Profoto Answers Sony Shooter's Prayers: The Profoto A1X Is Here

When the original Profoto A1 entered the on-camera flash market, one huge hiccup that many photographers saw was the lack of a Sony option in the speedlight. Now, with a more robust and tweaked flash being released to address that concern and others, how does the new Profoto A1X stack up to its predecessor?

The Profoto A1X AirTTL has a number of performance increases over the original A1 while maintaining its current size with only a slight bump in price. The sub-$1,000 on-camera flash is now $1,095, a $100 increase for the new light, but with a battery rating that will increase the light output by another 100 full-power flashes for a total of 450 out of the A1X. The new price point of the original Profoto A1 AirTTL has now dropped down to $795, a $200 decrease.

This new iteration of Profoto's beginnings in the on-camera flash market has adopted the same fantastic screen of the Profoto B10 OCF Flash that is the most recent light model released before the A1X today. Profoto has also improved the A1X recycle time down to an even one second over the previous 1.2 seconds with the orginal A1. 

With the new Profoto A1X, you get a more robust recycle speed, a near 23 percent increase in battery output, and probably the best display available for any flash or strobe on the market today. If you're in the market for a new Profoto flash and didn't hit that purchase button yesterday, you just so happened to wait for the perfect time to pick one up today. 

One of the things I really like about the round head flashes is the falloff if and when they are used bare. Whether feathering for direct light or when using the light as a feathered rim and bouncing the more direct light into a reflector for a main light, it definitely has a better quality of light in these situations than the rectangular flash heads. So, are you picking up the new Profoto A1X or are you going to purchase the Profoto A1 now that it's 20 percent off?

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33 Comments

vik .'s picture

It's good to see profoto lowering the price. Watch out Godox!

Eric Salas's picture

Hard pass...

I don’t know a single Sony shooter that asked for or that would pay 1100 bucks for this.

Not ashamed a bit to say that Godox is all I’ll be running on my bodies from now until I stop shooting. Profoto can drop their prices 75% and I still wouldn’t care.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

When I was at a Sony pro meeting last year there where quite a few Sony shooters that waited for the A1.. believe it or not. :-)

Studio 403's picture

Would like to have profoto , but Godox for the cost, though I have found some mishaps with this strobe, nothing serious. Profoto I suspect will only cater to high end market. Godox is gaining technology maturity, over time will put a lot of pressure on Profoto. If the tariffs affects godox, that will level the playing field a tad.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I will not be surprised if Godox already makes a huge impact on Profoto bottom line. The tariffs have to be in the hundreds of percents to level the playing field and they are only on the US market.

Advertising copy-'The World's Smallest Studio Light' vs. reality- 'The World's Most Overpriced Hotshoe Flash'

I'm a Profoto user and recently switched to Sony from Nikon. I have been eagerly waiting for the Sony version of the A1. I tried Godox while waiting, but it is a no-go for me. I really like the quality of the Profoto system, both in build and user experience. Definitely excited about adding an A1X or two to my other Profoto lights!

Daniel Medley's picture

What exactly was it about the A1's quality in build and user experience that offset the nearly $900 price difference?

I'm just curious.

I just got into the godox system with two ad200 pro and couldn’t be happier. I’m not sure what can offset the $900 price difference either. Maybe $900 price difference pays for the countless ads. Although I used profoto for last 8 years I always wished profoto would Introduce useful features such As: ac/dc monolight, bulb heads, double bulb adapter, adapter that would allow you to put light head on light stand head while battery hung on bottom part of light stand, ... also had an documented issue with profoto and they staunchly claimed they have never heard of it happening even though it happened on 3 sony bodies.

Marius Pettersen's picture

"put light head on light stand head while battery hung on bottom"
You mean the Profoto B2? Or the high-end Pro-10? The Pro-Heads got them sweet bulbs too.

michaeljin's picture

I think that's exactly what he means. Granted, it's quite expensive, but it's there if you really want it.

Marius Pettersen's picture

Indeed - Profoto and Broncolor are high-end brands with expensive professional equipment. I understand that the prices are too high for many, but the products are worth it for many professionals.

michaeljin's picture

I'm personally more into Broncolor than Profoto, but unfortunately both would be rather difficult to justify as I simply don't work on that level. Perhaps someday...

Marius Pettersen's picture

Good luck with that! I own Profoto, but I've used Bron for some time as well - even really old monolights from them - worked like a charm (though slow refresh). The Profoto speedring design is for me what really separates them - and the massive amount of modifiers from Bron.

Eric Salas's picture

With 1000 bucks, you could get two AD200 and a AD600... or you could get one Profoto hotshoe flash 🤣

Blake Aghili's picture

FUJI ....They already have the TTL Protocol for it in their AirRemote TTL Fuji

michaeljin's picture

You want a "portable studio strobe"? Elinchrom ELB500 with one of these. I'd wager that you'd get a bit more power and you even get TTL if you're into that. :P

Motti Bembaron's picture

Not so practical considering the weight.

I have an extension cord for my AD200 when it's on my camera making it a powerful flash. That's carrying 1.2 lbs vs. almost 10lbs of lighting gear (9.33lbs to be exact).

Yes, this has much more power but it's just too much for a long day of work.

michaeljin's picture

All of the weight is in the battery pack strapped to your body. The head weighs next to nothing. I actually find that weight distribution way better for longterm use than having a speedlight on top of the camera.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yes, it is true however, it is weight nonetheless. It is not really practical for on location family portraits and not at all for children photography, the weight will kill me. So it is more suitable for weddings when you shoot rapidly and many photos. I cannot see myself carrying 10 lbs of just lighting gear doing a wedding. However, some might not be bothered.

michaeljin's picture

I do agree that weight is weight and no matter how well it's distributed, there's always going to be an upper limit to how much is comfortable to carry around. I'm actually pretty sensitive to the issue myself, which is why I am always complaining about lenses with metal barrels. So I can understand that you might not want to carry around something like an ELB 400/500 even strapped to your torso.

Not sure what you're really talking about in regard to practicality, though. The ELB-series lights are among some of the most practical lights for on-location portraits of just about any kind.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Practicality for me is actually weight :-). It would be, for me anyway, impossible to run around photographing children while carrying this gear on me. I have a hard time with just the camera (or when needed, an on-camera flash) so I cannot imagine doing it with so much stuff.

But again, younger more fit photographers might not have an issue and will benefit from lots of power ready almost instantly each time they click the shutter.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Considering Profoto is one of the few companies that actually have access to Sony's proprietary TTL protocol it's not a day too soon. .. :-)

William Howell's picture

I like to use speed lights by the bunches, I have six of the yong nuo 856. Cost me like $480.
Now these Yong Nuos don’t have a round head and they don’t have a proprietary battery, which would be cool.
But Yong Nuos have a cost that makes them not uncheap!

I do admire the fabulous markup on Profoto products, I wished I could do that.

Motti Bembaron's picture

"...one huge hiccup that many photographers saw was the lack of a Sony option..."

No, one huge hiccup was the $1,000 price tag for a speedlight.

"...One of the things I really like about the round head flashes is the falloff if and when they are used bare..."

On several Youtube videos comparing the Godox V1 to the A1 it is said (and shown) that the Godox V1 has a much nicer and smoother fallout.

Motti Bembaron's picture

And better light color consistency...and a better battery.

Hoag Levins's picture

This article reads like ad copy prepared by Profoto. A little too much over the top.

Profoto version offers little too none over the Godox. See the reviews comparing both all over YouTube. No way I'd pay $1000 or even $800 for this speedlight.

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