With the ongoing demise of big studio flash systems, Profoto’s decision to move into making compact, portable lighting now looks nothing less than inspired. The original A1 on-camera flash has been very successful, but it does now have rivals so Profoto has moved things up a gear with the new A1X model.

Profoto says that the A1X “has a little more of everything that made its predecessor a success” and this runs to a total of 30 updates, including a more powerful battery, faster recycling, more wireless channels and a revised display with higher resolution read-outs. Additionally, compatibility with camera TTL autoflash control systems is now extended to Sony, along with versions for Canon and Nikon.

Photo: Profoto

The new lithium-ion battery packs gives up to 450 flashes at full power and the recycle time – also at full power – is shortened to just one second (compared to the A1’s 1.2 seconds). Full recharging of the battery takes 80 minutes. There are now 20 wireless channels which is increased from eight and the maximum operational range is 300 metres. Incidentally, the original A1 will stay in the line-up as a more affordable alternative.

Like the original, the A1X has a round-shaped flash head which is designed to give a more uniform light pool with a more natural-looking fall-off. The zoom head is motorised with a manual override. An LED modelling lamp is built-in and, drawing on Profoto’s ‘big flash’ expertise, there’s a system of six light-shaping accessories which quickly and easily connect via a magnetic click-on coupling. In addition to ‘AirTTL’ remote exposure control, the A1X also supports high-speed flash sync (HSS) at shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 second. The maximum flash power output is 76 joules and a nine-stop adjustment is available. Depending on the power setting, the flash duration ranges from 1/800 to 1/20,000 second, and the shortest recycling time is just 0.05 seconds. A USB-C connection is provided to facilitate firmware upgrades. Fitted with its battery pack, the A1X weighs 560 grams.

Photo: Profoto

The Profoto A1X is supplied with a dome diffuser, a bounce card, flash stand, battery recharger and custom carry pouch. Australian pricing has yet to be announced. Profoto flash equipment is distributed in Australia by C.R. Kennedy & Company. For more information visit https://profoto.com/au