Profoto enters new territory with the announcement of their first speed light: the Profoto A1


posted Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM EDT


Announced today by Profoto comes a new product in a market we haven't seen them even show a desire to really enter. Until today, Profoto is most notably known for their pro-level strobes and lighting kits that cost thousands of dollars (but those who use them will say they're worth worth every penny). So what is their next step? Well, apparently speed lights, with the announcement of the Profoto A1. Friend of Imaging Resource Zach Sutton is in Sweden for the launch, and was kind enough to give us the down-low as well as his first impressions of Profoto's first foray into truly compact, portable lighting.

The Profoto A1 does speed lights differently, and the first design change you might notice is the circular flash - a welcomed change from the more traditional rectangular shape. The circular design promises more even light spread for the unit, like that of most strobes. The battery is also a welcomed change, promising up to 350 full powered shots from the 76Ws unit, with a 1.2 second recycle time. And with removable Lithium-Ion batteries, the Profoto A1 allows for swapping of battery packs when one dies and needs recharging.


Thanks to a smart magnetic mount built into the head, light shaping tools and modifiers can be clicked on and off quickly and easily. It also has a zoom function that allows you to make fine adjustments to the spread of light by simply twisting the zoom ring on the head, and for accuracy it has an LED modeling light built-in to the head (this is pretty unusual to find among speed lights).


Additionally, the Profoto A1 also includes a lot of the traditional speed light design accolades. For example: 9 f-stops of power range, with High-Speed Sync working through the full power scale. Also included is auto-focus assist built into the unit, full zooming capability, and AirTTL out of the box.


A full list of the features to the Profoto A1 acan be seen below, but the most notable feature is that it also works as a built-in Air Remote trigger, allowing you to control the full functionality and power range of all your Profoto lights, replacing the need for the $420 trigger on top of your camera. While there still is no word on the price, we're hoping to get that information soon, along with a release date.

  • Round head with soft, smooth and natural fall off
  • AirTTL and HSS for a beautiful professional image fast
  • Smart magnetic click-on mount for A1 Light Shaping Tools
  • 5 dedicated A1 Light Shaping Tools available
  • LED modeling light integrated to the head
  • Air Remote built-in
  • Iechargeable and exchangeable Li-Ion battery
  • 1.2s recycling time at full power
  • TTL/MAN switch
  • Built in motor-zoom with hand control
  • Auto focus (AF) assist
  • Large Hi-Res display
  • Support for Canon, Nikon and later for Sony

The Profoto A1 will retail for $995. So what do you think? With the world of photography getting ever smaller and more compact, it was only a matter of time before Profoto transitioned into an even more portable solution than their wildly successful B1 line. 

[Information provided by Zach Sutton and Profoto.]