PRIOLITE – ULTRA – Compact Cordless Strobe Coming

PRIOLITE ULTRA

 

Priolite US have launched a new ultra compact, 500Ws, version of their HotSync enabled cordless strobes on Kickstarter.

And if you’re quick there are significant savings available via the Kickstarter campaign (closes the 3rd August 2016).

The Priolite Ultra are not only Priolite’s most compact cordless strobe, their HotSync mode (allowing high cameras shutter speeds to 1/8000th) will now work at any power level set on the strobe. From full 500Ws, down to minimum 17Ws.

And the HotSync is available for use with most Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax cameras.

 

PRIOLITE ULTRA

 

With a body length of just 8 inches (20.5 cm), the Priolite MBX500HS Ultra are Priolite’s smallest cordless strobe so far. Considerably smaller even than their current 300Ws strobe.

Overall weight has not yet been specified (until actual production units are ready), though its said to be less than the previous 500Ws units 8.2lbs  (3.7kg).

The Ultra feature a metal body, mount, and hardware, and are designed and manufactured in Germany.

A 2.4GHz radio receiver is built inside, as well as a removable Lithium-ion battery capable of 220 full power pops.

 

PRIOLITE ULTRA

 

 

PRIOLITE ULTRA MAJOR FEATURES

 

  • 1/8000 high speed flash synch at any power level (from 17Ws up to 500Ws)
  • Built-in 2.4 GHz wireless receiver compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax cameras (trigger and adjust up to 4 groups of lights)
  • Universal modifier mount takes Priolite, Hensel, and Bowens-s mount without an adapter, & Elinchrom or Profoto with an adapter
  • Fine output control with 1/10th stop intervals
  • Recycling time of 2.5 sec at full power
  • LED modeling light (equivalent to 80W halogen)
  • Portable for travel at 8 inches in length and 5.6 inches wide
  • 220 full-power flashes per charge, and over 6000 at the lowest power setting
  • 5,500 Kelvin color temperature
  • 8 inches in length and 5.6 inches wide, the Priolite Ultra is portabile for travel
  • Metal frame, metal hardware, metal mount, Li-Ion powered

 

The Priolite Ultra are voltage controlled flashes (not IGBT) and therefore provide an auto dump feature when reducing power levels.

And Priolite’s HotSync mode uses the long flash durations of the voltage controlled flash to allow camera shutter speeds up to 1/8000th with any power level on the flash.

The HotSync mode is available for use with most Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax cameras, using corresponding HotSync RC-HS transmitter units dedicated for each respective camera system.

Priolite also claim their HotSync system is more automated and advanced than most other systems using the Long Duration Sync method. In that there is bi-directional communication between the strobes and the camera, providing the best timing at any particular shutter speed and strobe power level.

All of which in practical terms should simply mean a frame with no shutter showing in the image, and more even light across the frame, at high camera shutter speeds. (Though at this stage Priolite do not offer any examples to demonstrate these claimed advantages).

 

PRIOLITE ULTRA

 

Another unique feature of the Priolite Ultra is a universal modifier mount takes Priolite, Hensel, and Bowens S-type mount without any adapter.

And also Elinchrom or Profoto modifiers with an optional adapter.

 

PRIOLITE ULTRA

 

PRIOLITE ULTRA SPECIFICATIONS

Power Output: 
500 Ws

Modeling Light: 
LED, equivalent to 80 W halogen

Recycling time: 
2.5 sec at full power

Flash Sync Speed: 
1/8000 second with Priolite Remote Control RC-HS at any power setting

Color Temperature:
5500 Kelvin

Power control:
in 1/10 f-stops, from full power all the way down to 17 Ws

Flashes per battery charge:
220 flashes at full power, over 6000 at the lowest power setting

Battery charging time:
2 h to 80 %, 3 h to full charge

Battery:
16 V, 50 Wh, 1.3 lbs., Li-ion battery with protection, no memory effect, UN3481 certified

Standard delivery:
1 MBX500HS ULTRA (flash tube, glass dome, protection cap, built-in remote control module)
1 Li-Ion battery
1 UL/CSA/CE approved charger
1 user manual
1 sync cable
2 year worldwide warranty

Materials: composite for rear cover and handle,
aluminum and steel for body, frame, mount, and hardware

Body Dimensions:
8 inches long,  5.7 inches diameter

 

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

 

The Priolite MBX500HS Ultra are priced at $1399, though they are available for a limited time from $799 on the Kickstart Campaign.

Shipping is from September 2016.

 

Priolite – Sony HSS

Priolite – Pentax HSS

Priolite – USA Website

Priloite – Europe Website

 

 

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16 Comments
  1. Earle 9 months ago

    Intriguing offering especially at the Kickstarter price.

  2. Art 9 months ago

    doesn’t strike me as great value, especially at the full price. Godox AD600 might be a better purchase IMHO

    • Earle 9 months ago

      I guess it depends on the value you put on a metal chassis vs plastic. Godox has certainly hit a value/price sweet spot.

      Priolite is a funny company. They do play up the European orgin (and may have a stronger following there) but haven’t quite gotten over the hump.

      In the end, light is light — though consistency matters. If their “hotsync” method produces more consistent color and intensity than Hypersync or other long-tail burn methods, then they’ll be popular in the niche that requires higher than regular sync speeds that value repeatability to deliver quality to their customers.

      And of course if you need that with Pentax, it’s the only game in town.

  3. Markdoxie 9 months ago

    I like the universal mount. Hensel is the best that I have used.
    Bowens seems great but the Chinese copies are very poor fits if they fit at all.

  4. LS 9 months ago

    Nobody else talks about full power control in High speed sync mode. It seems other strobes have some predetermined low power value for high speed sync that they don’t want to talk about. I have gone through specifications of Godox, Profoto, etc. and could not find any such detail.

    This is the only strobe that says it can use full 500ws at 1/8000 sec. This could be a big deal in blocking sunlight.

    Along with metal body, this seems like a good strobe.
    That being said, it will be very expensive at its original price of $1600.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 9 months ago

      Hi LS,

      There is nothing shown there to indicate this strobe can provide different results at full power to the strobes you mention.

      There is so much marketing jargon in that campaign that I had a hard time even writing this post without repeating what appear to me to be misleading claims.

      Not to say its not a great strobe, and probably the nicest piece of engineering you would get for $800, though I personally find their marketing a bit distasteful.

      • LS 9 months ago

        Thanks FH, I see. Does Godox allow manual power controls in HSS mode? I haven’t decided between Priolite one and Godox. I like Godox’s TTL and HSS features but not sure if I can use full power at 1/8000 th second. I like Priolite small size but it is more expensive than Godox (with its remote for $260). According to their Kickstarter website, theirs is the only strobe that can do full power at all sync speeds. Not sure if this is true or just marketing. Also, their company is based in Germany with minimal support in US.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 9 months ago

          This is difficult to explain in a short comment unfortunately.

          If you read through this post on the Phottix ODS timing adjustment, it explains the difference between traditional HSS, and Long Duration Sync methods.

          Traditional HSS pulses the flash effectively creating a constant light source, but only just long enough to last the time it takes for the small opening between the cameras shutter curtains to to completely move across the sensor.

          The Long Duration Sync method simply uses a longer flash duration to act as the constant light source. And because the flash burst tapers off in a long tail there can be a gradient across the image.

          Pulsing the flash is generally more even across the frame, though you can generally get more light in the image with the Long Duration method, up to a stop or more, at least in the brightest part of the frame.

          With the Long Duration method though the ideal sync timing can change as you change shutter speed, where pulsing the flash they can simply make the light source constant for long enough to cover any shutter speed, at the cost of overall power.

          There is no free lunch though, becasue only a small part of the sensor is ever exposed at one time, it can’t receive the whole 500Ws. That’s shared across the sensor as the shutter slit moves across (with either method).

          .

          So the Priolite strobes use the Long Duration method, where TTL capable strobes like the AD600 now use the flash pulsing method. Though you can use Long Duration Sync with those as well at full power only.

          And using the flash pulsing method the AD600 etc can provide HSS at any shutter speed.

          Priolite are using the Long Duration method with a voltage controlled flash. And they have made the flash duration’s long enough so that you can get a completely lit frame at any flash power level.

          But they also claim to have bi-directional communication between the strobes and the camera, so that the sync timing is automatically adjusted for different shutter speeds providing the best results at any power level.

          If you’re adjusting the timing yourself though, you can see the best results can sometimes be a bit subjective. If you use more of the tail the frame can have less gradient, but less maximum light etc. No doubt having the timing change automatically for you is considerably more practical.

          With Priolite using only their own radio trigger and strobes, which they have designed specifically to have good flash durations for this function, then theoretically they should be able to provide better results than others. They haven’t provided any examples to show that though, they don’t even provide the flash duration specs.

          Then to say –

          “utilize CHARGE-TRACK and create the best possible exposure timing at any shutter speed, and most importantly, at any power setting, all the way up to 1000Ws per head, and with NO LOSS OF POWER.”

          I have no idea what “NO LOSS OF POWER” can even really mean there. And again Priolite show no examples to back that up or explain any real advantage in practical terms.

          Power is not the overall factor, its how much light can get onto the camera sensor (as that shutter slit moves across).

          .

          So it possible there could be good things with what they have done, and the Long Duration Sync method generally provides more light in the frame. Though we’ve heard over-hyped claims since PocketWizard started commercializing the technique number of years ago now.

          Without anything to show the advantages though its impossible to know what they really are. Is there less gradient, and more light etc, if so they haven’t shown anything.

          Full power on the AD600 etc using the Long Duration method is likely going to be much the same light in the frame, even at 1/8000th. Its likely a matter of whether the Priolite’s flash duration can provide any more of an even frame, or less gradient.

          • Markdoxie 9 months ago

            Thank you for that detailed explanation of the two strategies currently in use for focal plane shutter flash sync.
            I spend a lot of time explaining to people that FP shutters are handicapped at higher shutter speeds with respect to flash.

            ND filters, HSS and Hyper-Sync are all compromised work arounds to the limitations of focal plane shutters.

            As a working pro who uses flash on nearly every shoot, I love the flexibility of leaf shutter lenses. Cameras such as the Fuji X100, Panasonic FZ-1000, Sony RX10III, Leica X and Q, and the MF cameras that use LS lenses.

            Being able to throw light great distances outside in full sun with settings less than full power is invaluable.
            I do believe that we will see more camera/lens combinations of this type as manufacturers seek to exploit niches as yet unexplored.

          • Art 9 months ago

            Admin I think you can pretty much copy/paste this answer into its own article… very good and detailed

            thank you

  5. Dan 9 months ago

    At $799 it’s a worthwhile consideration. At $1,499 I would go with something else.

  6. Charly 9 months ago

    Additional items offered to buy from PRIOLITE after the closure of the Kickstarter ULTRA 500 Kickstarter…
    Their words:

    The discount offer ends on August 15. This has largely to do with the fact that these items need to be packaged and shipped together with your main reward(s), and as you recall, production is already in full swing with the first items to ship soon

    This is what they offer to backers like me that sponsored 2 ULTRA`s. I have asked for a trigger for my Pentax Medium Format Digital.
    But so far additional fees are required. Must be a very heavy trigger….I will let you know how this develops……

    • Earle 9 months ago

      Additional fees? I decided to pick up one light through Kickstarter then added the trigger, extra battery and the case/5 inch reflector after the fact at the 15 percent discount. The only extra fees I noticed amounted to shipping.

      • Charly 9 months ago

        Yes, exactly. Even if it is packaged and shipped with the main reward(s)….
        But now I was told by them that I can purchase the trigger at a regular store (and price) locally, and it will result less expensive. It happens to be true. I will do that now.

        • Earle 9 months ago

          After reading the last update, the separate shipping costs make sense, since they’re not repackaging Kickstarter purchases along with regular purchases.

  7. Charly 3 months ago

    Sorry to say that I am still waiting for my ULTRA´s.
    It was a total of $1653.00 including shipping cost. I guess that this has taught me never to sponsor anything else again on the Kickstarter webpage ! (Original shipping was supposed to be in Sept 2016).
    All the info that I got lately is that my rewards had been shipped, but without any tracking numbers (?) It has been several weeks now. And now they don`t answer my emails anymore.
    Right now I don`t want to mention the response from the owner/factory in Germany…
    It looked like a decent product and serious company, but we can always make mistakes!

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