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 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.
The older 160 LED Video lights
160 LED Video Lights
Half of you may have already seen Vimeo member Frank Glencairn's cheap LED Shootout video (Above), but for those who are still asking questions, this might be a good jumping off point. Frank runs through the CN-126 LED, Z96, and Yongnuo's 135 & 160 LED light. As a baseline for a good lighting example he throws in the LitePanels Micro into the bunch, but this is far from a cheap LED Video light.
Obvious pros and cons for each light, one being that none of the tungsten filters that were provided actually worked well as real balanced tungsten color. Since the Yongnuo's don't provide this, I guess that doesn't make it such a deal breaker. You'll have to work with proper gels regardless of the light you decide on. The video was done with an HVX200 so keep in mind that DSLR's may achieve better results with a bit of an ISO push. In any case, enjoy the video examples above on brightness, spotting, and diffusion. [Thanks Frank]
To save you a bit of reading, here's Frank's Verdict (from blog)
I´m a bit undecided. The NG 126 and the Litepanels Micro look outdated, compared to the newer lights. The Z96 has the best daylight balance and the nicest overall light, but the YONGNUO 160 is much more powerful. The YONGNUO 135 is somewhere in between them. Non of the provided Tungsten filters is usable IMHO with the exception of the one from Litepanels Micro. I use normal gels instead. Tricky lids, useless barndoors, mounting options, that are not exactly what you want on a professional set, are no deal breakers, but I hope they will be improved in the future. Some guys asked me to watchout for flicker. I had no flicker at all, unless the batteries getting weak, than they start to flicker.
If I have to choose one (and until I need a real strong light), I think I would go with the Z96, because of the superb light quality and it has a dimming wheel instead of that buttons.
- Frank Glencairn
Quick over view of what to expect from the Z96 Dimmable DSLR LED Video light that everyone is raving about. As of now, since it's fairly new, it might run you about $20 dollars more than the 126 LED lights. I personally think that $20 dollar difference is well worth it, considering you'd be buying a $400 dollar unit similar to this from the brand names.
The Z96 carries many of the same features that make the 126 very popular. Dimmable lighting, multiple battery sources, LED technology, and cheap cheap cheap. Originally LED video lights were hitting the streets for over $400 dollars, so even thought this is NOT as cheap as the 126, it's still a bargain you can't complain about.
It's smaller, but feels more solid than the 126 LED video light. Smaller is nicer since it doesn't take up bag space. Too much spotlight is offending to your subject, so it's very nice that the LED's on the Z96 (even without the diffusion panel) work better than the 126 LED. The adjustable shoe mount neck is a much better design as well. Not as tall, but definitely solid enough to keep from adjusting off position. I like everything about the Z96 and the additional price I feel is well worth it. The 126 has been a solid performer for me and I currently own 3 of them still in use today. I haven't thrown the Z96 around as much so we'll have to hear about the long term durability. For now when i'm ready to work, this Z96 is the one LED video light i'll always grab first.
Note:If there are clones of real products, it's not uncommon to see a 'Clone' of a 'Clone'. We see this already with Battery grips. Mine is solid quality, fast shipping, great price. Here's the seller you should be buying from if you're considering purchasing the Z96 Dimmable LED DSLR Video Light.
[Update] Other links if the top one doesn't work Click here for Z96 Video LED Light
Here's a recent comment regarding the 126 LED Dimmable Multi Battery LED Video Light many people have purchased:
I was wondering you Em or anyone had any experience with color correcting these 126 LED lights to (near) Tungsten?
It's true, the Tungsten gel that comes with the LED light panel isn't very close to Tungsten. Now I don't have many gels available to me right now, and i'm also not a lighting genius, but I guess I can shop around and find something that works best. Instead of myself trying to come up with a solution, I thought there might be enough of a community of Cheesycam.com readers who might have more experience with this.
If anyone out there has a good solution of Gel color, type, size, etc. the rest of us would love to find out. These lights aren't going away any time soon, so let's see if we can nail this down to a standard Gel type and color. In fact if you have your own solution for Diffusion, I would love to hear that too. Even any type of Mods or Hacks on how you might use these lights differently or creatively would serve as good tips too. Anyone Anyone?
Update::: Joel Hartz - Hartz Photographic LED Review teaches us how to get better color match on the 126 LED Video light. Looks like this problem is solved. Thanks Joel for the awesome review, and thanks for the shot out to the blog!
You can find more about these lights i've been blogging about in this article http://cheesycam.com/?p=561
I was playing backup camera guy for a friends recent shoot. Packed up the rest of the gear and with 550D / T2i in hand + cheap eBay 126 LED light on HotShoe, I just thought i'd grab a clip of how powerful these video lights are. This is a super raw unedited clip that I didn't even take time to focus properly, but hopefully it provides a helpful insight on this item. You can find more about these lights i've been blogging about in this article http://cheesycam.com/?p=561
Seems to be a never ending cycle trying to find the best deals on these LED lights. They are just selling like crazy. Prices have gone up for USA sellers, but you can still grab them for around $50 Dollars + Free Shipping out of China.
More 126 LED's for around $50 dollars, can be shipped from China. Check out the Auctions Here.
It's crazy crazy crazy. I'm getting a ton of questions and comments about these LED Video lights. Seems that the old links that I have to these lights are ALL SOLD OUT!. I've purchased 3 of these myself and i'm lovin' it. I've even started to make Barn Doors, Snoots, Grids, and other Diffusers for them. I'm using them as a Continuous Lighting Kit for interviews, and since they are hot-shoe mountable, i've even used them with my Photography Umbrella Brackets. I was able to locate another USA seller for these lights, but who knows how much longer they'll last. Click the link Below.