Profoto's Connect: Easy Function / Relaxed Style

Take a quick moment to watch Profoto’s latest clip showing off their wireless flash trigger, Connect, used by Hélène Pambrun. When you’re done, give Profoto’s accompanying story a read.

Pambrun has recently risen to fame shooting the likes of Tony Bennett, Ben Harper, Ed Sheeran, and Dua Lipa. She is currently Harry Styles’ tour photographer.

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Like most, Pambrun started as a natural light photographer, but had to quickly adapt to flash photography to meet the needs of her clients. As she was asked to complete more and more complex assignments for various Parisian magazines, she began to realize that she needed to learn how to control light. As she puts it, 

Bringing my own sun, so to speak, is the best way to always have the light I want.

The video clip shows Pambrun using the Profoto Connect to shoot French singer Gael Faure. The Connect allows Pambrun to shoot in her casual style, which she says helps relax her subject. 

The Profoto Connect and its auto mode instantly guarantee me the best setting configuration.

Pambrun explains that this ease of use allows her to take it easy, to focus on the subject and not the gear.

I realize that there are going to be readers that will scoff at the Connect and the idea of automated lighting, but Pambrun has a great point:

The good thing is that when you eventually start to feel comfortable with it, you can turn it to manual mode and try different light settings. 

The accompanying article includes several tips on portrait photography. Whether you like Profoto or its Connect or not, Pambrun’s tips are useful to those of us that shoot people. 

Pambrun provides three essential tips for creating great portraits:

  1. I always focus on the eyes, camera-wise, and energy-wise. This is the part of the face that speaks the most.
  2. Follow your intuition. If you have a crazy idea, just try it out. Trust your spontaneity and the person you’re shooting will too.
  3. Keep it simple. The intensity of a glance, the lines on the skin of an old man — all these small and simple things can create very powerful portraits.

I have two questions: firstly, if your goal was to keep a shoot casual, what would your set up be? Secondly, and likely more inflammatory, how do you feel about full auto on flashes?

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43 Comments

Johnny Rico's picture

If you are going to spend thousands of dollars in Profoto lights, who's going to try and save $100 on the trigger when you can just leave the Air Remote TTL in TTL mode (then actually be able to adjust lights w/ out a phone).

Profoto taking the Pro out of Profoto at while keeping the Profoto pricing.

I love compact things. It would be great to have something like this for purely TTL scenarios on Godox.

I think you can go choose to set your pro camera on full manual anytime you choose to. I can think of a few fast changing situations where this thing might be helpful.

Matthew Teetshorn's picture

Someone explain to me what this trigger could possibly have in it that makes it cost $230 MORE than my Godox Xpro trigger?! Is there a secret toy inside? Made out of solid gold? It's just a basic wireless transmitter with all the same functions as every other flash trigger. Lights, maybe. Trigger, absolutely NOT.

Swedish design, higher costs, higher taxes, great corporate sales team, wow factor.

Matthew Teetshorn's picture

TBH, none of those things matter to me in a flash trigger. The only 'wow' I feel over this is price. The cost of making a device like this is low and I really don't care about paying someone else's taxes. I might buy in to the Profoto ecosystem someday if I didn't feel like every single thing they made was an opportunity to fleece their customers.

You don’t care. They care.

The fact that its NOT Godox, an operation with no long term track record and not a single office in the US.

With Profoto, you're guaranteed US representation, a company that has a proven track record and fully supports pros. Also on the off chance that something by Profoto malfunctions, You'd have a hard time finding a rental house that didn't carry them.

Before anybody starts screaming that I'm a Profoto fanboy, I use Elinchrom exclusively in my studio. Bought it years ago back when Profoto still needed to catch up in regard to their remote control functionality, which wasn't as capable as Elinchrom's Skyport system at the time. Also, the manufacturer's Rep for Elinchrom was beyond helpful to me where the Profoto Rep at the time was useless.

Bottom line- anybody that can justify the extra expense of Profoto should know how to actually adjust the strobes and not rely on a TTL 'best guess' in a studio/posed setting. This device is aimed at the wealthy amateur who hears that the pros use Profoto so they will too because it will make them a great photographer!

Matthew Teetshorn's picture

For all that "support", I could literally buy 5 Godox flash triggers and be guaranteed I've got spares. I'm not saying there aren't people who don't care about money and see this as a small chunk of their Profoto ecosystem, but flat out, this device isn't worth what they're charging.

Daniel Medley's picture

Plus you can buy rebranded Godox at vendors that do offer some support.

Matthew Teetshorn's picture

You're not wrong, I'm mostly just jealous because I would love to shoot Profoto and I just can't justify it.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Yes it's pricy, so what? Go buy the Godox you would never have today if it wasn't for the companies that actually come up with new technologies and invest for decades into improvements from the ground up.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Motti, what brand do you use tell me or justify your thumb down. Don't be the shadow of others.

Motti Bembaron's picture

The notion that only the 'brand' names developed and invent is nonsense. Mercedes invented the car and a couple of years later a dozen car brands were established. Were they all clones? Is Ford a clone?

I use Godox, a company that makes lighting equipment for over 20 years. They might not be as old as Profoto but so what? I doubt you would call Magmod a clone even though they are by far not the first to implement a magnet modifier on strobes and flashes.

Competition is what got us to this level of technology. If the market was dominated by one or two companies we would not have been where we are now.

Good for us that there is a competition that allows many of us to have the best of the best at reasonable prices. In our business of photography, it was not possible just a few years ago.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Getting off topic, you haven't told me what Godox has invented yet. At least Ford invented the assembly line and many, many other things. Beside my point was not that Godox has less expensive products but that there is nothing valuable in tearing other products based on the fact they are more expensive. You must hate Mercedes so bad, please don't even tell me.

Motti Bembaron's picture

No, I do not hate Mercedes, I just can't afford them :-).

Godox truly invented the smallest strobe ever and it's the AD200. They also one of the first to come out with a Li-on powered speedlight and one of the original companies to produce strobes with a built-in battery, built-in radio and HSS and TTL.

I believe they are the first company ever to produce a complete eco-system of different size strobes and flashes (manual and TTL), all have a built-in radio and battery and all controlled by one trigger or a speedlight.

Profoto came out with the A1 recently and now they have a complete eco-system of strobes and flashes all controlled by one trigger. However, Godox has many different speedlights from manual to TTL.

Godox trigger is also a great improvement on the Pocket Wizard or Alien Bees triggers. I have three different types of radios and Godox radios are superior to all of them.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

That's why the Broncolor trigger is a Godox design with Broncolor tech inside. However, you can ask the Broncolor guys to change improve a function to it and they'll do it if it's justified. I know, I asked and got it within a few months. Now don't start crap about me being loaded since I'm not and certainly wasn't when I started. The core part my Broncolor inventory was purchased used 15 years ago the newest pack being over 20 years old now. In 15 years, I spend $100 on a capacitor change and got the pack within a week, that's it, $100 repair for Four 1600ws packs that allow 1/7000s t.1, delay, ping pong and much more. I've been battery powered since the Mobil (1200ws), and that mobil today is hyper sync compatible without sending it for updating, that'sthanks to the $115 Bron transmitter. I could probably have purchased 5 Godox instead of 2 Siros, but I wanted the hypersync, not TTL and the Siros are so flexible. I actually do use the short flash duration from time to time and the build in delay on the packs and RFS2.2. All accessories (all purchased used) are compatible with any head as well. My plan when I started was simple, minimise equipment failure, compatibility and flexibility in order to be able to say yes to any job coming my way. That worked exactly as hoped.
I certainly dislike posts that target expensive brands on the exclusive basis of money. I get it, but it's absolutely ridiculous when there are ways around to get really good stuff at low price that will allow growing a very fine tuned inventory specific to what you do. Let people have a business plan that doesn't make sense to you, they may outsmart you in the long run. You can get a Mercedes in good shape, just may be not a brand new one.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I never said anything about being loaded and such. You buy what suits you. I would still not buy a used Mercedes because the cost of fixing and maintaining would be too expensive. And if anyone thinks that because it is a Mercedes maintenance is lower, please talk to your mechanic, they would enlight you :-)

If you are speaking of the old kits by Broncolor or Normans and such, those were built to last. My colleague had a Norman set from the late '80s and until two years ago still worked perfectly fine. The problem was that finding parts like bulbs, fuses, etc. became very difficult. He finally bought a couple of Godox strobes.

The problem with those sets is that they are not really mobile, the old ones anyway. The new sets are not suited to my needs and the extra cost (which is a lot) does not justify it.

As I said, you buy what you need. I photograph families and children, a couple of speedlights can do the job easily. I use two AD200's and they are more than I will ever need. Even when photographing daycares and nurseries, those do an amazing job. They are portable, easy to carry, very affordable and reliable.

And... Godox is really good stuff. they work amazingly well. Being affordable it also allows me (and others) to upgrade to newer gear with eas and get the latest tech and features. I am now thinking of buying 2 AD200Pro's and for less than $900 CDN I can have two great small size strobes.

Cheers.

Posted way wrong place

Benoit Pigeon's picture

No, who are you to decide what I can post where? How and what did you contribute to this post to keep targeting me?

Benoit Pigeon Ford never invented the assembly line, it can be traced back as far as twelfth century Venetians. So many photographers seem to attach almost religious fervor into their chosen gear

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Merdez did not invent the car either, he invented the gas powered car... go correct Motti now.
Sure some of us stick to a brand. My priority is to take photos for clients, not chase equipment. I choose a brand that keeps up with quality, reliability and technology. Is it wrong in your opinion?

Even though I dont subscribe to that outlook, you're not wrong. I prefer to have gear that I can be almost 100% assured that its going to work for me. That the way I was taught while working my way up as an assistant (Yes, that far back) and it hasn't steered me wrong. When I got started there were very few low end Chinese sourced brands and the ones that existed were known mainly for their overall low quality.

The upside is that with my fairly huge investment in my Elinchrom system, its been working perfectly and suiting my needs (and those of my clients) for about 10 years without a single problem that caused any inconvenience to me or a client. One problem I did have was with their EL-Skyport Wifi module due to a misprint in the instruction manual which was resolved with 3 minute phone conversation.

As I said- You're not wrong. Different methods to arriving to the same conclusion.

Wish I could delete my own comments here on FStoppers. I typed out a carefully worded comment, thought about it, and then told myself to stay out of the argument.

Matthew Teetshorn's picture

I really should stay out of more arguments as well. And just take more photos...

Next up an ad for "Manfrotto Connect: Easy Function / Relaxed Style"? Unprecedented ease of use with one-click removal of stud from light stand without the fuss of rotating flash onto stud using hotshoe mounting base.

Great for an amateur- but this is an utter embarrassment for a pro!! How can any device read your 'mind' to create the look that you - as an artist- are seeking?? This might be OK for run-n-gun - or for a first 'guesstimate' - but never for a final image (unless the device makes a lucky guess). A few exposures to set my ambient and then my strobe allow me to create the image that I visualize - that's what seperates the professional from the amateur.

Sounds more like they're trying to sell the system to amateurs and GWCs' who can afford it. Another case of portraying the need to control light is secondary to automation. Amateurs need their asses wiped for them, pros dont.

That honestly cracked me up. Thank you.

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