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newbie question: which lights for dslr videos

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Adriano Castaldini
newbie question: which lights for dslr videos
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:08:18 pm

Hi, I'm searching for lights for DSLR videos, but I'm a newbie so I'd need some advices.

I thought a pair of lights w/ stands and soft-box, or simply a pair of dimmable led panels. But I've noticed that LEDs give flickering issue on DSLR videos (I had to buy the flickerfree plugin from Digital Anarchy).

So wich is better for DSLR videos: led + plug-in-post, or tungsten?

Anyway, what is in your opinion the ideal starter-kits?

Thanks you for the help.


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Robin Walker
Re: newbie question: which lights for dslr videos
on Apr 4, 2017 at 6:53:37 am

Hi Adriano,

You should probably narrow your question a bit and provide a little more info on your resources ($$) and the type of filming you do. I'd also do a little research on models that interest you and ask for people's experiences with them. Lighting is a huge subject. Studio lights, panels, Fresnels all have strengths and weaknesses and I've yet to find the "perfect" light. You should know that there's no inherent flicker issue with LEDs. You may have been using cheap lights (though even those typically don't cause flicker when shooting at 1/50th or 1/60th of a second). A three-light set up is traditional for interviews, but that also doesn't take into consideration lighting your background.


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Soumendra Jena
Re: newbie question: which lights for dslr videos
on Sep 9, 2017 at 3:51:26 am

Robin, what would you suggest for indoor video shooting for Youtube ?
For example like this,






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Robin Walker
Re: newbie question: which lights for dslr videos
on Sep 9, 2017 at 5:15:39 am

Hi Soumendra,
There are a few ways to get this look. The first thing I noticed is that the windows behind him aren't blown out/all white. This means either his lights are super high powered (very unlikely), he used a very flat profile such as Slog 2, or he put a Neutral Density (ND) gel over the windows-- which I think is the most likely. Search for "neutral density gel" on Amazon and you can find the product, which is pretty reasonably priced.

But that doesn't answer your question about lights. Again, he could be using any number of lighting instruments, but it's a relatively powerful light, daylight balanced (to match the windows), and mostly likely shooting through a scrim or softbox to create a larger surface area, and a gentler shadow on his face. His face is evenly divided into light and shadow, so the light is most likely straight to his left and just slightly behind him, with something as simple as a white reflector on the other side to bounce some light back. I would use an LED light for this (inexpensive, cool to the touch, and daylight balanced), with at least 60W of power, though with light more power is always better.

The real challenge is finding the balance between the window light, the room lamps, and the subject. This takes some experimentation. If you're thinking about which lights to buy, I wouldn't just buy one (even though that's probably how he achieved this look). It's just too restrictive. I use a 100W LED studio light, a 60W LED Fresnel, a (roughly) 60W LED panel, and a couple of small 160LED lights for highlighting background elements.


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Soumendra Jena
Re: newbie question: which lights for dslr videos
on Sep 9, 2017 at 6:55:36 am

very nicely explained, yes I guess it all takes a bit of experiment right in the studio itself to find that sweet spot.

I got 3 of those lights yesterday,
https://www.photo-store.net/photography/led-lights/yongnuo-yn600l-ii-pro-le...


I will test with those and see how close I can reach.

Or else, I will buy this and some big soft boxes,
https://www.amazon.in/Photography-Softbox-Continuous-Lighting-Daylight/dp/B...


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