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William Dedula
Video Light Suggestions
on Oct 28, 2010 at 9:11:43 pm

Hello All;
Could you give me some suggestions and recommendations on a good video light for the HMC150 that hopefully doesn't cost over $300. I'll be using it to shoot interviews and presentations.

Would I want an on-camera light, or one off the camera ? Would I want LED or something else ?

Thanks.

Tim


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Oct 29, 2010 at 12:08:02 am

Do you want to shoot ENG ( Electronic News Gathering ) style interviews, or something more professional looking as in a corporate/documentary style interview?

On camera lights are great for ENG style interviews, and off-camera plugged-in-to-the-wall lights are best for corporate/documentary interview shoots.

What do you want the light to do?

i.e. Fill in shadows in a run'n'gun situation, or to act as a main light in more formal room setting?


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William Dedula
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Oct 30, 2010 at 3:06:47 am

Thanks,Guy;
I need a general light to brighten up the scene. I am sometimes asked to videotape a presenter in a darkened auditorium or classroom and I've found with the HMC-150, even with the iris wide open, the images are darker than I'd like.

But looking at the video lights available at B&H Photo-Video, there is a dizzying array of types and brands.

Tim


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Oct 30, 2010 at 4:58:32 am

When shooting somebody in a dark auditorium I usually use a 250 watt Lowel Pro light with barn-doors placed about 10 feet off to the side, and I use an inexpensive 600 watt dimmer to adjust the intensity. This is a very small and portable package:

Lowel 250 watt Pro-Light Focus Flood Light : $130

Lowel Complete Four Leaf Barndoor Set : $33

Lowel O1-33 Omni Light Stand - 9' : $68

Impact 600 Watt AC Dimmer Control : $25

...If you can't place the light close to where you have to film, then you are in to a much bigger light like a 650 watt fresnel or an optical spot with a much bigger stand to support it:

Arri 650 Watt Plus Tungsten Fresnel : $378

Dedolight DLH650 650 Watt Stand Mount Spotlight : $960

If you are unsure what you need, then see if you can rent a couple of lights to try out. ( I own 6 Lowel lights, which includes 3 Pro lights with dimmers. They are compact and very handy to have around. )


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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Nov 4, 2010 at 7:33:35 pm

Lowel lights are clumsy and too hot. Plus if you are shooting HD, often times you'll get the circular pattern in the middle of you frame. Thats because how it is designed.

I would rather suggest you something like microbeam 128. Its a LED light. A strong intensity light, easy to carry around and it stays cool. Another great thing is that it works with panasonic batteries so you don't have to have a plug nearby!

2.66 GHz 8-core, ATI Radeon HD 4870,
FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Nov 4, 2010 at 8:23:11 pm

>>>Lowel lights are clumsy and too hot.

Lowel lights are definitely not clumsy, and have been used for both film and video for decades. They are compact and very efficient in terms of light output. Yes they are hot, but then all tungsten lights are hot.

>>>Plus if you are shooting HD, often times you'll get the circular pattern in the middle of you frame. Thats because how it is designed.

Completely incorrect. If you know how to use a fresnel light you should know how to adjust it to achieve an even spread of light across the area you are shooting.

>>>I would rather suggest you something like microbeam 128. Its a LED light. A strong intensity light, easy to carry around and it stays cool.

This is a great ENG style light where you are standing within 6 feet of your subject, and you only want to light one or two people directly in front of your camera. These type of lights are not designed to light large areas or people that are 10+ feet from the camera.

The Lowell lights I mentioned are designed to be mounted on a proper light stand and can light a small room, or someone standing 10+ feet away from the camera. The larger 650 watt fresnels can light someone standing 30 feet away from the camera, or even larger rooms.

As I mentioned in my first post, it all comes down to what type of video you are shooting. If it's ENG style "run'n'gun" shots with your subject close to the camera then a camera mounted LED light works great. If it's someone presenting from a podium and you are 10+ feet away, then a bright fresnel light mounted on a proper light-stand can light up one person or the whole room.

I also use my Lowell lights when I shoot corporate interviews, where I use multiple lights to light both the person and the room we are filming in. ( think "60 Minutes" style of TV interviews )


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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Nov 4, 2010 at 8:39:34 pm

[Guy McLoughlin] "Lowel lights are definitely not clumsy"

You must be kidding!!! You can't touch the damn thing if its on for more than 3 minutes. and what about the mess of wires that you have to carry around. I am not saying they are useless but they are better used in a fixed setup.



[Guy McLoughlin] "If you know how to use a fresnel light you should know how to adjust it to achieve an even spread of light across the area you are shooting."

Its not all that easy. I have seen some experienced people struggle having an even spread of light. And you loose half of your light in doing so!

2.66 GHz 8-core, ATI Radeon HD 4870,
FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Video Light Suggestions
on Nov 5, 2010 at 12:58:07 am

>>>You must be kidding!!! You can't touch the damn thing if its on for more than 3 minutes.

This is why people who do professional lighting invest in a pair of leather gloves so they can work with hot lights.

>>>I am not saying they are useless but they are better used in a fixed setup.

This is how most of the the NON ENG video world lights when they shoot, with either tungsten lights, HMI lights, florescent lights, or LED lights.

- Tungsten are the least expensive, but get very hot, and are weak lights when gelled to a daylight balance.

- HMI lights cost as much as a professional video camera, get quite hot, but are super bright and are usually balanced for daylight.

- Florescent lights are fairly low cost, but they are big and bulky and quite fragile. They can be either daylight or tungsten balanced.

- LED lights are very compact, very sturdy, but can be quite expensive compared to tungsten or florescent lights. A 1000 watt equivalent LED light can easily cost $1,000 - $2,000 for ONE light.

>>>Its not all that easy. I have seen some experienced people struggle having an even spread of light. And you loose half of your light in doing so!

Anyone who knows lighting should be able to evenly light pretty much any subject in minutes. I was trained by working in an professional studio in England for 2 years, and can pretty much light anything in my sleep.

It doesn't matter how bright the light is, if what you want is an evenly lit environment.


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