Today, we have Eric Replogle from Profoto here with us to discuss the launch of the Profoto Pro 11. So, Eric this is pretty exciting.
Q: To start, what can you tell us about it?
A: Let’s see, the thing that is most exciting about it is going to be the new introduction of our AirX Bluetooth technology. We find that this type technology is super critical in this world and if we are going to have a flagship product, we need that technology in it.
Q: So, what can you tell us about AirX?
A: AirX, in general, is a feature we’ve started to incorporate in our A-series flashes and B-series flashes and it is a technology that allows you to incorporate mobile devices via Bluetooth for control. Most recently, we not only allowed control but users also have the ability to use the flash tube in full flash power to take photos with your iphone.
I think the thing to understand is, in today’s world, everyone has a phone and everyone is connected via Bluetooth. If you take cameras for example, like my awesome Fujifilm, if I want to update the firmware, I just go onto my phone. I don’t have to plug in the camera. So that same concept of connectivity and control is what we want to bring to lights.
A lot of customers love the ability to update our firmware via bluetooth and the ability to control the power of the flashes. You can actually see the power rating of the flash on your mobile device and have the ability to adjust the power in full stops. Just the ability to connect and control with a device is paramount.
Q: So, we’ve seen the AirX like you said, with the A1, B10 and now the Pro 11. It is such a slick system and very easy to use. This is the third generation of Air remote. Are we still using Air Sync and Air TTL with the pack?
A: In order to use a DSLR or a mirrorless camera you still need to use a trigger that goes on top of the hot shoe whether it's an air sync to an air TTL. Really the AirX is only for Bluetooth and phone application, which is great, but the TTL remotes and air syncs are incredibly relevant and will stay that way.
Q: What would you say are the top three improvements from the Pro 10 to the Pro 11?
A: Let’s focus a little bit on the hardware since we already touched base of the AirX. I'd say then, the three biggest are going to be new internal circuit boards, so what you’ll see is new flash boards, new electronic boards just to provide more reliability. We are also improving the housing. The housing itself is more robust. The last thing is user functionality.
Q: Why would someone choose a Pro 11 pack over a D2 mono light head?
A: I think there are specialized circumstances when the need for a pro pack is going to exist. With the D2’s, they are amazing and their ability is unreal, but things that differ would be flash power. A D2 has a 100-watt second maximum but a pro 11 has a 2400-watt second maximum. The ability to use giant umbrellas, huge modifiers and having that kind of power is crucial.
The other thing is flashes per second or the speed. The D2 is fast as far as a mono light is concerned, but the Pro 11 goes a step further. As an example, the D2 can do 20FPS but the Pro 11 has the ability to do 50FPS. Another thing is flash duration. A lot of people love to have the shortest flash duration possible especially when you're dealing with pro packs and in a studio. The D2 can do 1/63000th while the Pro 11 can do 1/80000th a second.
Q: Who is the Pro 11 target users?
A: I’d say more of your commercial photographers, rental houses, studios, the people who need that specialized type of equipment. Not so much a sports shooter per say, but really that commercial client.
Q: Seems like it’s the industrial, motion picture world that really need these packs.
A: Yes, absolutely!
Q: Where do you see the Pro-11 going?
A: It’s certainly not going to go away. Until the technology gets to the point where the other things can do what a pro pack can do is when that might change, but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. For the studio, commercial and the industrial customers, the pro packs are going to be there. When you use a Pro pack, you get used to it and people feel very comfortable using it. They also know they are using the best thing possible and the most reliable.
Q: So what you’re telling me is speed, reliability, and functionality, that’s what a pro pack is all about?
A: Bingo, and awesomeness too.
We want to thank Eric for spending the time to talk about the new Profoto Pro-11 today. The Pro-11 is estimated to ship on March 1st and will be available for $16,995. For more on the Pro-11, check out our website.