Broncolor Siros L monolight has enough energy to overpower the sun

Most people can name a camera company, but lights? Unless you’re talking to a pro photographer, you will likely be greeted with a blank stare.

Lights are one of the most important (and most expensive) tools in a photographer’s bag, yet one of the most overlooked by non-photographers. After all, photography technically is about capturing light, and as much of it as possible. And when it comes to lighting, Switzerland-based Bron Elektronik (more commonly referred to as Broncolor) is one of the most respected names in the business. With their newest Siros 400 L and 800 L monolights, they’re again proving why that’s true.


With maximum output of either 400 or 800 watt-seconds, the Siros L combines studio power with on-location portability. Its sleek enclosure has no cables leading to a power pack or wall outlet. Instead, an interchangeable battery slides into the top of the unit, resting flush against the curved surface. The battery provides 440 full-power flashes in the Siros 400 L, or 220 in the 800 L, and can charge from naught to 100 percent in just 75 minutes.

Broncolor-Siros-L-bronControl-AppWhile the 400 L is a respectable light, it’s the 800 L that’s really special. 800W/s is more than enough to “overpower the sun,” a common outdoor lighting technique used to add drama to photographs. It’s also just a mind-boggling amount of output to come from a light powered by a battery that fits in your hand. Plus, it’s the biggest advantage Broncolor has over its Swedish rival, Profoto, and that company’s portable B1 monolight, which tops out at 500W/s.

While still large compared to some lower-powered alternatives, the Siros L has a simple, elegant design. It offers a nine-stop power range for incredible flexibility, and, being a Broncolor, it promises consistent color temperature – flash after flash – no matter the power setting. Controlling the monolight is simple thanks to the BronControl App for iOS or Android, which lets photographers dial in power settings on multiple groups of lights over Wi-Fi. The lights can be triggered via cable or wirelessly with Broncolor’s transmitter.

All that power and control does not come cheap, however. The Siros 800 L retails for around $2,350. For comparison, a Profoto B1 is about $2,100, and, while not as powerful, it offers advanced features like high-speed sync and TTL compatibility for automatic exposure control.

Profesional photographers who need a powerful location light and a good tax write-off this year will be taking a hard look at the Siros L. For those who don’t need 800W/s, however, the Profoto B1 may be the better buy. And for the rest of us, we’re probably better off sticking with simpler, more affordable lighting solutions.

Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Product Review

The new Ram 1500 blends capability and convenience better than the rest

The Ram isn’t the most powerful, spacious, or affordable of the light-duty, full-size pickup herd, but a modestly equipped version walks all over rivals in terms of ride quality, technology, and cabin comfort.

The best battery packs and power stations for use in the outdoors

If you want to keep your smartphones, tablets, and other devices charged while camping int he backcountry these battery packs and portable power stations are rugged enough to survive while providing plenty of power too.

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.

Olympus teaser shares glimpse of OM-D camera that’s good for more than sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's capable for landscapes…

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.