The Profoto Connect trigger’s press release hit our email inbox early yesterday, but after looking into the product, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Being keenly interested in lighting and lighting gear, a button-free trigger that required your smartphone to manually adjust your flash’s power levels seemed a bit ridiculous. Profoto is an industry standard for a reason. They have a knack for developing highly reliable, extremely useful lighting solutions. But I can’t help but think this product misses its mark.
Who wants to be constantly pulling out their phone during a photo shoot? I know I don’t. So whom exactly is this product for? The video above provides some clues.
Profoto believes that those who have so far been intimidated by off-camera lighting may appreciate a simple, no-fuss sort of trigger. But would somone who is tepid about trying off-camera lighting lay down nearly $ 1,000.00 for a Profoto A1 and then another $ 300.00 for the Connect trigger? And from a practical standpoint, if you’re going to handhold your flash like the photographer in the video, why not simply use your camera brand’s flash and an inexpensive TTL Flash Cord to trigger it?
I think this product could have been so much better. Imagine if it had featured a touch sensitive scroll wheel around the top of the device with a small display in the middle. With something like that, a user could easily change power levels of individual flashes (maybe a double finger tap would allow you to cycle among them?) using the display as a reference, all while maintaining the hook of a “button free” trigger. But then, the Connect would basically be a redesigned Air Remote, so Profoto would have to limit its functionality in some way for differentiation (shorter range, fewer channels, etc.).
If you’re seriously considering investing in a Profoto lighting kit, including the excellent B1X and B2 (or even the A1) flashes, I highly suggest you spring for the slightly more expensive Profoto Air Remote instead. [Sean]
Profoto Connect Highlights
- Smartphone control: Yes, via Bluetooth through
- Profoto app
- Profoto AirTTL: Yes
- Operation modes: Auto/Manual
- Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz
- No. of frequency channels: 8
- Range: Up to 300m (1000 ft) (free line of sight in open space)
- Typical battery lifetime: >30 hours