Tag Archives: dslr led light


The new F&V R-300 LED Ring Light is a very capable light to be used both on or off camera. I've performed some basic comparisons of output and spread versus much more expensive and larger panels (seen here).

This time, it's a test on what it looks like with skin tones. In the beginning of this video, only the R-300 LED Ring Lights were used and the cameras were locked in at a manual 5600K. The image may be slightly warm, but it's an example of what it can look like when locked in with the 5600K setting.

The comparison to the popular 600 Led Video Light shows that it does not carry the same slightly green cast which is common for inexpensive LED lights. The single light test shows how broad it can diffuse lighting. Keep in mind that neither lights were set to 'full power' during these examples.

Without a trained eye, there may not be a significant difference in the video, but the true benefit of course is the cheaper price of the R-300, smaller and lighter form factor, and the ability to power with inexpensive Sony NPF batteries (instead of expensive V-mount). This is a highly recommended set of lights for lightweight travelers. You can find the R-300 LED Ring lights via F&V product page (Click Here).

find-price-button R-300 LED Video Ring Light


Looking for the most simplest way to mount a Rode VideoMic, LED Light, and Zoom H1 to your camera - all at one time? There's nothing more simple than this Triple Hotshoe Accessory Bracket. Under the bracket's mount is a 1/4-20 thread so you can also use this on a lightstand. Great for stacking several small LED lights to a single stand for a larger light source.

Even the basic Vello Triple bracket can run for about $30 bucks (seen here), but right now this other Triple Bracket has recently been reduced in price to about $12 dollars and ships free for Amazon Prime members too check it out (Click Here).

Three Bracket HotShoe Accessory Mount
find-price-button Triple Mount Hot Shoe V Mount Bracket for Video Lights, Microphones or Monitors VBrack3


2011-12-15 18.47.142011-12-15 18.47.31

Sorry it took me a while to run these little tests, but i'm in between some big projects right now. Here's an update on testing the W12 LED video light with High Power LED bulbs, compared to the Z96. If you're not up to speed, we are comparing the two because they share basically the exact same form factor and feature set (batteries used, dimmer knob, magnetic snap filters, etc.)

2011-12-15 18.46.53W12 LED Light

Here's a comparison of coverage. As on-camera LED Video lights, this is a general distance to subject you might be using when the LED lights are mounted on camera. On the Top is the W12 and on the Bottom is the Z96. Camera settings were 1/50th F/2.8 ISO 640 for this spotlight test.

The W12 has a sharper and more defined edge at the end of it's coverage, while the Z96 feathers out gradually. The W12 seems a little more evenly flat across the spread, while The Z96 has more of a hotspot towards the center. The coverage is almost similar between the two lights spreading 9 feet across with the lights just 5 feet away from the wall.

W12-Z96 (1 of 2)
W12-Z96 (2 of 2)

Below I have the camera set to a manual 5600K color temp with the lights at 5 feet away from target. In my eyes the W12 seems closer to that temperature, but there still lies a greenish color cast. Take note that the Z96 shutter speed settings were a few stops better than the W12, proving that the Z96 has more overall light output. At least in the middle area.

W12-Z96 (2 of 5)
W12-Z96 (1 of 5)

Next up is the camera set to a Manual 3200K color temp, and adding on the Tungsten filters. I never use these things, since they cut down a good amount of light, and aren't very close to tungsten. For kicks, here's what to expect when using these filters. Again, the Z96 with it's own filter is several stops better than the W12 LED light. Even though it's not perfect, of the two, I think the Z96 performed better with the 3200K filter test.

W12-Z96 (4 of 5)
W12-Z96 (5 of 5)

There's some interesting differences here. Pros and Cons for each light. As you can see there's a bit of a color shift between lights from a greenish cast to a more magenta color cast. The Z96 also has more of a hotspot towards the center, while the W12 seems a little more flat across. The W12 has a sharper and more defined edge at the end of it's coverage, while the Z96 feathers out gradually. Overall, the Z96 has more light output and fairs better in the 3200K test, but the W12 was not too shabby at the 5600K test. Even though these lights fail to be perfect all around, the Z96 especially has been around for more than a year and has been one of the most recommended entry level LED lights. The W12 may be considered mainly because it's slightly cheaper in price.

These W12 high power LED lights are found at (click here).

W12 LED LightW12 LED Video Light
find-price-button 12 High Power LED Video Light

The Z96 LED video lights can be found on eBay (click here)
find-price-button Z96 LED Video Light

Other lights you might be interested in is the 240 Bi-Color or 312 Bi-Color LED video lights. A bit larger than the 96 version, and a bit more expensive, but they give you more control with adjustable color temperature (without the use of colored filters).

240 LED video light (click here)
find-price-button 240 Dimmable Color Changing LED Video Light without Barndoors

312 LED video light (click here)
find-price-button 312 LED Bi-Color Changing Dimmable LED Video light


The 312 is one of our favorite LED lights. It's big and the color changing feature allows you to blend it in better with other light sources. The video (above) is a look at the original 312 LED Video light, but now this popular light gets a few upgrades. The first thing visibly is the new magnetic filter holders, much like the Z96 LED light. Why can't all the LED lights use this feature? This is awesome. Second upgrade is thicker filters for better diffusion. There's an upgraded hot shoe ball mount, and finally an overhaul on the entire frame. The body of the LED light has been redesigned with heavier plastic making the unit feel more solid and less flimsy. Other notable mentions are a longer 2 year warranty on LED lamps. With all the new upgrades, surprisingly prices stayed low. You can find the latest versions of this light (click here)

312 LED Light Upgrade New version 2
find-price-button Latest 312 Color Temp Changing LED Video Light


If you're not up to speed, there's a set of 96 LED lights on the market that didn't please many users. The seller Tony seemed to be a straight up guy and worked with all the buyers to accommodate any unsatisfied sales, while he worked to address some features. Serge received an early version from one of the LED lights in progress, but it doesn't seem to be picture perfect just yet. Although Tony seems like a very responsible seller who takes care of his customers, if this light can't totally outperform and outprice what's already on the market, I don't see a big shift. There's also a long written blog article over at Serge's blog found here. [Thanks Serge].


What can I say, it's a kick ass light that's not too big, and not too small. It's color changing to make blending in with other lighting an easier task. It's dimmable down to 0%. Even with the Sony batteries on low, we didn't notice any flickering. The double Sony battery tray keeps it portable, but could be powered through it's built in AC input. When mixing it in with daylight colored lights, this one is our Hair Light on a long boom stand turned to tungsten to add a bit of warmth. These are one of Olivia's favorite lights so far, so we thought we'd give it a proper introduction on build and features. I'll be doing a side by side test against some other common lights soon too.

Uni Color 312 LED with only Dimmer

There's actually two versions of this light if you don't care for the Color Changing option. Not many people actually carry the second type. The other 312 uses ONLY Daylight colored LED bulbs, and 'Yes' it's actually much brighter than the color changing version which has to cut the LED count down to half in order to be at one color. You can see in the video that in order to change colors, the Bi-Color version has one set of Daylight and one set of Tungsten colored LEDs. Outside of that, the Bi-Color and Uni Color lights are exactly the same. You can find both versions through the link below.

312 LED Video Light
find-price-button 312 Bi-Color Changing Dimmable LED Video Light


Vimeo member Rod Guajardo puts up a simple one light test with the Yongnuo 135. I know some people have been asking for a real skin tone example of how this light performs. As far as coverage of light, it does a good job for a talking head interview type shot. Would be great to see one more light as a fill, and maybe one for a rim light in this type of setup. I think it could work considering these are about half the price of a Z96.

So not sure if it's my eyes, or of it's my screen, but do you think there's hint of green? It could be quite possible as green is a common cast from LED lighting. Even on the popular 126 and 500 LED light panels, people have been finding that adding a 1/8 minus green gel seems to balance it out perfectly. Not sure if that's the case in this video, but i'll see if I can grab some gels and experiment with mine. [Thanks Rod]

Screen shot 2011-02-04 at 9.14.48 AM
find-price-button 1/8 Minus Green Color Gels

find-price-button Yongnuo 135 Dimmable LED Video Light



LED video lights are great not only because they are well diffused, durable, and generate low heat for close encounters. They also have a huge advantage when it comes to power requirements. If you've ever been out to a location shoot with some super hot tungstens, or HMI's you'll have to calculate the wattage of each head and seperate them into different power outlets so you're not blowing out fuses and circuit breakers. Blowing out the power in your location is bad news, and just brings things to a halt. Just one of the things you'll learn in Film School Lighting. Now that prices for LED tech has dropped, the cheap LED video panels I showed a while back pretty much flew off the shelves. It definitely seemed like it, but after talking to a few sources, it appears that the popular LED Video panels are now at a worldwide shortage. Looks like there is so much demand the manufacturer can't keep up. Part of the shortage is because many big name companies have bought these panels in huge amounts rebranding and marking up prices. Hopefully you're not depending on these things being available when your next project comes around, as they are slowly disappearing as we speak.

If you're a DIY type and are looking to save a few bucks, you might take a peek at some already assembled inexpensive LED light panels that comes complete with an AC power adapter. They are powered via 24v, so not too difficult to come up with a portable power solution as well. All you'll need is to come up with some type of light stand mount, and you should be good to go.

find-price-button LED 24v Video Light Panel Assembly with Power Adapter


I talked about these lights a long time ago found in the article: http://cheesycam.com/latest-led-video-lights-for-dslr-video/

Since that first article, these lights have made their way around the world and in different projects. Yet to this day I get asked several questions about posting up a sample of power output and sample videos of them in use. I had a bit of free time, and a walk-in volunteer today so I thought I'd put this together real quick for you guys. (Thanks sister-in-law). There's no style in the lighting setup, I just threw them up very quickly. This video is mainly just to show you how much power these things are capable of along with the quality of light. The main camera was set to the Daylight White Balance setting with no color correction in post. Hopefully that should give you an idea about how close they are to daylight temperature. The camera was set to ISO 250 with the lights at 1/4 power. DSLR's can provide clean images even up to ISO 1600 and with 3/4 of power to spare they should be able to cover most of your small projects. You can also tell how whisper quiet these units are. Don't be fooled by other versions that include some type of internal fan, that will ruin your audio (if you ever decide to use the audio).

500LED (2 of 4)
Relative size next to Canon 5D Mark II

In the rear I have a 500 LED light camera left on Full Power. In the front, I would normally have a main and fill light setup, but they are both on only 1/4 power. You could probably just setup one light to the side, and use a simple bounce as a fill on the other. I'm also including a few images that were shot by just lighting the product with the 500 LED panel. I have it next to a Canon 5D Mark II to compare the relative size. It's very small, built with a solid housing, and makes it perfect for travel. These lights also stay super cool with ZERO heat so your subject doesn't start to sweat. If you have any other questions about these super cheap LED light panels, just drop a comment.

500LED (1 of 4)

There's many versions of these types of lights online which look similar. Some come with a fan which you don't want when doing Video shoots. Those fan units are very loud and I don't think are needed in LED lighting. Others units being sold may also be a slightly different build quality. I have not had the chance to use some of the other units out there, but I can tell you that I'm happy with the ones that i'm using here. There's 500 LEDs, 1000 LEDs, 500 Dimmable, 1000 Dimmable, 1000 Color Temp Changing Dimmable, sold in kits with several lights, and a few more options. These particular light panels come from the ePhoto seller found here: Portable Cool LED video Light Panel Solutions

500LED (3 of 4)
find-price-button Studio Continuous LED Video Light Panels on eBay

They are also available via Amazon
500LED (4 of 4)
find-price-button 500 and 1000 Continuous LED Video Lighting Panels on Amazon

Related Articles: