This is a review of the Profoto B10 AirTTL OCF Wink Caput, a lightweight, portable and battery-powered flash designed for professional portrait photographers. Although Profoto had previously released battery-powered flash heads for on-location work such as the B1 (see our Profoto B1 Review), B1X and B2, they were all either too big and heavy or small plenty to crave an external battery pack. The Profoto B10 was designed to strike a perfect residual of portability, power, and weight, and then information technology is arguably the flash head that delivers the most value in the entire line-up.
I had a chance to test the Profoto B10 in the terminal few weeks for portrait photography while traveling, and I constitute it to be an extremely versatile off-camera flash. Information technology is powerful enough to be able to do portraits in daylight atmospheric condition, it is light and pocket-sized enough to be able to fit in a small photographic camera bag, and the ability to use it in the field without having to hook up any cords, battery packs or other accessories gave me a lot of freedom and flexibility. Let’s accept a look at the Profoto B10 in more detail.
Profoto B10 Specifications
Start, let’s take a look at the specifications of the Profoto B10:
- Maximum Power: 250 Ws
- Ability Control: 10 Stops
- Guide Number: 72.51′ / 22.1 m at 6.56′ / 2 m, ISO 100 with Reflector
- TTL: Yes
- HSS: Yes
- Recycle Time: 0.05 to ii Sec (Total Ability)
- Color Temperature: 5,600K
- Flash Ready Indicator: Sound
- Reflector: three.9″ / nine.91 cm Fixed
- Accessory Fitting Type: Profoto, Profoto OCF
- Modeling Light: 150 W LED
- Modeling Lite Control: Dimming ten-100% (up to 2500 lumens), Adjustable Color Temperature 3000-6500K (+-500K)
- Modeling Low-cal Color Rendering (CRI): 90-96
- Sync Type: Button, Optical, Radio
- Sync Socket: No
- Wireless Frequency Bands: 2.4 GHz
- Wireless Channels / Groups: viii / iii
- Operating Range: Sync and remote control 0.5-300m (1.5-1000ft), HSS and TTL: 0.five-100m (1.five-330ft)
- Bluetooth: Yes (Profoto app)
- Interface: USB Blazon-C
- Ability Source: External Battery
- Battery: 3000 mAh Lithium-Ion
- Maximum Output Voltage: fourteen.four VDC
- Flashes Per Accuse: 400 Flashes (Full Ability)
- Recharge Time: 90 Minutes
- Brandish: LCD
- Mount: 5/viii″ / 16 mm Receptacle
- Auto Dump: Aye
- Fan Cooled: No
- Operating Temperature: 32 to 113°F / 0 to 45°C (Recommended)
- Dimensions: H: three.nine 10 W: 4.3 10 Fifty: 6.9″ / H: 9.9 x W: 10.9 x 50: 17.5 cm, Including Stand Adapter
- Weight: 3.three lb / 1.50 kg, Including Battery and Stand Adapter
Every bit you can see from these specifications, the Profoto B10 has quite a bit of power and features for such a pocket-size and lightweight wink. It is important to point out that the B10 has a built-in “IR Slave” adequacy similar to what the B1 can practise, which means that you can trigger it with some other speedlight. I tested the B10 with Nikon SB-800 and SB-900 speedlights and I was able to utilise it upwards to ane/200th of a second on the Nikon Z7. If you have a camera with faster wink sync speeds, you can shoot fifty-fifty faster – I have previously done successful tests with upward to 1/320th of a 2d on the Nikon D800E / D810 without having any darkening of the frame.
Packaging, Build Quality and Ergonomics
Anyone who previously had experience with a Profoto flash caput knows that these units are built to the highest standards and to deliver consistent results in the field, which is important for whatsoever working professional. Dissimilar some of its Chinese knock-offs and equivalents (more on that later), the Profoto B10 feels similar a meridian-notch production when it is handled. While I personally rarely pay attention to things like product packaging, one can immediately tell the difference between unboxing a Profoto product vs a cheap flash unit – everything feels similar it has been well thought of. Within the cardboard Profoto box you will notice a nicely padded case with a handle, for those situations where y’all want to simply grab the whole example with all its contents. Within the example, you lot will find the post-obit items:
- Profoto B10 AirTTL Flash Unit with Rubber Protective Cap
- Stand Adapter
- Lithium Ion Battery
- 3A Bombardment Charger
- B10 Carrying Case with Separators
- User Guide, Condom Instructions and Warranty Card
The wink head itself comes with the bombardment attached to the unit, but for storage purposes, there is a pocket-size piece of plastic that keeps the battery from powering the wink. Once removed from the packaging, my beginning step was to charge up the bombardment, which is easily discrete from the flash head when I squeezed its lesser. Charging the battery is simple and quick – you just adhere the male office of the charger to the pigsty on the bottom of the bombardment and the charging will embark. One time fully charged, a light-green indicator light on the charger will turn on. One of the main differences between the B10 and previous-generation Profoto products is the ability to accuse the battery while being able to simultaneously use the production, which is a nice advantage for those who want to be able to shoot continuously in a studio environment.
The B10 has a standard 5/8″ receiver on its bottom and information technology does not come with an integrated umbrella adapter, which is corking for a number of reasons. Showtime of all, if you have tight space in your camera bag, you lot tin can get out the stand adapter detached and store it separately. Second, if you bring a tripod, a superclamp or a C-stand up with a 5/8″ male thread, y’all tin can attach the head directly on those without using the adapter at all. And lastly, if you shoot in a studio environment, you can attach the head on all kinds of stands and accessories without adding the weight and the bulk of the stand adapter. At the aforementioned time, I personally constitute the stand up adapter to be quite useful every bit a simple handle when manus-holding the flash, which turned to be very useful when I took portraits of Lola in New York:
For remote piece of work, I ended up leaving the B10 case at home, since I wanted to pack everything nicely into my camera pocketbook. And that’s certainly where the B10 shines – information technology is so compact and small, that it easily fit in the center section of my MindShift Gear Backlight 26L Haversack. Accept a expect:
And hither is the full list of gear that I brought with me to New York:
- Profoto B10 with battery and stand adapter
- Profoto 3A charger
- Profoto OCF speed ring
- Profoto ii×3′ OCF softbox
- Profoto Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon
- Nikon Z7
- Nikon Z 35mm f/1.viii South
- Nikon Z 50mm f/i.8 S
- Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 South
- Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S
- Nikon MH-25A charger + extra EN-EL15b battery
- RRS Multi-Clamp Kit with BC-18 Head
- Bose QuietComfort 20
- Gitzo Traveler Tripod
- FLM CB-32 F Ballhead
- Bones umbrella light stand
That’s quite a bit of gear I was able to pack in a relatively compact backpack. The light stand, along with the Profoto 2×3 OCF softbox went into my suitcase, while the residuum of the gear was packed into my backpack. The best part is, the B10 but added approximately 1.five kg of weight to my shoulders, which is roughly the weight of a lxx-200mm f/two.8 lens. And size-wise, the B10 is shorter, only a bit wider than a 70-200mm f/2.viii lens. If I were to try to pack a 70-200mm f/2.viii lens with me, both the B10 and the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S would have to come out from this bag…
As expected, the build quality of the Profoto B10 is superb. Its tough plastic beat is useful in protecting the unit against occasional bumps and scratches. Although Profoto made certain to protect the front of the flash with a protective safety grip, the LCD screen that sits on the rear of the unit of measurement is protected by a slightly extruded piece of plastic, every bit well every bit the two big buttons/dials on the bottom:
This means that while the B10 could take a hit without much damage on its back if it falls on a flat surface, if you lot manage to drop it on an uneven surface, you certainly risk damaging the LCD screen, which could plough into a costly repair. Ideally, if you are planning to apply the B10 with a big light modifier, yous should make sure to secure the head on a solid light stand that yous can either hold, or protect with a heavy sandbag, especially in windy conditions.
The three buttons on the back of the Profoto B10 serve dissimilar functions. The white one on the right is used to power on the unit of measurement and test wink. The main button / punch in the middle is used to change wink ability, every bit well as access and navigate through the B10 menu. Pressing the button once opens up the menu, then you can rotate the button to select a menu setting, and so press it again to change values. The left button / punch located on the left is used for turning on the modeling light and adjusting its power, too as its color temperature. Only rotating the dial will adjust the power, while pressing the push button and rotating it volition adjust the color temperature. I personally beloved this feature of the B10, as it can exist used not only as a powerful wink, only besides as a decent video light!
It is clear that Profoto engineers put quite a bit of thought into the design of the B10 to arrive every bit pocket-sized, and all the same every bit functional equally possible. Its unique, compact pattern with a signature Profoto display on the back of the unit of measurement, too as a very minimalistic, and notwithstanding functional button layout definitely make it stand out from its competition. The intuitive menu system is the icing on the cake – even if y’all have previously never used a Profoto flash, you lot will take no problems agreement the carte (I never even bothered to utilise the Profoto manual). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said with most other wink units on the market place that accept too many buttons and a hard to understand menu organisation.
Compatibility and Firmware Updates
Similar to other Profoto units, the B10 is uniform with most camera systems on the market place today. I was initially worried nigh compatibility with Nikon’s mirrorless system, merely information technology turned out that Profoto provided a firmware update for both B10 and the Air Remote TTL-N remote that brought compatibility to both Nikon Z6 and Z7. The firmware update process was simple and intuitive. Later on I downloaded the latest firmware from Profoto’s website and connected the B10 to my iMac Pro with a USB Type C cable (had to plough off the unit of measurement and remove the bombardment offset), the software recognized the flash and took a few minutes to upload the firmware:
Afterward the upload is done, you disconnect the cable, mount the battery, and plow it on – that’s what starts the bodily firmware upgrade procedure. The firmware transfer process with the utility is merely at that place to transfer firmware files.
From in that location, I performed a similar update to the Profoto Air Remote TTL-N. The process was a chip different for the Air Remote TTL-N. After I connected the micro USB cable to the unit, I had to press the “+” and “C” buttons together until the word “USB” appeared on the brandish:
Afterward that, I pressed the “Click to start firmware update” button, which upgraded the firmware on the Air Remote TTL-Northward. I was then shown a “Firmware updated completed” message on the software. I and then asunder the cable, mounted the Air Remote TTL-N on my Nikon Z7 and tested the B10 – information technology was able to burn the wink without any issues.
Profoto B10 vs Godox vs Other Flash Systems
Over the years, I take tried a number of different flash systems on the market from Elinchrom and Paul C Buff to Godox. For many years, I was a large fan of the Elinchrom system, because it delivered superb and very consistent results, peculiarly in a studio environment. Nevertheless, it was a beast of a system to carry around with me, so I ended up selling it. Ever since Profoto released the B1, I realized that big flashes and battery packs are just not for me, and then I wanted to move to a more than meaty radio system. I looked at a number of options on the market, only none of them were equally portable and lightweight as I wanted them to be.
A couple of years back, I had a hazard to visit and photo Israel, and that’due south where I had my first come across with the Godox arrangement. I was shooting a model in the desert with a agglomeration of other photographers, and since I did not accept a wink with me, I had to employ a Godox flash with its remote trigger. I was using the Fujifilm GFX 50S in bright daylight conditions and afterwards spending about 10 minutes with the Godox flash, I only gave up. I am not sure if in that location was anything wrong with the trigger or the unit of measurement itself, only the wink would just engage every four-5 shots, which was very frustrating. I tried swapping out batteries, recycling the power on both the trigger and the flash, but it would still fire inconsistently. Peradventure it could take been a firmware incompatibility or some other trouble, who knows. The other frustrating fleck for me was irresolute the settings – I remember I had a difficult fourth dimension understanding how to adjust Godox settings, so I had to ask someone else in the grouping to assistance out. Others had similar bug that day, and they ended up shooting portraits without a flash. All this left a bad taste in my rima oris, so despite the price appeal of the Godox system, I decided that it was not for me. Since and then, Godox released a number of new flash heads that seem to be much better in comparison, but I take still been hesitant for a number of reasons, including quality control issues and support (which seems to exist non-existent in the U.s.). Simply above all, none of the Godox flashes are as portable, every bit powerful and as lightweight as the B10, which is a pretty big bargain for me.
When information technology comes to cost, it is absolutely true that Profoto charges a premium for their products. At $1,699, the B10 is one of the most expensive flash heads on the market. Add the price of the Air Remote TTL ($429), as well every bit a wink modifier and a speed ring, and you are looking at spending shut to $2,500, and that’due south for a single flash. In comparing, the Godox AD400Pro is without a doubt something I would have a close look at, peculiarly at its low $650 price tag. For the aforementioned budget of $2,500, you could easily get a few of the AD400Pro units, flash triggers, and modifiers, so the price difference is certainly significant.
All the same, for those of the states working in the field, cost is non e’er the determining factor. I am personally willing to pay a premium for the high-quality product that is lightweight, portable, easy and intuitive to use, and I know that if anything happens with my unit in the field, I can go professional support from Profoto, something I cannot count on with the Godox organisation. In fact, if you ask almost Godox support from its fan base, you volition by and large hear that information technology is easier and better to just replace a broken Godox with another one. Godox flashes are so cheap – why not go a few of them? This certainly makes sense from the budget standpoint. Budget is something you lot should definitely weigh on your cease earlier deciding on a flash system. In fact, I would argue that
if budget is an issue, Profoto is not for yous. The mode I look at Profoto vs Godox or other cheap wink systems on the market place, is like to how I look at iOS vs Android or Mac vs PC debates. There will e’er exist those who will fence that ownership the latest Mac Pro or an iPhone is downright idiotic, because at that place are meliorate, faster and cheaper options out there. Despite all this, there are many people out there who are willing to pay a premium for that Apple logo. It does not thing whether it has to do with the perception of higher product quality, familiarity / comfort level, or simple willingness to support the company by purchasing its products. Having endemic an iPhone in the past 10 years or then and having tried a number of loftier-cease Android devices, I personally cannot see myself moving to Android – I simply did non savor the Android experience, and I absolutely hated the fact that well-nigh Android devices come up pre-packaged with crapware I cannot hands remove. Others have unlike arguments and experiences, but at the end of the day, we can all concord that the purchasing decision of an private does non solely depend on price lone. Those who buy Apple devices are likely to go on to buy them, no affair how cracking their Android and PC equivalents are.
Lastly, as a business owner and seller in the USA, I practice have a personal issue with supporting Chinese manufacturers who have zip shame in copying products and producing copycats. Having been ripped off many times in the by by Chinese manufacturers who copied the Sensor Gel Stick and sold it on Amazon and other outlets, my revenue from sales has declined to the bespeak information technology almost makes no sense to continue selling the product. Someone fifty-fifty had the guts to set a “sensorgelstick.com” domain to redirect sales to Amazon for earning commissions from a product
I originally named. I am not necessarily suggesting that Godox and other similar companies copy products from other companies, simply nosotros have seen Godox release the V1, which looked too similar to Profoto’s A1 (heck, even the names of the products are similar). These sort of practices hurt companies in the long run and the sad role information technology, there isn’t much we tin exercise to end these copycats. R&D costs a lot of money for manufacturers, so any time someone just rips their product off, information technology hurts their business in the long run.
Flash Consistency and Reliability
Unlike my previous feel with the Godox organization, I establish the Profoto B10 to exist a consistent and reliable flash unit. No affair how shut or far I got to B10 with my camera, it fired every single time with high accuracy. For instance, when shooting a model, I set the flash output to exist at 5.0 and took a number of images with the aforementioned ambient light and exposure settings – every image came out looking exactly the same, with the aforementioned amount of calorie-free on my subject. I can say the aforementioned thing about the consistency of color output from the B10. This type of consistency and reliability are important in the field for working professionals and it is something you might non exist able to go from a cheap flash system, and then go along that in mind.
TTL and HSS
The Profoto B10 has built-in TTL support for a number of different camera systems. While I purchased the Profoto Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon, you can buy a like remote for Canon, Sony, Fujifilm and Olympus systems. With the TTL capability, you don’t take to worry nigh manually decision-making flash output and the system will automatically make up one’s mind the best flash power output. I tried out TTL on both Nikon Z6 and Z7, and I am happy to report that it worked flawlessly. Setting up TTL is super like shooting fish in a barrel – all you have to do is press the button to the correct of the “Style” screen in Profoto Air Remote TTL-Due north trigger and in one case it switches to “TTL”, yous are all gear up. If you press the push button again, it switches back to Transmission. Here is an image captured in TTL fashion:
While TTL is nice to have, the feature that is a lot more important for me personally is High Speed Sync (HSS). When shooting in bright daylight conditions, lugging a variable ND filter just to keep the shutter speed below maximum flash sync speed (typically around 1/200-1/250th of a second) is non always ideal and sometimes I only forget well-nigh information technology. In such cases, instead of ending up with images that are just partially illuminated, or instead of forcing myself to use smaller apertures, information technology is nice to be able to switch to HSS and still get great results, even broad open up. That’s what I did with my model shoot when shooting in daylight weather condition – I used the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S at the maximum aperture of f/one.8 and with HSS on, I fired abroad without paying attention to my shutter speed. The results were amazing and HSS worked flawlessly! Here is a sample image captured with HSS:
The Profoto B10 was able to handle 1/800th of a 2d without any issues and I was happy to continue my aperture at f/one.8 to isolate the model from the busy background.
Air Remote TTL
While I really love the Profoto B10, I cannot say neat things well-nigh the Air Remote TTL – at least non at its steep $429 price tag. With Elinchrom pricing its triggers at around $250 and Godox pricing its flash triggers at just $69, $429 seems like a lot of money Profoto wants its customers to pay for a simple radio trigger. The worst part of the Air Remote TTL is its inability to read the flash power from the Profoto B10, which is a rather serious oversight. When shooting in transmission mode, you have no thought what flash power is prepare on the Profoto B10 – you volition have to look at the back of the LCD. Pressing the “Free energy” plus and minus buttons pushes the ability up and down, but afterward about two seconds the adjustment resets and if you will take no clue what information technology is set to on the wink unit. Profoto should have constitute a fashion to read the flash power from the B10 and report it on the Air Remote TTL, or at least not reset the adjustments, so that you lot know whether yous added more or less wink power.
In add-on to this, the Air Remote TTL has no built-in AF assistance IR beam light that can assist significantly when shooting in low-low-cal conditions. See my article “How to make autofocus piece of work in extremely low lite” to empathize the benefits of AF assist IR axle. For $429, Profoto should have added this useful feature to the Air Remote TTL in my opinion.
The Profoto B10 comes with a powerful Lithium-Ion battery rated at 43.two Wh / iii Ah. In terms of flashes per charge, information technology ways that you can fire the B10 upward to 400 times in full power before the bombardment is fully drained – and that’s at 250 Ws of maximum power. It is pretty incredible that Profoto was able to squeeze that much juice into such a pocket-size battery. Just to give you an idea of how much power you tin get from a single full charge, when I did a model shoot locally in Colorado, I came dorsum with roughly 250 images, all taken with wink at different power levels. My battery indicator on the LCD, equally well equally the battery itself (yes, you tin check the battery level by pressing a button on the battery) showed that I only consumed 1 bar – I had a lot more bombardment life left! So 400 flashes at full power is indeed a lot of battery life. I personally exercise non see myself shooting at full power that many times on a single shoot.
If y’all are planning to use the modeling light a lot for shooting video, go on in mind that the battery does get drained faster this style – you can expect to have about 75 minutes of continuous run time in total brightness. And so if you are a professional portrait or wedding photographer, you might want to add another battery to your arsenal.
The simply negative affair nigh Lithium-Ion batteries is that they tend to die when they are not used and when their charge levels drop likewise low. If you find yourself shooting very rarely, then I would recommend charging these batteries every once in a while to keep the battery running.
Ease of Use
I have already pointed out that I never fifty-fifty bothered opening the Profoto B10 manual and that shows how easy information technology is to use the B10. Everything is designed to be extremely easy to operate – from buttons to the menu system. The merely thing you have to remember is how to plough the B10 on and off (which is just pressing and property the white button)…the rest yous can figure out by just looking at the LCD.
Profoto did a phenomenal job with the LCD screen. Unlike most ugly LCD and OLED screens we come across on other speedlights and flash units, the Profoto LCD screen has plenty of resolution to be able to fit all the information, including the menu system. Speaking of the menu system, y’all are not going to get shortened menu options that require you to look things upward – everything is spelled out in full words like “Continuous Light” and “Exposure Alert”, which is very nice. To date, I have not yet seen a flash arrangement that is this organized and then easy to use!
iPhone App for Remote Control
The Profoto B10 comes with a Bluetooth functionality, which allows information technology to connect to the Profoto app, which is available for the iPhone. Once you lot download the app and login with your Profoto account, brand certain to enable “Bluetooth” from the settings carte on the B10. As soon as you practice that, the iPhone app volition detect the B10 and ask you to connect to information technology:
In one case continued, the app will ask if you want to annals the device. If you have not already registered the device, it is a adept idea to do it now, so that you can become all the firmware updates in the future. Once connected, unlike the Air Remote TTL, you lot will exist able to get the full wink status using the app. It volition display the current power level, equally well as requite you all the features, including the total flash carte du jour:
Personally, I love this connectivity selection and the app, which so far seems to exist very stable and bug-free. I love the ability to alter wink settings using the app and knowing what my ability is set up to. The only downside is compatibility – I wish Profoto adult a similar app for Android.
What can I say, Profoto has done it over again! Having used the Profoto B1 in the past, I cruel in love with the system, but I was not gear up to commit to a large and heavy flash unit. But with the release of the B10, I knew it was a affair of time until I caused information technology to utilize for my portrait photography needs, peculiarly when traveling. So far I have just been able to have it with me to a trip to New York, but with my upcoming trips to Uzbekistan, Jordan and other countries, I am planning to bring the B10 along with me whenever I tin. Having shot then many portraits in Uzbekistan a few months ago, I often struggled with challenging light conditions and wished I had a powerful wink with me. I am happy to know that I can fit the B10 forth with the Air Remote TTL-N unit in my minor travel backpack without adding too much weight on my shoulders. With its TTL and HSS support, its superb ergonomics and minimalistic, yet functional pattern, as well as all the bells and whistles pointed out in this review, the Profoto B10 proved to exist a superb wink unit that earns our highest laurels.
More than Prototype Samples
- Build Quality
- Battery Life
- Size and Weight
- Packaging and Manual
- Ease of Use
Photography Life Overall Rating