Profoto revamps its A1 flash to craft a new A1X sibling

Profoto A1X
Image credit: Profoto

Profoto shook the lighting world last year with the launch of its powerful but pricey A1 'studio flash' flashgun, and it's now updated that model to deliver a more powerful A1X companion.

Physically, the A1X appears to be designed along the same lines as the A1, with the same round flash head and a large display on its rear, although it arrives with an updated feel and finish. More significantly, the company has upgraded much of the innards to make it more powerful and flexible than the existing model.

The recycling time is slightly shorter than the A1's, now down to just a second compared to the A1's 1.2 seconds, while the built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers 450 full-power flashes per charge – 100 more than the A1. Even so, it can still be recharged just as quickly, in around 80 minutes.

The A1X is also compatible with many of Sony's most recent mirrorless and SLT cameras, including the Sony A7 III and Sony A9, in addition to the Canon and Nikon DSLRs and mirrorless bodies that work with the original A1. The user is also now able to choose one of 20 wireless channels, versus the eight available on the A1.

Like the A1, the A1X has been designed with a modeling light and a magnetic mount that accepts various light-shaping tools, while the interface has been upgraded for the new model. The A1X is also set to be available in an off-camera kit configuration which includes the Profoto Connect trigger, which slides into the camera's hotshoe and works with a companion app.

While the A1X is more powerful than the A1, the company intends to keep the A1 in its lighting stable, and the price difference between the two models should mean the pair appeal to a broader range of users than a single unit; while the A1 is currently retailing for around $795 / £690 / AU$1,430, the A1X has been launched at $1,095 / £949 / AU$1,595.