Extra Power in a Portable Wireless Strobe
Review by Michael Corsentino
Stockholm, Sweden-based Profoto has finally created the portable wireless strobe of my dreams with their new B10 Plus. The “Plus” is for extra power: 500 watt/seconds of portable, fast, color-consistent, and easy-to-use power! Until now, their line of portable strobes, while excellent, has been a series of compromises between weight and power. Profoto’s 500 watt/second B1 and the faster flash duration B1X are both well-powered lights, but at 6.6 lbs., they’re too heavy for extended hand-held booming (in my experience of what I ask assistants to do on a daily basis). The Profoto B2, the company’s follow-up pack, and head unit is light on its feet at only 3.5 lbs., but, at 250 watts/second (a third of a stop less power than the B1 and B1X), it lacks the power sufficient to serve as an all-purpose light. The Profoto B10, a recent addition and major step in the right direction in terms of weight (3.3 lbs.), and a 6.9″ monohead form factor, is unfortunately still underpowered for my all-around needs at only 250 watt/seconds.
Happily, Profoto has answered my prayers with their brand-new B10 Plus: a wireless strobe that packs a 500-watt/second punch, enough power for the majority of my location needs, and a unit that’s lightweight enough at only 4.2 lbs. (with the battery and stand adapter) for assistants to handhold for extended periods without a full-scale mutiny. In the inimitable words of Goldilocks, “This one is just right.”
While a lot of strobes claim to be portable, the B10 Plus actually delivers the goods in a tiny 4.3×9.3×3.9″ package with enough bells and whistles to tackle most jobs—amazing! All that and it’s still compatible with more than 120 of Profoto’s range of world-class light modifiers, including their highly portable OCF line. The B10 Plus is compatible with all Profoto Air remotes, including the Profoto A1/A1X, and it can be remotely controlled using the Profoto smartphone app. All this means that integrating the B10 Plus into your existing Profoto equipment is a snap.
With 500 watt/seconds, the Profoto B10 Plus puts the power of 10 speed lights in the palm of your hand. A powerhouse that’s around the size and shape of a camera lens and is packed with all the features you need: from a 10-f-stop (1.0–10) power range, to high-speed sync (HSS), to TTL, to fast 0.05–2.5s recycle times, and a USB-C port for firmware upgrades.
Its powerful, yet lightweight, Li-ion battery delivers up to 200 full-power flashes or up to 75 minutes of continuous light, and it can be charged in less than 90 minutes. Speaking of continuous light, the Profoto B10 Plus’s LED modeling light gives users a maximum 2500-lumen output, bright enough for video or stills, and a dimming range of between 10% and 100%. The modeling light’s color temperature can also be adjusted from 3000—6500K (±500K), and it sports a 90–96 Color Rendering Index, which means rock-solid color consistency across its power range.
The Profoto B10 Plus is the strobe I’ve been waiting for, and maybe you have too. This baby has it all. Well done, Profoto! ■