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Priolite Ultra Strobe Promises to Sync at Any Speed, Any Power Setting

Priolite Ultra Strobe Promises to Sync at Any Speed, Any Power Setting

This is one of the more interesting strobes we've come across. Priolite has begun a Kickstarter campaign for their MBX500HS Ultra, a battery-powered monolight that promises to be able to shoot at any shutter speed available to your camera and at any power setting.

High-speed sync is amazing technology, but the tradeoff is a loss of power: because the flash begins firing before the shutter opens and stops firing after it is closed, not all of the light hits the sensor, which means in turn, one has to use a higher power setting to achieve an equivalent exposure. This means shorter battery life in HSS and typically that only the upper power settings are available to the photographer. On the other hand, HyperSync allows one to shoot without a loss of power, but requires high power settings to avoid issues with gradation. Elinchrom does offer Hi-Sync, which is HyperSync tuned specifically to their equipment, which resolves these issues, but this requires the purchase of a separate head. Priolite seeks to alleviate all those issues by allowing the photographer to shoot at whatever shutter speeds their camera allows at any power they care to use with a single head using their proprietary technology, HotSync. 

Check out the specs of the light:

  • Power range of 17-500 Ws in 1/10 stop increments
  • 80 W LED modeling light
  • 2.5 s recycling time at full power
  • 1/8,000 s sync speed with Priolite Remote Control RC-HS at whatever power setting chosen
  • 5,500 K color temperature
  • 220 full-power flashes on battery 

Altogether, this looks like a potentially intriguing option for strobists. Head over to their Kickstarter page to learn more.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Actually Elinchrom can use their "S" heads, but best performance comes from the HS heads

I'm glad that so many strobe companies are coming up with sync speed solutions, but really I just wish someone would make a leaf shutter lens for Canon/Nikon DSLRs. No gigantic, complicated triggers on the hot shoe, no proprietary technology, no need to dump all current gear for a new system. Just give me a 50mm and 85mm EF mount lens with a leaf shutter and I will be forever happy.

Well, that's exactly why various systems are now available. How else would HSS be feasible on a lens level (for various brands)? Aside from the manufacturer having to cover a huge range of focal lengths, what if you have multiple camera systems? Buy everything twice or more? Unless you'd have a dedicated camera for HSS work, but why limit yourself?

Besides, you could hang your trigger around your neck (watch Nino's recent post/video on the DigiBees), leaf lenses would be proprietary (to the camera system) and you'd want to dump your existing lenses too since you'd have duplicates.

Not to mention the higher cost of leaf lenses and the fact that they have a slower speed (up to 1/1600) than focal plane shutters (up to 1/8000) makes your proposal rather unappealing.

If you don't want to dump your current lighting gear, get one of the HSS triggers and be forever happy. ;)

Having used leaf shutter cameras and lenses I can attest tot heir unqualified superiority of focal plane shutters when it comes to flash.
As a working pro, I use flash on the vast bulk of my work and I delight in the control I have over aperture choice outside as compared to a focal plane shutter.
Yes, we can use ND filters. But that still requires a fair bit of power from your flash. Yes, we can use Hyper-sync or HSS but those are still kludges that reduce the power of the flashes and/or introduce banding.

So yes I can't get 1/4000 sec and up but I scarcely need those speeds. What I do need is to be able to pump fill over 15 feet in bright sun and leaf shutters do it all day.

Hyper-Sync on these strobes doesn't reduce power at all. Thats what makes them special. And with leaf shutters, the ones I have at least, they max out at 1,600 which isn't enough to freeze motion and definitely isn't going to give you control over ambient light like shooting at 1/8000 will.

I am limited to 1/1600 sec but the issue for me is not freezing action but choosing the aperture I want to work at.
At speeds above the native sync speed the power of the flash is reduced because the burn time exceeds the shutter speed and thus light is unrecorded.
At higher speeds this means your strobe now behaves like ambient light albeit at lower power.
Banding is also an issue when smooth tonalities like skies are involved.

HSS just flat weak at high speeds.

Well, I use these strobes and have never had any of the issues you mention. I can shoot wide open in full sun because I can shoot up to 1/8000. On these you get full power during the entire exposure which is what makes them different from many other HSS solutions

Agreed. Leaf Shutters are the way to go.

Hmm, strange, my Flashpoint Xplor 600 (same as the Godox 600w/s monolight) does HSS and will sync at any speed and any power setting....not like "minimum 1/8 power" or anything like that.....it's like black magic....it TELLS you the flash duration is less than your shutter speed, but it still works....voodoo....

Same experience here. I am unclear how HotSych differs from the HSS Godox has implemented, which self-enables for speeds higher than sync speed.

HSS is not similar to Hi-Sync, HotSync, or HyperSync. When using HSS, the flash is pulsed multiple times while the shutter is open, giving the impression of continuous lighting to your camera sensor. Thus, you'll lose power, and your battery will most likely be drained much quicker (depending on the power, you may also encounter overheating).
On the other hand Elinchrom's Hi-Sync, Priolite HotSync, and PocketWizard HyperSync work by a precise sync of the flash curve and curtain. The flash will trigger slightly before the 1st curtain opens so that you get the most power out of your flash. No loss of power, no additional use of the battery. However, that requires a long flash duration for best results at any given power (for example Elinchrom's HS head).

Both HSS and Hi-Sync/HotSync will allow you to sync over 1/250s, but they aren't equal :) For more information on the topic: https://fstoppers.com/originals/fstoppers-compares-profoto-hss-and-elinc...

Dudes had a lady hitting ping pong balls in a workout bikini. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they proposed that idea to the model. bwahaha!

Love that water droplets image!! Might have to try that one (HSS on a few speedlites should be ok for something similar to this I guess??)

Thanks mate I'll give it a try!

Looks like someone is trying to take on the king profoto with their MSRPs close to them. Who would you rather get a profoto or this new company priolite?

I got the Priolite 1000ws HS and it's absolutely dope.

Okay, but I'd still love to see a head to head with profoto since price is very similar but profoto has the name and reputation value.

The product stats are what they are. I don't think Profoto's HSS is up to the Priolite HotSync's snuff. If people want to pay for a name on the side of their light, that's up to them, but the tech on the Priolite is changing how I work, so it's a pretty easy decision for me.

Solution. Photograph Hillary for a year. Problem solved. I think his out of date shit filter photography is making a retro comeback.