Lighting

IKEA LED Bulbs: Good Enough for Video Lighting?

If you’re shooting video on a really tight budget and you cannot afford an expensive, pro-grade lighting instrument, can you get away with using consumer grade LED bulbs from IKEA? Let’s take a look and see whether these bulbs can produce decent quality light for your video projects and consider the “down-sides.”

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:
IKEA RYET LED Bulbs (not recommended for video use)

IKEA LEDARE LED Bulbs (usable for tiny budget, non-color critical video lighting)

Shop/Clamp Lamp - the aluminum lamp you’ll want to concentrate the light and mount it on a light stand

Westcott 5 in 1 Reflector (I use the middle section to soften the light - it is a scrim/silk)

Sekonic C-700-U Spectrometer (for measuring CRI, color casts, spectral light output, etc.)

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Super-cardioid Boom Microphone

Panasonic GH5S Camera (My current favorite small camera)

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5S most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Aputure COB300d - Updated Color Filter Review

If you already own the COB300d and have not yet received the replacement color filter, fill out this form.

We reviewed the Aputure COB300d LED light for video and photography a few months ago and found it to be a very good, big light with lots of light output and *good* but not stellar color quality. Aputure received feedback on the green color fringe and color quality issues and have come up with a nice solution. For those who have purchased a COB300d, they are offering a free replacement color filter that addresses both of those problems.

My original COB 300d review:

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Aputure COB 300d LED Light

Aputure COB120d Light

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - I use this for almost every interview/talking head shot

Aputure Fresnel Lens - when you need to focus the light beam and throw the light farther

Photo Basics Barn Doors - nice way to cut the light for dramatic light and shadow

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Super-cardioid Condenser Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 OS ART Lens

Music licensed from Artlist: Call on Me by Kick Lee. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Lupo Dayled and Superpanel Lights for Video: Overview

What is unique about professional level LED lights for video? In this episode we take a look at the professional grade Lupo Dayled fresnel and Superpanel LED lights.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:
Lupo Lights now available in the USA from B&H:

Dayled 650 5600K
Dayled 650 Dual Color
Dayled 1000 5600K
Dayled 1000 Dual Color
Dayled 2000 5600K
Superpanel 5600K, No DMX
Superpanel Dual Color, No DMX

Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - my main camera

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 OS ART Lens - my main all-around lens

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Rosco 1/2 Soft Frost Diffusion

5 in 1 Reflector (with scrim) - this is the very first piece of gear that any photographer or filmmaker should buy. Well, maybe right after a basic camera and good microphone.

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Light Meters, Luxi, Cinemeter II: How Accurate is Luxi and Cinemeter II?

What are light meters and why would you want one for shooting video? Don’t most cameras have good built-in light meters these days? How accurate is the Luxi (attachment for your smartphone to make it act like an incident light meter) along with the Cinemeter II app (for iOS)?

Let’s have a look!

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Luxi for All Incident Meter Dome for smartphones:

Luxi App (Free)

iOS/Apple

Android

Cinemeter II App ($25 - iOS only)

iOS/Apple

Lastolite EzyBalance Gray Card (Foldable)

Sekonic L-308S-U (Typical basic incident light meter - Minolta is not longer in business but sold to Sony who does not make light meters)

Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U Light Meter (top of the line exposure meter)

Sekonic C-700-U Spectrometer (Color Meter, NOT an exposure meter)

Panasonic GH5 Hybrid Camera

Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 OIS Lens (My go-to lens with the GH5)

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder

Sigma ART 24-70 f/2.8 Lens for Canon EF Mount

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jFUlim

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera (This is my main camera for corporate video work)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Affordable Soft LED Light for Video: Linkstar RL-24VC

Producing soft light for interview and talking head style video traditionally requires you to use a big softbox or umbrella to diffuse the light. But edge-lit LED lights, like the Linkstar RL-24VC produce soft light while taking up a LOT less space. Let’s have a closer look at the Linkstar to see how well it does in terms of color quality, build, and most importantly, overall light quality.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:
Linkstar RL-24VC Bi-Color Edge-lit LED Light (temporarily out of stock, standby for updates)

Linkstar RL-18V Daylight Color Edge-lit LED Light (Smaller, 18 watt version - temporarily out of stock, standby for updates)

NP-F970 Type Batteries

This episode shot with the following:

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder - been working with this for about a month now, review coming soon. Here are my first impressions:

Sigma ART 24-70 f/2.8 Lens for Canon EF Mount - My new "all-purpose" lens for the Ursa Mini Pro

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Supercardioid Boom Microphone - featured in this comparison of indoor super and hyper-cardioid boom microphones (it's the little one and I love it):

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera (This is my main camera for corporate video work)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

LED Light Color Quality: Aputure, Falcon Eyes, Kamerar BrightCast, Linkstar

LED lights have several obvious advantages when it comes to video lighting: They don’t use nearly as much power so they can often be battery powered and they run cooler. But are LEDs as good as the sun or tungsten lights in terms of color quality? In this episode we answer each of these questions and measure the CRI (Color Rendering Index) for each of the LED lights I have reviewed over the last three years.

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Review of the Kamerar BrightCast Flexible LED Light:

Review of Falcon Eyes RX-18 Flexible LED Panel Light:

Linkstar RL-24VC LED Edge-Lit Soft LED Light (Review Coming Soon)

Falcon Eyes FELUX 160 LED Fresnel Light (Review coming soon: Big, Powerful, wide color temp range)

Aputure LS1s Daylight LED Panel Light Review:

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box Review: 

Sekonic C-700U Color Meter/Spectrometer - used to make the CRI measurements

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Aputure COB300d BIG LED Light for Film & Video

Since Aputure announced the new Light Storm COB 300d at NAB earlier this year, I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on it! The 300d is a daylight balance single point LED light which draws about 320 watts which is a ton for an LED. They say this is a 2K tungsten equivalent - if that really means anything, but it is a much more powerful LED light than I’ve ever worked with before. In this episode we run it through its paces and look at its build quality, included accessories, features, color quality and light output. I hope you find this helpful!

Thanks to Aputure for providing the COB300d for this review. They have not paid me beyond providing the light and previously provided accessories. All of the opinions shared here are my own.

Links to Gear Discussed and used to shoot this review:
Aputure COB 300d LED Light

Aputure COB120d LED Light - The little brother

Aputure COB120t LED Light - The other little brother with tungsten color balance. I use this one as a key light in studio in most cases.

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - I use this for almost every interview/talking head shot

Aputure Fresnel Lens - great when you need to focus the light beam and throw the light farther

Photo Basics Barn Doors - nice way to cut the light for dramatic light and shadow

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Super-cardioid Condenser Microphone - Review/comparison coming.

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Flexible LED Light: FalconEyes RX 18TD Overview

LED panel lights have evolved! A few years ago we began seeing flexible LED lights which are nice for when you’re shooting on location, and especially when traveling. And we’ve seen some very nice improvements in the color quality produced by LEDs which make them much better than they used to be for video and film production. The trick has been that the flexible LEDs were rather expensive. The RX-18TD comes in at around $300 USD. Let’s see how it does…

Links to Gear Discussed and used to shoot this review:

FalconEyes RX-18TD - used as a rim light bounced off of foam core in the talking head portions of this video

FalconEyes CLL-1600TDX - used as the key light shot through a scrim in the talking head portions of this video

Aputure COB120d LED Light - used to light the white paper backdrop

V-mount Battery (IDX 95Wh)

XRite Color Checker Video Color Chart - used for color quality tests

Schoeps CMC641 Super-cardioid Microphone - One of the most commonly used microphones for indoor dialogue by profession sound mixers

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro - My primary camera

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Aputure Amaran Tri-8c LED Panel Light Review

Aputure has produced some very impressive panel and single point LED lights over the last couple of years and now thy have a new addition to their Amaran (entry level) LED panel lights: The Amaran Tri-8 series. This new series includes daylight and color tunable versions. The color quality scores nicely in our tests relative to a good old-fashioned tungsten light, we didn’t find any flicker (an issue with some LED panel lights) and found this to be a great little light to act as a fill, a hair light, an accent light, or even a key light.

Gear used to record this episode:

Aputure Amaran Tri-8 LED Panel Light

Aputure C120d (daylight hard light)

Aputure Light Storm LS1 Panel Light

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st Generation)

Lifecharge USB Battery (for powering the MixPre-6)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Affordable LED Light Panels: CELADON 2XL and 2XL Pro

Need some portable LED lights for your video or photo shoots? CELADON offers the 2XL and 2XL Pro which are small sized LED panels which you can mount on top of your camera, on a stand, or anywhere else you might imagine.

In this review we take a closer look at the color quality, build quality, battery life, beam angle, and light output. Overall, these LED lights are a great portable lighting option for a very good price.

Gear used to record this episode:

CELADON 2XL PRO (160 SMD LED Light Panel - this is what I used as the key light in this episode)

CELADON 2XL (280 LED Light Panel - this was the rim light in this episode)

Panasonic GH5 Camera - My new favorite little camera

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens (1st Generation)

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens (talking head shots)

Audio Technica AT4053b Microphone - My go-to microphone for recording dialogue indoors

Sound Devices 633 Audio Mixer/Recorder - My "Pro Level" audio recorder

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!