Profoto is one of the big names when it comes to professional studio lighting. The launch of the B1 sealed its place as the choice for professional photographers on the go. The success of the B1 was followed by the more compact B2, and now the company has launched the Profoto A1 that is being hailed as the world’s smallest studio light.

At first glance you could be mistaken for thinking that the new Profoto A1 is just another hot shoe flash. It certainly looks like it with the unit’s design and press shots showing the flash being used on top of a camera.

Profoto has been keen to develop their flash range for todays photographic demands, free from the studio, portable, flexible and ready to travel anywhere. The Profoto A1 looks to do exactly that, weighing in at just 560g including the battery. To put that into perspective, the Nikon SB-5000 weighs in at 420g for the body only.

But the Profoto A1 packs in a massive max energy of 76Ws with an energy range of 9 f-stops (2.0-10). As we’ve come to expect from the latest generation of studio flashes, the Profoto A1 features HSS energy range, again this is 9 f-stops (2.0-10) with recycle time between 0.05-1.2sec depending on the power used.

Profoto A1

Profoto claims that the high-powered Li-Ion battery will be good for 350 full-power flashes and will recharge in as little as 80 minutes.

Being Profoto the A1 is fully compatible with the Profoto wireless system and features an integrated AirTTL. AirTTL will enable existing Profoto flash users to add the lightweight A1’s to their portable studio kit seamlessly and for those just investing in a new system the AirTTL units and workflow are one of the easiest wireless trigger and control units on  the market.

As well as size and power Profoto has made the A1 as easy to use as possible with a clear rear display that enables you to directly set and switch between groups and settings.

The design, of course, makes the unit far easier to manipulate and use than any other Profoto lamp before, and like the B1 features an integrated Li-Ion battery pack.

As the Profoto A1 is designed for use on the move Profoto has incorporated some interesting features including a powerful LED lamp for modelling and a magnetic mount for quickly attaching light modifiers.

The Profoto A1 is available for Canon and Nikon cameras, with other versions to be launched next year, Profoto told us at the  A1’s launch event in Sweden.

Key features of the Profoto A1

  • Easy to use with just two menu screens – a dial lets you select the feature you want (but bah, no touchscreen)
  • HSS
  • Round light – like the sun!
  • Magnetic diffuser mount and a diffuser and widespread attachment included
  • Zoom adjustment auto or by zooming a ring
  • TTL/Manual switch int he side is convenient
  • Max Power 76Ws
  • 300m range

Profoto A1 Price & Release Date

The Profoto A1 price tag will be $1,000 with a release date of 19 September in Sweden and Germany. It’s set to retail for £840 in the UK, going on sale towards the end of September. I’ll need three.

For more information check out profoto.com/uk/a1, and we’ll bring you images, first impressions and a full review soon.

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