Profoto B1X Evaluation: Powerful, Highly effective, and Price Each Penny

When Profoto released the cordless, battery-powered B1X monolight in 2017, I used to be slightly skeptical. Why ought to an organization launch a brand new mild if it presents delicate enhancements over the outdated mannequin? Quicker recycling, higher battery life, and extra modeling lamp output aren’t precisely groundbreaking. But the construct high quality, the power to freeze movement, and the variety of flashes per cost make this mild price each penny.

Design and Construct High quality

The design is typical for Profoto monolights and one thing hasn’t modified dramatically because the introduction of the D1.

It’s ergonomic — in the event you put a heavy modifier on the sunshine, merely use the deal with to maneuver it in place. The big knob will repair the sunshine in place and maintain it securely. I by no means had an issue with the joint being flimsy. In reality, the entire mild feels safe and durable and it looks like this mild may survive a battle. I feel it’s one of the crucial well-built lights available on the market.

The cherry on the highest is which you could change the flash tube your self, which is what many professionals worth. Priced like a premium product, it positively looks like one.

Coming in at 6.6 kilos (3kg) together with the battery, this isn’t a light-weight resolution. When you’re taking a B1X in your set, be sure you have good mild stands as it could get top-heavy very quick, particularly in the event you add an enormous RFi modifier.

The dimensions is similar as a D2 or B1: it measures 12.2×8.3×5.5 inches (31x21x14cm), so the sunshine is fairly large. Look into the B10X Plus if you would like 500W in a small bundle.

There are 4 buttons and a knob on the again of the sunshine which additionally contains a vivid LCD. The facility knob is made in a method that makes it simple to make effective 0.1 cease incremental changes. Press and switch and also you’re altering energy in full stops. The opposite buttons are modeling lamp, sync, prepared, and check (additionally on-off). You’ll by no means flip off the B1X by chance as a result of the check button should be held for 3 seconds for that to occur.

The buttons have a pleasant really feel to them and it’s simple to determine most features, although I generally have hassle altering teams and sync modes. It might be extra intuitive with the addition of a menu like within the D2.



You possibly can choose from 8 Air channels and 5 teams out of which A-C helps TTL. Air works reliably and can hearth flashes inside 300m with no downside. I by no means had a misfire due to Air working poorly.


The TTL provides comfort to the pack. It is going to present an awesome place to begin for dialing in your mild energy. In any other case, TTL is beneficial on location as a result of it could velocity up the taking pictures course of dramatically. I typically resort to TTL when I’ve restricted time for pictures or when the sunshine is altering an excessive amount of. TTL does an okay job of preserving the publicity on the topic comparable so you’ll be able to depend on it to regulate the ability up and down if the ambient mild retains on altering.


The HSS was pretty unhealthy on the B1 as a result of it was supplied on a small energy vary. With the introduction of the B1X, the HSS vary is now the total 9 stops. Up to now, you’ll allow HSS on a B1 and it might mechanically scale back the utmost output by a couple of stops. Total, the HSS is dependable, however I wouldn’t suggest utilizing it to freeze movement as a result of there are higher methods to do it, such as with flash duration.

Gentle High quality

Shot with Profoto B1X as a fill mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild

The B1X supplies 500W of energy. That is a lot for each in-studio and on-location work. Being only one cease increased than the B2 or the B10X, there may be nonetheless a noticeable distinction between the sunshine output.

When you’re working within the studio, the B1X can also be giving sufficient energy to mild a black body. 500W of sunshine is similar quantity Profoto places in its hottest monolights: the Profoto D2. It’s fashionable in studios, and most photographers don’t complain that there isn’t sufficient energy. Even in large modifiers such because the 4×6 softbox, you’ll not be brief on energy.

When you’re like me and shoot style, the B1X might be simply sufficient to mild a scene at ISO 100 and f/11. Nonetheless, I don’t have an issue going as excessive as ISO 400 on my Canon 5DS, because the sensor can render the picture pretty properly even at that comparatively excessive ISO. When you don’t thoughts bumping your ISO up, the B1X will at all times have sufficient energy for you.

The B1X is nice within the studio, nevertheless it actually shines on-location. 500W of energy is the utmost Profoto presents proper now. The B1X is made to be an on-location mild. When you’re taking pictures weddings, you have to just one B1X to mild up an entire corridor. If you wish to shoot portraits outside, the B1X will even have sufficient mild output to combine it with daylight in a pure method.

Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild

Let’s discuss different necessary properties: consistency, flash length and recycle time.

The facility output is like with most Profoto items: constant. I can depend on the flash to present me the identical energy all day with no misfire.

The temperature can also be extremely constant throughout the entire energy vary, I didn’t discover the slightest shift within the shade temperature throughout the entire energy vary. This is excellent information for me as a result of it signifies that I can have a whole lot of B1X lights in numerous positions and energy ranges giving me the identical temperature. The extra constant the lights the extra “costly” {and professional} the image. The B1 was additionally extremely constant.

The battery life is significantly better than the B1. I personal each B1 and B1X batteries, and there’s a clear distinction. The B1X battery gives you wherever from 300 to 325 full-power flashes. I can undergo a portrait session while not having a spare.

When you personal three batteries and a quick charger, you’ll be able to shoot all day and never fear about working out of energy. By the point you’re carried out with 1 battery, a contemporary one is charged. That’s in the event you’re taking pictures at full energy with a full modeling lamp on. Sadly, you’ll be able to’t cost the B1X whereas utilizing it which I discover extremely annoying as a result of it might make a whole lot of sense. To me, it’s no totally different than the Profoto B2 or B10 which might be charged whereas utilizing.

Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild
Shot with Profoto B1X as a key mild

The LED modeling lamp is highly effective and can be utilized for video. Remember the fact that as a result of it’s battery-powered, it received’t be a superb long-term video mild resolution. Look in the direction of the B10X or the B10X Plus for video capabilities.

The output within the B1X is 80% increased than the unique B1, it has an LED with 90+ CRI, or 24W or output. It may be set to free, or proportional.

The flash length on the B1X is a bit little bit of a let-down. It’s 1/1000s at most energy, however in the event you drop the ability, it’ll quickly shorten reaching the utmost of 1/19000s (in freeze mode). It’s adequate for freezing motion on-location, but when it’s essential freeze movement and the price range permits for it: lease a Pro-11 and don’t fear.

Recycling instances are good however not nice. 1.9s at full energy is way too lengthy for mild so high-end. If Profoto may make the D2 recycle in 0.6, it could make the B1X recycle sooner than 1.9. It isn’t terrible after all, however it could decelerate the taking pictures course of a bit. Nonetheless, it’s higher than the B1 which was over 2 seconds. The B1X will recycle the identical with both B1 or B1X batteries.

A Dependable On-Location Workhorse

Are There Options?

Profoto presents yet another 500W battery-powered mild: B10X Plus. It is going to recycle a lot slower, have a shorter battery life, and received’t be as dependable and durable because the B1X. However, it’s far more compact, has a brighter LED modeling lamp, helps AirX, and might be charged whereas utilizing. It is usually cheaper than the B1X.

Godox has its popular AD600 which could have an extended flash length, received’t be as constant, and have worse construct high quality. However alternatively, you’ll take pleasure in an extended battery life, the power to make use of it from mains energy (with an adapter), and a lower cost.

Elinchrom has a 500W pack and head system which has flimsier heads, longer recycle time, and is total larger. Nevertheless it has a significantly better flash length (1/3000s), longer battery life, and helps two asymmetrical lights.

Ought to You Purchase It?

In case you have the price range to spend on it and shoot on location then sure, it is best to buy the B1X. The B1X is made to be an on-location mild and it will likely be a dependable resolution for a lot of shoots.

When you shoot within the studio, it is best to keep away from the B1X and look in the direction of the Profoto D2. An alternative choice to buying the B1X could be a Profoto D2 with a Jackery 1000 generator.

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