Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review

We got our hands on the Profoto C1 and C1 Plus to review the best smartphone flash on the market. Which one of these two is right for you?

Burgers shot from phone
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Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review

These glowing LED orbs are a palm-sized professional lighting studio designed exclusively for smartphone photography, an incredible tool to liven up your portraits and action shots.

C1 Plus Review

To Know:

The C1 Plus pairs with Profoto’s app (currently iOS-only) to provide a variety of sync speed and flash strength controls as well as pro-level flash synchronization. Thanks to the magic of LEDs, the app also allows you to adjust the color temperature of the light produced by the flash, which is a feature that high-end off-camera flashes have only debuted in the last few years.

What We Love:

These powerful lights create fill lighting that transforms a scene without the harsh, flat lighting and red eye effect of weaker and less sophisticated in-camera flashes. On smartphones, everything has to be even smaller and take into consideration battery life, usability, and design. While the built in flash/flashlights are often impressively bright, they lack the sophistication or quality of light required to generate convincing flash effects for artful images.

The Details:

Brand: Profoto

Price: $499.99

Product Type: LED Light

Best For: Portraits, action shots, studio shots, products, party pics, and night details.

Shop C1 Plus

This tool is made to create excellent quality flash photography and fully solidifies why flash matters.

Designed to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand, Profoto C1 Plus delivers beautiful light on the go. Its round shape mimicking the sun creates a soft fall-off. Its wide color range creates colors that can match any light conditions from dusk to dawn. And its built-in reflectors and diffusers create natural shadows.The C1 Plus is compatible with TTL remotes and offers stunning brightness for its size, which makes it possible to use with big cameras and smartphones alike. Off-camera synchronized flash is one of the most dramatic ways to step up your smartphone photography game. The results from off-camera flashes are unmistakable and the added light plays into the strengths of phone cameras while addressing most of their innate weak points.

  • Round shape with a soft fall-off gives a beautiful light
  • Click-on magnetic mount for Clic light shaping tools
  • Choose between automatic mode for point-and-shoot and manual mode for full freedom
  • Adjustable power levels from natural to dramatic effect (max 4300 lumens)
  • Choose between flash and flicker-free continuous light
Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

Create even lighting on food.

Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

Or add drastic contrast and shadows.

In Detail

The Plus model includes a heck ton more specs and product details than the regular C1. This model includes 4300 lumens of power output, 10 warm and 10 cold LEDs, a click-on magnetic mount for click 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 it's compatible with any Profoto AirTTL Remote.

What It Has:

  • Power: 4300 lumens of power output
  • Warm LED’s: 10
  • Cold LED’s: 10
  • Click-On Mount: Yes
  • Switch Button: Yes
  • Temperature Adjuster: Yes
  • Built-In Thread Mount for Arms: Yes

What It Does:

  • Portraits: Studio portrait shots
  • Action: Fun twang on action shots
  • Products: Studio product shots
  • Power: Lots of power for half day usage
  • Adjust: Adjust temperature

Specs:

  • Height: 3,7 cm / 1,5 in (6,4 cm / 2,5 in with Dome)
  • Weight: 176 g / 0,4 Ibs (208 g / 0,5 lbs with Dome)
  • Diameter: 7,9 cm / 3,1 in
  • Battery type: Li-Polymer
  • Battery capacity: 1500 mAh
  • Typical battery runtime: >2000 full-power flashes or >40 minutes continuous light at full power
Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

Makes detail pop.

Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

The colors look extra vibrant.

C1 Review

To Know:

The C1 is quite similar to the C1 plus in that it, too, pairs with Profoto’s app (currently iOS-only) to provide a variety of sync speed and flash strength controls as well as pro-level flash synchronization. Thanks to the magic of LEDs, the app also allows you to adjust the color temperature of the light produced by the flash, which is a feature that high-end off-camera flashes have only debuted in the last few years.

What We Love:

Off-camera lighting has always been an advanced technique that pro photographers use to illuminate subjects in creative ways, from making people pop in dark environments to creating dramatic directional lighting that looks surreal. On smartphones, everything has to be even smaller and take into consideration battery life, usability, and design. While the built in flash/flashlights are often impressively bright, they lack the sophistication or quality of light required to generate convincing flash effects for artful images.

The Details:

Brand: Profoto

Price: $299.99

Product Type: LED Light

Best For: Portraits, action shots, studio shots, products, party pics, and night details.

Shop C1

A great, more simple introduction to advanced flash photography.

The C1 delivers slightly fewer lumens and does without the clicktop and TTL remote connectivity, but it delivers most of the same impressive features at a reasonable price. Its round shape mimicking the sun creates a soft fall-off. Its wide color range creates colors that can match any light conditions from dusk to dawn. And its built-in reflectors and diffusers create natural shadows. Off-camera synchronized flash is one of the most dramatic ways to step up your smartphone photography game. The results from off-camera flashes are unmistakable and the added light plays into the strengths of phone cameras while addressing most of their innate weak points.

  • Pocket-sized and designed for your palm
  • Round shape with a soft fall-off gives a beautiful light
  • With a Color rendering index >90, it produces colors very close to daylight
  • Choose between automatic mode for point-and-shoot and manual mode for full freedom
  • Capture with the built-in capture button to truly paint with light and shadows
Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Profoto mobile lights next to phone.

Perfect for smartphone and DSLR photography alike.

Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Woman taking picture on phone with mobile light.

Add in a flash for even shadows.

Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Shooting on a phone with flashed mobile light.

Great for studio backgrounds and portraiture.

In Detail

This particular model includes 1600 lumens of power output, 4 warm and 3 cold LEDs, and a built-in dome diffuser. While this light is a beast of a tool, if you’re looking for more specs and product details then the C1 Plus model might be the option for you.

What It Has:

  • Power: 1500 lumens of power output
  • Warm LED’s: 4
  • Cold LED’s: 3
  • Click-On Mount: No
  • Switch Button: No
  • Temperature Adjuster: No
  • Built-In Thread Mount for Arms: No

What It Does:

  • Portraits: Studio portrait shots
  • Action: Fun twang on action shots
  • Products: Studio product shots
  • Power: Lots of power for half day usage
  • Food: Add twang to your top down foodie pics.

Specs:

  • Height: 4,9 cm / 1,9 in
  • Weight: 120 g / 0,3 Ibs
  • Diameter: 7,4 cm / 2,9 in
  • Battery type: Li-Polymer
  • Battery capacity: 1500 mAh
  • Typical battery runtime: >2000 full-power flashes or >30 minutes continuous light at full power
Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

Add in Profoto's color gels for added fun.

Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

Cocktails never looked so delicious.

Profoto C1 and C1 Plus Review - Contrasted image of top-down food photography.

Great for party scenes!

The Reviewer Taylor 2

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