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A1/A1S onboard lighting quest

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Bruce Pelley
A1/A1S onboard lighting quest
on Jan 10, 2011 at 9:51:16 pm

I’m strongly leaning towards buying an A1s probably this month or at the very latest sometime during the next . There remains a few questions to ask before I have enough information to pull the trigger on this particular model & feel confident this is the right choice.

From my experience with a used XH-A1, I quickly found out that it is a hungry animal whose light level requirements easily exceeded what I had available for use on several occasions even when (at least to the discernable eye-mine) there should have been enough.

The A1’s output can quickly become both “noisy”, grainy and does not score highly in the low light department. Anything above 6db gain is unacceptable which produces unsatisfactory results. Even with the iris wide open, it required gain in excess of that number.

Unfortunately, one can’t always get close enough to the action to compensate for this particular weakness.

So, it comes down to if an onboard light will “cut the mustard” so to speak. Canon only seems to offer 1 option, the VL-10Li II, a 10 watter which is inexpensive. Do any of you have this on your rig? Are there any other reasonably priced alternatives from other manufacturers? What do you use if anything?

From your experience, what is the effective range of a 10 watt light? Do I need something more powerful? Will my rig be underpowered if I’m shooting at a target 75 feet away?

What I don’t want to do is put a spotlight/beam of light on someones face which will destroy detail, definition and color accuracy.

I need to know if this has could potentially salvage or enhance a low-light situation and be a worthwhile addition.

Please me know what you think.

Thank you.


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