Aputure

Aputure - New Lights and Sidus Link - NAB 2019

At NAB 2019, we stopped by the Aputure booth to see the new products they announced and wow! There's a bunch of them. Hopefully they can deliver them all before 2019 comes to a close. I'm especially interested in the 300DmkII and the spotlight. The new Sidus Link sig mesh bluetooth control is also interesting.

Please consider my sound for video classes.

Aputure MC - Small RGB LED panel that can charge wirelessly and communicate via sig mesh bluetooth. Optional hard case with 12 wireless charging slots - Coming soon

Aputure RC - A smart LED bulb, but battery powered, RGB, and with good CRI/TLCI, and color effects. Oh, and also sig mesh bluetooth control. No flicker at any shutter speed - Coming Soon

Aputure COB300DmkII - 20% brighter, handbrake yoke, 360 degree yoke, integrated control box and power supply with passive cooling and metal body, power via 1 or 2 cine batteries, super clamp and QR for control box - Coming Soon

Aputure Spotlight - similar to a leko light - various beam angles with focusing, internal flags to cut the light, and slot for adjustable aperture and cookies and gobos - Coming soon.

Aputure Lantern - Quick setup china ball with double sided skirts - Coming soon

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2017 by TVAC. Used with permission

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 AL-MW LED Light & Fresnel 2x

In this episode, we take a look at two new lighting products from Aputure: The AL-MW and the Fresnel 2x. The AL-MW is a tiny LED video light with a daylight color balance and is waterproof to 10 meters or 30 feet. Its in-built battery will power the light for 85 minutes at high power. The color quality is very good with a CRI of almost 98 and the light puts out enough light to use even as a key light.

The Fresnel 2x is a new add-on focusing lens for lights with a Bowens mount like the Aputure COB series of lights along with lights from several other manufacturers. The lens focuses the light beam between 12 and 40 degrees so you can add a good bit of drama, texture, and dimension to your lighting design.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Fairlight and Audition, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Aputure AL-MW tiny, waterproof LED Light

Aputure Fresnel 2x - Lens to focus your light into carefully defined beams.

Aputure COB 120DII LED Light - this is my main workhorse light for 90% of my video work.

Aputure COB 300D LED Light - a BIG light for BIG jobs

Aputure Barn Doors - You can use this on its own, or with the Fresnel 2x to cut the light for even more dramatic lighting designs. I use this a LOT for lighting backgrounds.

Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Wireless Lavalier Set - used this to record all of the audio for this episode. Review coming soon.

1/4-20 to Light Stand Adapter - the adapter I use to attach the AL-MW to a light stand

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - I used this to record most of this episode

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens - Used on the Pocket 4K camera

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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 Light Dome II & Light Dome Mini II Soft Boxes

In this episode, we have a look at the Light Dome II and Light Dome Mini II from Aputure. These are soft boxes you can use with their COB line of LED lights for video and photography. But you can also use them with any other manufacturer’s light that uses a standard Bowens mount.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Aputure Light Dome II

Aputure Light Dome Mini II

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - I used this to record this episode

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens - Used on the Pocket 4K camera

Aputure COB 120d (original) - daylight color

Aputure COB 120dII - key light, daylight color

Aputure COB120t - background light, tungsten color

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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 COB120dII: LED Light for Video and Photo

For a couple of years now, the Aputure C120d and C120t have been my main lights for almost all of my video jobs. They’ve been super reliable and I love their flexibility to work as hard or soft light sources. The updated C120dII takes some very nice steps forward in terms of build quality, output, and overall usefulness. Let’s take a closer look now that I’ve had a copy for about 3 or 4 months.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at my school including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Aputure COB120d II LED Light

Aputure COB120d - Original version, $100 cheaper. My take is that the mark 2 version is worth the additional $100. But if you’re on a tight budget, the original has been great for me for a couple of years.

Aputure Light Dome II - Newer version of the big soft box with faster setup and gel holder

Aputure Light Dome - Deep, big softbox for incredibly beautiful, soft light (original version)

Aputure Fresnel Lens - Original focusing fresnel lens to push a strong shaft of light. Great for effects. I’d wait for the new version coming soon if you don’t need it right away

Aputure Barn Doors - Great for cutting hard lines in your light. I love using this for product shots to add a bit of mystery to the feel.

Sekonic C-700U Spectrometer - This is what we used to measure the light output and color quality

Sennheiser MKH 8050 - This is the boom mic used to record this episode

Panasonic GH5 Camera - Used for all of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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!

Barn Doors & Hard Light: Aputure Barn Doors for COB Lights

What is hard light and when would you want to use it when shooting video? What are barn doors? In this episode, we have a look at creating hard light with barn doors and when you might want to put this hard light to use to make more cinematic looking film.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Aputure Barn Doors for COB120 and 300 Lights - Coming Soon

Aputure COB 120d - This is one of my main workhorse lights. Not a week passes where I don’t use it for at least one shoot. this is the daylight version.

Aputure COB 120t - When I don’t have to match existing light, I prefer to use this as my key light. Really nice, warm skin tones with it's tungsten colored light output.

Aputure COB300d - This is the big one. I don’t use this often, but when I need a lot of light, this is the instrument of choice

Aputure Fresnel Lens - This is the original focusing lens for the COB lights. If you need one right away, this’ll do the job. If you can wait a bit, Aputure announced at NAB last month that they’ll have an improved version available this year (fewer light leaks, sturdier build).

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - When I need a nice, soft light on the face of the talent in an interview or talking head video, this goes on the COB120 key light

Black Wrap Cinefoil - this is basically black aluminum foil that you can use to further shape light and block light leaks. Super useful to have on hand.

Soft Frost Gel - subtle way to soften the light just a touch

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Iexzxu

Lupo DayLED Fresnel Light with Barn Doors - These are useful when I need hard light as well. I don’t have soft boxes for them so they’re not quite as versatile as the Aputure COBs, but really great lights with a super durable build. Comes in various sizes - 650, 1000, & 2000 - and color temps: Daylight, tungsten, or bi-color.

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head shots in this episode

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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 F7 LED Light - 7" LED Light for On/Off Camera Video Lighting

Aputure announced their new F7 on-camera LED light for video and filmmakers today, March 30, 2018. This affordable, compact LED light has been a part of my lighting kit for the last 2 months and I’ve found it more useful than I had originally anticipated. I don’t use on-camera lights very often, but when I need to in the future, I now have a great option. But I found it especially useful for off-camera use as an accent light with it’s wide color temp tuning capability, or even as a key light shot through a silk/scrim or bounced off of a reflector. There are three ways to power the F7 making it incredibly flexible. And of course the color quality is very good as well. Let’s take a closer look!

Links to gear discussed and used to record this session:

Aputure F7 On-Camera 7” LED Light for video

Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C Battery Bank - This one powered the F7 while some other USB battery banks would not. I think the bank must supply a higher current. Yes, it is expensive for a USB battery bank, but the quality is top notch. Conveniently, the included bag makes it easy to hang the battery on the light stand so it is easy to use with the F7.

Westcott 40" 5 in 1 Reflector for bouncing or diffusing the light to make it softer

Sony NP-F970 Battery - much more expensive and mine has been very reliable in constant use over the last 14 months. You will also need a charger (the F7 does not charge batteries).

NP-F970 compatible battery - much less expensive. I’ve had decent luck with Wasabi power and Watson, but they do seem to wear out a bit faster than the OEM batteries.

Sekonic C-700U Spectrometer - used for all of the color quality measurements

Sound Devices 633 Audio Mixer & Recorder

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Super-cardioid Boom Microphone

Panasonic GH5S - 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!

80K Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing to celebrate 80K subscribers! The lucky winner of the drawing was DAZ Studio - congratulations!

A big thanks again to Aputure for generously supplying the Deity microphone for DAZ.

If you'd like to see our review of the Aputure Deity Shotgun Microphone, have a look here:

Thanks to EVERYONE for your support and encouragement!

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!

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!

6 Affordable Lavalier Microphones Compared

One of the least expensive ways to improve the quality of your video is to use a microphone that you can get close to your talent/actors. Here are six affordable lavalier microphones that will help. We chose an assortment to work with your smartphone, DSLR or interchangeable lens cameras, your laptop or PC, or even GoPro action cameras.

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Dutch Kings Lavalier Microphone (For smartphones or GoPro)

Aputure A.lav EZ (for smartphones)

RODE smartLav+ (for smartphones)

Aputure A.lav (for smartphones, cameras, and PCs with headset inputs)

Comica Dual Head Lavalier Microphone (for recording 2 people into smartphones, cameras, PCs, or GoPros)

Sony ECM-CS3 Stereo Lavalier Microphone (for cameras)

RODE SC3 Adapter (If your microphone has a TRRS plug - 3 colored rings on the plug - and you want to use if for your camera or audio recorder, use this adapter)

RODE SC4 Adapter (If your microphone has a TRS plug - 2 colored rings on the plug - and you want to use it for your smartphone or PC with a headset input, use this adapter)

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS 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!