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.
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.
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.