Up until now, HSS solutions have been either consistent but lacking in speed and power, or fast and powerful but inconsistent. On December 15, Profoto released a new solution that has all of the benefits and none of the limitations.
High-Speed Sync (HSS) is the technical term for syncing flash with shutter speeds shorter than the so-called x-sync, typically 1/250 of a second. It is a useful tool for controlling ambient light and for freezing action, but there used to be limitations.
Current solutions for speedlights give you a fairly even exposure. But it does so at the expense of speed and power. Previous solutions for larger flashes were faster and more powerful. But the exposure could differ as much as 2 f-stops in a single shot.
Profoto’s new HSS solution for the B1 Off-Camera Flash has all of the benefits and none of the limitations. The B1 itself is about ten times as powerful as the average speedlight and fast enough to keep up with your camera. With the new HSS upgrade installed, you switch to HSS Mode with a simple button-press. You will then be able to shoot at shutter as fast as 1/8000 of a second.
But it does not stop there. Profoto HSS is a unique, patent-pending technology, providing an extremely fast series of flash pulses. What this means in practice is that you get an extremely consistent exposure with no measurable variation over the image.
In other words, Profoto HSS is fast, powerful and consistent. This opens up completely new light shaping possibilities for Profoto customers. For instance, you can now shoot with a large aperture in bright conditions to get a shallow depth of field and get that perfect deep blue sky. Or capture super crisp action in mixed light conditions without getting motion blur from ambient light.
Profoto HSS works for both Canon and Nikon and has been tested for all common camera models.
Profoto HSS is available through a firmware upgrade. Log into your Profoto account here and download it for free. Once installed, HSS Mode is activated with a simple button-press. It is very easy, and there is no need to change the flash bulb. Also note that you can use Profoto HSS with TTL, making it fast and easy to do fast paced action shots or daylight backlit portraits with large apertures.
For more information about Profoto, visit their website here.