Photography News Issue 49


Photography News | Issue 49 |


Profoto’s small studio light

Hands on: Profoto A1

“It is always a privilege to be at a product launch and it’s rare – I’m talking dodo rare here – to be invited to the unveiling of a lighting unit. As the presentation began, my knee-jerk reaction was that the new product was a speedlight, but as the Profoto team went through the thinking behind the product and showed work from photographers who had been trialling it, I could see why Profoto is touting the A1 as the world’s smallest studio light. “Later, we got to use the A1 in various scenarios. The first test was, could I get shooting with it without referring to a quick start guide or asking the Profoto support team? Actually, yes I could. Mounted and locked on a Nikon D810 I was up and running in a trice, although it took a few minutes longer to fully understand what the settings and the options were. “TTL or manual light control is easy as there is a sliding switch on the A1’s side. The neat thing with Profoto’s TTL mode is that once the correct exposure is determined in TTL you can slide the switch to manual and the output stays the same. “Outdoors in intermittent sunshine I started shooting in TTL mode at normal sync speeds using the control dial to fine- tune output. Next it was time to explore high speed sync and I Will Cheung was at the launch of the Profoto A1 in Stockholm and here’s his report on the event.

Leading lighting brand Profoto talked to social and wedding photographers and identified what they needed from a portable light: the result is theA1. This professional flash features a round light head designed for light shaping whether used on its own or with modifiers that fit on the magnetic mount around the head. The head itself can be tilted or rotated to suit bounce flash whether shooting upright or horizontal format pictures. The A1 has a hotshoe mount, dedication available for Canon and Nikon at the moment, so can be used on- and off-camera. Its output is a very useful 76Ws so powerful enough for use on its own or in combination with other Profoto flash units, and that brings us to a key feature of the A1: it has AirTTL Remote on board. So if you own (or intend to own) a Profoto B1X or B2 set-up, the A1 means you have wireless control, normal sync and TTL flash up to 300m and 100m in HSS over those lighting units plus it provides a quality front light. Power is provided by a li-ion rechargeable battery with capacity of up to 350 full manual flash bursts. The cell recharges from flat in 80 minutes, recycling time after a full power flash is about 1.5secs. In addition to the A1, Profoto introduced the AirTTL Remote trigger for Fujifilm cameras, available from the end of the year,

tried shots at a variety of shutter speeds including 1/8000sec for a blip of high speed sync fill-in. That seemed to work fine. The A1 coped well and recycling times were short, as promised. “Next we had some indoor scenarios lined up where we got the chance to try the A1 in bounce mode and also with the modifiers that come with the A1. The wide lens diffuser, dome diffuser and bounce card were all tried. These magnet-fit accessories worked well, stayed put on the flash head and did a great job of modifying output for impressive lighting effects, even with just one light. “In the final scenario we used the A1 with its AirTTL mode on with Profoto B2 flash heads. Again no problem and the whole systemworked really well. “In the short time that we got to try the A1 it is difficult not to be impressed. It performed well, gave a lovely light quality and gave us more than an inkling of its potential, on its own and with members of the Profoto family.”

joining a family of triggers for Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony cameras. There’s a full test on the A1 and a profile of Profoto’s CEO Anders Hedebark in this issue of PN if you want to find out more .

CameraWorld launches CameraWorld LIVE

CameraWorld has announced the launch of CameraWorld LIVE, its brand-new photography event, which will take place at 155 Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street, London EC2M 3YD on 28 October 2017. The event will see a wide variety of photography brands and manufacturers exhibiting. Attendees will have the chance to chat to the experts, plus try out and buy gear. There’ll also be a dedicated trade-in area allowing you to use your old gear to put towards purchasing something new, and there’s a full programme of events, talks, interactive seminars, live photoshoots and much more. If you are thinking of buying something new, CameraWorld has said that it will be including some of its famous show deals. Tony Stent, director and co-founder of CameraWorld said: “We’re thrilled to introduce CameraWorld LIVE. We wanted to build on the success of our

previous events and the reputation of the CameraWorld stores, and we’re confident that CameraWorld LIVE will deliver a fantastic experience for visitors and for the exhibitors involved. The feedback from camera brands and distributors has been exceptionally positive; there’s a real appetite for this type of event in London and we can’t wait for 28 October.” Tickets to the show are free, and you can sign up on the CameraWorld website to receive updates about speakers and exhibitors.

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