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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 12th, 2009, 10:05 AM   #1
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On Cam light recommendations for weddings

Hi All,

I've recently started booking weddings, and am in the market for a decent light for my A1. Until recently, I've rarely used one, with most of my work being either heavily lit or completely run & gun/natural light. I have a paglight c6 which is inadequate both in terms of wattage and battery life. Seems the last few weddings everyone wants me to roam around the dance floor, which is pretty much dark.

From what I've read in other threads, I don't think the led panels look like the upgrade I need - fragile, quick run thru batteries, and not much throw. I think the frezzi's and the anton bauers look more appropriate, but there seem to be a lot of choices, wondering what other shooters use. FWIW, the paglight has me use to wearing a big battery in a fanny pack, which I don't mind, so a battery belt or similar is not an issue.

Thanks
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #2
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I'd suggest the LitePanels micro and micro pro.....they both run on AA batteries and the micro can get a camera battery back to match Canon, Sony ,and Panasonic batteries

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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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I've been using the LP Micro since it came out and it's not a fragile as it looks. It's hit the floor a few times (don't ask) and finally the shoe broke. Since I didn't want to spend $42.00 for a new one I set it up on a new more rugged shoe and it just keeps on ticking.
The LP Micro is 25W while the PRO is 55W, both dimmable. I love it!
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Old October 12th, 2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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I've been using a Sachtler 75 reporter and the batteries are just a pain in the arse. Heavy, take a long time to charge and don't last that long.
I will upgrade to a Lite Panel asap.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 02:16 AM   #5
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I have put together some video to show several on-camera lights that I have.
6 On-Camera Video Lights Shootout | L.A. Color Blog

I would stay away from LP Micro. It's not very bright at all and fragile. Mine dimmer broke twice. 4 high rated AA batteries last abotu 50 minutes. Near the end of battery life, the light will start to flicker. The flickerness will be recorded to the video too. I ended up carrying lots of AA batteries just to keep it through the wedding reception.

Now I am using Comer 900 and Comer 1800 lights. I have been very happy with the result. Especially at reception in a dark ball room, I always need to set gain to +3db to +6db on my XH-A1. Recently, I noticed I'm in the range of -3db and 0db.

There is also the condense lens trick
More Comer CM-LBPS1800 LED Light Test | L.A. Color Blog

When I have to zoom in at reception, it's always resulting in a dark video because the iris closes down. With the condenser lens trick, I got extremely well lit scene zooming in close up from a distance.

Also the 4500K color temperate makes skin tone looks netural white. It won't be too blue like other LED light offering at 5600K color temperature. You will always need to use the gel to lower the color temperate but at the same time, decrease the brightness.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 02:31 AM   #6
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Ask ten different camera operators, and youre going to get ten different answers..

I used to have a 50watt halogen on top, powered by a shoulder slung battery.
This was a real pain in the rear to use and manage; not only on location, but to ensure it was ready to go 24/7.

I have an LED panel, which is great, but relies on a battery...

But the best of the lot is the AB Ultralight, which sits atop the camera and takes its power from the oversize battery powering the camera itself. This setup is nothing short of brilliant, as it enables you to be totally free (for the roaming on the dancefloor gigs) as well as ENG work.

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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:35 AM   #7
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"I would stay away from LP Micro. It's not very bright at all and fragile. Mine dimmer broke twice. 4 high rated AA batteries last abotu 50 minutes. Near the end of battery life, the light will start to flicker. The flickerness will be recorded to the video too. I ended up carrying lots of AA batteries just to keep it through the wedding reception"

Taky you keep saying this and I keep telling you that you had a BAD unit. I've never had a problem with the dimmer, nor do I need several sets of batteries to get thru an evening. One set of 2200Mah rechargable AAs will go for 4 hours with the light at full power which by the way is not to dim. It is 25W without the diffusion or any other filter and by way of comparison, the Anton Bauer ULtralight which I own and have used for years until I got the LP comes with a 20W bulb. I ran tests with the LP and the AB Ultralight using a 30W bulb and softbox and the LP with diffusion and 1/4 CTO and found they were within less than 1/2 stop. Unscientific tests. As for being fragile, as I said mine hit the ground more than a couple of times and it wasn't until it fell about 6 feet and hit the ground just right that the shoe broke. Nothing you can do about that but as for it being a weak light, not in my opinion.
Oh yeah, the light flickering at the end of the battery life is the first clue that you had a bad unit that should have been returned.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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Thanks all, helpful suggestions.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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I had a Litepanels Micro for about 4 months, wasn't that impressed with it, build quality and output IMO, were lacking. There are far more usable lights out there for the same sort of money.
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