Cineo vs. Area 48?
I'm about to make my first investment into an LED panel keylight (but still keeping my Divas!), and from everything I've used and researched, it's basically boiling down to the Cineo LS vs the Area 48 from BBS. I should say that my initial thought was the LS because I've used (and loved) the HS model. But it's just a bit out of my price range, especially since the plan is to get two, and I'd prefer a smaller fixture since I am often flying my keylights on booms for 2 camera setups. I've never used the smaller LS, but I'd imagine it's the same quality light performance.
But (on specs and reviews alone) the Area 48 looks quite enticing. Looks like it uses the same phosphor technology and while it's a tad bigger, it's not prohibitively so at just a shade under 8 lbs. CRI is just as good, if not better, but the clincher is that it looks a decent bit brighter, with lots of accessories like battery options and the softbox already ready to roll. Can't find a lot of accessories for the Cineo.
Has anyone used either of these units and can give their thoughts? I seem to remember Mr. Sharaf talking about the Cineos before in another thread, but don't think it was about the LS. I should say too that I already have larger units that I can use if I need more output, so these wouldn't be my ONLY keylight options. But I do a lot of documentary and network feature work and these look like awesome options for a mobile and travel kit and then some. Thanks!
Haven't used either... but I looked up the specs and the BIG consideration for me would be power.
Since we've started adopting LED lighting a year or two ago... I have to say I still don't love the look of them quite as much as tungsten and flos, but I DO love the portability... as I wouldn't even consider an LED instrument that wasn't battery powered (or that could be).
I rarely run stingers anymore... in fact with the exception of HMIs I virtually never do... we use bricks to power everything and it's amazing how freeing it is.
That being said... of your two choices the Area 48 can be battery powered, with an available goldmount. The Cineo apparently cannot (or if it can, it's not listed in the features/specs that I saw). Between those two that would make it an easy decision for me.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Thanks Todd! It's always interesting to me what some people consider the most important factor. Battery-powered was a factor, but the main one for me was the light intensity, since I'm often fighting daylight/windows and would like to get as bright an option as possible without trotting out my HMI's.
But the more I let the idea marinate, the more I see your point. I honestly don't run and gun that much (or at least probably wouldn't use this for that application a whole lot), but as some fill in darker outdoor settings, to eliminate a long(er) cable run, etc. I see the possibility. I've got a ton of V-mount bricks I've accumulated over the years, so why not have them run double-duty!
I'd agree that I don't love the look of LED on people up until this point, that's why I have waited to drop an investment in one as a keylight. But this kind of phosphor-panel technology looks pretty great, and my previous experience with the Cineo HS has been positive. Right now, I'd say the Area 48 is the leader in the clubhouse as it seems to have everything the LS does and then some, while only being a couple hundred bucks more. The name of the game for me is instruments with versatility, and if I can find something that can be different color temps, take bricks, be very bright AND soft, that's a winner for me.
Any other views on the matter are of course welcome!
I had a chance to look at both light at NAB, and the Area 48 is considerably brighter than the Cineo LS. I do a lot of sit down interviews, and either would be more that acceptable. However, the extra punch from the 48 has me leaning in that direction.
BTW, the Cineo's Maverick (basically the LS w/ battery fixture) will accept battery power.
I agree completely about the brightness. I had a chance recently to demo them side by side before making my decision and the Area 48 was MUCH brighter, both to the eye/camera test and confirmed by the photometrics. I agree that both have great punch and couldn't really go wrong as a general interview/actor/talent light in a lot of settings. But the Area 48 was startlingly bright. As someone who's been dissatisfied with a lot of LED options, it was a very welcome feeling!
That's not to say that the Cineo LS isn't impressive, it certainly is and packs a lot of punch in a smaller fixture. Color-wise, they're both about the same (in a good way) and are very similar instruments. For me, the output was the deciding factor in favor of the Area 48. If I could've justified the extra cost, I'd have simply gone with the Cineo HS fixture! But the Area 48 seems a great middle-ish ground between the two and therefore a good compromise.
Again, I realize I'm jumping in late here, but I am a dedicated Cineo owner/operator and just want to mention a few things, in case you haven't alrerady decided.
In truth, I'm not familiar with the Area 48, and frankly intregued by what is said of its extra brightness, but in my use of the Cineos (I have two each of the HS and LS) I have to say that in most cases I'm dimming them down, so that the need for more brightness is not present. This is especially true with the HS and less true with the LS. But I am using them both in high and low ambient conditions, and when lighting faces and talking heads, one can often bring the light close enough that there's noise with light volume.
The ability to use batteries is immense, I agree and if it's the small unit your interested in, I'd look very carefully at Cineo's new battery version.
Ultimately the best way to decide is to put the units side by side and test them in the modes you're most likely to encounter. Not to do this will haunt you because whichever light you buy will probably last for the rest of your lighting career!
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter, I remembered from other posts that you were a big fan of the Cineo fixtures.
I did in fact make the decision and went for the Area 48. So far, very happy with it! Your point about barely ever using either the LS or HS at full capacity without dimming is a good one, and the Area 48 and full blast will be much more light than I would need in many cases. But in most cases, I like to heavily diffuse keylights so I'd rather have as many lumens as possible to start with. With the Area 48 not being much more expensive than the LS and with much the same specs outside of brightness, I went for the higher-powered option.
The main drawback I've discovered to the Area 48 has nothing to do with the light itself or it's performance, but many of the accessories for it are waaaaaay overpriced. $120.00 for a baby triple-header?? You can get one from Norms for $35, Matthews for $50. $40 for a HUGE TVMP adapter? $10-14 bucks for an Avenger or Matthews one. $450 for a light-specific softbox (grid is another $380)?? I'm all about get what you pay for, but some of the accessories are highway robbery. Glad I don't have a need for a lot of them except the battery power!
I just got a Maverick (also a Foton & Machsix) a month ago and I am very happy with it so far. The build quality is really outstanding. For the most part the BBS and Cineo lights look the same. But I believe that the Cineo light is slightly better designed.
I went with Cineo because they seem to be the most transparent with their fixtures. Also before ordering I emailed Cineo and asked a few questions and Tom replied with a very knowledgeable response. After purchasing the lights from a 3rd party retailer, Tom emailed me back (out of the blue) and asked how I was getting along with the lights. He was able to help me out with a few additional requests (cases and softboxes). This is service that is rarely available these days.
The Cineo lights I've used are indeed excellent, and I have no doubt that they stand behind their products. Honestly, I probably would have gone with them if there had been at the time a middle-ground option output-wise between the HS and LS. It seems Cineo is really trying to build a large fleet of products that all have similar characteristics and compliment each other, which I always think is best. But the Area 48 hits the sweet spot in between the HS and LS and so far it's worked out great for me, and have recently bought a second.
Unless I need to compete with a very large window or some other bright location, two of the Area 48's going through a 6' or 8' frame, either directly or as a booklight, has been more than enough lumens. It's become my go-to keylight for a good deal of applications. They're also light enough to be flown, whereas I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with the weight of the HS at close to max extension on a mini-boom or something akin, especially if the power supply had to go up too. But hey, different strokes for different folks, they are both clearly quality products!
I agree. Both are probably great products. I find the Maverick has enough power for me but I would love to have the HS. I was lighting with 750 watt incandescent fixture before so to match my setup I put the Maverick on 75%. With BBS and Cineo the color stays true even when dimming.