First unboxing review from YouTube member DioxCorp on the latest Aputure 160 LED video light . These new LED lights are available in 126, 160, and 198 sizes. In this video the 160 looks pretty big, so imagine the size of the 198 version. Sorry I can't translate this video, but i'll save you some time. Skip on down to about 6:50, that's where the test begins. At first it's set to minimum light output, but shortly after the light is set on full power. At full power it seems to cover the entire room with little vignetting on the wide lens. The only thing that skews the test is that the camera seems to be on Auto Exposure. You'll find these LED lights starting at around $40 dollars.
Aputure is a company that's been around the block, best known for it's variety of wireless products. From wireless camera shutter remotes, to wireless flash triggers, and of course the most popular of the bunch is the Wireless GigTube DSLR Live View monitors with remote shutter release (as below).
Aputure Wireless DSLR Live View Monitors
Now they are stepping into LED Video lights with the Amaran (make sure you say hello to Litepanels and their recent filings). Models include popular counts like 126 LEDs, 160 LEDs, and 198 LEDs. All versions seem to share the same features accepting Sony battery types or 6x AA batteries. Battery indicator, dimmable, comes with a snap on Diffusion filter and snap on Tungsten filter. Hopefully it's as well put together as their other products like the new Magic Rig they are offering (here). No other reviews online at this time.
Pricing for Aputures latest LED video lights starts somewhere around $40 bucks (click here)
Amaran LED Video Light 126 LED, 160 LED, and 198 LED
The latest 1200 LED light panel is now being offered in a Color changing model. An added dimmer knob allows the LED panel to switch and mix between two different sets of LED colored bulbs giving you a range between 3200K-5600K. Unfortunately like the other 1200 LED panel, it still does not have the V-Mount adapter to use this off the grid like the smaller 600 or 900. Something to keep in mind - since the 1200 panel uses two different rows of LED lights, when switching from one color over to the other, you'll be cutting the LED count down to half (600 tungsten LEDs and 600 Daylight LEDs). The question you're all thinking about - why not just use Gels? First, Gels cut down light quite a bit, and it's also one more thing to carry. Using a Bi-Color LED light like this 1200 can also mix in between temperatures. If color changing on the fly is an important part of your work flow, you might want to look into these below.
Not sure how many people remember the 240 Bi-Color Dimmable LED Video light I posted about a short while back. It was a mysterious 240 LED light that showed up on eBay, and the moment I posted about it, it disappeared. Never to be heard from again. Well these 240 LED lights are back online, and now with some new options. My original 240 LED light from eBay did not come with a way to power it up. Luckily I had the correct Sony battery and charger from another set of lights. This was a huge deal breaker for some that didn't use Sony batteries in their work flow.
This time the 240 LED light comes with or or without barndoors ($6 dollars cheaper without). They come standard with a Magenta (minus green) filter and a metal hotshoe ball mount. You can power the 240 LED light with a single Sony NPF style battery, or a Panasonic with an included adapter. One thing that grabbed my attention was a very very cool AA battery adapter case that turns 6 AA batteries into a Sony NPF style battery. Deal breaker no more!
I've never posted such an adapter thing on this blog, but damn I sure did need something like this! A battery case like this can be used to power any other NPF accessory like some external monitors, the 277, the 312 LED, and more. To my knowledge (and i've seen quite a bit), these are the cheapest color changing LED video lights today. As usual, it's on the blog today, we'll see how long they last..
I posted an article about some new 277 LED Video lights not long ago, but there was only two available for sale online with no real information on performance and quality. These new Socanland LED lights come in a few different flavors in a few different sizes, most popular right now are the 277 and 310.
Cam Cornelius was actually at NAB2011 when he picked up his Socanland 277 Bi-Color DImmable LED light, which he seems to be really impressed with. Cam's put together what appears to be the first video review about the Socanland 277 LED light. With a wide angle lens you can see it doesn't seem very spotty and covers a large area of the screen. A solid build, good form and fuction seems like Socanland is getting off on the right foot with DSLR Video. If this is a light you'd be interested in, they aren't available at this time. But check back here in a few, i'm on the ball to let you know as soon as they become available. [Thanks Cam]
Sure there's a ton of posts on this blog all about cheap gear, but it's been hard for me to show them in use. (Sorry guys, if you only knew what I do outside of this blog.) But i'm trying harder to do better, and you probably noticed that i've been working more closely with some friends to show more of how these things work out and samples of what can be achieved. Here's another piece put together by the guys to showcase how adding small lights can set the mood or tone in a scene. This small little sample piece is called 'The Boss'.
A single 500 LED Video Light Panel was set for the rim light behind 'The Boss', a Z96 was taped into a cheap reflector to throw the cliche downward spotlight, and a few Z96's were adding rim lights to the victim. Why not use all the latest LED panels that I just purchased? Well that's a different set of lights for about twice the budget. These will work just fine for someone looking to get into basic LED Video Lights. There will be another video piece shot with the new 900 LED panels that I have pretty soon, hang tight. For now, I thought it would be a good way to show that these lights are still great products including the little Z96 LED lights. The 1000 LED Video Light was used outdoors to add light through small windows on the garage, and then mainly for the scene in the end to purposely cast shadows.
These 'other style' LED lights are popping up everywhere you look, especially on eBay were most of the LED Video lights start out. At first glance the style is similar to the Comer light, but it's not the same, and it's not even half the price of even the 'generic Comer'. The above video review from Vimeo member Olivia shows some sample use with the LED-5001 (or sometimes called VL5001). Positioned over the GH2 you can see it's relative size, and it doesn't look very tiny. From the review, it looks like it has decent overall light output, but a little spotty without the diffuser.
The LED-5001 video light kit has (3) LED's, comes with a folding Diffuser, Tungsten Filter, and two barn doors. Nice to have all those filters and gels in one place rather than thrown in your bag. The LED kit also comes with a battery charger and Sony compatible 7.2V rechargeable Lithium Battery - and yes it's also Dimmable. Run time? Not sure, but looks like you can still mount Sony's double sized 7.2V battery as opposed to the smaller one provided with the kit. [Thanks Olivia]
Heard of Comer LED Video Lights? It's a damn good LED Video light with a damn good price tag attached of over $300 dollars and doesn't even come with a battery. The design of the Comer lights are also much different than just a flat square panel full of LED bulbs. The second generation of Comer LED lights has a newer design with 10 LEDs on the front panel.
If you wanted a Comer, you had no choice but to buy one. Well, up until now I guess. There's a new LED light floating around recently that looks similar and claims the same 1800 Lumens output, so could this 'other' LED light be a Comer Clone? It sure does look like it through the limited amount of the photos I could compare online. From design, features, position of buttons and switches, it's pretty close. This 'other Comer-like is coming in about half the price and unlike Comer, comes with a Sony style Rechargeable battery + charger. Anyone sporting a Comer now, or experience with these Comer-like lights?