It Keeps Getting Better. Profoto B10x Plus Review

To say I was excited when opening up the 500ws Profoto B10x Plus unit is an understatement. Profoto is known for the quality and consistency of its lighting systems. As a Broncolor Siros L shooter, I have become accustomed to reliability, durability, and consistency for demanding fashion shoots. I was most looking forward to all of this in a more compact size with the added continuous LED light functionality.

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Too Long Didn’t Read

The Profoto B10x Plus is a premium monolight with continuous light functionality. Its HS capability will freeze the action when it matters most. It will also blend naturally with sunlight when shooting outdoors to provide subtle specular highlights for an organic feel. The light is fast, reliable, and consistent.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Portable design
  • Fast recycling time
  • Consistency
  • HS with designated trigger
  • Variable Modeling Lamp temperature
  • Power output

Cons

  • Battery life should be better
  • It’s $2,295 and that doesn’t include extra batteries or an air remote.

Gear Used

I tested the Profoto B10x plus with a Sony a7r IV, Profoto white beauty dish, Profoto Air Remote Transceiver, and Profoto Air Remote TTL-c. LensRentals provided the gear. I also tested it with a Panasonic S1R and my own Canon 5D Mark III.

Innovations

The Profoto B10x plus is building on the initial success of the inaugural line. It hasn’t been completely overhauled, and the improvements are marginal. The light boasts a sleeker design, improved maximum power recycling time, and a more powerful modeling light than its predecessor.

Tech Specs

Tech specs are from the LensRental listing.

  • Accessory Ports: None
  • Battery Recharge Time: 90 Minutes
  • Brand: Profoto
  • Color Temperature: 3000 to 6500K
  • Display: LCD
  • Flash Ready Indicator: Audio, Visual
  • Flashes Per Charge: 200 Flashes (Full Power)
  • Height: 9.3”
  • Interface: USB Type-C
  • Item Type: Lighting
  • Length: 3.9″
  • Type of Lighting: Strobe Lighting
  • Maximum Power: 500 Ws
  • Mfr. Model Number: 901193
  • Modeling Light Type: LED
  • Power Control: 10 Stops
  • Power Source: External Battery
  • Recycle Time: 0.05 to 2.2 Sec
  • Sync Type: Button, Cable, Optical, Radio
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs.
  • Width: 4.3″
  • Wireless: Built-in receiver
  • Wireless Range: 328.1’ / 100 m (Radio)

Ergonomics

The Profoto B10x Plus was built with portability in mind. It measures slightly over four inches and weighs just under four pounds. It’s about the size of a small zoom lens and is petite enough to fit snugly in my Billingham Hadley Pro Large messenger bag.

The back of the B10x Plus has a large LCD screen and three buttons. Adjustable knobs on the left and center access color temperature and the menu. The button on the right accesses power.

Profoto’s zoom scales are on both sides of the light. The battery is on the right side of the unit. It is small and compact, and you can opt to plug in the unit via the port found on the bottom of the battery.

The c-stand adapter is also located on the bottom of the B10x plus. It can be removed for easy stowing. An adjustable knob makes quick work of dialing in the precise angle of the light.

The front of the Profoto B10x Plus closely resembles what we have come to know and love from Profoto. Here you will find the standard diffused glass plate that protects the LED light underneath. The simplistic Profoto speedring design is convenient and secure for changing between modifiers.

Build Quality

The Profoto B10x Plus is powerful, reliable, and consistent. However, it is not weather-sealed. That doesn’t mean it’s a fragile egg; it held up just fine when photographing in the dusty wind. We even encountered a quick sprinkle of moisture, which didn’t phase it. Although, I wouldn’t suggest using this in adverse weather.

Ease of Use

Profoto’s B10x Plus has a simplistic, three-button design with a large LED screen that is easy to use. An on/off button and two dials control flash power and continuous light. I usually set the initial flash power on the unit and then make minor adjustments with the air-TTL remote. This is a great light for simple, in-studio setups.

Flash

The Profoto B10x Plus is compact and lightweight. It is made to be shot on location. And its portability makes shooting gorilla style in areas like NYC less harrowing.

The battery was nearly half drained after 100 flashes when shooting at ¾ power with the modeling light on. Battery life is longer when shooting at lower power settings without the modeling lamp. The battery life dwindles down quickly in 50-degree weather and drains much faster as the temperature drops further. It’s rated for 200 full-powered flashes and takes approximately 90 minutes to charge.

A high demanding fashion shoot focusing specifically on the motion of the textiles could deplete one battery in less than 10 minutes. You can charge the battery while operating it. However, that negates its portable design. I would need at least two extra batteries if shooting an editorial on location.

The light will shoot approximately 23 frames when shooting in low-speed continuous mode. You can capture 5-6 burst frames when shooting in high-speed continuous mode. It has a quick, yet inconsistent recycle time. Regardless, the improved maximum recycling time is quick enough to keep up with fast-paced photoshoots.

The Profoto Air Remote TTL-C for Canon was perfectly adequate for making necessary adjustments. It’s nice to transition between HS, 1st curtain, and 2nd curtain flash modes. The B10x Plus has an ultra-fast 1/50,000th of a second duration that can freeze motion when you need it most.

Continuous Lighting

Variable Color Temperature

The continuous LED light is powerful enough to act as a fill light in bright outdoor settings. You can also adjust the color temperature to best suit your needs.

I got approximately 52 minutes of battery life when using the continuous LED light at full power while indoors. The fan kicks on after about two minutes of use. Battery life was noticeably shorter when shooting outside, which is on par with many LED continuous light options.

The flexibility of the LED as a continuous light is great. However, battery life should be improved at this price point. Extra batteries are $229 apiece.

Profoto App

Profoto has been keeping close tabs on the future of mobile photography and is adapting well. The Profoto Camera app is an excellent addition to smartphone photography. You can choose your phone’s ISO, shutter speed, color balance, and flash power settings. There is also a smart feature that will assess the scene and choose your settings. Even though the auto result was pretty good, I still prefer to choose my own settings.

The Profoto Camera app is going to continue to raise the bar in terms of smartphone photography. It will also be very useful in scenes where more real estate is needed than the focal length of the camera lens provides. As smartphone camera capabilities continue to improve, their image quality is also sure to get better. I foresee portfolio images being captured this way and most of the images will be nearly indistinguishable from more expensive cameras.

Image Quality

Profoto is known for the quality and consistency of their gear, and it is heavily reflected in their prices. The B10x Plus is no exception to this rule. Here I shot 18 consecutive frames in quick succession. As you can see, the color temperature and power output are very consistent. The color fluctuation was within 150k and is not discernible to most untrained eyes.

The continuous LED is powerful enough to act as a sufficient fill light in bright conditions. Its variable color temperature is ideal for making post-processing a breeze. The HS capability of the flash is perfect for overpowering sunlight on sunny summer days. HS can stop motion for those action shots and artistic images. It can also be utilized to blend light naturally with subtle specular highlights in backlit environments when needed. Images created with this light require minimal post-processing time.

Extra Image Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency with our audience. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. They’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a section in our Extra Image Samples area to show edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.

Edited

Unedited

Conclusions of the Profoto B10x Plus Light Review

Likes

  • It is sleek and portable
  • Consistency cuts down on editing time
  • Constant light and flash in one unit
  • Ability to adjust the continuous light color temperature
  • Powerful and reliable

Dislikes

  • I would love to see Profoto design a longer-lasting battery.
  • It’s expensive, although it’s worth it.

The B10x Plus has a design that is meant to be taken anywhere. Switching between continuous and flash lighting is a quick adjustment. Wedding photographers, photojournalists, fashion, commercial, and portrait photographers will love this light.

The ability to plug in the unit and recharge the battery while simultaneously shooting is a nice touch. But, I do wish this light had a longer-lasting battery. This light is meant to live untethered.

Profoto has color and light consistency down to a science. It is why you buy into the system. The Profoto B10x Plus is a sleek, powerful, and reliable light that produces beautiful results time and time again. Its consistency and HS functionality will meet the most demanding requirements for clients.

We are giving the Profoto B10x Plus five out of five stars. Want one? You can pick one up at Adorama or Amazon for $2,295. Otherwise, rent one from LensRentals.

Brittany Smith

Brittany is a commercial fashion and portrait photographer working in Montana and NYC. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local artisan coffeeshop, writing for photography education sites and publications, teaching fitness classes, or baking something fabulous.