LED

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 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!

3 LED Lights: Lupo, bitLighter, & LED GO

New LED Lights for video and filmmaking are hitting the market so quickly that I cannot possibly review them all. But here is an overview of three fairly unique lights I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the last couple of months. The first is the Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30, an RGBW light which effectively serves as a key or effect light with equal agility. It even includes special effects such as police car lights.

The second is called the bitLighter which is essentially a large flashlight (or torch for our British friends) that is specifically designed for video and photography lighting. It has a focusable beam which ranges between 10 and 56 degrees making it very useful for hard effects. You can also swap out the LED head to a variety of color temperatures between 2700K and 5700K.

And finally, we have a look at the LED GO E268C, and edge-lit LED pad about the size of the larger iPad Pro. This makes a very nice soft light to use as a key light or rim light. Because it is so thin, it is easy to use this light in places where traditional soft light sources (such as lights with soft boxes) could never fit.

Full Disclosure: Each of these lights was given to me free of charge from their respective manufacturers. None of them paid me beyond providing the light and they did not review this video before I posted it. All opinions shared here are my own.

Links to gear used in this episode:

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 RGBW LED Panel - my new favorite background and effect light that also works as a key

bitLighter LED Flashlight/Torch - Incredibly small form factor for a lot of hard light

LED GO E268C Bi-color Edge-lit LED Pad - super thin and light, making it a great soft light source for tight spaces

Vistek Canada (also ship to USA)

Holdan UK

Deity D3-Pro Shotgun Microphone - this was recorded in my car with the D3-Pro

Zoom F8n Audio Recorder

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video

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

Amazon: http://geni.us/uMsKam

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!

Falcon Eyes RX-718 RGB Light Review

RGB LED lights for video and film were one of the big themes at the National Association of Broadcasters show in 2018. Here’s my first experience with an RGB mat light from Falcon Eyes, the RX-718. The mat measures approximately 24 by 18 inches and is only a few millimeters thick. But this light can do more than just put out crazy saturated colors across the spectrum, it is also produces color quality good enough to use as a key light where rendering skin tones faithfully is the goal.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Falcon Eyes RX-718 RGB Mat Light

Falcon Eyes RX-718TD LED Mat Light (Bi Color)

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video

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

Sennheiser MKH 8050 Boom Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Field Mixer/Recorder

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA - Copyright 2017 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!

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!

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!