Here's another LED lighting product coming out of the Fotodiox company. The FlapJack panels use an array of LED lights that sit only at the surrounding edges and point inwards. The result is an extremely soft and diffused light source without hot spots or multi-shadow issues that can be placed very (very very) close to your subject. Here's a little demo video below.
I've actually reviewed a set of similar lights from Rosco several years ago, and my experience was that they were a very effective diffused light source, but weren't extremely powerful and had a slight color cast. Of course LED lighting has changed dramatically over the last few years offering more output and higher quality color reproduction. Combine that with cameras that actually require less lighting, and these lights may be a great item in the bag since they don't require any light modifiers or diffusion.
The 160 LED Video Lights (larger brother of the popular 126) is now old news. You'll find many of the pricing on the 160's coming down fairly cheap, but that could be due to a slightly better version that is now out with 170 LEDs.
I'm not sure if the overall unit has a better build, but it appears to be from the same manufacturer, and the new 170 LED video light will also come with the much better adjustable metal ball mount (not the plastic crappy version). Many shooters picked up a minus green filter to further correct a slightly green cast on these CN lights, and it appears the new 170 version also comes standard with a pink (minus green) filter now.
Some people just want to stick with AC powered Hot Lights. No worries about flickering, multi-shadows, green casts, or batteries dimming down. In a smaller package Quartz-Halogen lights can throw further and output several times the amount of LED light and can be used with Gels and Diffusers without as much loss in light output. We're talking about enough light to use outdoors during the day for that extra fill. Here's one that's been popping up just about everywhere, going by the name Sakar. There's two flavors to these Sakar Quartz-Halogen lights found in 150 watt and 300 watt versions. Very similar bulbs to the popular PAG lights from back in the day (loved those lights). I'm not sure, but I have a feeling the 300 watt version might be too much for it's little housing and may suffer from premature bulb life. For a traveling light, 300 watts will probably blow a fuse in your location. The 150 watt version might fair better, and i'm interested in seeing how they work out.
This is not a battery powered light, as it can only be powered through a 120V-120V AC outlet but comes with a 9 foot power cord. It is also not setup to be dimmable (although you can probably run an inline dimmer using a simple Router Speed Controller). The front portion of the housing is all metal with a glass cover. The rear of the housing is mostly plastic. I left the unit on for about 10 minutes and didn't notice the rear housing being overheated, but the front metal and glass elements were pretty hot. There was a bit of smoke coming off the barndoors (cheap paint?) but stopped after a short while. I've seen this on other cheap lights before, and always has to do with the high heat and cheap paint combination. Luckily they cool down pretty fast when not in use.
(Above: Lighting Completely Dark Room)
It can be mounted via Hot-Shoe or through a 1/4 x 20 threaded light stand. There's an umbrella holder spot in the middle of the light to use as a diffuser or bounce. The two front barn doors are pretty much useless and don't serve any purpose in controlling the light output. Although the Barn Doors work well to pack the light up and protect the front glass lens. One thing this Sakar 'can do' is put out lots of light. Since it's using a quartz-halogen bulb the light output is not as yellow as tungsten. The unit is small, and it would be great to put together a traveling kit that has a crap load of light output in such small form factors for dirt dirt cheap.
Will it hold up though? One common mistake people make about these types of bulbs is that they might only be rated for 50 hours of use. You'll see many reviews talking about consistent bulb failures, but what they don't realize is this is not the type of light to use for feature length films. These lights aren't as efficient as LED bulbs, but they'll work hard in giving you tons of light in a small form factor and then die young. If you're not using them everyday, they could last you several months. It's a great idea to buy spare bulbs, which should only run you about $5-10 dollars each. I'm planning on putting it through it's paces in the next few days.
Remember this article: http://cheesycam.com/48-led-ufo-camping-ring-light/? Vimeo member RAYPERENIA throws up a 48 LED Camping light video sample and it looks pretty good. Not quite the bluish output I thought it might have, and it actually looks pretty good. Total light output looks strong for a $5 dollar light and the area of coverage looks pretty good too. I asked Ray what white balance setting he had, so hopefully we'll hear back. [Thanks Ray]
Well they've been available for a while, and it seems like the shortage has been cleared up. More LED Video light panels are available again. Just noticed there are a few auctions thrown up starting at $0.01 US. Yeah that's a penny, but you need to account for the $20 dollar shipping. Never know what you can walk away with, if you're dying for an LED Video panel.
Benton from BentonCollins.com commented on this article I posted http://cheesycam.com/latest-led-video-lights-for-dslr-video/, stating that he is currently using these very same 500 LED light panels outdoors for 10 new Head & Shoulder commercial shoots. I was really interested in his setup, so he sent in a link to the image above. If you took a peek at Benton's website you'll see some real credibility that this guy really knows his lighting. Wow, that's a really cool lightweight setup there for a location shoot both in lighting and audio. If you look closely, the 500 LED panel is mounted to the same Tripod as the camera, and then some clever arm is holding the shotgun microphone. You can see how far the 500 LED panel is from where the subject would stand proving to still be effective at that range, and there's an added reflector for some additional fill. The 500 LED panel looks like it's powered by a Paul Buff Vagabond power pack. Very cool setup, and glad someone can help 'shed some light' (no pun intended) on how 'cool' (as in temperature and as in trend like) these LED light panels are for both indoor and outdoor use. Thanks Benton can't wait to see more BTS and the final video when it's released.
Well i'm sold on the Transcend 400x cards I just received last week. I purchased (4) 32GB cards with next day air because I knew I would need the space. I was only supposed to test these out, but this was a lifesaver, as I ran super low on available disk space and fell back onto these for all three days. They all performed without a hiccup, fast and reliable. I shot, dumped, formatted, shot dumped formatted, shot dumped formatted all three different days and they all still performed without a problem.
click to find Z96 Dimmable DSLR Video Light
Another piece of gear that performed pefectly was that Z96 Dimmable DSLR LED Video light. I'm still getting quite a bit of questions about it on each event. It's still so new I guess and not many people are seeing these in use. There was a photographer on site trying to get a decent shot of a beautiful wedding cake, but the flash wasn't really giving the best look with the dark ambient. With two LED light panels positioned high on each side, the photographer was able to shoot with a decent ISO giving a more natural look to the cake. Another good example of using these Z96 LED Video lights over flash, especially since these high end DSLR's do much better with ISO noise. You couple that with the new Noise Reduction filters on Lightroom 3 and you've got a better natural image than that of with flash. One set of Sanyo Eneloop Rechargeable batteries in these Z96's are all it takes for a full day of shooting.
Since the Z96 DSLR light has great diffusion and color, and can be stacked together to make One Larger light panel, people have been asking about using the now popular Z96 DSLR Dimmable LED Lights off camera with a stand. This would work great, even as basic fill light outdoors. Here's two really cheap options to get these lights setup so that you can use them off camera. The first one is just a standard foot that should come with most flashes. Under these adapters is a standard 1/4 x 20 thread to place directly on top of any standard Tripod. These run less than $3.00 dollars + Free shipping. Since the neck of the Z96 LED is already positionable, as well as the Tripod you're mounting to, you won't need a bracket that tilts.
Carrying around a full tripod just to hold these tiny lights would be excess, so you can go with lighter 'Light Stands'. If you're going with the lightstand route, sometimes they have a 1/4 x 20 threaded tip so you can use them with your Foot type adapter. If not, then you'll have to grab one of these Light Stand Umbrella Flash Brackets. These can mount any type of shoe mounted accessory including your Canon or Nikon flash. I happened to have many of these I use for Photography positioning my Flashes off camera. This might be a better buy if you're planning on using these for off camera flash photography since flashes can't be as easily tilted. You can find both of these options following this link to Shoe Type Speedlite Brackets.
When I saw these 1650 watt total photo video lights in a friends studio, I fell in love. Actually when I heard about the price + seeing the quality of light, is what made me fall in love. As you can see i've been investing in some new lighting for an upcoming project. For stationary lights, these are great for both photos and videos. Again, these are not recommended for traveling around, go with the smaller LED panels (fit into Carry-On luggage). These Flourescent Video lights are quite large, a bit heavy (about 6 lbs. each), and fragile due to the bulbs. Since I was all set on my travel lights, I decided for some larger stationary lighting, and this proved to be the best bang for the buck. There are (6) 55w bulbs in each unit totaling 1650 watts. With 2 units you have 3300 watts total of clean bright light. It's such a large source, the lighting comes off very soft and well diffused.
Florescent lights they say have twice the output of LED, twice the distance, better diffusion (LED's are more direct), and these things run almost half the price. Sounds good, but remember they are probably about 10 times more fragile though. It's what you have to deal with I guess for large soft evenly diffused lighting. Sorry about the terrible review, it's getting late (was about midnight when I was unboxing), and I just wanted to throw something online for now. I might be using these on a shoot this Sunday, i'll post up some BTS of it in use if I can.
Perfect lights for both studio and on location applications. Because of their compact and light weight design (aluminum chassis), these lights are extremely easy to set up. Simply attach to your stand, adjust the barndoors, and turn them on. No soft boxes to hassle which will minimize the space required to operate the system and create an obstacle to work around. Additionally, feature an innovative system that quick tran sform the light in a very soft source.
compact and light weight gives it the quality of a versatile unit.
die cast aluminum chassis.
high illumination output comparative with regular fluorescent and tungsten fixtures. Power consumption of only 330 watts and has the same output as a 1500 watts regular tungsten bulb.
professional fluorescent tubes with high CRI level ( >90RA ), with no green or blu e light sparkle specific to consumer fluorescent light.
build in professional ballast: long life, flicker free, high output, stable Kelvin color temperature, and no noise.
the optional shoemount spigot adapter offers the flexibility of mounting the FB watts either horizontally or vertically giving you a choice of beam spreads.
select the color temperature by using 3000K (warm) tubes or 5400K (daylight) tubes.
remarkable for their low level of heat output.
protection against electrical shocks using integrated fuse into the AC jack (spare fuse included)
Oh and I was shooting the video with the the Sony NEX-3 that came in today too, so the Auto Exposure built into the camera didn't do justice when showing off the amount of light. (Just testing out the Sony while I have it).