The Profoto A1 is the Small Studio Light We’ve Always Wanted

Profoto has been making some very interesting moves lately, and with the Profoto A1 just being announced, photographers have what the company is calling the smallest studio strobe ever made. The Profoto A1 is a 76 watt second flash that can work in the hot shoe and uses its own Li-Ion battery. It’s partially because of this that Profoto says it can recycle up to four times faster than other on-camera solutions. Unfortunately, it’s only coming in Canon and Nikon TTL at the moment–which is a total bummer for those of us who use mirrorless cameras. That battery also helps because there is an Air remote built in–just like there is with every other modern Profoto light. There’s also a massive LCD Screen on the back.

The press release is after the jump; and we’re not quite sure what the official word is on pricing yet.

Editor’s Note: It looks like it will be $995 here in the US. For 76 watt seconds of power, we’re a bit on the fence…

The world’s smallest studio light: Profoto A1

The Profoto A1 might be the smallest flash we’ve ever made, but it’s still built to the same impossibly high standards we’ve set ourselves over the last fifty years.

Our focus with the A1 was to create a flash that delivers a truly high quality of light, which is why it features a round head which delivers light that’s both natural and beautiful with a pleasing soft-smooth fall-off, that blends seamlessly with the ambient light.

Thanks to a smart magnetic mount built into the head, light shaping tools and modifiers can be clicked on and off quickly and easily. Within seconds you’re being creative with light, shaping it.

It also has a zoom function that allows you to make fine adjustments to the spread of light by simply twisting the zoom ring on the head, and for accuracy it has a modeling light built-in to the head – so you can see what you’re going to get before you press the shutter.

We made it our mission to make A1 the first on-camera flash that’s easy to use from the box. The user interface is simple and intuitive with a large high-contrast display at its center. The less time you spend learning and fiddling, the more time you’ll spend shooting. And that’s ultimately what counts.

Despite its size, or lack of it, the A1 punches above its weight in a good number of key areas.

Battery life is key when a photographer is right in the thick of the action, because the last thing they need to have to stop mid flow to change the batteries.

The A1 has its own Li-ion high capacity battery built-in which lasts up to four times longer than AA batteries with no performance fade. So, you can shoot for longer with confidence.

And this is a flash that can keep up with you because it recycles four times faster than other on-camera solutions – that’s every 1.2 seconds at full power. Put simply, you’ll never miss a shot.

And while it’s true to say the Profoto A1 is our very first on-camera solution it’s also just as effective off-camera as a standalone unit, and integrated into a larger system of lights.

That level of versatility is possible because Air Remote is built-in, which means the A1 offers seamless connectivity with freestanding lights like another A1 or bigger Profoto lights like the B1X.

And with AirTTL you’ll get a perfect exposure super-fast. Better still, you can lock the exposure with a single ‘click’ while still being free to fine tune that exposure in manual, giving you even greater control.

So, this is so much more than our smallest flash yet. This is shooting on the move, shooting with confidence and shooting with light shaping excellence.

This is shooting off-camera and for the first time with Profoto, on-camera. This is the Profoto A1 – the world’s smallest studio light. 

Technical information

Features A1

  • Round head with soft, smooth and natural fall off.
  • AirTTL and HSS for a beautiful professional image fast.
  • Smart magnetic click-on mount for A1 Light Shaping Tools.
  • 5 dedicated A1 Light Shaping Tools available.
  • LED modeling light integrated to the head.
  • Air Remote built-in.
  • Rechargeable and exchangeable Li-Ion battery.
  • 2s recycling time.
  • TTL/MAN switch.
  • Built in motor-zoom with hand control.
  • Auto focus (AF) assist.
  • Large Hi-Res display
  • Support for Canon, Nikon and later for Sony.

Short specifications

A1 AirTTL

Max energy: 76Ws

Energy range: 9 f-stops (2.0-10)

Energy range HSS: 9 f-stops (2.0-10)

Modeling light type: LED

Battery capacity: Up to 350 full power flashes/

Battery charging time: Up to 80 minutes

Weight: 560g / 1,2lbs