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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #1
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Simple Video light Shootout

Video Lights Review on Vimeo

MAde a short video with a few lights that were thrown to me for testing.

LED
Sony LBP, Digi Pro 80 (China), Litepanels Micro (Didnt have the pro at the time of shoot 2mths ago)

Tungsten
Sony 20DW, Digi 20
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Old July 8th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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I just posted this on your Vimeo page...

Your result isn't exactly accurate.
The reason being that the Sony HVL light is daylight balanced for 5600K.
The other lights are tungsten and balanced for 3200k. This is why the Sony light looked warmer.
As a result, you should have white balanced your camera appropriately, or at least gelled the Sony HVL light for 3200k.

BTW there is a new light from a company called Comer (they make the Sony HVL light) that absolutely trounces the HVL light in output and functionality.

It's the Comer CM-LBPS1800 On-Camera LED Light.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #3
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I'll stay out of the "which on-camera light is best" debate and simply offer this.

Any light positioned directly on-axis to the camera lens and used for a purpose other than to establish a catch light in the eyes of a portrait subject would be about the LAST approach I'd ever use for video lighting.

Yes, there are circumstances where it's unavoidable. Yes, I appreciate the need for event folks in situations like covering the darn wedding "chicken dance" where just tossing as many lumens as you can out in a general direction is perfectly fine.

BUT - that said, if you ever want to graduate to lighting that flatters your subjects and gives them a sense of depth and realism - on-axis "on-camera" lighting will work directly against you.

I'd consider switching ON your on-camera lighting to be the functional equivalent of trying to make your video look like people's drivers license pictures. That's perfectly fine for a drivers license. But nobody who understands the difference will ever confuse a drivers license photo with a studio portrait. One is a snapshot - the other is photography. And I hope most people here aspire to the latter rather than want to settle for the former.

FWIW.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #4
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Bill, while I agree with you 100% about on-axis camera lighting, it's sometimes necessary.
However something important about tests like these with camera lights is that they can be used for off camera lighting as well.

I use on camera lighting for pretty much fill or emergency light use.
For field work, like wedding receptions, I use 2-3 off camera lighting setups to light a dance floor.
To do this I use on camera lights, like a NRG Varalux and mount them on 13' tall light stands with large Bescor Battery belts at the base for power and support. These lights are remote controlled to be powered on or off accordingly.

The advantage of lights such as the Comer1800 that I mentioned is that they are powerful enough to mount on a light stand to add much needed light to a dark floor.
Since a light such as the Comer 1800 runs on a simple Sony NP battery, it's easy to setup and can run virtually all night.
The only issue I have with the Comer or Sony HVL light is that since they are powered by onboard batteries. I haven't been able to wire up a remote control to power the unit on and off, as the remote site between the light and battery belt (via XLR power cables), and cuts off or activates the current between the two.

So currently I leave the Comer lights on camera, and lights such as my Varalux for off camera lighting.
The good thing about the Comer though is it's till powerful enough to shoot from a tripod from a second camera for added light.

While these on camera lights only run around 50-75w of output it's more than enough to mount on a light stand for unobtrusive subtle lighting that doesn't ruin the mood, but rather enhances it.

Then I an run my cameras at around 6-12db gain, depending on how dark a venue is, and maybe use an onboard light for some fill.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post

Any light positioned directly on-axis to the camera lens and used for a purpose other than to establish a catch light in the eyes of a portrait subject would be about the LAST approach I'd ever use for video lighting.
What is your opinion on ring lights?
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