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Old April 25th, 2015, 05:46 AM   #1
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Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

I'm primarily looking to use this light set to shoot indoor videos for youtube series...video blogging, interviews, maybe the occasional skit...and I may also on occasion use them for music video work. As the goal is to be able to release a few youtube videos a week, I really need a set up where I can capture good video and not have to spend all day in post production trying to color correct the footage or struggling to make it look decent. So hopefully, for my budget I can get a lighting set up that can give me accurate colors and footage that looks great and is easy to finalize.

I can afford to pay more and I'm flexible, so I'm willing to adjust the price range and the number of lights needed if you guys have any better recommendations... but what do you think would be the best setup for what I'm looking to do?
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Old April 25th, 2015, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

At that price point I personally would buy two kino Flo diva 401 lights plus a 500 led Dracast for what you are looking to light.
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Old April 25th, 2015, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

The reviews and vids on the Kinos seem really good, but I was leaning towards a full LED setup if possible because I like the idea of the setup being low powered and not giving off a lot a heat if it's something we're going to be having to endure every day. Would there be a full LED setup that could give comparable results? Thanks.
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Old April 25th, 2015, 10:40 PM   #4
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

Nope. Kinos are in a league of their own.

Remember that LEDs are intrinsically hard light sources whereas kinos and other fluoros are soft sources.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 12:49 AM   #5
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

After looking up some of the issues that LEDs bring up vs Kinos (ScreenLight & Grip's E-Newsletter), I'll definitely be following your advice.

Thanks.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 11:14 AM   #6
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

That was written in 2009. Things have gotten better since 2009.

In short, tungsten color rendering is the standard by which other things are judged. Fluorescent isn't as good as tungsten. LED isn't as good as fluorescent. So tungsten is "the best", as long as you don't mind lugging several 20lb lights wherever you go and renting a generator to provide 50 Amps so you can light your interview and provide some air conditioning from the extreme heat.

Obviously people hate that, so they use fluorescent and LED instead.

I am a news/documentary guy at heart so take this with a grain of salt. I used fluorescent for a while and it didn't agree with me. Felt too fragile. Swapping in and out tubes and trying to keep spares.

Some years ago I bought a pair of 1000LED panels and while they had a significant green spike, if you put a 1/4 magenta on them it evened them out pretty well and with a few other toys I could do a pretty good job.

Earlier this year I needed a few more and picked up two 600LED panels off Amazon. No-name jobs. The color rendering is much better (no need for gels) and these run 2.5 hours off a battery - suffice to say I will never go back to shore-powered lights, battery is the way to go. (Of course, I may do work that requires me to go longer than 2.5 hours, so I might plug 'em in... but never again will I use battery-less lights.)

Don't be scared off of a light by a scientific paper written in 2009.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 08:28 PM   #7
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

Well considering the Kinos aren't hot, I suppose heat wouldn't be a big problem for me, so the main advantage of LEDs would be traveling. However, I think that that the vast majority of my filming will be indoors at my own location...which has me thinking maybe I can go the two Kino setup with the one LED and purchase additional LEDs later on if I want to do more remote filming?

As far as more recent studies of accurate color, I did come across this: http://www.gtc.org.uk/tlci-results/t...ew-format.aspx . According to the youtube video that led me there, lights that score 80-90 may need minimal color correction...while lights that score 90 and above probably won't need any (unless it's for style or a bad shoot) and his tests are supposed to be way better at judging color accuracy than CRI and older tests.

The vast majority of LEDs that test as having high color accuracy are $2000+, however I did see one brand so far that is more along the lines of what I was looking to spend and has a 93-95 rating: https://www.vistek.ca/marketing/prov...edgo/?t=LG-600 . Does anyone have experience with their products?
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Old April 27th, 2015, 09:53 AM   #8
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

Personally I won't buy lights that don't have a CRI of 93 or over - opinions are like belly buttons in that everyone has one - and I like Dracast for "bang for the buck".
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Old April 27th, 2015, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Wright View Post
As far as more recent studies of accurate color, I did come across this: The Guild of Television Cameramen : Current TLCI Results .

that page is the single best resource for lighting quality

that standard isn't widely adopted yet, but a CRI of 90+ will typically be excellent. The bigger problem is some companies flat out lying about such numbers.

i am very close to pulling the trigger on these lights, which are well liked by users: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...2SA4VEPYT7UOBY

it also depends on how much output you need. the kinos are great, but may be clunky if you have small space to work in
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Old April 27th, 2015, 05:37 PM   #10
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

Well I'm definitely concerned about the hard/soft light factor...which is why I'm thinking about just extending my budget to get the kinos and the leds. How much does the light output drop when you try to soften the LED lights?
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Old April 27th, 2015, 07:04 PM   #11
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

I've lit interviews (which is pretty much my bread and butter) with just about everything under the sun and my Go-To for anytime I have access to AC power is a Kino Diva kit (with a tungsten back/hairlight) with LEDs being my on-location and potentially on battery Go-To.

Horses for courses.

Kinos are near magic in terms of light wrap and softness for traditionally looking interviews PLUS they can be used to raise base/ambient light levels by bouncing as they are a larger light source. LEDs don't do nearly as well in that regard, IMHO.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 01:28 PM   #12
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

I've always been curious about something like these units. With these, one could throw both soft and hard light with standard modifiers that are easily available. They are supposedly powerful enough to even work in direct sunlight. Too bad this isn't available in the US, I would love to try them out as these are only 100 watts.

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Old May 26th, 2015, 08:15 PM   #13
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

those could be interesting but seem bulky compared to slim size of most LEDs. when i think of LEDs i think of them mainly for convenience reasons. i do a lot of one man band work, and right now when lights are involved i have to bring my old school tungsten stuff. each time i have to push a rock n roller loaded down with lighting gear (in addition to cam and audio gear) and heavy as a mother, taller than i am, and threatening to topple every time it goes over something half an inch high, i question all of my life choices and the existence of a loving God.

these are the time when a long for a much smaller, much lighter kit. the thing is, many of my clients (guessing this goes for others too) arent knowledgeable or picky enough to carr about the beauty/quality of the light, so long as the image is LIT. for these jobs LEDs would be perfect. also, decent 1x1 panels dont look bad at all.

ikan makes a $3000 3 light kit of 1x1s that are bicolor and dimmable that several of the guys in town use and like, and there are also some cheaper smaller daylight balanced lights from them that have come out recently that can take panasonic camcorder batteries instead of pricey v mount batts (though i understand there are cheaper off brand versions of those that are still totally reliable as well).

many times what we do is as much about speed and convenience as it is about quality/art/beauty/creativity, sometimes more so. when you need fast and decent, thats where LEDs "shine".
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Old May 26th, 2015, 08:40 PM   #14
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

Actually Warren, those type of lights are readily available in the US. Alzo Digital sells them as does Dot Line RPS (on B&H). I reviewed the 200watt Alzo light here:

I have to say that I'm pretty happy with the unit, although the 300watt might be in my future. The fact that you can use almost any photographic modifier is very useful. It is a very bright unit, but only dimmable by 2.5 stops. And when put through a 3'x2' softbox, you'll have a hard time competing with backlight.
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Old May 28th, 2015, 11:07 AM   #15
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Re: Best LED light kit in the $1500-$2500 - 3 lights?

I am deleting my post.
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