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Profoto launches C1 and C1 Plus, its first mini studio lights for smartphones by Jose Antunes


Sept. 20, 2019

Portability is the key word for the Profoto C1 and C1 Plus, studio lights for smartphones that you control with the Profoto Camera app to create, says the company, professional images with just a simple click.
Smartphones continue to grow as picture taking machines, so it comes as no surprise that a company as Profoto wants a slice of the pie. The market has multiple lighting solutions for smartphone camera users, and there are even apps that transform your smartphone in a light panel usable in some situations, like the Pocket Softbox , but not one light with the Profoto name on it. Well, now there are two, the C1 and C1 Plus.
The C1 and C1 Plus are siblings and the similarities are many but the C1 Plus has a little more of everything. The C1  has 1600 lumens of power output, 4 warm and 3 cold LEDs and a built-in dome diffuser. The C1 Plus features  4300 lumens of power output,  10 warm and 10 cold LEDs, click-on magnetic mount for Clic light shaping tools, built-in button for switching continuous light on/off, built-in buttons to adjust power and color temperature, built-in thread mount for stands and arms and is compatible with any Profoto AirTTL Remote.
The Godox R1 and RF1
The price may be the problem for these two Profoto products to compete with other lighting solutions, like the Godox A1 a smartphone flash launched in 2017, priced at $70. The Profoto products are different, no doubt, but the Profoto C1 costs $299.00 while the C1 Plus costs $499.00. One also has to consider that Godox announced, just before Profoto, their new lights for smartphone photographers, the Round RGB Mini Creative Light R1 and RF1. Godox was also at IBC 2019 to show some of its new LED lighting solutions.
The Godox R1 is a dimmable RGB LED light, but the RF1 version is both a LED panel and a LED flash, controllable through Godox app and compatible with Godox triggers for different camera brands. While Godox has not disclosed full specifications and price for the new products, it is expected that they will cost less than the Profoto solution.
A range of lighting shape tools
Back to the Profoto lights, the C1 Plus is presented as the company’s “most versatile light in the C1 product range, opening up a world of creative possibilities”. Compatible with all Profoto AirTTL remotes, the C1 Plus is probably a good little light to use with DSLR and mirrorless systems, for a photographer already using Profoto’s lighting system with Air TTL remotes. Due to its small
size, it has one advantage: it is placeable in various places where bigger lights will not fit. In fact, you can use as many C1 Plus lights as you want, if the price is no problem. One thing to remember: Profoto’s app for smartphones only exists for iPhone.
There is also a range of light shaping tools available, giving you even more opportunities to play with light and be as creative as you can be. The Profoto C1 Plus even has a built-in thread mount so you can put it on an arm or stand, giving you even more creative freedom.
The Profoto Clic, the company’s new light shaping tool range works with the C1 Plus. Choose from a dome diffuser, a variety of color gels and grids. With their invisible magnetic mount, they switch on and off in an instant, making it easy to play with light and create different effects.
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