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Old May 11th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #1
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On camera LED light opinions?

Anyone got any user experience of on camera LED lights?
Anyone use an Ikan iLED 155?
I'm just looking to throw a little fill light into on the run interviews, back lit outdoors etc. on my XHA1, not looking to replace my Lowel kit.
Thanks Rich.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #2
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The LitePanel Mini kits are by far the best quality, best built and work well. I used one to shoot a cocktail party scene for a bonus feature on the most recent "Breakfast at Tiffanys" DVD release. That said, the LitePanels Micro is not a very well built light, they fall apart. You have to pony up the bucks for the Mini, forget the Micro. The Zylights are outstanding too, a really pro grade piece of gear that you will also find useful as a regular light in your lighting kit as well as an on-camera light.

That said, there are a dizzying array of small, cheap and cheaply built LED on-camera lights all over the place. If you are a pro and have a decent camera and are making money, buy quality and consider the Zylight or LitePanels. If you are a hobbyist, the Ikan or one of the other low cost products may suffice. Things I look for? Quality dimming without radical color shift, minimal green spike, barndoors are nice and the ability for you to accidentally drop the light onto a hard floor without it disintegrating into multiple pieces.

YMMV

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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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One word, Comer CM-LBPS1800 On-Camera LED Light

I have tried LitePanels micro (crap) and the LP MicroPro (much better than Micro), the LP mini is nice, but gets expensive, Zylight Z90 (Best overall light but very expensive and not self powered), Torchled TL50 (Nice but need more spread).

The Comer 1800 is the best of all of them currently, as it's dimmable, self powered, well built, and has great throw for an LED light. the only real downside to it is that it is on the larger side, and if you use a Sony NP 970 battery it gets even heftier. I suggest using a NP 770 battery for run time as well as weight.

Like any light, I don't like placing it on the front of my camera, as it throws off balance, so I mount my lights on the camera handle via handle bracket. This way my camera stays nicely balanced.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Hi Michael:

4500k on that Comer light? That's pretty green. Do you use any minus green gel to compensate?

Dan
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Old May 12th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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I haven't had any issues with the color temp. I actually kind of like the mix I get eitehr outdoors or indoors.
Personal preference. I have used a minus green from time to time as well as 3200k filter, depending on what/where I am shooting.

But 9 times out of 10 I use the light unfiltered, except for diffuser filter.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #6
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Michael,

I've read your review of the Pro-160 LED. Have you noticed any flickering when you dim it?
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Old May 12th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #7
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Bang for your buck I like the Comer 1800. Strong, portable and affordable. Sets up in seconds. If you're looking for a lot of control over the light and color temp take a look at the Lowel Blender. Not as much throw as the Comer but I really like the ability to play with the color temp. About twice the price of the comer though.

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Old May 12th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockton Massey View Post
I've read your review of the Pro-160 LED. Have you noticed any flickering when you dim it?
I haven't noticed any flickering in my unit until yesterday, when I dimmed the light. Only happened the ne time though.

As I mentioned in my review, this is not my normal light of choice. As I only use it sparingly with a DSLR camera. For everything else it's the Comer1800 or off camera lighting.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi Michael:

4500k on that Comer light? That's pretty green. Do you use any minus green gel to compensate?

Dan
Dan, 4500K actually is a very nice color temperature to be used. I now don't use the tungsten filter at all. Love the 4500K delivering a neutral white mix in the scene. Check out this video I did recently, after 1/3, all the reception video was done using 3 comer lights (2 on camera, 1 on light stand).

http://lacolor.com/video/highlights/?id=SophiaHugh
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Old May 13th, 2010, 01:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockton Massey View Post
I've read your review of the Pro-160 LED. Have you noticed any flickering when you dim it?
According to the manufacturer, The Pro 160 and Pro 126 light will flicker with the dimmer when powered by AA batteries. It will be fine using Li-ion battery.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #11
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I agree with Dan. If you are a pro, get the Zylight, if you are a hobbyist, get a budget light. There are so many of the budget lights out there, it's almost impossible to know what works. I don't have one, but there are lots of good reviews on the Comer, that may be the best budget light available.

The Zylight is a pretty amazing tool. I just wish the price point was a little lower so we all could afford more of them. Since the Zylight provides 3200 to 5600K light, it can easily be matched to the venues lighting and provides the softest and smoothest fill you can get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
...That said, there are a dizzying array of small, cheap and cheaply built LED on-camera lights all over the place. If you are a pro and have a decent camera and are making money, buy quality and consider the Zylight or LitePanels. If you are a hobbyist, the Ikan or one of the other low cost products may suffice. Things I look for? Quality dimming without radical color shift, minimal green spike, barndoors are nice and the ability for you to accidentally drop the light onto a hard floor without it disintegrating into multiple pieces.

YMMV

Dan
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Old May 13th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #12
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4500K is not a good temperature to play with.. it will mess your skin tones in both daylight and tungsten environment.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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I bet to differ. I have been shooting using the Comer light at it's 4500K color temperature. No need to color correct anything at post. The results are beautiful. You can scroll up to see a video I posted earlier. Here's another one. It was done with 3 Comer lights all in 4500K

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Old May 14th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #14
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At NAB I saw the FloLight Microbeam 128 and it looked pretty good.

MicroBeam 128

My VidLED is starting to fall apart so it's time to replace it.

I also saw the Comer and it's quite nice, too.

Between the Microbeam and the Comer, the Microbeam seems a bit more along the line of what I'm looking for. I liked the slightly more compact profile of the VidLED, and the Microbeam is similar, but apparently twice as bright as the VidLED. Also, the Comer's built-in hot shoe mount isn't exactly what I'd like -- I built a custom mount for the VidLED, and will use the same system for whatever light replaces it.

As for how tough the VidLED is supposed to be, the plastic case of my light is starting to fracture even though it's never been dropped. A couple corners of the cover have already chipped off, and it won't be long until the whole thing spontaneously falls apart.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 04:03 AM   #15
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BTW, in my line of work, shooting shoreline fishermen at night, the LED light fits right in with what most of these guys are now using: LED headlamps.

Many of those headlamps are often way above 5600k.

The on-camera light acts mostly as a fill light and I rely upon the headlamps for much of the illumination. With a little luck, it adds a bit of drama as well. And so far I've been lucky.
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