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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #1
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New lights at NAB 2007

If anyone is interested I have picked a dozen of ENG/EFP lights friendly for the EFPlighting.com NAB 2007 What's new on lighting report. A few are not new but worth reporting because their unique design is still original and beneficial to us.

I have also instituted a number of criteria of what makes a product ENG/EFP friendly. Notice that I was only able to pick a dozen of products worth reporting as ENG/EFP friendly. My top pick on ENG/EFP lighting for this year NAB goes to the Rotolight for their modular design ingenuity. My biggest enigma was the Anton Bauers ElightZ.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #2
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Looked at Rololight previous NAB, interesting idea that can be used in several ways. We would have bought some but the interconnections didn't look robust or safe enough to meet local electrical safety standards.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #3
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Those LED 12"x12" interconnecting panels look nice. I bet they are dirt cheap too! ;)
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Old May 7th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #4
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Thanks and...

Hi Nino:

Thanks for the great sleuthing at NAB and your images and writeups. Very helpful for those of us who do not attend NAB anymore.

I have a little experience with a few of the products you saw...

1. Our local retailer, www.filmtools.com has had the Rololights for over a year and I have played with them quite a bit at their store. My take? Nice lights, interesting idea BUT way too expensive. For what you are getting, they are way overpriced IMHO.

2. Those 12x12 Litepanels? Very cool. Very expensive and they shift color temp considerably when the dimmer is implemented.

I think the lighting industry is still too much like the rest of the gear a few years ago, they make great tools but many of them are too expensive for low-end to medium leve production.

I made two Kino-Flo Diva 200s from scratch for myself because I felt the Kino actual prices were too high for what you get. If you check the sound for picture industry, for instance, you will see that they finally got a clue that not all sound mixers need or can afford a Cooper and a Deva. They finally introduced inexpensive mixers, mics and recorders that are really quite good for reasonable prices. I feel that the gear manufacturers leave a lot of low-end to mid-level business on the table because their "pro" stuff is just way overpriced. I have been testing and sampling a few cheap Chinese Kino knock offs and I must say, that for cheap products, they look and feel cheap. The Kino Diva 400 knockoff I bought from www. fotodiox.com has already shorted out one of it's two light banks. I guess, to a point, you get what you pay for. But I can't help think that some of the manufaturers could introduce a good, solid 400 watt HMI for $1,200.00 rather than the $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 that everyone seems to want for one.

It would be nice if some of the companies like Arri and Kino introduced more "prosumer lines". I own 19 video lights, most of them Arri fresnels. They are great lights but $3,000.00 for a new Softbank IV kit? Too much money IMHO. It would be nice if they came out with a line that was perhaps a bit less rugged, yet was smaller and lighter and less expensive than their regular "pro-line" stuff. A lot of people are buying Altmans just because they are a bit cheaper.

Sachtler has done it. My old Video 20 tripod I used with my betacam cost me around $7,000.00 back in the day. Now that I am shooting a with a $5,000.00 camera mostly (the HVX), a $7,000.00 tripod just doesn't make sense. But a DV-6SB with some Miller carbon-fibre legs for around $2,250.00 does. Sachtler gets it.

LED lighting seems to be the future, but it needs to get more powerful, flexible and a lot cheaper before it is widely embraced.

Best,

Dan
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Old May 8th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #5
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Dan you are totally correct about pricing of new lighting products, actually about pricing of new anything at NAB or in this industry in general.

And to answer Marcus statement:
Those LED 12"x12" interconnecting panels look nice. I bet they are dirt cheap too! ;)

Right you are Marcus, those 4x4 LED interconnecting panels that consists of 16 lights can run in the neighborhood of $30,000. Litepanels are finding a niche in the business and until they are the only one that makes large LED lights the prices will stay up there. So far it appears that they are doing really well with rental companies who are always looking for something new to offer their clients.
Im not aware of changes in color temperature when dimming LED lights, visually for what Ive seen the color remains the same, in contrast of when you dim tungsten lights when you can really see the color dropping. I will test those lights in the near future as I will many other products and make a full report on EFPlighting.com.

As I wrote at the top of my NAB lighting report, I did not ask how much any of those lights were. It could be out of range for someone while a bargain for others, it all depends on your business and how much are you getting paid for your services. My criteria in selecting a product are that it must be ENG/EFP friendly. All lighting products must benefit ENG (Electronic News Gathering) or EFP (Electronic Field Productions). Products must of course provide the quality of light to give us full control and assist our creative techniques. Products must be durable and capable of withstanding the constant moving and transporting requirement. They must be designed for fast and easy set-ups and compact storage. Products must be represented by an established firm that can provide service and replacement parts when needed. There were many other lights there that I felt that they did not meet the ENG/EFP criteria. You have to understand that EFPlighting.com is on your side. I spend all four days at NAB in the small lighting section discussing lights with manufacturers. Some already promised to make some changes to their products to make them more ENG/EFP friendly, well see.

Nino
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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"Im not aware of changes in color temperature when dimming LED lights,"

LEDs are dimmed using pulse-width modulation. They can be switched thousands of times a second so there are many levels of brightness possible. Since they go to full-on when pulsed, they will be the same color temperature at different brightness levels.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
But I can't help think that some of the manufaturers could introduce a good, solid 400 watt HMI for $1,200.00 rather than the $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 that everyone seems to want for one.
I have a feeling that someone will soon ;-) but I can't speak for Arri or the larger manufacturers.

http://www.coollights.biz/wordpress/archives/33

When you really figure out that "HMI" is nothing more than an Osram trademark and isn't a proprietary technology but rather something that is available in many different brands and flavors (and cost too--like generic drugs gave a better alternative to the higher priced "name" brand) then it's just a matter of time before this information disperses wider and some more reasonably-priced products come out. It's really incredible this hasn't already happened in fact. There really have been a lot of reasons to maintain ignorance on this subject though; otherwise how could you justify a $5000 tag for an HMI?

In addition, LEDs have a lot of promise for the future for more than just soft light panels and high wattage single LEDs are already a reality (although not well known at all and not readily available either) to give a much harder, point light source. A small pepper 60w (actual wattage giving out 1800 lumens or equivalent of a 180w tungsten bulb) daylight LED fresnel could be just around the corner too once some issues are solved.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
"Im not aware of changes in color temperature when dimming LED lights,"
Hi Marcus:

Both Barry Green and I have experienced this with the LitePanels 12x12s. Barry tested them and I did a test shoot last year with some rental units. The color shift was noticeable even to your eye, not just on video. LitePanels is located right up the road a few miles, perhaps they have remedied this since last year? I should ask them.

Not sure why they do this, but in my experience, these particular lights do change color temp when dimmed.

You should rent one and try it yourself.

Best,

Dan
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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Nino,

Great website! Lots of great info.

Thanks,

-Mark
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