There’s no shortage of lighting accessories available for smartphones, ranging from small LED lights to more sophisticated Xenon-flash solutions like the Godox A1 or the Profoto C1. However, all those solutions are more or less designed for maximum portability and amateur use. If you needed professional-level studio lighting that is fully compatible with smartphone cameras, you were pretty much out of luck…until now.

Profoto has announced it’s made its B10 flash series compatible with Apple’s iPhone cameras. The B10 and B10 Plus are compact studio flash heads and have a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well. They come with removable lithium-ion battery and have output control via the company’s AirTTL system. The B10 is a 250Ws unit while the slightly larger and heavier B10 Plus doubles the output.

This is a revolutionary innovation, said Profoto CEO Anders Hedebark. ‘Making professional flash available to smartphones has the potential to be ground-breaking, just like how the transition from analog to digital cameras once changed everything. We believe freedom with connectivity is the next step for professional photography. No matter what kind of photographer you are, it’s all about the light. And we want to offer image creators to work with great light, regardless of what capturing device you chose to use.

Shot on iPhone with B10 series flash by Andrea Belluso

Profoto says it has been able to make the B10 series units work with the iPhone by using ‘a range of advanced technologies.’ The company’s AirX technology has been key to the project as it allows users to clock synchronize Bluetooth devices. The flash unit has to fire at exactly the right point in time, and for the right length of time. Using Bluetooth-sync iPhone photographers who use the B10 series can capture images at 1/25.000 sec exposure time and still sync the full power.

One challenge when working with smartphone cameras is that they require much more flexible flash-length on different shutter speeds than for instance DSLR or MILC. This has forced us to refine our methods with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) flashes into long, or extremely short, pulses with an exact and controlled intensity‘, explained Göran Marén, Product Manager at Profoto.

Most serious photographers who are happy to lug a portable flash system like the B10 around will almost certainly also carry a DSLR or mirrorless camera. However, this is still very good news from Profoto as it simply gives you the option to shoot with an iPhone on those occasions when you have to work with a flash but absolutely have to or want to minimize the bulk you carry. It also makes the iPhone a potential backup device should your main camera fail on a studio shoot.

Shot on iPhone with B10 series flash by Profoto product manager mobile Marko Pirc

iPhone connectivity for the Profoto B10 flash series is available from today. Profoto B10 users will have to update the flash firmware for the new feature to work which can be done through the Profoto app. The feature requires iOS 11.0 or later and works with the iPhone 7 and newer models.

The Profoto app also allows you to control B10 and B10 Plus strobes from both iPhones and Android devices when shooting with a ‘real’ camera.

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