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Old December 28th, 2005, 12:23 PM   #1
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On camera light for HDR-FX1

Hi,

I'm looking to get an on-camera light for the sony hdr-fx1. It's going to be used especially for lighting up people when interviewed at night. But also for lighting up smaller areas in low light.

Should fit the shoe on this L-grip:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Thanks!

Thomas Hartz-Olsson
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:40 PM   #2
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Frezzi's nice if you can afford it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

The dimmer model is more expensive, but it isn't worth doing without it. Definitely get a softbox as well. Chimera makes a great on-camera softbox. Frezzi has their own more compact version.

I find the 35 watt lamp is the most useful. Anything more looks really unnatural and bad in lowlight situations and is blinding to the subject.

Pick the connector carefully. The link I posted is for the cigarette lighter version, but we went with the XLR connector. There's a number of others as well.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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I've already got acces to plenty of softboxes, so the only thing I'm looking for is oncamera light for handheld jobs.

I'm definately not a techy when it comes to lighting, so you have to explain what dimmer is.

The camera is going to be equipped with a Beachtek DXA8 XLR-adaptor with phantom power. But I don't know if it's smart to withdraw power from that? Wouldn't it drain it rather fast? I'm thinking it may be smarter to get a light with it's own batteries - but I don't know. Hopefully you or someone else has the answer ;)

EDIT: And if you'd please give the link for the XLR version. Can't seem to find it.

EDIT2: And if perhaps there's some cheaper alternatives - that would be appreciated aswell. But maybe you just have to explain why I just HAVE to spend over 300 bucks. ;)
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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #4
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Frezzi is rugged, professional gear. For your application you may not need that kind of quality, but like I said, don't settle for something that doesn't have a dimmer.

Frezzi also makes a smaller model.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

The 100 watt version gives extra flexibility, although like I said, 35 watts is plenty for most situations.

No, you won't be able to power the light with phantom power unfortunately. It would be cool though, but I don't think the batteries would last too long even if it were possible. It's a five pin XLR connector by the way, unlike the three pin audio XLRs.

I couldn't find a standalone 100 watt model with XLRs at B&H for some reason (although that's where we bought ours). Here's the kit version.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Frezzi also makes some real cool HMI on camera lights, some of which are designed to have a small battery mount underneath, but I haven't used 'em. They're even more money.

Other on-camera lights you may have seen with internal batteries probably don't have enough wattage, especially for a softbox.

I've heard good things about this light, but I haven't used it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

As the name sounds, a dimmer allows you to dim the light. This is very important for upclose interviews because it's very easy to blow out the subject's face. You can adjust your exposure down, but the background will then go almost completely black. The Frezzi we have can dim around 40 percent before the color temperature change is noticeable, and with no apparent buzzing.

I assume you're talking about run and gun situations here, by the way. On-camera lighting is a last resort kind of thing.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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yea this is for run and gun. So I need something that doesn't need a big power supply. And I guess the ones with the XLR connectors does need something like that? Or maybe I'm just not getting this?
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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #6
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The reason there are so many connectors is because they're designed to hook into the onboard power supply of professional cameras which have big honking brick batteries hanging off the back of them. I'm unaware of any prosumer cameras that have a power tap for an oncamera light, except for tiny hotshoe powered ones. The XLR connectors are kind of an all around connection, as is the cigarette lighter version. We picked XLR because it's smaller. You are most definitely going to have to carry around a separate battery either slung overy your shoulder or belt mounted around your waist. I use a cheap Bescor battery that weighs a ton and makes my back ache, but has never let me down. Another reason for sticking with 35 watts is battery life. A 100 watt lamp sucks serious juice. I mentioned earlier that you should pick the connector carefully because you need to choose your power source before you choose the light.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #7
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oh alright thanks. I don't think I can live with a small one - I'd rather carry a powersupply around the waist then - a battery that make your back ache sounds HUGE thought.

So any suggestions on that area? Which type connector should I choose and which powersupply? Preferably one that's not too heave ;)
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Old December 28th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #8
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The cheapest (and heaviest) type of battery (which we have) is lead acid, namely a scaled down car battery. That should give you an idea about weight. :) There isn't an exact correlation between connector types and battery weight. Manufacturers often manufacture their batteries with different versions so as to accept a variety of connectors. Anton Bauer, however, is reputed to have cutting edge technology and their batteries are designed for -- surprise -- Anton Bauer mounts. Again, you should research this out in the archives carefully before choosing a connector.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 04:27 PM   #9
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Okay thanks for your time. Will have a look at our current audio equipment too before I make my decision :)
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Old January 9th, 2006, 08:54 AM   #10
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If I had an FX1, I'd be tempted to go with this on camera LED light:

http://www.digitalquest.co.jp/dqi/dqi_e.html

It's dimmable and uses the same batteries as the FX.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #11
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I think you'd have a better time using a flashlight than a LED light. Cool looking but nowhere near as usable and versatile as a real light. And if your doing interviews a Frezzi with a light-box can't be beat.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #12
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Hi all

I've been using the PAG light 6 this year, on my FX1... good battery autonomy even if it is a hefty thing. I pop it in a Domke belt bag whic it practical...
generally a nice little light for the money.

regards

Gareth
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Hartz-Olsson
I'd rather carry a powersupply around the waist then - a battery that make your back ache
For a while I was using Bescor 12 volt lights with a heavy shoulder-slung battery which was rather wearying, but then I switched to one of their 6 volt lights with a smaller, lighter battery and that's much better. The one I have now supports two 20-watt bulbs which can be turned on and off independently, and that's a good combination for my purposes. For interviews at close range even 20 watts of halogen light with a diffuser can seem pretty bright to the person in front of the camera, so downgrading one of the bulbs to 10 or 15 watts can be useful. At 10 watts (diffused) your range is limited to a few feet and yields less than ideal lighting, but you can point that right at most people at it won't bother them. I think 15 watts might be a good compromise but I haven't tried that yet. Anything beyond 35-50 watts would be overkill as far as I'm concerned for the sort of purpose you described.
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