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News & Insight

Introducing The New Profoto B1X | Bigger, Brighter, Faster

By Justin Heyes on May 13th 2017

Since its introduction in 2013, the Profoto B1 has taken the photographic community by storm. It was a veritable game-changer offering full TTL and HSS support with Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras, and all with a unit-contained battery offering 220 full-power flashes at 500 Ws (watt-seconds) – it meant photographers were no long tethered to a wall for constant and reliable power.

Now, there’s the brand new mutant B1, the B1X, which is effectively an overhaul of the entire system. Much more that any firmware update, the B1X boasts a larger battery, brighter modeling light, and better High-Speed Sync.

You can see our review of the original B1 at the link below and the video at the foot of the article.

[RELATED: Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Review: The Beauty of This Beast]

 

The new battery is larger the original B1 offering 50% more juice, which equates to about 325 full-power flashes. The modeling light has seen an 80% increase in power from 20W (70W equiv.) to 24W, or the equivalent to a 130W halogen bulb.

Although the original B1 was capable of doing High-Speed Sync, it was only available in a 3-stop range (from power level 7 to 10). The B1X offers a larger 9-stop range and is able to sync speed up to 1/8000th of a second.

Not straying too far from its source material, the B1X still offers 500Ws while retaining the same mounting system as the other light in the Profoto line, like the easy-to-use color correction OCF Gel pack or their RFi softboxes.

Announced along with the B1X were two new OCF Hard Reflectors: Zoom and Magnum (see above). Both of the new modifiers are compatible with Profoto’s line. The ‘Zoom’ offers and additional 1.2 stops of amplification while the Magnum offers 1.8 additional stops, and perhaps make your subjects look really really, ridiculously good looking.

You can now order the B1X from B&H in a 1- or 2-Light To-Go Kit here. If you would like to know more you can check out their product page here, and we’ll be bringing you updates as soon as available and hopefully getting them in to test soon.

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Erick Regnard

    Hey Justin,

    I am having problems doing rear sync flash with my B1X. Do you know what setting the flash should be on. It seems all the photos are not sharp and that the flash is not freezing the moment. I reverted by to my Nikon flash and it’s all perfect. I am using a Nikon D850 if that is of any help.

    Cheers,

    Ercik

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  2. lee christiansen

    Do we know how stable output levels and colour will be at the lower power levels with HSS.  (I’m on Canon so at least no banding issues).

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  3. Guy Delarea

    superb!

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  4. Ralph Hightower

    In the video, Pye laments about the loss of stops when going to higher shutter speeds in High Speed Sync.

    In photography, the exposure triangle is ruled by physics; it involves log2 as opposed to the natural log (ln) or base 10 log, square roots, and squaring of numbers

    Electronics have their own physical laws, such as Ohm’s Law. Capacitors hold the charge to dump into the flash. It is charged by a power source, either AC or DC. Firing full power in HSS mode is impractical due to the recharge times.

    Until flash manufacturers and battery manufacturers manage to harness the power of dilithium crystals, I think we are stuck with the physics of electronics.

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  5. Felix Wu

    Can we use the new B1X battery on the B1? If Profoto would design an AC adaptor for B1 it would be a much more meaningful upgrade than the B1x imo. 

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  6. Michael Reinhardt

    So tell me the “problem” with the b1 and the 3 stops (7-10) in hss mode is solved? 

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    • Felix Wu

      yes, by the sound of it. I wonder if the original B1 could do a firmware update on this.

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    • Andy Foster

      The B1 will receive a firmware upgrade to allow HSS across the full range just like the B1x

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