Van Gogh wrote in post #18625771
Actually just found about Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL system, it seems like it's the same like Profoto B2 but 2x more powerful and 30% cheaper!
Since you seem to actually be open to other brands than Profoto, then your choices are pretty large.
There's even cheaper in the form of the Godox AD600 pro, for example. Or the AD600. Or the SMDV BRIHT. Or... you get the idea. I advise you to take your time if you can and explore other options.
Just note as well that, particularly when Ws ratings are close, and flash tube / mount / reflector / HSS implementation / etc. are different, there is very little point in comparing Ws ratings. The only thing that matters is how much light falls on the subject for each type of light quality, and it can quickly swing either way depending on how the strobe interacts with the modifiers (differences in flash tube / mount / mount position / built-in reflectors / cover glass designs), which modifiers you can put on it (one strobe may allow you to mount on it a modifier that gives the same quality as another one, but that's more efficient, and can't be mounted on another strobe), how HSS is implemented, etc... Unfortunately you won't get a lot of relevant comparisons on the web for your specific application, so testing beforehand is a good idea if you can. Note as well that modifiers, and how they're set up, can VERY significantly affect efficiency. For example I've modified my Profoto zoom OCF reflector to give a more or less 35° beam angle. Compared to Profoto's 30° OCF grid, it's more than 1.7 stops more efficient, which is basically the difference, all else constant, between a 250Ws light and around a 800Ws one. Some silver indirect reflectors can give a light quality that is reasonably close to a softbox with a grid, but can be more than 3 stops more efficient.
As an illustration to that, compared to your Canon speedlites, a B2 can provide significantly more light quantity, or not at all, depending on the type of light quality that you seek and how they're set up. A B2 with Profoto's OCF grids vs. a 600 EX RT at max zoom setting will not provide more light quantity (I've had a 430 EX RT, and the B2 in these conditions was barely half a stop more powerful). A B2 vs a 600 EX RT in a white umbrella ? It absolutely will, big time.
And finally, regarding Profoto's recessed flash tube, inasmuch as I don't like it and don't understand why they're sticking with it when they had a terrific design with their previous strobes, a lot of people have preconceptions about it that aren't born out of actual, direct comparative tests. Besides a lot of flash tube designs that appear open, omnidirectional, won't illuminate some modifiers any better than Profoto's recessed design when in actual use, for a lot of various reasons, such as, for example, among many other reasons that are above my head, a mount that's too forward combined with a speedring that's too thick (The Godox AD600 - not pro - with Bowens mount suffers from that problem for example).
So if I can sum it up :
- don't get too hung up on Ws ratings, except if it's between two strobes with a very similar mount / flash tube / cover glass design, and doesn't take into account HSS / HS. For example, between a D1 500Ws and a D1 1000Ws, it's valid. Between a Profoto B2 and an ELB 500, it isn't (difference can be either less or more than the one stop you would expect).
- take the time to gather information. Don't rush for Profoto. It might be exactly the right product for you, or not.
- test for yourself if you can, in your own terms.
- When testing, take the time to experiment with the product to extract the max out of it. If, for example, you're comparing the light quantity output of strobe A vs. strobe B in a white umbrella, but strobe A has an umbrella reflector, and strobe B hasn't and the flash tube spills light towards the sides, your comparison won't be particularly accurate.