Profoto’s New $4,000 Pro-D3 1250 Monolight Packs a Serious Punch

Studio photography lighting equipment, profoto pro-2 flash head, positioned against a dark background, highlighting its sleek, black cylindrical design.

Profoto has announced the Pro-D3 monolight, a professional-grade light designed to be durable and performant enough for even the most demanding, high-volume photographers.

Available in two versions, with 750Ws or 1,250Ws, the Pro-D3 is a “relentless work horse,” per Profoto. Both models feature “high-grade components” throughout the design. The Pro-D3 promises an impressive 11 f-stop flash power adjustment range, with power dialed in within 0.1 f-stops.

The Pro-D3 features three different flash modes. The default “Eco” mode caters to typical, efficient use, with flash parameters optimized for color consistency and maximized equipment lifetime — lights don’t last forever, after all. A “Boost” mode adds extra power, while the “Freeze” setting delivers the shortest possible flash duration to capture high-speed action.

A person adjusts a large profoto pro-11 studio flash mounted on a stand against a dark background, focusing the device with their hands.

As expected, flash duration varies by output mode and mode. Looking first at the Pro-D3 750, when using Freeze mode, the shortest possible flash duration is 1/7,000s and 1/75,000s at t0.1 and t0.5 power levels, respectively. That is very fast.

Something worth noting is that the color temperature is 6,100K, plus or minus 100K, in the Eco and Boost modes across all power levels. However, to achieve the shortest flash duration in the Freeze mode, which requires dipping the output power quite a bit, the color temperature can get as warm as 9,000 K.

A professional studio setting showing a close-up of a profoto studio light with a digital display reading "2.3" and a photographer working with a model blurred in the background.

The Pro-D3 1250 has the same color temperature performance as the lower-power 750 version but a slightly different flash duration performance. In Freeze mode, the D3 1250 can get as fast as 1/62,000s, so photographers needing to keep pace with the fastest shutter speeds on a camera like the Sony a9 III may want to opt for the 750 version.

The two monolights also differ in terms of recycling performance. The Pro-D3 750 recycles as fast as 0.01 to 0.5 seconds when using 230V power and 0.01 to 0.8 seconds with 100V. The Pro-D3 1250, on the other hand, recycles a bit slower, ranging from 0.01 to 0.8 seconds at 230V to 0.01 to 1.5 seconds at 100V. In either case, and with any power source, the Profoto Pro-D3 is very fast.

A person in a beige cardigan adjusts a professional studio light, focusing on its angling. details are visible in a dimly lit photography studio setting.

Both versions also include a continuous LED modeling light. The modeling light is adjustable from 1% to 100% output, and its max power is 56W. The modeling light’s color rendering index (CRI) is over 92, and its fixed daylight-balanced color temperature is 5,600K, plus or minus 100K. Profoto remarks that the LED modeling light is brighter than a 400-watt halogen lamp while using only 15% of the power.

A profoto light meter against a dark background showing a digital readout of 6.4 and model number 100a.

The Pro-D3 features built-in Profoto AirX wireless connectivity, which communicates over 2.4GHz frequencies. With Profoto Air, photographers can use sync, TTL, HSS, and remote control functions. The light also has Bluetooth and works alongside the Profoto Camera and Profoto Control apps for mobile devices. Wireless operating range using 2.4GHz is up to 100 meters (330 feet) in typical conditions, although up to 300 meters (1,000 feet) in optimal conditions. Bluetooth range is up to 30 meters (90 feet).

The Profoto Pro-D3 is powered over AC (100-240V 50/60Hz) and it requires a 10-amp main fuse.

“We are excited to introduce the Pro-D3, a strobe that not only meets but exceeds the evolving requirements of our customers in the high-end commercial image content creation industry,” says Göran Marén, Product Manager at Profoto. “The Pro-D3’s innovative features collectively contribute to improved energy efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, and an extended fixture lifetime, making it the go-to choice for professionals engaged in daily high-end image content creation.”

The Profoto Pro-D3 are high-end, powerful monolights built for demanding studio photographers. They are not Profoto’s ideal solution for photographers looking for something more mobile — that’s where something like the Profoto B10 and B10X come in.

For hybrid shooters who may prefer continuous lights and LED solutions, Profoto is listening. The company recently announced that it is developing cinema lights.

However, for those who need lights best described as “relentless,” the Profoto Pro-D3 is available now. The Pro-D3 750 is $2,995, while the Profoto Pro-D3 1250 is $3,995.

Image credits: Profoto