need two of them. Take my money!

Ha!

Still no Sony 

Seconded.

I am sure they are working on it...but have no facts to back that up.

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