Highlights of the Profoto B10
I had a blast testing out the new Profoto B10 monolights a few weeks ago in Park City, Utah. I was genuinely surprised at how portable and small these lights are. As a location-based, adventure photographer, this was huge for me! I felt that the additional weight was negligible, especially considering the amount of light output these lights are capable of. The icing on the cake was being able to pack them in my regular camera bag.
The process & initial thoughts
I wanted to get to an area that may have been difficult for larger lights, so I teamed up with Conor Barry and Austin Tucker and went into the mountains to shoot some biking. The first thing I noticed was how bright these lights are. They are capable of a 250 Watt output, which compared to a standard studio lights, may sound low, but I never shot at full power. I had plenty of light to work with and was able to stay a safe distance away from my subject in order to both hide the light source and keep it from being knocked over. Honestly, because of how small they were, it felt very similar to using a beefed up speed light, albeit one with 4-5 times the amount of power.
For the majority of the shots we stuck with a single B10, but I used a second B10 on a few images in order to create some back light and get a more interesting look. Syncing up the two systems was extremely simple, I never had a problem with them not firing simultaneously. Each light can also be independently controlled via the hot shoe trigger, which was awesome since I was never close enough to the light source to alter it manually.
High Speed Sync
The B10’s are capable of high speed sync, but the bottleneck in the system will be your whether or not your camera is capable of it. I was using a Sony A7III, and the high speed sync kicked in automatically for shots above 1/320th of a second. I wanted a little bit of ambient light exposure, so I never shot above 1/1000, but the lights never struggled at that speed.
At 10 frames per second of shooting, I could get one or two flashes that worked at medium power before I started to see a large drop off in output. This worked well for me since the biker was out of the frame by that point anyway, but it may be something to consider depending on your setup.
If you’re a location based shooter, you may think that the A1’s are the bread and butter, which, for a powerful speed light, they are but, what makes the B10 truly different is the ability to add any Profoto modifier to them. This made them a true studio light, but with the added benefit of a small package. Honestly, if you’re a studio shooter, but want some portability. These are the perfect set up. They can be powered all day via a regular AC outlet, but charged ready to go with a battery for on-location shooting.
I created a short video of the process, check it out below: