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 A1 and A1X, 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.
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.
If all this is sounding rather familiar, that's because the A10 shares much of its specs and design with the preceding A1X. 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.
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.