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Smartphone lights from Profoto

Profoto has announced the (incredibly expensive) C1 and C1 Plus hand-held lights, which it is promoting as ‘our very first studio lights for smartphones.’

‘From today forward, Profoto is committed to supporting all image creators, regardless of what camera they are using, smartphone or other cameras. Great light is the key to creating great images,’ said Anders Hedelbark, CEO of Profoto.

While the new hand-held lights can be used with cameras as well as iPhones, the accompanying Profoto Camera app to operate them is exclusive to iPhones. Well, what self-respecting influencer would stoop to using an Android phone anyway?…Well, maybe if they were paid to…

Profoto C1 key features:
– Colour rendering index >90 for daylight colour;
– Round shape delivers smooth fall-off;
– 4 warm, plus 3 cool LEDs (at around $65 per LED!);
– Automatic and manual options;
– Maximum 1600 lumens, with adjustable power;
– Built-in capture button;
– Flash and flicker-free options;
– Built-in rechargeable battery for more than 2000 full-power flashes or 30 minutes of continuous light at full power
– One full charge (via USB-C) takes 2 hours;
– Compatible with iPhone 7 and newer (no Android version of accompanying app)
– RRP $450

The Profoto C1 Plus is also compatible colour gels, grids, and domes, attachable via the C1 Plus’ magnetic mount. It also has a tripod mount, and works with the Profoto AirTTL Remote.

This could be a contender for worst product shot of 2019? From a lighting company!

Profoto C1 Plus extra features:
– 10 warm, plus 10 cool LEDs (colour temperature of 3000-6500K);
– Click-on magnetic mount for tools;
– Maximum 4300 lumens, with adjustable power;
– Built-in rechargeable battery for more than 2000 full-power flashes or 40 minutes of continuous light at full power;
– 1/4″-20 thread built-in;
– Compatible with Profoto AirTTL Remotes;
– RRP $740

The C1 and C1 Plus have garnered editorial coverage around the world in photographic websites, with no comment at all on the most remarkable factor in the equation – the batshit-crazy pricing. $740 for 20 LEDs. Really? Don’t blame local distributors, though – the delusion that people will pay $750 for a remote control torch comes direct from Profoto.

It’s worth noting that just prior to the Profoto announcement, Chinese lighting manufacturer Godox announced its own pair of hand-held smartphone lights, the R1 and R1F, which also operate as actual flash units as well as complementing ambient lighting, and have a fuller range of accessories and greater operational flexibility. No RRP as yet, but it would be surprising if they were in the same ballpark as Profoto.




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