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Battery-powered Hensel Porty 6 and Porty 12 are light, recycle quickly  
Sunday, September 14, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
Hensel has recently unveiled the Porty 6 and Porty 12, two battery-powered packs that operate at up to 600ws and 1200ws, respectively, can drive two heads and whose specs put them among the lightest and quickest recycling units of their type we've come across.

hensel_porty_12.jpg
Bright Light: The Hensel Porty 12 power pack (Photo courtesy Hensel)

The Porty 12 features a maximum output of 1200ws, symmetrical or asymmetrical power distribution across its twin output ports, flash duration as short as 1/5100 (t0.5) at 300ws (using the EH Pro Mini 1200 P Speed head connected to port B), seven stop range (in 1/10 or full stop increments) and case dimensions of 7.8 x 8.9 x 8.5in (19.8 x 22.5 x 21.5cm). The Porty 12's feathery 13lb (5.9kg) weight includes a new-design Lithium Ion battery that is removable, compact, can be charged inside or separate from the pack, provides 230 full power pops and weighs about 2.5lb (1.13kg). To recharge the battery back to 80% capacity takes 50 minutes.

The Porty 6 operates at up to 600ws and features the identical case, ports, controls and battery as the Porty 12; differences in specifications appear to derive exclusively from Porty 6's lower maximum output. The Porty 6 is 12lb (5.4kg), has a six stop range, a recycling time of 0.95 seconds at 600ws, flash duration as short as 1/8100 (t0.5) at 150ws (using the EH Pro Mini 1200 P Speed head connected to port B) and delivers 450 full power pops from one charge.

Both the Porty 6 and Porty 12 can power four different flash heads in Hensel's lineup, two of which offer modeling lights that will function with the battery-powered packs:
  • EH Pro Mini 1200 P Includes a 50W modeling lamp that will work with the Porty units
  • EH Pro Mini 1200 P Speed Shorter flash duration, includes a 50W modeling lamp that will work with the Porty units
  • EH Pro Mini Can be powered by the Porty units but its 300W modeling lamp will not light
  • EH Pro Mini Speed Shorter flash duration, can be powered by the Porty units but its 300W modeling lamp will not light
Price and availability for the Porty 6, Porty 12, additional Lithium Ion batteries and the SoftbagP shoulder bag are expected to be announced at the Photokina 2008 trade show commencing later this month. We also expect to learn other basic specifications then, such as the battery's power rating, time for a full recharge and whether the packs can be used plugged into AC power as well.

hensel_softbagp.jpg
Softy: The optional Hensel SoftbagP shoulder bag, which includes two external pouches for additional batteries or other similar-size accessories (Photo courtesy Hensel)

If you've been considering a battery-powered system such as the Elinchrom Ranger, Profoto Pro-7b or even Hensel's current 1200 B or Premium Plus, it's probably worthwhile to wait and see whether the price and delivery dates of the Porty 6 and Porty 12 suit your budget and schedule.

That's because, based on their specifications (we've not used Hensel's newest packs ourselves yet), the Porty 6 and Porty 12 offer a compelling combination of light weight (both the pack itself and any backup batteries you might bring along) and fast recycling (for this type of pack). If the Porty 6 and Porty 12 work as advertised and aren't stratospherically priced, they could be a heck of a new lighting option for location photographers in need of 600ws or 1200ws of power.
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