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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
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Old June 27th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #1
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Mic Light on HVR-V1U?

Hello folks . . .

I just found out about a new product called the "Mic Light". This is a video light that is comprised of 48 LED lights and operates for HOURS (supposedly) on 3 double A batteries. The light conveniently fits over the on-camera shotgun mic. The light costs about $150.00 US.

You can check out the light at: http://flolight.com/miclight.htm

Has anybody used the light on their HVR-V1U or other camera?

I am very interested . . . BUT . . . on another forum somebody brought attention to the fact that several " UFO 48 LED light camping lights" are listed on eBay for less than $15.00. If you look at the design of both the Mic Light and the eBay offerings, it's hard not to wonder if the $150.00 Mic Light and the $10.00 - $15.00 camping light aren't EXACTLY the same item.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-48-LED-UFO-...3QQcmdZViewItem

For wedding shoots , etc. this might work perfectly when on-camera lights burn through batteries so damned fast. A cheap little light offering some degree of output might be a nice thing for my kit. I'd love to hear from anyone with any experience with either the Mic Light or the cheap little UFO camping lights.

Who knows what the color temperature of these lLED lights are . . . but in a pinch, such a light might be nice to have.

Thanks!

Ian
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:43 AM   #2
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Ian -
Sure look like the same thing to me... think I'll get one or two to try at the sub $15 price... now if only I used a shotgun mic... this does give me some ideas about rigging auxiliary lighting... hmmm

My guess is the LED's will be a bit blue, like the LED on the HV20 - not ideal, but perhaps with some WB...

LED lights make a lot of sense power consumption wise, and those UFO thingys might just be a cheap way to light for low budget!

DB>)
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Old June 28th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Campbell View Post
Hello folks . . .

I just found out about a new product called the "Mic Light". This is a video light that is comprised of 48 LED lights and operates for HOURS (supposedly) on 3 double A batteries. The light conveniently fits over the on-camera shotgun mic. The light costs about $150.00 US.

You can check out the light at: http://flolight.com/miclight.htm

Has anybody used the light on their HVR-V1U or other camera?

I am very interested . . . BUT . . . on another forum somebody brought attention to the fact that several " UFO 48 LED light camping lights" are listed on eBay for less than $15.00. If you look at the design of both the Mic Light and the eBay offerings, it's hard not to wonder if the $150.00 Mic Light and the $10.00 - $15.00 camping light aren't EXACTLY the same item.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-48-LED-UFO-...3QQcmdZViewItem

For wedding shoots , etc. this might work perfectly when on-camera lights burn through batteries so damned fast. A cheap little light offering some degree of output might be a nice thing for my kit. I'd love to hear from anyone with any experience with either the Mic Light or the cheap little UFO camping lights.

Who knows what the color temperature of these lLED lights are . . . but in a pinch, such a light might be nice to have.

Thanks!

Ian
Ian,

I have already ordered one of this lights

They come from Hongkong, so it will take a few days.

I will write a report here, when it has arrived

volki
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Old June 28th, 2007, 02:34 AM   #4
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I am also interested in this light. I think I will order one as well, but I will wait and see what happens.
M
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Old June 28th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #5
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Here is a more local place depending on where you live.
http://batteryjunction.com/ufoledcaliwi.html

ITS THE SAME THING, or so I think... The picture of the MicLight and the camping light, even the inside.

Persoanlly I get scared of ordering anything through ebay, and then through Hong Kong. Sure a few bucks more, but maybe worth it.
M

Last edited by Malameel Shawky; June 28th, 2007 at 10:35 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #6
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I have ordered several things from Ebay all over the world HK included.

If it is a "Power Seller" and have good feedback and Paypal you are pretty much covered.

If anything goes wrong you are protected via Paypal protection plan

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Old June 28th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #7
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I would be interested in seeing how this works out. You can never have too many toys.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #8
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Thanks Volki . . .

I look forward to your tests once your new UFO "toy" arrives from Hong Kong. I too will post results, but that won't be until August since mine are being shipped to family in Connecticut and won't get them sooner.

Even if these lights aren't great but do give reasonable quality for 30 hrs. on 3 double A's, then that's impressive . . . at least you have something to coast with once you've run out of juice on your good on-camera lights at a LONG, dark wedding reception, etc.

Ian
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Old July 11th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #9
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48 LED UFO light review . . .

I just received my new "MicLight" wannabe in the form of the identical appearing 48 LED UFO Camping Light -- available for less than $13.00 from a ton of eBay sellers.

I quickly loaded three double A type batteries into the new toy and hit the on / off switch. Wow, it is bright! But it doesh't seem as bright as my Sony 10/20 watt on-camera light. So, I did a test with both my Sony and the LED UFO light.

First, I shot in a completely black room. I shot a friend who acted as a very patient stand-in for the test. The first light was my Sony, which I wanted to use for comparison purposes. I tested it shooting with my V1U set at 1/30th and then 1/60th of a sec. I limited the gain to 12 db. I shot with the Sony using one of its two lights (10 watts) and then with two lights together (20 watts). I did a quick white balance with a piece of white photo copy paper.

Then I tested with the UFO light. I left the white balance alone to see what kind of color shift I'd experience after shooting with the Sony light. As I thought, it was quite cool compared to the Sony (considerably blue). But once I white balanced for the new light, it produced a pleasing color balance.

As for brightness . . . not great. It did a nice job in complete darkness of producing a useable image of a head and shoulders shot approx. 4 - 5 feet from the lens when setting the V1U to 1/30th of a second and allowing the gain to go as high as 12 db.

I can't say that I'm disappointed since it is a perfect light for illuminating something small you wish to get a close up of where too much light will just be overkill. Also, it will be perfect for fill in an interview where more light is needed ... I just will need to find a gel to warm up the light that this little puppy puts out.

Since it will run for approx. 30 hrs. on 3 double A's, it is a great back up (even though far from ideal) for when no juice is left to power brighter on-camera video lights.

One nice benefit . . . the Sony on-camera video light produces a rather narrow "beam" which doesn't light effectively to the far left and right of frame. BUT, the UFO light does a fantastic job of evenly lighting a wide 16 X 9 frame, which surprised me since the Sony doesn't do this well at all (I should get a diffuser).

UFO Light Pros: Small size, VERY light weight, cheap price, long battery run, does fit nicely over the on-camera mic., produces wide beam to evenly light a wide 16 X 9 frame, perfect emergency back-up light.

UFO Light Cons: Produces a very cool (blue) light, not really bright enough to be used a light of choice.

Well worth having in my kit!

Ian
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Old July 11th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #10
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It's probably useful to actually cross reference to other sites when the topic is the same. That link is: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/...964&Replies=30

One fairly detailed evaluation of the HK camping light said:
"Bought one for tests. Couldn't buy the parts for the cost of the light and I can always use it for camping.
The light and the packaging didn't match, the differences being the number of LED (24 in photo, 48 in device), the number of AA cells was 4 in instructions and 3 in device, the diagram for opening it was contradictory (clockwise in drawing and counter-clock in words -- the latter being correct). The packaging tells me the among the "Produet specialties" is : "water-proof (chare strong system of water-proof but prohibited to dry in water)".
There are no instructions for operation and I might mention that the square spigot isn't for holding while you try to open the thing. That is the push switch and is easily broken.
The light is bright and it's hard to imagine it will really run for 30 hours on 3 AA cells. It is a good light for camping. Very low weight, convenient (hanger included) and looks water resistant. The one I received had several broken solder joints, so the number of LEDS lit depended on twisting the case; possibly damaged in transit because it was in a thin envelope without protection. However the joints were easily repaired.
I haven't a setup for determining CRI. This index was designed to be quantitative but the test procedures don't well suit modern light sources and I note that the American Cinematographer Manual defines CRI as "a qualitative procedure for visual colour matching or inspection of objects"

So if we go with "visual evaluation" (commonly employed in human factors studies) and employ unsaturated test colours as listed in technical measurement of CRI then I think we can set up a reasonable test. I took a paint shop sample colour chart of matte pastel colours covering the defined spectrum in much finer steps.
I also used a photographic test card (including 18% grey).

These were videoed under daylight and under the LED light, with white balance set for each test and peak white levels matched.
I loaded the tests into Vegas, putting each on separate tracks so I could swap back and forth easily (now the eye comes into play). I also checked with the vectorscope.
Obviously under daylight illumination colours were easily discriminated and matched the colour chart. Under LED illumination the colours were equally well discriminated and with only slight variation from the chart (as seen by eye and vectorscope). The LED has some deficiency at the red end of the spectrum but not enough to distort the difference between red and magenta on the photo chart. In fact on the chart each segment of Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow, Red and Magenta look to be in correct relative balance.
So what is the light's CRI? Well, not 100. All I can say is that all colours were recorded in good relative balance and that small differences in colour and saturation were perceived in their appropriate colour space. And remember that household CFs are given a CRI well below 90 but Victor's "Nanolight" (using 6 of those) is an excellent video light source.

My colour temperature meter says 12000 degrees (average summer daylight being 6500), but the meter is designed for measuring black body light sources (which LEDs are not).

Hope this might be of some help to anyone wanting to try a non-photographic LED source.

The subject consisted of subtle colour differences and I was looking for any that couldn't be differentiated from their neighbours (or were missing). Also any whose colour would be mistaken for a different colour. Incidentally, the proclaimed life of 30 hours is very unlikely. After a few hours playing around the 1.5v cells now read 1.25v (I assume that they read 1.5 when received). Even at full brightness this isn't going to replace a 800w Redhead and indeed I'd think of it more as an eye-light. But it needs an external power supply! Also not easy to mix with other lighting.

Looking at the model I bought, all the LEDs are wired in parallel with no resistors so care would be needed in designing a power supply (well, at least a current limiting resistor)."
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Old July 13th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #11
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Just got a couple from a HK seller on Ebay - mine use 4 AA's instead of 3... and they have a 3 way switch - inside ring, outside ring, and both rings - interesting feature.

These make sense as "fill" light or in a pinch. "throw" is not that great, 10 feet is a stretch, but as noted, it's an even light for widescreen shots.

Also compared to a 10/20W Sony - WITH a stofen diffuser - the Sony had more throw and a "warm" color (indoor WB preset looked about right), the diffuser helped avoid hot spots - the LED lamp is noticeably blue, but when I switched to "daylight" white balance preset on the cams, seemed to look fairly good.

These won't light a lot of area, but seem like good cheap add-ins to the light kit for very little dough.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #12
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I bought this light to see how it would do with my HC7. It was too blue and too bright for interview subjects (they were seeing 48 blue spots in their eyes after being exposed with the light), but for $12 it was a good deal. I needed some sort of a light for my closet. It works great; I can see all my stuff when night falls. I imagine it will also make a great camping light. Wow, that company that is selling it for $150 has some racket going. I wonder how many persons got sucker into that?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 01:02 AM   #13
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While it was definitely blue, I was surprised at how well the "outdoor" WB preset seemed to clean that up... might be a nightmare color matching though. Auto setting was a non starter...

And with ANY light, you really can't have it shining right into the subjects eyes, unless you're trying to force a confession...

Even my 10/20W Sony is mounted on a flash bracket so I can get it up and off to the side a bit to make it easier on the interviewee... the diffuser helps a lot, then just getting 6-8 inches off cam works wonders.


I'm debating options to rig a couple of these up and away from the cam as fill lights -Some possibilities, and worst case these would make great emergency lights! I got a couple for around $10 with combined shipping, so can't complain! I definitely could see them for background and hair light in a pinch, and will be experimenting with that shortly - main worry is color temp difference from the main lights, but that actually may help for what I'm planning!
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by John Bosco Jr. View Post
Wow, that company that is selling it for $150 has some racket going. I wonder how many persons got sucker into that?
Don’t forget the 96$ postal charges they tried to bill me, to send this 150$ light, to me in Switzerland. When I asked why so much, they answered „we are on the west coast"

From Hong Kong it was only about 5 US-$

I can’t remember that "the west coast" was so expensive, but I was north of SF !!

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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:43 PM   #15
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Miclight Details Directly From Flolight

Hi Everyone,

This is Mark Ditmanson of Flolight. I saw this thread and thought I should clear things up on the MicLight. The inspiration for the MicLight came from a camping light we saw on EBay. We bought one and thought what a great idea. The problem with it is that the LEDs are very low quality and have a color temperatue of 12000 Kelvin making video bluish and are not very bright.

With the right LEDs we thought it would be a terrific product. So we purchased the bare shells and had ultra bright 5600 Kelvin LEDs installed. High quality 5600 Kelvin color balanced LEDs aren't cheap and the hand soldering of 48 LEDs also adds to the MicLight's higher price.

The MicLight can also be corrected to tungsten with a CTO (color temperature orange) gel cut into a donut shape to fit over the light. It's also handy to use a diffusion material like opal or tuffspun to diffuse the light so that it is not too glaring for interviews. These techniques are used with all camera mounted lights. We will be offering a kit soon that includes the color correction and diffusion filters for those that can't find or don't want to cut the gels themselves.

In a nutshell the deal is this: if you are doing pro quality work and are concerned about accurate color quality and need a bright light buy the MicLight. If you are an amateur and just want a cheap light to bring up light levels a bit and a bluish cast doesn't bother you pick up a camping light.

We understand the confusion with the cheap LED camplights out there and wanted to clear this up - we hoped this helped. If anyone has any questions please give our office a call at (408)866-9100 or send me an email at mark@prompterpeople.com

Best Regards,
Mark Ditmanson
Flolight/Prompter People
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