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Profoto D1 Air vs Elinchrom BRX500 vs Photogenic monolights flash duration test

In-studio photography review and test of 3 most popular flash monolights

When I got to our studio these 3 monolights, I kept thinking how to test them against each others. All of them are the same power, 500Ws, and while Elinchrom and Photogenic cost around $600 each, Profoto D1 Air is twice more expensive, $1200.

Each light has a very similar controls and features. So, what exactly to test? We did not get any light modifiers with them, and without light modifiers there is not much to test: all flash units are well built, have easy to use controls and same power output.

What was interesting though is to see how these lights will perform in stopping the action, such as a liquid splash. Claimed flash durations were between 1/1300 sec t.5 (Photogenic) and 1/2600 sec t.5 (Profoto), and experience photographers could easily tell from these numbers that it won’t be good for stopping a hi-speed splash action.

However, will it be a noticeable difference between 1/1300 sect. 5 and 1/2600 sect.5? I wanted to test for myself. Plus, it is such a fun to make splashes Рwhy not to make the studio wet one last time (we are moving out).

So, here we go, two videos from this test:

Studio Flash Monolights review, part 1: Controls and look

BackPanel look of each studio flash monolight:

Studio Flash Monolights Review, Part 2: Flash Duration Test

For Specification and purchase info please visit BHphotovideo.com:


And what is the winner? Broncolor of course:-) 1/7000 sec t.1, and all beauty of the frozen splash shot:


Below are 100% crops from a splash from each studio monolight we tested:

Photogenic 1250 (1/1300 sec t.5)

ProFoto test liquid splash1751

Elinchrom 500BRX (1/1500 sec t.5)

ProFoto test liquid splash1739

Profoto D1 500 Air (1/12600 sec t.5)

ProFoto test liquid splash1748

Broncolor Grafit A4 (1/7000 sec t.1)

ProFoto test liquid splash1728 2


Post your in the comment to this review :-) 

More to read:

11 responses on "Profoto D1 Air vs Elinchrom BRX500 vs Photogenic monolights flash duration test"

  1. Hi Don ,

    I tried your techniques with my Elinchrom BRX400 and also with Nikon SB910 .

    The latter is always giving me a better result in freezing the action.

    But tell me how can i do the same with my Elinchorom Strobes . I have a set of three strobes . Naturally they will give more intense light. But as far as the freezing factor is concerned , am keeping my fingers crossed ….!!!

    OKK … See you soon .. I hope with your expert solutions …

  2. Profile photo of Vaidyanath M

    Hi Alex,
    when you say 1/7000 sec t.1 what does “t” depict here?

  3. Profile photo of charles sweigart

    Thanks for another informative video group. Good job.

    One issue;
    You murdered Elinchrom name in the 2nd video black flag name pop-up. Please fix so as to look more professional and not upset the fine Elinchrom firm.

  4. Profile photo of Assaf Ambram

    Hi Alex,
    Great review!
    I want to purchase a mono light for stopping action at my studio.
    I’ll appreciate if you gave opinion on the elinchrome ELC Pro HD 500

  5. Profile photo of Don Sparks

    Hi Alex, Always love your tests and reviews. I’m curious why you left out the Einstein 640 from this test. Super fast flash duration and moderate price. I know you’ve loved the Einstein in the past.

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