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stephen knifton
portable lights
on Jan 23, 2012 at 12:30:09 pm

Hi folks ... i do a lot of run and gun interview shooting in a semi-controlled environment, ie a trade show floor. have to be self contained, power-wise, and a good amount of portability.

I have a budget of about a thousand bucks; i'm thinking of a camera-mount light for fill and a key light on a stand (subject looking off camera) ... again ... have to bang through trade show floors and knock off one interview after another.

i was looking at the litepanels sola eng, or maybe the crona ... and something for fill .... obviously the 1 x 1 is out of reach ... maybe the lowel blender ?

maybe two sola's, or two crona's ? your thoughts are appreciated.


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Steve Crow
Re: portable lights
on Jan 23, 2012 at 2:46:08 pm

Hmmm, trade show floors are relatively bright, bright enough anyway to film at no higher than 800 ISO I would think so I'd be tempted to go with available light or maybe just a reflector. This is one area DSLRs really beat the pants off of traditional camcorders that need a hell of a lot of light. Setting up lights on a trade show floor environment sounds like a practical and safety (trip hazard) nightmare for a one-man-band video crew. Maybe one on-camera light and a reflector on a stand for fill?

Sound is usually the weak spot for these kind of tradeshow floor interviews, I'd concentrate on that - wireless lavs seem the best solution....I see far too many videos using only on camera microphones that are picking up so much of the sound happening around the person speaking that it is very distracting.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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stephen knifton
Re: portable lights
on Jan 24, 2012 at 5:39:48 pm

thanks both ... i hear ya, re: audio. have either of you played around with the lowel blender ? i like the idea of the ability to blend ... i'm in toronto, but neither of the big rental houses have it for rent; (for sale, yes.)

again .. any thoughts on the blender or equivalently priced lites would be appreciated. (i'm over the b and h hundred dollar LED's) ....


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: portable lights
on Jan 24, 2012 at 7:27:21 pm

Ah, don't ask me, I build a lot of my own equipment. LEDs are really cheap and getting RGB ones and properly balancing them really isn't that hard if you do a little research. You are mostly paying for the Lowell name and having equipment that looks way more professional than most of the stuff I make. Then again, I just like building stuff (my jib, my tripod, my teleprompter, my dollies, my many rigs, my lights, etc. - you get the idea). Put it this way: if you have the money and you feel its the right fit for you, I say go for it. Look through the many boards and get opinions from several people.

One quick thing on power: LEDs don't run a lot of amps so make sure you have enough amp-hours in your batteries to survive as long as you plan to be on the trade room floor. Divide the amp usage - 1.25A in this case is peak - by the battery's rated Amp-Hours to get the number of expected hours. Remember to divide milliamphours (mAH) by 1000 first. For example, the small, portable, 12V SLA batteries with the standard car cigarette plug are rated at 4-10AH - so you get 3-8 hours and maybe more depending on the setup. Conversely, many camera batteries are only good for up to 4AH at 9V or up to 3 hours or so max. Sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries are heavier (I stick em in a backpack and run a cord through a hole).

that last bit was a bit extraneous, but don't let a lack of power be the thing that keeps you from moving forward.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Jason Jenkins
Re: portable lights
on Jan 25, 2012 at 6:11:34 am

[stephen knifton] "again .. any thoughts on the blender or equivalently priced lites would be appreciated. (i'm over the b and h hundred dollar LED's) ...."

I just picked up the Switronix TorchLED Bolt, which is very similar to the blender. It was $300 at B&H (assembled in the USA of foreign and domestic parts). I'm pretty happy with it so far. It puts out a lot of light for such a small fixture. The ability to blend the color temps is very nice. It will be primarily a back/rim light for interview shoots. It will be replacing an older, larger LED fixture I've been using for 3 or 4 years.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: portable lights
on Jan 24, 2012 at 4:50:57 pm

I tend to agree - if you were going to NAB, for example, you really don't need a lot of extra light. Go with a bounce or maybe an LED light on the shoe. Keep it simple and portable. Spend the money on a good mic and audio system instead.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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