First Impressions of the Newly Launched Profoto B10

I have had the opportunity to try out the new Profoto B10 for a couple of days. I am yet to use it extensively and here are my first impressions.

Features

  • First things first, it looks cool, weighs light (1.5kgs), feels compact and most importantly cordless.

  • As a wedding photographer, there have been instances where I need extra power when compared to a speed light but I can't carry a speed light. The Profoto B10 fits right in the middle of this critical need. It fits into my existing gear bag so I can carry it anywhere, plug and play.

  • There is also a continuous light that is said to last up to 75 minutes. This helps in shooting videos too during the photo sessions.

  • The set up is flexible. With the provided clamp you can put it on the stand, or attach it directly on a monopod/tripod and ask an assistant to hold it up. 

  • There is an iOS app that the Profoto B10 has in the store which you can use to control the setting. The app also has an inbuilt camera that triggers the model lamp if you are doing some mobile photography.

  • With A1 one could not use all the modifiers. But this one is compatible with all the RFi and OCF modifiers.

  • For the power source, both the battery and direct charging can be used. We can also use it while charging the battery, which is a welcome change for someone who is using B1X that requires the battery to be removed for charging separately.

Test Shoot

I am someone who frequents the beach every morning and I watch the Fishermen taking on the day and working hard into their job. I’ve always wanted to make portraits of them in their routine. But then, earlier with the D2, B1X the challenge has always been carrying these lights outdoor and looking for a power source at instances. Also by the time the Fishermen are back from the sea, the golden hour would’ve gone past and sunlight is harsh at the background. The shots are hence naturally silhouettes and I needed something really powerful to bring out the details of the subject. With the promised extra power of the Profoto B10 that is said to hold the power of at least 5-speed lights around 250 watts, I wanted to see how it will perform. So we took it out for a ride and here are the results.

I could almost overpower the Sun and was able to add more character and drama to the portraits I made. Even at f22, this light gave me so much power to expose the subjects. 

What I Liked

Overall, it’s lightweight, simple interface design and the compactness, are the catch for the users. It works well for me and you have to figure out if this will fit into your workflow. Looking forward to experimenting more with the Profoto B10, and will keep you guys posted. 

What Could Be Improved

I felt that they could have released the B10 with a new Air TTL. The current Air TTL remote comparatively uses a lot of battery power and little disproportionate for the Sony mirrorless cameras that I am using. Also, it is also a little tricky to think over the fact that does not replace the A1 because I need it on my camera and it does not replace B1X or a D2 in the studio for I need their power sometimes. 

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67 Comments

Francisco Hernandez's picture

Godox AD200 is a way better option than this at 1/6th of the price.

The Digibee and Einstein lights are fantastic, especially with a Vagabond but do not have any TTL/HSS support, which is important for some. The Einstein also lacks an LED modelling lamp so it would be a battery killer if used for video. Again, perhaps these things don't matter to all users but should be taken into account if comparing these units.

I like both configurations depending on the day and my mood.... sometimes I really like having an outboard battery (like the VML or power pack in the case of the Profoto B2) to have the head as lightweight as possible, and sometimes I really like a self contained unit. To me the B10 looks like it strikes a good balance between the two and I'm personally excited for it (this being said as an existing Profoto user already fairly deep in the system).

Doug Stringham's picture

I have shot with the Einsteins before and was shocked at how good they really were for the price.

Colin Robertson's picture

LOL! And have to deal with the cabling and heavy external battery? PCB lights are great. They don't have a great portable solution. Don't get me started on the awful "Cybercommander"...

Piotr Bielecki's picture

After the first look at this strobe, I wanted to admit you were right. But I have read that B10 can serve as a source of permanent light, and that changes the form of things.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

What do you mean by permanent light?

"Continuous light" may be a better description.The modelling light is powerful enough to be useful for video.

Akpe ododoru's picture

If having a video light is important for me then i'll rather buy 1 Ad200's and 2 Aputure 120T or D, and still have some change left over

I do not understand how a so called Sony "Ambassador" always comes on Fstoppers and bashes other brands of equipment. First, I cannot find anywhere where Sony acknowledges you as an ambassador. You never see Nikon Ambassadors or Canon Explorers of Lights do that. Second, the AD200 does not have the same build quality of the Profoto and it does not have one important feature, the constant light.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

You want to share some photography of yours? Maybe link to a portfolio? You've commented a lot over the years, but don't have any indication that you're an actual photographer. Your comments state you have Manfrotto tripods, several pro Nikon DSLRs, Profoto lighting, worked with professional models, travel all over the world, yet there's no evidence.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

I tend to disagree with you on some stuff, but I will back off with the downvotes.

Am I a photographer? Been so since 10. Am I any good, who knows. But I never said I was a Sony ambassador when I am just a Sony Alpha Imaging Collective member who bashes other brands constantly.

And far as the Godox, does it have continuous lighting? How good is the warranty? Can you get it repaired? Those are some major differences between Godox and Profoto.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

Got it, you're not a photographer. But to answer your questions, yes it has continuous lighting. It's weak on the AD200 alone but add the AD-B2 and it can be way brighter. Add another AD200 and it gets even brighter and you double the power. That setup is only about $660 ($620 when on sale). The warranty is 2 years and if the lights get damaged you can get them repaired by Cheetahstand, Adorama, and B&H but more than likely they'll just replace the light with a new one.

"A photographer (the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning "light", and γραφή (graphê), meaning "drawing, writing", together meaning "drawing with light")[1] is a person who makes photographs."

Sounds like one to me...

Francisco Hernandez's picture

I was talking about Felix. There's literally no evidence he's taken a single photograph. Just a little hard to take someone with no portfolio out there seriously especially with many comments harshly critiquing gear.

Yes, I thought you were talking about Felix. Personally I find it a lot more likely that someone that reads and comments about photography gear on a photography website HAS taken at least one photograph in their life rather than never touching a camera... I'm willing to take him on his word on this one.

I also don't think that someone needs to be a pro or even a very good photographer to have a valid opinion about gear... One doesn't need to be a professional driver, or even prove that they've driven to have an opinion of some kind about a car.

Akpe ododoru's picture

My godox has warranty from where i got it here in the UK plus the amount to repair your profoto light is enough to buy a brand new godox light. If am going to be spending all that money on a light then i will expect my light to survive a nuclear explosion and if it doesn't, then i will expect profoto to fix it for FREE.
Doesn't make sense at all to pay soooooooo much on a light just so you can pay sooooooo much to have it fixed 🤣

Francisco Hernandez's picture

My friend just told me about his experience with a B2. Started smoking for no reason and they charged him 50% to repair it. He had it less than 2 years.

Akpe ododoru's picture

Wow...so he paid SO much just to have rest of mind that he can pay SO much to have it fix 🤷🏿‍♂️🤣😂 i will never understand profoto users

Akpe ododoru's picture

This is something that happened to someones profoto light (and they always claim its built like a tank), i have never seen this happen to an AD600. Am sure the owner is gonna be happy to spend 50% of what it cost him to buy this, to fix it

I wouldn't be surprised if that B1 still worked. Also, I sincerely doubt that an AD600 (or any strobe unit for that matter) wouldn't look similar (or worse) if subjected to similar forces.

Akpe ododoru's picture

Hahahaha...the dude never gives up with trying to promote old tech....hahahahaha
He just always appear out of nowhere and starts...lolololol

Lance Bachelder's picture

Way better...really? How do you know? You've used them both side by side extensively and can scientifically and practically show that one is better than the other? I don't think so. You can say one is less expensive than the other and a decent photographer could get equal results with either brand regardless of price.

I love the design, mounting system and interface of the Profoto products but could never justify spending the money when there are other worthy options (yes Godox!) at a fraction of the price.

Colin Robertson's picture

Is it? Have you used a B10 yet? I have 2 AD200's and they're a great value, but hardly perfect. As a somewhat slippery plastic brick, they can be awkward to handle. Attaching modifiers is nowhere near as elegant as a profoto. The screen is often difficult to see. The controls are tiny. The "modeling lamp" is a joke.

Why do Godox fans always have to butt into every Profoto (or any other pricier light solutions) mention and act like spending more for a light is a sin. Christ...

Build and light quality does not come cheap.

Lee Christiansen's picture

You ask a valid question.

But $1500 is not too much for anything if it does what you want it to and the cost can be balanced against convenience, delivery or quality.

Too often lighting is compared with the specs on paper. In this respect, Profoto nearly always looks overpriced. However, user experience and other details such as exposure consistency, build quality, convenience, after-service, eco-system, speed & ease of use are all things that are harder to sell but are essential - particularly in a pro environment.

There are many jobs where the combo of my D1 / B1 strobes with the excellent Air Remote stsyem have meant the difference between getting the job done or not. And when I'm lighting headshots with up to 5 strobes, that consistency of 1/10 stop exposure is something very valuable.

My clients don't pay me any more because I have Profoto. They don't know what Profoto is. But I work faster with the eco system than my previous Bowens lights, and images on the tethered screen are consistent for watching clients, whislt I'm able to easily trigger lights from a radio linked meter and adjust quickly with an Air Remote, so my clients see me work fast. And post delivery is speedy because I don't need to adjust 100's of images quite so much to make up for varying multiple strobes.

It's funny - we'll spend money of lenses that produce beautiful bokeh that our clients don't notice, or sensors with resolutions that our clients don't ask for, or comfier cars that get us to our destination just as well as an old banger... But lights... we feel that all lights are the same, so Profoto must just be overpriced. Heck don't look at Broncolor or Briese unless you're sitting down.

The Profoto A1 was a bit of a daft light in my opinion. But the B10 is quite a nice little strobe. If I could justify it, I'd buy one. For now my other 6x D1's and 2x B1s will have to make do... :)

I understand people wanting a cheaper price point but if you really compare prices between Profoto lighting range B10 is actually priced pretty well.

For example, if you were to buy one B2 kit with one head it would cost you well over £1500 here in UK, while B10 is currently priced £1410 at Wex. Technically they both have the same specs and power and with the B10 you don't need to bother with cables or external battery packs. A lot of people value those features and are willing to pay extra for them.

I personally don't mind £1400 price for B10 but I do wish the duo kit was priced a bit cheaper. The price you suggested (£750) is ridiculously low as B10 is 5x more powerful than Speedlights (especially if you compare it to Canon 600EX Speedlite which sells for roughly £500).

If I could have chosen the price points for B10 I would have chosen £1299 and £2500 which it will most likely be sold at the big trade shows eventually.

After being unable to trigger the Profoto lights with Canon Profoto remote from my Nikon camera, I am sure - it is not about convenience. May be it is more about thousands if rental houses who will buy it anyway unless it is priced as Broncolor?

olivier borgognon's picture

works fine if you us PC sync cable :) workaround which works pretty well. A bit the same as if you had a Metz flash for Canon and wanted to use it hotshoe for Nikon, would not work.

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