August 21st, 2005, 03:33 PM
Forgive the ambiguity of the question, but I am about to make a softbox from off-the-shelf parts at the hardware store, and I wonder how powerful it needs to be for it to feed a light insensitive camcorder such as a Panasonic PV-DV953 (3x 1/6" CCDs)? I intend to string together a bunch of tungsten-balanced photofloods, unless someone has a better idea. Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking describes a set-up with 500W. Is this strong enough for my camcorder? It sounds not; I am tempted to make two, for a total of 1KW. What is the maximum power I should draw from a single outlet? I will be shooting at home and at a restaurant.
August 21st, 2005, 05:11 PM
The maximum power you can draw from an outlet depends on how much current is being used by other devices on the same circuit. When you see 15 on a breaker in your breaker panel, it means a maximum of 15 amps can be drawn from that circuit before the breaker will trip which prevents overheating of wires that could cause a fire. Note that a circuit may have one or several outlets.
Now, for calculating how much power you can use, take the power in watts, divided by the voltage to obtain the current draw for that device. Example: A 1200 watt hair dryer plugged into 120 volts will draw 10 amps. 1200 watts of light will also draw 10 amps.
Just be careful with your softbox in that you don't place diffusion material too close to the light source and cause a fire.
August 21st, 2005, 08:16 PM
I'm very interested in hearing how you go building this - can you please post pictures and descriptions as you go?