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Who is the B10 for?
The B10 is designed for a highly mobile professional photographer or videographer with it’s strengths coming through most clearly in situations where an individual needs to travel lightly but also needs a quality lighting solution for on-site work.
Strengths of the B10
For the range of functionality it offers right out of the box the B10 is a substantial contender for other all-in-one off-camera solutions to compete with. Considering it’s compact and lightweight form factor it can easily be used handheld. Additionally, the B10 can be mounted to both lightstands and tripods making it even more versatile.This product could potentially allow you to leave your bulky lightstands at home and simply carry a tripod; thus, saving even more space in your pack.
Performance-wise the B10 is a tiny powerhouse with the ability to light up to 250W in flash mode and 2500 lumens in continuous lighting mode while still offering fine control using an adjustable range of 1-10 f-stop brightness increments. If that wasn’t enough, the colour of the light can be adjusted to be anywhere from 3000K-6500K.
In our own testing we found that the portability of the B10 alongside the versatility of the light colour/power opened up a lot of creative avenues which usually would not have been possible without gel sets or even multiple pieces of lighting equipment. As you can tell from the following pictures all three of the testers from Downtown Camera had quite a bit of fun experimenting with the B10.
During our testing we were once out for more than 3 hours doing a test photoshoot while continuously using the B10. Despite this, we still had about 50% battery left upon heading home for the night. When the battery finally did run out after I tested the continuous lighting function to light a session of macro work I was also impressed with how quickly it charged (roughly 1.5 hours).
In the case of lightshaping tools, Profoto the B10 fully embraces the Profoto line-up. The B10 is compatible with all 120+ Profoto light shaping tools including the full OCF range of light-shaping products. It’s also controllable via all Profoto AirTTL Remotes, the Profoto A1, and even via cell phone over Bluetooth. It’s safe to say that B10 users will have no problem customizing their lighting experience.
The App Experience
On the note of controlling the B10 via a phone, our experience with the Profoto IOS app was refreshing positive. The app very closely resembles Profoto’s existing AirTTL and A1 interfaces. Once set-up the experience was very much like using a Profoto AirTTL Remote unit. It was clean, efficient, and pretty much foolproof with everything intuitively displayed. First-time users will be able to navigate this interface with ease while users of previous Profoto gear will be able to speed through with high efficiency. We were able to do quite a number of pictures without issue using the app as a remote trigger/modifier and found it was consistent and reliable as well. To be frank, in stark contrast with most other apps the experience here was good enough that one could easily use this app as part of their regular workflow.
At the time of testing (August 2018) it was a little disappointing not to have an Android version of the app, especially considering that the world marketshare of cell-phones has nearly 3.5x as many Android users as of IOS users. That said, Profoto has told us that this version of the app will be coming out in Q1 of 2019
I think that the Profoto B10 is ultimately a very useful addition to the Profoto lineup. It manages to successfully take a high quality continuous light and off-camera flash and compact-ify it to a point where it fits neatly in most backpacks with room to spare. As well, the simple and intuitive user interface makes the B10 a pleasure to use both directly on the back of the unit as well as remotely via Profoto Air Remote and even via phone. For professionals who need a quick, intuitive to use, mobile flash and continuous light it’s definitely worth considering. This sentiment applies even more strongly if you are already invested in the Profoto ecosystem and can leverage the B10’s strong intercompatibility with other Profoto products.