Introducing The Profoto B1 Battery Powered TTL Monolight

Introducing The Profoto B1 Battery Powered TTL Monolight

Announced this morning by Profoto was their newest light in their lighting kit, the B1 Off-Camera Flash. Refusing it call it a speed light or a studio strobe, the completely cordless B1 Off-Camera Flash has some truly unique and interesting features not seen before in a studio strobe. Update - Now available on B&H for Preorder at $1,995.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature in the B1 Off-Camera Flash is that it is cordless. With a battery pack equipped within the unit itself allowing up to 220 full power flashes (with removable battery), the B1 looks to appeal to the highly mobile photographer. It also includes some incredible features like TTL built into the unit itself, allowing you to use your camera’s settings to decide on the power of the unit (with the use of their Air Remote TTL). The unit also packs 500w/s, which is more than enough power to meet your needs.

They also boast the speed of the unit. With up to 20 flashes per second (at low power) and a recycle rate under 2 seconds for full power, the B1 will be able to offer a great alternative to those using speedlights as off camera flash units. You can of course also expect to see all the great features contained in a standard Profoto light, with their zooming head, and mounting system that works for all current ProfotoUSA lights.

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As for right now, Profoto has announced that this light is available as soon as it reaches stores, but no price point has been officially announced.  We'll keep you updated for when ProfotoUSA releases more information.

UPDATE -

Profoto B1 500 is available for Pre-Order on B&H Photo for $1,995.

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106 Comments

Previous comments

There is a charger that recharge in 1 hour. So if you have 3 batteries and shoots more than 440 full-power shots in less then 1 hour, you're screwed!

Zach Sutton's picture

I have so much envy for you right now

Patrick Hall's picture

I've been using the Einsteins for location work because they are so cheap I'm not worried if I break them. But this looks incredible! The Air 1 remote is great and this will make my assistant's life way easier (no heavy battery packs and no more yelling at them to go up or down in power).

AB seemed to fix the color cast problem with the Einsteins but I've always thought Profoto looked pretty accurate with our Air 1 monoblocks. Cool stuff!

James Reilly's picture

But if the EU price of 2,100-2,500 is correct, we'll be looking at $2,700 to 3,000 here. You can field 3 Einsteins, a vagabond mini, and two extra batteries for that price (not to mention a few modifiers!). Looks great, but way too rich for my blood!

Yes, there are tons of portable/battery powered options, including the Profoto AcuteB 600, which I own. However, none of those options are TTL. This is innovation I've been waiting 10 years for.

Patrick- Stop yelling at your assistant.
Keep the Einsteins. Use a PW Flex with the AC3 and MC2's on your Einsteins.
I just saved you at least $1800 per light (assuming you're using 3 Einsteins).
You can repay me by continuing to producing an awesome website.

i think this can be labeled as a "game changer." easy, portable power like this. hopefully it's at a decent price point.

It's a strobe with a built in battery pack. How is that exactly a "game changer"?

It is a strobe with 500 watt with a build in battery pack AND TTL!!! The TTL part is the game changer

I have Alien Bee 1600s with equivalent power, and a Vagabond battery pack that clips on to the lightstand and gives me twice as many flashes. The only thing I don't have is TTL. Come now - most of us can get a useful starting exposure from our heads and play from there - the whole point of off-camera lighting is for creative effects, not 'perfect exposure', because 'perfect exposure' is often boring. If you are 'running and gunning' or working a wedding, I can see how TTL may be important, but for other commercial work, it just escapes me why TTL is called a game changer by people in the business. Can someone explain?

Yeah, but you have the Vagabond pack a cable and the Alien Bee 1600. I'm not saying that I will buy the Profotos. I simply don't have the money but I still see the usefullness. They are smallish (at least smaller than an Alien Bee 1600 and a Vagabond), they are rugged (more rugged than an Alienbee and a Vagabond. They have a consistence light temperature (Profoto......) or you can fire them in a highspeed mode. They have a reload time that is INSANE! The flash duration of up to 1/19,000 sec. The batteries can be recharged in a time frame between 60 minutes and 2 hours....AND they have TTL for those times when you really need it. As I said I'm not working for Profoto and I can't afford them but if I could......These things are amazing. And now that there is a strobe with TTL out there you will see cheaper brands doing the same. Who knows in 5 years......

Ian Sbalcio's picture

i think this can be labeled as a "game changer." easy, portable power like this. hopefully it's at a decent price point...

Robert Herrera's picture

I hope other companies follow suit and create their own versions of this but at a lower, consumer friendly price.

I see the flash duration gets shorter as power decreases. I wonder if they stole a page out of Paul C Buff's Einstein using IGBT

Von Wong's picture

Eek this is exciting!!! i wonder if it'd replace my Ranger Quadras

Matthew Odom's picture

Ben you know it will! LOL Battery Powered!! NO MORE CORDS! :)

is this the one that you said would be revolutionary? you might be right. price?

This will be my first Profoto(s)! :D
Hopefully they make a DC add-on module.

I wonder if it's worth the change from the Acute B2 600 AirS System. Any thoughts?

I have the b2 air system. I can't find a reason to change. The B1's are heavy like the D1 units - 3KG odd which is a big turnoff for me. Same with the recessed bulb design which doesn't make full use of a beauty dish (although you can get a dome for the d1)

I haven't used TTL in literally years. Maybe a b1 for an additional light. I assume the existing air system is compatible with the new B1?

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Same thoughts as Jonathan here. Yesterday when I saw the announcement I thought it would be great to replace my Ranger RX. However, at 3kg (6.6lbs) I wouldn't try to put it on a boom on location unless I was using a big heavy duty boom/light stand. With the ranger (like the Acute), I can use the pack to balance the arm and the head is much lighter than the B1.
Then there's TTL. I'd love to have that feature. Though I'm wondering how it'd work with big softboxes that eat up to 1 stop of light… You'd have to compensate and try to find the right compensation value. Not so different from a strobe used in manual mode. Maybe some testing might prove me wrong though?!
I don't know about the Acute, but I can use my Ranger while charging it. Doesn't seem to be the case with the B1…
Finally comes the price… While TTL is a nice addition, Priolite makes very similar strobes (no cords, same form factor, etc.) for cheaper and with more power (1000Ws and 500Ws version, the 1000Ws is cheaper than the B1 500Ws) :)

Looks really great. Planned to buy D1 set, but now this is going to be first choice. Flexible system.

Until the bulb extends beyond the housing, forget it.

I'm with you on that. The lack of a bare bulb option severely limits the usefulness of a strobe.

Nick Viton's picture

i'm willing to bet you've never used a profoto. i used to think the same thing.

You'd lose that bet. Not to mention that I was told the same thing at a workshop by a widely respected photographer who is a spokesperson for the brand.
I have nothing but respect for all their other products and I hope the features this new line brings will push other mfrs. to up their game a bit.

Prophoto do have glass that will make it into a simple bulb like you want.

Did not know that. Thanks.

Expensive though :/

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