Godox have announced news they will be releasing a flash similar to the Profoto A1. I think given the advancements they’ve made recently, at the pricing point, it is hard to justify buying into Profoto so I have decided to buy more Godox flashes when they’re released. I don’t know what the Godox Profoto A1 lookalike will be called or what it will cost, but I don’t expect it to be too expensive.
I’ve cropped this photo because it has personal stuff in the room, but this was taken with Godox speedlights. In my opinion, considering this is without any lighting modifiers, it looks pretty natural. The flash near the door is too powerful but that’s just user error.
Profoto have just announced a new product, the Profoto B10. I have been reading through various comments about Profoto and it’s interesting. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again so I don’t get a “you’re a crappy photographer and don’t know what you’re talking about!” email of abuse. I’m not a good photographer, but I know a bit about making things and I’m fairly good at critical thinking.
Build quality is an interesting concept and it’s often brought up into a discussion when Profoto is mentioned. What do you think of when we say “build quality”? I often find poorly machined products made of metal are are touted as having good “build quality” simply because they feel tough/cold in the hands.
The profoto is plastic/polycarbonate. I bought a Profoto B1 and the Profoto Sony transmitter; I wouldn’t say either are built like a tank.
Here’s some things I noticed… The early version of the B1 was a wash with flash tube problems, many people had received a B1 with a flash tube that had fallen out. The B1 I received didn’t exactly impress me from a build quality perspective.
The transmitter, even less so. Take a look at the top photograph, you can see how the plastic shell doesn’t even cover the terminals properly so if water got into the battery door, it goes straight into all of the circuity. In fact, anything could go down there. It’s just lousy. The battery compartment door was also, incredibly lousy. The door itself is incredibly thin plastic and it just screams cheap crap to me. I know why it’s this way, because it’s far easier to make and assemble.
It’s just a battery compartment door, and you might think why should I be worked up over this? Well, it’s quite simple really. This is a very, very high priced item and it should be made better. For the same price, you can get a far more complicated and rugged transmitter. It uses similar technology too. Obviously you’re not going to control your camera with that, but it gives you a rough idea as to how much you’re being ripped off if you buy this thing.
Let’s take a look at their other products:
Profoto Easy Stand — An easy to machine stand, made with cheap materials having a price tag of £2,835
Profoto ProDaylight 800 Extension Cable 5m – A £10 cable being sold for £395
Profoto WideZoom Reflector — £30 of materials being sold for £385
Profoto OCF Barndoor — This is very, very simple to machine. It’s just a bit of sheet metal for the most part. Its weight is advertised as “300 grams”, so you know there’s not much substance to it. £72
The marvellous Profoto B10
If the marvellous Profoto B10 works better than everything else, and it does the job you intended, who cares if the manufacturers kept costs down, right? Well, here’s the problem with that too.
The Profoto B2 doesn’t colour match with the Profoto B1X. Yeah it’s similar, but it’s not the “I paid loads of money for my colour critical work!!” I imagined it to be.
In the end, I’m left thinking… Hmm. Serious photographers should probably buy Broncolor as they’re more colour accurate and freeze water better. The average photographer is probably best with Godox.
Profoto B1 and Profoto B10 vs Godox AD400 Pro
One interesting comment I read a lot is that people should buy Profoto because they offer better light than the competition. I guess if you pay £9,000+ for a complete system of lights, you’ll want to believe that, right?
From what I’ve observed, the Godox AD400 Pro is actually more colour accurate than the Profoto B1 and it’s certainly more colour accurate than the B2. It’s also advertised as less powerful than the Profoto B1 but I’ve been told it is more powerful.
If there was a Godox AD200 Pro, I would be seriously interested in that. The Godox AD400 Pro is considerably larger and heavier than the Profoto B10. I feel the Godox AD200 is probably not as good as the Profoto B10 but I think the Godox AD400 Pro is a better flash than the Profoto B1.
My conclusion with the Profoto B10
Ignoring the fact that the A1 is a complete rip off, the B1x probably isn’t any better than the Godox AD400 Pro, and the Pro-10 is a rip off also, I think the Profoto B10 is a good looking piece of kit. On paper, the Profoto B10 specs are impressive and if it can be more colour accurate than a Godox AD200, I think it wins this round potentially. It’s a good size, shape and you can get third party modifiers.
When I think of building a complete system, I have to consider the other lights though and the Profoto A1’s are ridiculous to say the least. I’d be happy owning one B1X but at the price point, it’s a hard pill to swallow. After the guarantee period is up, the repairs are so expensive you’re cheaper to buy another Godox light anyway than to get the profoto repaired.
I really like the form factor of the Profoto B10 and I’m severely put off by chinese customer service, so in that way it tempts me. If it colour matches with the B1X, then I’d simply skip buying a Profoto B2.
I think I will end up buying a Godox AD200, Godox AD400 Pro and a Godox round head. I will then review these after I’ve bought them.
The Godox has a different setting for close proximity. If you’ve had troubles even when you’ve used this setting, please let me know in the comments below 🙂
I’m not sure if the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has the same trouble with the S-Pen as well. If it’s behaving weirdly, and you have a case with a magnetic clasp, take the phone out of the case and see if the issue persists. This tip helped a lot of people with earlier versions of the phone :).
I’ve been taking a brief look at what computer equipment is currently available on the market. It’s easy to lose touch of what’s a good buy as technology improves at a rapid pace and prices change equally as fast. For example, I bought my workstation computer a few months back and it’s already out of date, haha.
If my work permit problem is dealt with and I get to work in Canada as I’d like, it’s not viable for me to take a large computer with me (especially on a plane). I originally started looking at the obvious things, such as the Dell XPS and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and also the Microsoft Surface Book but they’re all quite expensive.
I’d really like a pen
Most of the editing on my photographs is quite bad and it’s something I’ve been working on lately–a more subtle look. I’d like to develop my own style too but that’s a long way off. For this, I can imagine myself using a pen quite a lot… I miss having a pen.
Needless to say, for a 16GB Laptop, you’ll quite easily pay around the £1,500 mark plus an additional amount if you buy a pen. This could be the Wacom Intuos Pro Medium. That’s quite a lot of money–money I don’t have right now.
So I got thinking about computers similar in size to a playstation. They’d fit in a suitcase quite easily, but obviously I’d need a screen. The current generation of Wacom Cintiq screen is actually really, really good. It captures about 94% Adobe RGB if you get the larger model, with 100% SRGB and it has etched glass that’s supposedly meant to be fun to write on and not get scratched too easily. The smaller model is not as colour accurate; however, the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13″ is as colour accurate as the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13″. It’s a bit confusing, and I would have liked to see a Wacom Cintiq Pro 13″ with a screen as good as the 16″ model, simple because it’s more affordable.
In summation, for less than what a laptop costs, I could buy something like an Intel Hades NUC and a Wacom Cintiq 13 FHD Pro for less than a Laptop and a Wacom Intuos Pro Medium. The advantage is that I’d be able to write directly on the screen, and the screen is probably better than a stereotypical laptop (with the exception of some of the Dell Laptops). The performance would be better too. You can also make machines based around the Mini ITX form factor, not to mention Slim Mini ITX.
The Intel Hades NUC is rather expensive as barebones PCs go, and you don’t necessarily have to get that model. I certainly think it’s something to consider if you’re not planning to take your laptop anywhere other than from a home location to new accommodation.
Another advantage with this method is I could sell all of my desktop equipment, excluding the peripherals, and then use this as my regular machine. I believe it’s certainly powerful enough. This would help off set the cost a bit. Unfortunately, as I’m not sure what’s happening with Canada, I may have to save up, study a bit and then study in Canada at a later date.
I felt like writing about this though because perhaps you’re in a similar predicament and it might help you :).
This post is going to be a bunch of unrelated gibberish much like the last, haha.
I’ve been researching a few final items for my hike in June/July, maps, apps, and everything in between.
I bought an Arcteryx Konseal fleece, I love it but it’s sooo long. It’s longer than the Arcteryx Atom LT jacket, and my Montbell Storm Cruiser rain jacket. I’ve ordered a medium and I’ll see if that fits better than the large. I get the impression my shoulders might be too wide for it, but we’ll see. The Arcteryx Konseal is an interesting fleece, it includes a hoody and a pseudo balaclava type thing, so although it’s quite heavy, it’s not that heavy when you include those separate items.
My Nitecore F1 charger has arrived, it weighs 29 grams. It can turn a single 18650 battery into a power bank, and so far I’m impressed with it. It charges slowly and its output isn’t that great, but what it does, it seems to do well. I also bought an Anker Powercore 13000 C, so I can have something with more amp-age. This will integrate with my other electronics quite well and I’ve grown to really like my little Zebralight.
Speaking of which, I did some additional tests in daylight, and the colour balance is real nice.
In regards to the mapping situation… For my Garmin Fenix 5x, I’ve downloaded openstreet maps, and I’ve basically downloaded every part of Canada, plus a file with all of Canada from another site. I’ll keep these on a MicroSD card and will be able to move files to and from my watch but I’ll probably keep them all on my watch as well (it has a lot of storage.) On my phone, I may have to pay a Gaia subscription, and there’s also a Great Divide Trail app you can get too which is cool! I’ve also downloaded a map (Ryan Silk’s GDT maps), in PDF form. I might print a few pages off or get someone else to print them. I’ll see.
The clothing situation still isn’t complete. I’ve fallen in love with Arcteryx, as they’re the only company that makes clothes which fit me well. I hate their prices though.
I’m thinking of getting some micro fleece bottoms, underwear, and some psiphon lf shorts. They’re for “rock climbing” but as I’ll only be taking one pair of shorts, I thought something a bit more durable than their normal fabric might make sense.
I also bought Berghaus Mens Paclite Pants but amazon sent the wrong length. The waist is also REALLY painful, like the elastic they’ve used is the worlds most powerful elastic? The trousers (pants) are more than wide enough if you stretch them out but the elastic makes them feel one size smaller. I’m considering getting another pair in extra large, but I’m also thinking about getting some Montbell Storm Cruiser trousers.
One of the problems for me is that the Great Divide Trail isn’t quite long enough for what I’d like. It’s funny, I’d have thought such a hike was really long years and years ago, but two months isn’t enough time to lose yourself in my opinion (or find yourself as it were.) If I buy slightly heavier clothing, it gives me more options. Additionally, if I do a SoBo and then NoBo hike, i.e. yoyo it, the durability will be a benefit. I don’t really have the experience to do that but it’s something in my mind.
I’m considering only taking the one camera lens too. My items are starting to pile up, but again I’ll think about it some more.
When I actually do the hike, my posts should improve a bit as I’ll be more passionate :). I don’t enjoy writing reviews much, so they’re of poor quality. I want to provide information after my hike, because the Great Divide Trail really doesn’t have that many websites with information (in comparison to the Pacific Crest Trail at least.)
The Sony a7rII received a small amount of criticism from some for not having a built in flash, and it was only a small amount of criticism but it’s reassuring to see the Sony a7rIII lacks a built in flash. Regardless of the brand, occasionally, you’ll read the odd forum post requesting such a silly feature. The general argument pro this idea is that if it’s not used, it does no harm and you’ll occasionally forget to bring a light. My argument remains the same… Built in flashes introduce an extra point of entry for water i.e. the flash has to pop up somewhere and water can get in said “somewhere.” Additionally, you need a large capacitor inside the camera for the flash to function. This takes up extra space and capacitors are generally quick to fail.
I’m hiking the Great Divide Trail in Canada, this June, and I recently bought a Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV light for it. It’s advertised as having a 5000K colour temperature, a high CRI, it’s lightweight and upon switching it on, you can instantly tell it’s different to other lights of its kind. In case you misinterpret this post because I write too much, the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV is the perfect tool for a hiking photographer in my opinion; it can be used as poor man’s flash, a video light, and a hiking light. It has a nice spread, there’s no horrifying hotspot, it’s incredibly bright for its size and it’s great. This page isn’t a review, so I’m not going to be posting photographs of it and whatnot. I will be reviewing the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV light at some point though.
If you use it with a Nitecore F1 and a 18650 lithium battery, you can have a small USB powerbank and a light for whatever you desire too but again this might not interest everyone. When I write my review, I plan to review all of these products mentioned as I think it’s a light that should be a part of a system rather than a light on its own.
Built in flashes — Bad
Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV — Amazing
Adobe Lightroom — Bad
One One Capture One — Awesome
I’m a nerd weird and I guess the thought of spending so much money on a tiny little light meant something to me. This should behave as advertised right, or why not just get a cheaper light? I felt I was being pedantic for caring but these things aren’t cheap. Okay, so I took a photograph of a grey card, completely disregarding whether the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV would be useful for hiking with, and in Lightroom I noticed it said 4600K or thereabouts. I emailed the shop I bought it from and they were incredibly kind on the matter. They said I could return it if it wasn’t suitable.
I tried ArgyllPRO ColorMeter trial software, it crashes a lot and uses the battery even when the app is closed, but I really like the look of the app and this could be useful to me. I didn’t realise the readings aren’t real in the trial version (in fairness to the author, this is clearly stated if you click “read more”.) I wonder if the full version has more updates and crashes less. If it were cheaper, I’d take the risk but at £93.99, it’s a bit much.
So here’s where things get interesting… I installed Phase One Capture One 11 software for Sony. It’s free and it looks good. The colour temperature was different with the grey card, and I thought how could this be? I prayed for a blue sky to use as a reference, and it only rained more. So I began looking at all my old photographs looking for blue skies (which in England is no easy task) and judging white balance based on that. Additionally, I used the camera’s built in white balance tool and it yielded the same results as Capture One 11. .
I know what you might be thinking… The wall looks slightly cooler in one, and yes you’re right. The shadows are different. It all looks a bit different, but that’s as close as you can get it with the white balance tool alone. If you type in the same numbers for each program, for the white balance, you’ll be horrified at the results.
I did this with hundreds of photographs, using different lights (flashes, natural, natural cloudy, the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV) but trying not to use the Zebralight H600Fd Mk IV very much in case I returned it, and it’s my belief that Adobe Lightroom is full of shit.
I’ve drawn the conclusion that this light is indeed the advertised 5000K or thereabouts. It matches natural light close enough.
It looks slightly cooler here but that’s just the angle. It’s actually slightly warmer than sunlight. As with all lights, the smaller the light source the more defined the shadows, but it’s still quite nice for macro photography I think. I think it’s bright enough you could add a modifier too. Again, this isn’t a review but it’s a few points to consider.