Shh, don't call it a flashgun! It's Profoto's new A10 'on-camera studio light'

Profoto A10
(Image credit: Profoto)

Profoto has launched the third incarnation of its A-series flashgun/speedlight range. Except they don't call it a flashgun or a speedlight. No, no - the A series is better than even the best flashgun, or at least that's what Profoto would like you to belive. Like the preceding

and , the A10 stands out from the flashgun crowd mostly thanks to its 7cm round head that's designed to produce a softer light with a smoother falloff - the overall aim being to avoid the harsh, unflattering flash burst so often associated with a conventional flashgun. The round head is also compatible with a dedicated range of magnetic flash modifiers so you can further tune the light output to suit your subject and setting.

(Image credit: Profoto)

Thanks to a built-in rechargeable li-ion battery, recycling times are blisteringly fast - 0.05-1 second - and the battery is good for 450 full-power flashes per charge. Rather than giving a guide number output figure, flash power is quoted in typical studio light fashion, at 76Ws, and there's 9 stops of power adjustment. Other features include AF-assist, auto and manual zoom, high speed sync, and an LED modeling light for previewing the illumination you'll get from the main flash. Everything is controlled by a simple yet high-resolution LCD that's easy to ready from a distance.

(Image credit: Profoto)

If all this is sounding rather familiar, that's because the A10 shares much of its specs and design with the preceding

. The big difference here is the A10 gets Profoto's AirX Bluetooth sync feature, which enables the A10 to be used not just with conventional cameras, but also smartphones. Given the rise of 'professional' phone photography during the Covid-19 lockdown, the ability to quickly and easily pair one of the best camera phones with a compact yet high quality flash could well be a desirable feature. The system works in tandem Profoto App for iOS (an Android version is supposedly in development), and the app also allows you to individually control up to three lights over a distance up to 30 metres. The A10 can also be controlled off-camera by Profoto Air, AirTTL, and Connect flash triggers.

(Image credit: Profoto)

The A10 AirTTL is available for Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm cameras, each priced at $1,095 / £949.

Alternatively, the A10 also comes in an off-camera kit with a Profoto Connect Wireless Transmitter for $1,195 / £1,049, representing a saving of $200 / £200.

Read more:

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The best travel tripods

The best ball heads

The best monopods

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.