The battery-powered monolight scene is getting to be a pretty crowded one, so companies need to do something to really stand out. Broncolor appears to have chosen the raw power route, offering the Siros L monolights in a standard 400 Ws option as well as a powerful 800 Ws model.
The form factor closely resembles the regular Siros moonlights that we were introduced to back at Photokina 2014. They still use the Siros app so the settings on the lights can be adjusted from afar using a built-in Wifi connection.
Unlike the Profoto B1 or the Phottix Indra battery-powered moonlights, the Siros L heads don’t have built-in TTL, which means users will have to manually change the power settings using the app and shoot in manual mode. As long as you can turn the power up up or down without actually touching the monolight, that likely won’t be too huge of a detractor for most photographers.
The 400 Ws model is capable of 440 full-power pops (at least according to the spec sheet) before the battery is drained, and the 800 Ws model can go all the way up to 220 pops. 220 pops may not sound like all that many until you consider just how powerful an 800 Ws pop really is. Depending on the model, it’s roughly 10-times (or more) the power of a normal speedlight.
On minimum power, the Siros L monolights are capable of flash durations down to 1/18,000th sec. or 1/19,000th sec. (depending on the model), which is very useful if you’re trying to freeze fast action.
The flash tube is located externally so that the bulb can be placed exactly the in the sweet spot of various reflectors and other modifiers, which are another very important part of the Broncolor product lineup.
Like the Profoto B1, this is meant for serious pro photographers and it comes with a price to match. The 400 Ws model is currently available on pre-order for $2,053, while the 800 Ws model costs $2,347. The batteries are actually relatively affordable, checking in just under $300.
It might not be the sexiest segment of the market, but the battery-powered lighting game is about as interesting as anything else going on in the photo world right now. I’m looking forward to give this a try and showing the sun who’s boss with 800 Ws firepower.