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best low cost led video lights

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I've decided to get some led video lights for my HF200 in a canon housing.I have a w/a conversion lens and would use the lights for night dives and for swim thoughs etc. during the day.I've check out the Fisheye Fix 500 and 1000 and if the 1000 didn't have a proprietary battery and charger I'd probably get it.The 500 really pales by comparison.I seen 2 other possibilities the Nocturn 800si or the HDVSEATEK 250 although both are heavier and the HDVSEATEK also has a proprietary battery.Does anyone have experience with either of these lights and know the best place to get them?Or does anyone know if you can use a non Fisheye battery that would work in the 1000?

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One light set I would take a seriously look at is the Big Blue (Bossk USA) 2 x 30 LED Video lights. Here is a link to a video I shot with them and the Canon HF S11. At $1499 for the lights, batteries and a charger, its a GREAT buy 1,000 lumens each light head.

 

I think one thing you are going to find is pretty much the majority of all the lighting systems have their own proprietary battery packs. The ones that do not are more likely to be smaller, flashlight style lights and have less power. Fisheye, Big Blue, Light & Motion, Green Force, Niterider..all have proprietary packs.

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The Big Blue lights look great but the pods and batteries makes the whole package a lot more to carry around than the Fisheye 1000s.The specs make the Big Blue best for color but the lumens and the coverage seems the same.I initially was going to get the Fisheye 500 but but when I check out the 500 and the 1000 above water I thought that the 500s wouldn't work very well except for macro.Have you compared the Big Blue and the 1000 side by side? The specs I read on the Nocturnal offer 800 lumens and up to 90 degrees coverage which if it is true would be a reasonable compromise.What do you think?

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Thanks Ron, the Bonica light looks interesting but the math is a little off. 6 x 3W = 18W. The lumens is pretty "generous" at 1500. At 15W, you are probably getting 55 lumens/W. Remember LED lumens ratings are optimized at 25°C at highest output and not continuous, unlike Halogen ratings.

Still as you say for $400 it is interesting... especially because it uses AA batteries.

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Thanks for the info. I'm wondering if anyone has used the Nocturnal SXi and how does it compare to the fisheye1000 and the Big Blue Pod.The Bonica doesn't seem to be able to handle w/a angle.Has anybody ever used 3 smaller lights like the fisheye 500 to get w/a coverage?

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Thanks Ron, the Bonica light looks interesting but the math is a little off. 6 x 3W = 18W. The lumens is pretty "generous" at 1500. At 15W, you are probably getting 55 lumens/W. Remember LED lumens ratings are optimized at 25°C at highest output and not continuous, unlike Halogen ratings.

Still as you say for $400 it is interesting... especially because it uses AA batteries.

 

I wonder if the 1500 lumens is for 2 lamps.

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The Inon 550 might be just what I was looking for but I'm not sure they are available yet.Their 220 led which is available would require 4 lights to work as video lights and I don't think that they would be any better than the fisheye 500s.The fisheye 1000 is probably the only real solution for small self contained video lights with the Bonica led lights a reasonable 2nd choice.So I just ordered the bonicas and hope that my concern about the wide angle coverage will be resolved by overlapping the 2 lights.I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my question your input was critical in my final choice.

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I just ordered the bonicas and hope that my concern about the wide angle coverage will be resolved by overlapping the 2 lights.

Can you, please, review bonica's. I am looking to order them too and can not find any information about that light.

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I'm using the L & M 2000 LED lights and for any close up work the 2000 lumens is just far too bright. 1500 lumens would also be too bright. The good thing about the L&M 2000s is that I can change the lumen settings on the fly. Remember that the L & M HIDs were 997 lumens and for macro work you had to be careful with light placement so as not to blow out your subject. If I couldn't adjust the brightness of a powerful light of 1500 to 2000 or more lumens, I probably wouldn't want them for anything other than wide angle work. Since most shooters get in the water not 100% sure of just what they will be shooting, flexibility in lighting is very important. By the way, I have a pair of the HID lights sitting in a drawer for the last year and half if anyone is interested in them.

Steve

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I'm using the L & M 2000 LED lights and for any close up work the 2000 lumens is just far too bright. 1500 lumens would also be too bright. The good thing about the L&M 2000s is that I can change the lumen settings on the fly. Remember that the L & M HIDs were 997 lumens and for macro work you had to be careful with light placement so as not to blow out your subject. If I couldn't adjust the brightness of a powerful light of 1500 to 2000 or more lumens, I probably wouldn't want them for anything other than wide angle work. Since most shooters get in the water not 100% sure of just what they will be shooting, flexibility in lighting is very important. By the way, I have a pair of the HID lights sitting in a drawer for the last year and half if anyone is interested in them.

Steve

 

Steve,

 

What kind of HID's? I am new to shooting with lights and curious the pros and cons for LED vs HID. Has anyone heard more about these Bonica lights for 500 each? Any input on using AA's vs a batt pack? Seems kind of annoying to carry around that many batteries plus the added expense of replacing them..

 

Kelly

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"I am new to shooting with lights and curious the pros and cons for LED vs HID. "

 

 

 

Underwater videographers are now fortunate to have a much wider choice of good lighting options than was the case just a few

years ago. Old Halogen bulbs were very inefficient in terms of Lumens per watt (of battery power), while their color

temperature was much lower than daylight...resulting in excessive reds in daylight fill scenes, a real headache for white

balancing.

 

At the moment well designed HID and LED video lights are more or less comparable in terms of their output efficiency...about

100 Lumens per watt. There are, however, other significant differences.

 

1) Color temperature

 

Both technologies can offer lights in daylight color temperature (5000 - 6000 degrees Kelvin). With HID, the bulb type

determines the color temp...so a good manufacturer will offer user replaceable bulbs in 4500K, 5000K, and 6000k so the

videographer can switch according to need.

 

The same is true for LED, but: a) it's not viable for a user to interchange LEDs of different color temp; and b) it's more

difficult for manufactures to make sure that their LEDs do indeed output at the stated color temp. They must pay close

attention to the "Binning" of each batch of LEDs they get from their supplier. Otherwise a "daylight" video light could

actually have a color temp of 8000K instead of 5500K. Same goes for the Lumen per watt "Binning" of the raw LEDs...the

better the ratio, the more expensive the lights are to manufacture.

 

LEDs can be dimmed and maintain the same color temperature. HID color temperature varies if they are electronically

dimmed...again a problem for WB.

 

Color Rendering Index (CRI) is another story. This is one thing that old Halogen bulbs did well at...HIDs and LEDs are

comparable for CRI, and the end result on the screen is very acceptable.

 

2) Robustness

 

Depending on the overall design of the lights, HIDs (good ones) are tougher than LED technology for several reasons. Re-

strike issues are, well, a non-issue with the latest generation of HIDs.

 

In a well designed HID the electronics (Ballast) are completely sealed (potted) in silicone. Contrary to urban myth, well made

35w and 50w HID bulbs are remarkably tough...they need to withstand very high internal temperature and pressure, after all.

 

Bottom line...they are more likely to survive a minor flood than LEDs.

 

LED semiconductors are very tough in some respects...but quite vulnerable in others. They don't do well if exposed to

excessive moisture or heat. LEDs driven at higher currents to output more light must have a very good heatsink design to get

the generated heat away from LEDs "Junction"...where it's attached to the heatsink.

 

Good LED video designs should use potted current controllers (more expensive than exposed ICs...much more expensive that

simple Resistor current control).

 

All things being equal, there is no comparison in life expectancy between HID bulbs (2,000 hours) and LEDs (10,000 hours). But...HID bulbs

are now usually cheap (less than $100) and easy to user replace.

 

3) Light output.

 

As mentioned, currently the light output per watt of battery power is comparable for both technologies. The difference

however, is that HID is now a mature technology whereas LEDs technology is advancing at a remarkable rate.

For example, CREE have just announced a lab test where a single LED put out 205 Lumens per watt @ 350mA...almost double that

of the best currently available XPGs.

 

When comparing different lights for "Lumen output", it's important to keep in mind the angle of the beam. A light that puts

out 1500 Lumens for a beam angle of 60 degrees is much less powerful (and should be much cheaper) than a light that does

1500 Lumens for 120 degrees.

 

Hence, for a wide angle lens the latter light would be much better than the former.

 

So...how much Lumen power do you need? Depends on several variables including personal videography style/work procedure.

 

I personally prefer the grunt of twin HID 50 watt lights...unless the dive is exclusively for macro, in which case LEDs at

about 1700 Lumens is fine. Most dives now are with either the Canon 17mm-40mm or the 24mm-105mm, so the option is available

of lighting the wide-angle scene or down to macro.

 

The advantage of the HID50's has particularly become apparent since I've retired the HDV cameras and started using the Canon

5D2 and 7D underwater. Even for macro, the high lumen output (5000 Lumens per light) is desirable in order to get some extra

depth of field. Special diffusers help to soften the light and produce a lovely result...never had a burn out...even with

white/reflective subjects.

 

Another important consideration for videographers going into DSLR video...powerful, wide-angle video lights over 3000 Lumens

(be they HID or LED) negate the need to carry video lights AND strobes...the video lights are powerful enough to use for

taking digital stills. With the advantage of providing a continuous light source by which to focus.

 

The photos are still grabs from HD video. Two HID 50w lights, but with extra diffusers for the night dive and the macro.

post-16448-1269823379.jpg

post-16448-1269823389.jpg

post-16448-1269823400.jpg

post-16448-1269823408.jpg

Edited by HDVdiver

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Thank you for the input!

 

I have been looking into the L and M lighting systems and they are now offering the SOLA 600 lumen light which provides a combo of white and red light (led) $1160. I am also looking at the 1200 lumen lighting system $2500 and trying to decide which one would be best for me. I a have been shooting for just a year now and do a variation of cold water and tropic diving, shooting WA and Macro and need some help with the decision. Both lighting systems have adustment for low-med-high output and curious if anyone has input on this new SOLA600 with the white/red combo?? I think the 1200 lumen lights will be more than enough for the dark cold water diving WA and macro (with a lower setting) but will they be enough for tropic WA shooting. The 600's likley enough for any close to medium stuff but would it be enough for WA?? Any input helps!!

 

Thanks

 

Kelly

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Thank you for the input!

 

The 600's likley enough for any close to medium stuff but would it be enough for WA?? Any input helps!!

 

Thanks

 

Kelly

 

 

A low lumen light might "illuminate" the scene...but the camera is probably then working at extremes of f-stop (ie wide open) and ISO (high ISO means more "noise" artefacts in the image).

 

Also, the new video DSLRs have large chips with excellent low light capability...but the trade off is shallow DOF, particularly for medium to close macro. Hence the usefulness of higher powered lights for close in work (more DOF at f 11 than at f 2.8 or f5.6).

 

However, some of the cheaper entry-level camcorders may not be able to handle even moderately high lumen output for macro. So either a diffuser or variable power output would be required.

Edited by HDVdiver

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