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Old January 14th, 2009, 12:27 AM   #1
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What DC Lighting Options for outside shooting are available?

I just finished watching Ambition to Meaning online this evening and the story includes a documentary crew who shoot footage of Dr Wayne Dyer outside using a light source on a boom with a soft box. The light source isn't plugged in to any AC outlet as they are shooting out near the ocean - my question is - what light sources are there that are daylight balanced and can run off of DC current - and provide sufficient light output to balance with an overcast day?

I never could determine what kind of light source it was, but the movie appeared to be shot with an upper end 3 chip camera with a lens adapter to provide that beautiful shallow depth of field that they are known for - it was a visual feast as a shooter looking for inspiration.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:01 AM   #2
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They could either be using a small battery powered HMI or perhaps a 12v LED type light. As long as the light is kept pretty close you should be able to balance up to an overcast sky. Although overcast skies can either have quite high light levels (eg f8 @ 64ASA) or have very low light levels.

They could also bring a generator to power their lights if AC power is needed.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #3
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Honda makes a very quiet line of portable generators that work well for outdoor shoots.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Based upon what I saw, there were no generators or long power cords leading to the single light source, so I'm presuming this was a battery driven light source. it appeared to be fairly high intensity - but cool - like LED or fluorescent since it did show all of them carrying various items for the shoot - with no generator in tow.

Given that - any brands/models that meet this criteria? I come from a still background and I could handle whatever it was about strobes, but continuous light sources - I'm a little overwhelmed by the options available - any help towards brands/models would be appreciated :)
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Old January 14th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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Hi Cliff:

I would suggest you look into Cool Lights new LCD 600 panels. They are available in 3200k flood, 5600k flood or spot and for an extra $99.00, can be outfitted with an Anton Bauer or V mount battery plate. They are small, light, put out soft, daylight balanced light and the best part, they are cheap, $425.00.

I am buying two of these to do exactly the kinds of shoots you are describing. Just keep in mind that in blaring daylight or even really bright overcast, an LED doesn't have enough punch but if you get it in close to the talent, it can help with fill and add an eye light.

What you probably saw was a small HMI PAR like an Arri Pocket PAR or a K5600 Joker Bug Lite 200 or 400 on that show. Both great instruments, both well over $4,000.00 ea. There are plenty of DC powered options with pocket PARs but do you have that kind of budget?

Dan
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Old January 14th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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Hi Cliff:

I would suggest you look into Cool Lights new LCD 600 panels. They are available in 3200k flood, 5600k flood or spot and for an extra $99.00, can be outfitted with an Anton Bauer or V mount battery plate. They are small, light, put out soft, daylight balanced light and the best part, they are cheap, $425.00.

I am buying two of these to do exactly the kinds of shoots you are describing. Just keep in mind that in blaring daylight or even really bright overcast, an LED doesn't have enough punch but if you get it in close to the talent, it can help with fill and add an eye light.

What you probably saw was a small HMI PAR like an Arri Pocket PAR or a K5600 Joker Bug Lite 200 or 400 on that show. Both great instruments, both well over $4,000.00 ea. There are plenty of DC powered options with pocket PARs but do you have that kind of budget?

Dan
I'm also seriously looking at the Cool Lights LCD 600 Panel - the price is right considering the equivalent from lightpanels is $1700.

And no I don't have that kind of budget - wish I did ;)
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Old January 14th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #7
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wow... i got totally sucked into that film.....

I saw a cord going to a case or bag on the ground. I'm guessing there is an HMI source in the light-box.... and ballast and high ampere battery in there.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #8
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I'm also seriously looking at the Cool Lights LCD 600 Panel - the price is right considering the equivalent from lightpanels is $1700.
I am supposed to be taking delivery of a 5600k spot and flood this week so I will let you know how they look as soon as they arrive.

Dan
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Old January 14th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #9
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Hehe, Dan will be the first in the USA to get them as he ordered them direct from China, more expensive shipping of course.

On the original question, its hard to imagine an HMI big enough for use outdoors but still small enough to use a battery. Seems like a Joker 400 in a softbox would be overpowered quickly outdoors. A 575w wouldn't do much better. A 1200w which would work well in those conditions would be hard to find a good battery for! It is a curious question...
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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they could just be faking it for the story..... a power cord hidden. Did you see the film crew at the end credits? This was a sizable production.

Also.... The footage of the Dr. being interview... from the panasonic ( nice little mini35 on there as well ) really did not have a noticable fill to me... I saw a little catch light in the eyes though.

Hey Richard, I didn't know you offered a direct from China shipping feature.... Your hard to get items are worth the extra shipping fees if a project can benefit from them.... as your 150's have truly made my productions better. I'm dying to get my hands on a few of your LED's! I'd dump my flolight 500leds in a heartbeat for your 600's!
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Old January 14th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #11
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Hi Chris, thanks for the kind words.

Yes we do ship direct, mostly to Australia and other parts of Asia and sometimes Europe and even USA, but we handle it manually as I haven't found the web quoting software to be reliable in accurate quoting for international orders on the website.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Etzel View Post
I just finished watching Ambition to Meaning online this evening and the story includes a documentary crew who shoot footage of Dr Wayne Dyer outside using a light source on a boom with a soft box. The light source isn't plugged in to any AC outlet as they are shooting out near the ocean - my question is - what light sources are there that are daylight balanced and can run off of DC current - and provide sufficient light output to balance with an overcast day?

I never could determine what kind of light source it was, but the movie appeared to be shot with an upper end 3 chip camera with a lens adapter to provide that beautiful shallow depth of field that they are known for - it was a visual feast as a shooter looking for inspiration.
Hi Cliff, glad to see you outside the confines of RosenblumTV, and looking for lights nevertheless, I'm proud of you man, but don't let Michael know about this, you know how he feels about lights.

Anyway, there are several manufacturers that make AC/DC HMIs. K5600 for their 200w HMI makes a ballast (power supply) that takes either a 30v battery belt or two Anton Bauer Bricks that mount right on the power supply, neat unit. Most manufacturers that make 200 watt HMI also has AC/DC power units that operates with 30v batteries. I have an older Kobold that I operate with a 30v battery. Frezzi has a 400w HMI that also has an AC/DC power supply and they also have a battery to power the unit, I believe that the Frezzi is the largest AC/DC powered HMI on the market. A small 1000w Honda generator is about the size of a small suitcase and you can carry it around like a suitcase, it weights about 35lbs and has a DB of 62, you can't hear it outside at about 100 feet away. I have the 2000 watts Honda generator an it's an incredible tool. I can power easily two 400w HMI plus a monitor and a small fan when it gets really hot down here.

Keep in mind that all these HMI unit are expensive and very difficult to find used, for occasional use you would be better off renting one.

I tried every LED light outside but they all do very little. I had better luck with fluorescent lights but I haven't seen any viable substitute for HMIs yet.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #13
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Hi Nino - I keep quiet nowadays on Michael's blog - I take what I think is important and leave the rest to those more vocal ;)

I believe in lighting and light modifiers as needed - I used diffusion scrims alot when I shot stills outside, but have found myself wanting a really compact lighting kit since I still believe in trying to shoot solo. I truly love my softboxes but I'm growing to dislike the heat generated by my Lowel Totalite and iLite which make up my two light kit.

The honda generator is a remote possibility if I don't have to travel too far. I've been looking at something like the Photoflex Starlite with the 500w equivalent CFL - any thoughts on this?

My main goal right now is to pare down my gear to no more than 3-4 cases total - including vidcams, stands, etc.

My only concern with CFL for the stronger output is the sheer size of the tubes - any thoughts? I figure I could use these locally or travel by car as needed, then if I had to, rent if I needed something more and pass along to the client (yes I believe in being paid more than the stripped down wages being advocated by Michael).

What are your thoughts?
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