PROFOTO – B1 Adds HSS !

Profoto-HSS_a300_

 

Swedish manufacturer Profoto have become the first company to have HSS and TTL available in a large studio light (with battery power) via a firmware update available for the B1 500 TTL off-camera flash.

And Profoto were no doubt encouraged along by HK based Phottix, with the Indra 500WS TTL and HSS enabled battery strobe also expected to be available any time now.

 

Profoto HSS uses a series of fast flash pulses to provide an even illumination over the entire image frame at shutter speeds up to 1/8000 of second. So the B1 are now basically acting like a large speedlite, with all the same convenience, though with approximately 10 times the power.

Profoto HSS is available for both Canon and Nikon systems, with most popular cameras tested as working (though the very recent Canon 7D II is not yet compatible).

 

Profoto-HSS

 

The Profoto B1 HSS and Phottix Indra really mark the start of a new era in portable lighting, combining the speed and convenience of speedlites with the power of larger portable studio lights.

Wedding and even photographers can now produce portraits with wide apertures and shallow depth of field, while still nicely exposing the sky, all with the speed of TTL, and without the need for extra ND filters on the camera lens.

Action shots in bright ambient light can be taken at higher motion freezing shutter speeds.

 

Profoto_B1_d

 

And the Profoto B1 also have the impressive TTL lock feature, allowing you to take an initial exposure quickly with TTL, and the tweak the results from there with manual settings. Basically saving the to needed to manually meter a number of lights.

 

 

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

 

The B1 500 Air TTL $1995 - B&H Photo – Adorama

Air Remote TTL-C Transmitter $395 – B&H Photo – Adorama

Air Remote TTL-N Transmitter $395 – B&H Photo – Adorama

 

Profoto Website – B1 500, B1 500, Air Remote TTL.

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8 Comments
  1. Earle 2 years ago

    Very cool. Though still it’s Profoto so it’s a fairly high buy-in. I’ll be curious to see more images produced by this and the Indra. The one advantage the Indra will still have is that one can buy a version of the pack for studio use while the B1 will still be battery only.

  2. Ito 2 years ago

    The entry price is far too prohibitive imo. I would hope that this does it better, but for so much less you can get HSS on the RoveLight.

  3. Michael Hussey 2 years ago

    And, according to the FAQ, it does HSS with multiple bursts. I think that is a good thing. My RoveLight has HSS but it does it with the long tail route (studio strobe style) and can’t be used as the main light source for the whole frame because of the strong gradient in exposure.

  4. Tony M 2 years ago

    For some reason after getting the RoveLights the B1 lost some of its luster. The TTL was secondary to the HSS, so it’s about time really – especially for the price of admittance.

    I’d like to see a 1:1 review!

  5. Ricardo 2 years ago

    As soon as I saw the ‘H’ I knew what it was!

    I completely understand many photographer’s hesitation with the buy-in for Profoto. As a semi-pro fashion photographer, I have to make do with less expensive options until I start making real money. I seriously want Profoto strobes.

    If you’re serious about photography and need this kind of power in a super-compact package, I don’t think there is a better solution out there: HSS, TTL, small and removable battery? How about reliability and fantastic customer service? I also think they try their best with compatibility with DSLR and Medium Format cameras as well. For me, this is about as good as it gets. I’m going to have to figure out what to do if this puppy is every on sale!

    Sorry for sounding like a commercial… But after using their gear and dealing with their customer service, I’m a total fan!

    • Tony M 2 years ago

      If my paycheck depended on it – I have no hesitation to buy the best – and I’d certainly purchase this system. Customer service suddenly becomes very important. That’s why the lenses or electronics I use for business are the best of the best. With a RoveLight the best I could hope for is a new one after returning the other one and waiting a couple of weeks as long as I’m within that 1 year warranty window. Profoto will back their stuff up for years to come.

      But there’s things that fall into the partial use or does it do what I think it might category – which is what I got the RoveLights for.

      If I were crazy enough to be a wedding or fashion photographer I’d certainly go for the Profoto. Also, anybody who thinks that clients don’t notice this stuff needs to think again. While most just notice I’ve got a big black camera, I’ve been quite surprised at how many clients comment on specifically what equipment I’ve got. It’s all in the presentation – and coming through with results.

    • JH PHOTOS 2 years ago

      I’m with you on that, i’ve dealt with their customer service recently and I am impressed. They respond quickly whether it’s by phone or by social media and they handle it in a professional manner.
      I don’t own a car anymore, so the fact that I can fit a camera, a lense or two, a profoto head+ battery, trigger, filters; into a backpack and hit a location is pretty big deal.

      One word of advice, don’t bother with the faster charger. The one that came with my head is plenty fast, it’s not worth another 200 dollars to me to cut down recharge time by 1 hour. (My battery charge times are typically about 1.5 hours or less anyway)

  6. JH PHOTOS 2 years ago

    I just updated my profoto head and trigger for the new HSS, don’t have a subject to test it on yet but i’ll find something. I thought the same about the buy-in price too, but after using a few other products, this seemed like the best possible one light source to take on the road with me. Battery and light are compact and easy to move around, all i have to worry about is light modifiers and location.

    The build quality of the B1 head is superior to anything i’ve tried or bought so far, very expensive yes but nice for location work (size and weight becomes an issue when you consider paying luggage fee’s for traveling VIA airports).
    I bought this for myself last year as an early christmas present, I have not had opportunity to try it out on anything except self portraits.

    The HSS update FYI: Unplug all your usb devices if possible, anything not absolutely necessary to the function of the computer, there’s a bug where the update may not start if they are plugged in (found on mac laptop 10.10). Profoto’s directions were not explicit enough for my liking so I had to do a little google searching to find better instructions.

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