Profoto Introduces the Revolutionary New B1: the First Studio Strobe with TTL


It’s been a good few weeks for revolutions in photography. First, Sony broke ground on affordable full-frame mirrorless cameras with the a7 and a7R, and now Profoto has up and changed the lighting game by releasing the B1 Off-Camera Flash: a powerful cordless monolight with TTL metering capabilities.

Basically, the B1 combines all of the best parts of a studio strobe and a speedlight, and so they’re refusing to call it by either name, preferring to go with “off-camera flash” instead.

Like a speedlight, it is cordless and runs off of its own battery pack. It also offers TTL (through the lens) metering, which allows the unit to automatically adjust its settings based on what your camera is seeing. But unlike a speedlight, this thing has a ton of power: 500 Watt seconds to be exact, or about 10 times more than your average speedlight.

Take a look as photographer Richard Walch puts four of these “speedlights on steroids” through their paces:

What Profoto is trying to do with the B1 is allow speedlight users to take their work to the next level without sacrificing portability and features in the name of power.

At 500Ws, you’ve got plenty of power; if you attach the Air Remote TTL you have the convenience of TTL metering from as far as 100m away (regular sync from as 300m away); and the battery that comes with the B1 will last 220 full power flashes and charge back up in only two hours with the 2.5A battery charger or one hour with the 4.5A charger.

What’s more, the B1 is also fast. Recycle times range from 0.1 seconds at low power to 1.9 seconds at full power, and when you set it to low it can flash as fast as 20 times per second!

Here are a few more photos:




For more info and sample shots of the B1 in action, head over to the Profoto website by clicking here. The B1 and Air Remote TTL-C (denoting Canon compatibility only) are both available starting today, with the B1 going for $2,000 per head and the remote separately for $400.

For now, the TTL functionality is only available for Canon shooters (with E-TTL II support), but Profoto is promising a Nikon version of the Air Remote (the TTL-N, we assume) in 2014.

  • Tyler Magee

    this is truly amazing… on location shooting is going to be so much better with this.

  • Kazul

    i wait for the china copys.. should not take too long.
    jinbei is working on it as i have heard.

  • Kazul

    because ?
    your light situation changes so quick that you need TTL?
    i never missed TTL in studio strobes to be honest.. not even when used on location.
    thought when i get it in cheap china strobes for 400 euro i take it.

  • Halfrack

    9 f/stops of power, with 1/10th stop increments, you can bypass ganging together multiple speedlights to get enough on location.

    You forgot to mention that the interest generated by their blast email crashed the site this morning.

  • Caitlyn Chapman

    This is exciting! I guess I’ll start saving now.

  • Sid Ceaser

    Man, $6k for three lights is serious cash. Hell, $2K for one light is a serious investment. And for this video they waited until dark for the sessions. Why? Show is how powerful they are with the sun out – which is what most people will be wanting to buy these for. I know Profoto stuff is amazeballs, but that price is nutty. You could pick up 3 Alien Bees and 3 of their their portable lithium batteries for the price of one B1, if price is any consideration.

    Yes, it’s elegant, but it just seems kinda off to me.

  • Panchoskywalker

    US$2000 per head…..for TTL?…WTF!

  • Andrew Richardson

    No, for battery powered, individual strobes that give you 500ws. For people who are making the money to justify the purchase it’s awesome. I would sell my Quadras and buy these in a heartbeat.

  • Kazul

    and why dont you?

  • Carl Meyer

    Elinchrome Quadra is a better option for indoor-outdoor users that want something more powerful than a pair of speedlights from a renown brand without sacrificing portability.

    This multi thousand dollar premium system is not going to attract the strobist crowd, dominated by cheap Chinese lighting equipment.

  • Zach Sutton Photography

    For the simple fact that it’s cordless for one. As an on location shooter, I often will have a spiderweb of cables running around to lights for commercial projects.

  • Andrew Richardson

    Because I currently make Elinchrom-level money, haven’t quite made it to Prophoto-level money yet ;)

  • Andrew Richardson

    I don’t think that’s who they’re targeting.

  • Carl Meyer

    Obviously they’re not targeting professionals with multiple Acute systems, this beefed up speedlight is just a hook for amateurs.

  • Andrew Richardson

    I would argue that it’s really good for editorial and news portraits when you’re on the go and have a lot to shoot. When I interned at a big name newspaper, we had Acutes in the studio but just ran with speedlites on most assignments, and Elinchrom Rangers when we needed more power. That worked but I think this would definitely be preferable in that kind of environment.

  • GG

    This is not the first TTL studio strobe.

  • GG

    Broncolor had a TTL studio strobe system in the late 90’s which they developed to be used with the TTL-capable Hasselblad bodies.

  • Kazul

    there are other cordless strobes.. this is about TTL.

  • Kazul

    i make jinbei kind of money… :)

  • sayithere

    battery-powered studio flash is not a new thing. take a look at Priolite.

  • Tyler Magee

    Because its cordless….. & No my light doesn’t change so quickly I need TTL… For sports like skateboarding this B1 is going to good a job for what I need its simple as that… I know there are other cordless strobes but this one is pretty nice.

  • TB

    Just had confirmation from Profoto UK that pricing in the UK will be £1295 + VAT

  • Genkakuzai

    Swedes kicking ass. Pretty damn expensive however.

  • Eugene Chok

    you might be satisfied with non ttl strobes… in fact you might be happy plenty with cheap chinese gear but i certainly am not, when location shoots are on a time crunch… i have a million uses for these on location or in studio… my brain exploded from the possibilities !

  • D1

    I did this already with Quantum Trio and Co Pilot,
    Profoto is a nice flash but portability is on Quantum,
    don’t get it wrong, I also own Profoto D1

  • mikW

    E640, mc2 and a vagabond mini and you have the same thing for less money.

  • Ken Elliott

    Dear Profoto competitors. I’m sure you’re looking at this and thinking you should produce a product like this. I’d suggest you make it compatible with the Pocket Wizard Flex TTL radio. As many photographers, I have plenty of money invested in PW products and Speedlights. The Profoto light is incompatible, so I’ll be skipping it. But if someone offers a PW-compatible device like this, I’ll buy one. I can use my speedlights as kickers, background, etc. It’s not worth replacing all my gear for the slight advantages gained, as I already have non-TTL lights that DO work well with my speedlights.

  • fun

    it’s not just about ttl you idiot

  • bob

    how about when on location shooting 1000 different kids with vary skin color and tone?

  • bob

    most top of the line Photographers want the best there is. you might be happy with cheap china copy, but many photographers are not.

  • bob

    I have 3 Alien bee einstiens and they are amazing especially when used with my 1dx shooting dancers in action. the action freezing ability of the einstiens is great, however, the B1’s TTL and cordless and 20 flash burst mode make me seriously consider buying 3 B1’s and using the Einsteins as back ups.
    Just being cordless is almost enough to switch. people are constantly going where they don’t belong and tripping over cords, sometimes knocking equipment over.

  • bob

    We know.

  • bob


  • bob

    I don’t think many amateurs have this kind of cash to play with.

  • bob

    and school portrait and sports photographers that shoot several shoots a day with constantly changing skin color and tone. if these work as they claim, that would cut down countless man hours adjusting in post, that alone would pay for the lights in no time.

  • bob

    no VAT in USA!

  • bob

    Profoto is expensive but everything profoto that I’ve tried from their umbrella’s to 6 foot strip boxes are worth the extra money.

  • John

    Looking great, not in my price range, though I am not a pro, so Ill stick to something cheaper, never use TTL anyway.