I was visiting with the folks at Profoto Canada this morning, and Managing Director Jaehong Park graciously showed me an early version of the Pro-10 Flash system announced yesterday at Photokina.
This system is not for your basement studio, at least it wasn't designed for that. Its calling is likely to be rental houses, who are already strongly committed to Profoto gear. The Pro-10 has the look of a D4 generator but with an updated display and incredibly straightforward control layout.
The system incorporates a Profoto Air receiver, and also supports Profit's AirTTL systems when used with the appropriate transmitter, available for Canon, Nikon and Sony camera systems.
The unit has two professional Profoto ports, and the ports are fully asymmetric so you have complete control over each head independently. The energy range is delivered over 11 stops from 2.4ws to 2400ws in 1/10 stop increments. Flash recycle time ranges from 0.02 seconds to 0.7s and you can fire up to 50 flashes in burst mode. That's incredible performance! You could actually shoot live motion, albeit in a short spurt.
What really makes this generator stand out is the capability for incredibly short flash duration. The Pro-10 surpasses the recently announced D2 moonlight short duration of 1/63000 by offering a flash duration as short as 1/80000 of a second. That's not a typo. For a studio pack to drive that short a duration is amazing. Even at full power of 2400ws, the flash duration is still only 1/1000 of a second. That super short flash duration is game changing, and Mr. Park advised that most all of the big rental houses had already placed their orders.
The generator is built tough, and weighs just under 30 pounds. I hefted it around and it's no problem to move, and lighter than many other studio generators. The generator can also drive modelling lights of up to 500w consumption.
MSRP is just under $20,000 CDN for the Pro-10. Big studios will really love the pack, but it is mostly likely to be initially snared up by top rental houses. If that were my business, I'd be terrified to be a house that doesn't have it.
The Pro-10 works with 11 different Profoto heads and over 120 different light shaping tools. This provides great investment protection for existing customers and ensures that a new system does not require new everything else. That's a big deal for anyone.
Profoto hired photographer Iain Crawford to make some images using the Pro-10. They are very impressive indeed, so I pulled these off the Profoto website just so you can see them..
I am a Profoto user and owner and have been for some time. Some may therefore presume some bias and in fairness, I have some, because Profoto has never let me down. The quality is superb and with AirTTL I can get the most out of my cameras and lights. For more information on the Pro-10, have a look at the Pro-10 website here.