Profoto A1 officially announced

Profoto has unveiled its A1 speedlight, billed as the "world's smallest studio flash".

Profoto A1

Swedish lighting manufacturer Profoto has officially unveiled their first shoe-mount flash, the Profoto A1.

The announcement was beset by leaks but their new product, billed as the “world’s smallest studio flash”, has been revealed at a press event in Stockholm.

Compatible with Profoto’s 2.4 GHz AirTTL system, the Profoto A1 is rated 76Ws, with a round flash head and an LED modelling lamp. It accepts special magnetic accessories and can be mounted on or off camera.

Profoto A1

Profoto A1

There are two separate versions, for Canon (TTL-C) and for Nikon (TTL-N), with different hotshoes for the respective TTL protocols. The built-in wireless transmitter-receiver works at ranges up to 300 metres, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The recycle time is 1.2 seconds at full power, and output is adjustable over 9 stops or in TTL auto mode.

Photographers will undoubtedly be keen to compare this flash — which, with its articulated head more resembles a speedlight than a bare-bulb studio flash — with other hybrid offerings such as the Godox Witstro series.

Earlier leaks suggested the lithium-ion battery is non-removable, but this turns out not to be the case. Extra batteries are available separately for $99. Other accessories include gel kits and a bounce card.

US retail pricing for the Profoto A1 TTL-C and TTL-N is set at $995. There are no versions for other camera brands yet, but you can use the A1 off-camera with any brand of Profoto Air Remote TTL, including Olympus and Fujifilm. Pre-order now at B&H Photo.

For more information, visit the Profoto web site.

David Selby
Based in the West Midlands, UK, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a statistics PhD student.
selbydavid.com
  • Jason Bonello

    lame

  • $1000 ? THAT is the reason ive been buying Yungnao’s. redickulous.

  • Class A

    The pricing for the battery ($99) tells one everything one needs to know about the pricing of Profoto gear. At least one feels like a real photographer when one is overcharged like that. Photographers seem like a well-loved milking subject. A white bed sheet that is sold for $29.95 for non-photographers, can cost $299.50 just because the same thing is sold as a “photographic textile background” or “photographic diffusion plane”. 😀

  • Jef de Vries

    Love mij Godox AD200. This A1 is a joke. Just 76ws. Your kidding?

  • Every year Profoto tries to reinvent the wheel in order to introduce a new product as if they were APPLE.
    A funky design and WiFi connectivity is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
    This on camera flash is ridiculous and PROOF that PROFOTO has jumped the shark.

    • Felix

      Profoto doesn’t even have wifi connectivity. I really wish one day they will incorporate wifi in their lights.

      • “Profoto’s 2.4 GHz AirTTL” That 2.4GHZ thingy? That is WiFi; just not as most people understand it.

        • Felix

          It’s a called a radio trigger…Bron on the other hand has wifi functions.

        • A microwave oven is 2.4 GHz as well but that doesn’t make it WiFi

  • IL

    I like how the “round head” seems to be one of their key unique selling points. Just a whole lot of marketing fluff – calling a glorified speedlight a “studio flash”? They’re getting trounced by innovation from other lighting makers from China and this is what they came up with?

    • Felix

      We will need to see what the actual flash tube looks like otherwise it won’t be much different from attaching a around dome as modifier.

  • Neopulse

    The only bad thing I can come up with relating to this speedlight is the price. If it was $600-$650 it would be worth it given the ecosystem and integrated receivers.

  • Felix

    Your comment about the indifferences in price is what made their product cost as expensive as it is. You could also say buying a half mil house is indifferent to buying a one mil house because you get to divide the cost by the number of years you are going to live in that house? That’s a failing economy logic. It’s a speedlight with integrated air compatibility. I can understand Profoto can charge a premium on their products for it’s feature and quality and design but in the case of A1 they clearly have outpaced themselves from reality…i.e. it won’t be too long until we will see a price drop on the A1 line.

    • Sorry about the delay in getting back to you, I didn´t see this reply until now.

      Indifference might not really be the word I would use, I just think it is a reasonable price for a very good tool. If you think it is too expensive, there are a lot of other options out there.

      What I don´t think people not using Profoto equipment daily, for example, is how much it is worth to have a system of tools that are extremely well thought out and developed for photographers like me. The pricing might reflect the fact that they have spent a lot of time on making things work really well and really easy to use.

      To take your house example, if the cheaper house makes me spend more time every day on opening the door and getting the light to work as it should, it would drive me crazy quite soon.

      But sure, some brands always compete with price and some don´t. The race to the bottom is not always a good thing, I think. Just look at the stock photography market.