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Old February 14th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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need recommendation for lighting basics

Hello,

I am planning to buy an on-cemera light for my event shooting in HDV. when i look at the description of this item --
Litepanels | LPMICRO Micro LED on Camera Light | LP MICRO | B&H

I got confused by the teminology here --
Daylight Balanced
The Micro is a 5600K daylight balance device with the option of using provided filters to warm the illumination or change to tungsten 3200K balancing

Can someone use plain English to explain it or refer me to some good readings on lighting?

Thanks a million in advance,

A rookie in lighting
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Old February 15th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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I'll let someone who has the Lightpanel micro chime in with specifics. I'm on the fence with that item myself. Reports are mixed as to whether it throws sufficient light.

My understanding is that the LED lights are balanced for daylight. What that means in a nutshell is the light they provide will be consistent with outdoor daylight. Tungsten, which is used in a lot of professional lighting gear, gives off a different color and temperature of light. By adding filters to the Micro, you can re-produce the color temp of tungsten. Tungsten runs a little warmer, which some people prefer.

As for lighting "basics," I'd highly reccommend the Vortex Media DVD on how to light interviews. Doug Jensen does a superb job of explaining lighting and how to assemble a basic kit.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Thanks, Bob. It really helps. I wonder if there is any tutorial on event lighting out there too.

Also, the gels (filters) that come with this LED light are in different color and shades. Since this unit does not come with any manual, any insight on how to use these gels (in what scenarios) is greatly appreciated.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Those on-camera lights are only going to help out to a few feet.
For events I think most people look at using lowest-lux, light sensitive cameras they can, since you will probably not have much freedom (or desire) in lighting events.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #5
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Charlie, event lighting is a whole other ball of wax, when compared to set lighting.
In most instances you will be filming in very low light environments, as most clients seem to believe that no light is romantic.

Unfortunately though, video like photo needs light in order to obtain acceptable results.
Photographers have an edge as their lights are generally in the form of flashes, and as such are only active for very short periods in time. Video needs constant light in order to capture the moment in time.

So for video that means a combination of good low light capable cameras (like already mentioned), as well as on and/or off camera lighting. in most situations the LM Micro will NOT be powerful enough by itself to give you the lighting you need. It's a decent fill light from about 10 feet out, but then will dissipate quickly beyond that.

We use a combination of off camera and on camera lighting. We use 2 remote controlled RecetionLight setups. These are only 75W lights placed on a light stand and placed at opposite ends of the dance floor. these provide a nice non-overpowering light source to the dance floor. Then we use Sony | HVL-LBPA LED VIDEO LIGHT f/HVR-V1U | HVL-LBPA | B&H Photo (geled to be 3200K for indoors) lights on our cameras for fill light if needed.

If money was no object I would go for the Zylights, as they require no gel and can supply light in any color temperature and range in the light spectrum.

If you are in the market for an affordable LED light then I would suggest passing on the LP Micro and take a look at the Torchled TL-50 Switronix Torchled TL-50 | Dimmable 5600K LED Light Fixture Kit - 30 Watts. It's small self powered, is dimmable, and has greater throw than the LP Micro.

I love our Sony HVL-LBP lights, but they are on the more expensive side for you probably and are also quite large for many. All in all it is a great light though.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for your field insights, Mike. sony model is a luxury for me so I will probably go with the other model you mentioned.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Coffin View Post
Those on-camera lights are only going to help out to a few feet.
For events I think most people look at using lowest-lux, light sensitive cameras they can, since you will probably not have much freedom (or desire) in lighting events.
Thanks, Hank. what low-lux video camera in Sony series you recommend for event shooting(wedding)? FX1 or Z1 or some other sony HDV models?
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Old February 17th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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A few videos for you to check out that might help.

This one shows the Warmcards from Vortex Media and may help in understanding the difference between daylight and tungsten (it's about half way through where we show the Indoor and Outdoor white balance Presets). White Balance your camera Warmer with Warmcards on Vimeo

The next one shows the Litepanels Micro Sennheiser MKE400 and Litepanels Micro on a Canon HV20 on Vimeo

And one more showing the Litepanels Micro along with the Litepanels Mini and the Mini Ringlite YouTube - Litepanels - On Camera LED lighting for Red carpet Interviews

I have one more video I need to cut, which is a timelapse of the DV Adapter plate vs. AA batteries. The adapter plate is really worth getting. I saw over 4 hours of 100% output on the tiny Sony DV battery
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Old February 17th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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I wouldn't hazard a recommendation. I think, though, that most of the prosumer and up cameras (~+$2,000) will probably give you good enough low light for events. I've used a Sony FX1 for some community theater taping and it did quite well. But that camera doesn't have strong audio (no XLR). And my next camera is going to be flash...
Also, the lux numbers camera makers give need to be taken with a grain of salt. Best to do a little research.
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