Many photographers are looking to find the best flash, which meets both their technical requirements as well as if they are true value for money. Today we compare two flashes, the CITI600 PRO and the PROFOTO B1X, to see which flash comes out on top.
When it comes to Power, the CITI600 PRO beats the PROFOTO B1X in more ways than one. Whilst the B1X comes with 500W Max Power, the CITI600 PRO has 600w. The CITI600 PRO also has a much more powerful battery, with a Lithium-ion 28.8v battery, which is double the strength of the B1X Lithium-ion battery at just 14.4V, this shows in the amount of flashes per charge also. At full power, the B1X can manage approximately 325 flashes whereas the CITI600 PRO can manage approximately 370 flashes, meaning that you are able to get much more out of the CITI600 PRO compared to the B1X. The Modelling bulb for the CITI600 PRO also has a stronger output than the B1X, with it being 38W compared to 24W.
For technical features, both the CITI600 PRO and the PROFOTO B1X are pretty evenly matched. Both flashes come with TTL (Through the Lens) and both flashes come with High Speed Sync, which can shoot up to 1/8000 of a second. So, in this regard, both of the lights are a good option.
With both flashes coming with high quality batteries with high voltage, they have both got very high recycling times, but with the CITI600 PRO having a battery that is twice as powerful as the B1X, this also improves the recycling time. The CITI600 PRO has a recycle time of between 0.01 and 0.90 seconds and the B1X has recycle time of between 0.1 and 1.9 seconds. So, the B1X has a much wider time range and the CITI600 PRO has a much quicker recycle time, making the CITI600 PRO the better option in this regard.
The Flash duration for both flashes is of high quality also, but there are some slight differences between the two. At T0.1 and depending on the flash power output, The B1X has a flash duration of between 1/400-1/6000 of a second and the CITI600 PRO has a flash duration of between 1/220 – 1/10000 of a second. Therefore, the CITI600 PRO does have a much quicker flash duration, but it also comes with a much wider range of time for the change in flash power. So, depending on your needs and requirements, you can decide which flash best suits you.
Flash Tube Design
One noticeable difference between these two flashes is the design for their flash tube. For the CITI600 PRO, the Flash Tube is attached to the outside of the body, creating a wide spread light. In contrast, the Profoto B1X has its flash tube placed inside the body, making it produce a much narrower and direct light. This design also affects the light when attaching modifiers to the flashes. For instance, when attaching a softbox to the CITI600 PRO, the light will fill the softbox and produce a softer, evenly spread light across the subject. When using the softbox on the Profoto however, as the flash tube is contained inside the body of the light, the light will be unable to spread out over the softbox properly, leaving the user still with a narrow and harsh light, causing a ‘hotspot’.
Comparing the prices of these two products, The CITI600 PRO comes out on top in this regard also. The price for the Profoto B1X can range from anywhere between £1300 to £2000, which is a large sum when you compare this to the CITI600 PRO, which currently costs just £799. And looking at the specifications, we can’t see why there should be such a wide margin in cost, so that is another positive for the CITI600 PRO.
Each of these flashes are built with usability in mind, meaning that they are created to make it as easy and simple to use as possible. Both of these flashes have a net weight of 3kg, but they do differ in the dimensions of the units themselves. The CITI600 PRO has a larger height of 220m compared to 210mm for the B1X, but the B1X is longer and wider than the CITI600 PRO. It has a length of 310mm and a width of 140mm compared to the CITI600 PRO with has a length of 245mm and a width of 125mm. So, whilst there isn’t much of a difference in the Height and Width of the two flashes, the length of the B1X is approximately 6.5cm longer than the CITI600 PRO, which is a very noticeable difference and could affect the transport and usability of the flash head. Both flashes come with a high-quality display screen and easy to use buttons/dials, making it less complicated for users and easier for photographers who may not have as much experience with these types of flashes before.
Both of these flashes are very good quality. They both are capable to do a shoot at a very high standard and are more than enough to meet your needs. But after looking into the specifications of each flashes and having an in-depth look at both at them, the CITI600 PRO seems to just have the edge on the B1X. Even though some of the differences are minimal, the extra battery power and stronger modelling bulb, as well as the much faster recycling times means the CITI600 PRO would be the better option to choose.