NANGUANG LED VIDEO LIGHT - Portable lighting for your iPad, iPhone and digital cameras of any size…
© 2012 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Proper lighting is an important part of shooting stills and videos. It sharpens detail, improves color reproduction, eliminates shadows, and decreases graininess, or video noise associated with digital photography. Many digital cameras lack the ability to add effective portable additional lighting. So here’s a solution that works.
The Nanguang CN-160 is a portable LED light source incorporating 160 LEDs at a color temperature of 5400 Kelvin (K). Included in the kit are three attachable filters: Spotlight Effect, Diffuser, and 3200K for indoor use.
(TIP: 5400 degrees Kelvin is considered the average color temperature for outdoor lighting. Naturally, this varies with the time of day and sky conditions. A 3200 K temperature is considered typical lighting consistent with an incandesant light source. When possible, it is suggested that external lighting devices be as closely matched to the color temperature of the surrounding light source. In today’s digital world it is possible to make some corrections after the fact with programs like Photoshop for stills, or hue adjustments in video editing software, but you can’t beat having it correct the first time.)
What is color temperature? Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in lighting, photography, videography, publishing, manufacturing, astrophysics, horticulture, and other fields. The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source. To the non-techie, all you really need to know is to match the external light source to the available light as close as possible. Some cameras even do this automatically within reason.
Since today’s digital products such as the iPhone, iPad, and mini digital cameras are small and lightweight, a light’s physical size becomes a major consideration. The CN-160 with all its illumination (3’ at 900 Lux – 15’ at 40 Lux) weighs in at under one-pound. It has a hot shoe, can be powered by 5 AA batteries, which is my choice or camcorder batteries such as the Sony’s NP-FH70, NP-FM55H, NP-F550 or a Panasonic CGR-D16S. Such batteries have a shelf life of two or less years. What’s missing is a connection for an external AC adapter since battery runtime is 70 – 90 minutes.
(TIP: AA batteries are lightweight, inexpensive and readily available worldwide. Camcorder batteries such as those previously mentioned, are expensive, bulky, require charging, and offer no advantage unless you already own them.)
The CN-160 is a well-designed light source that includes a linear “remaining charge” indicator and rotary switch that serves as a handy dimmer as well as on/off switch. Mounting can be accomplished with a shoe, optional L bracket, or mounting bar. In the case of smartphones or iPads, the use of an optional iStablizer smartphone tripod mount or iShot G8 Pro adapter for iPads with camera mounting bar easily adapts the camera for mounting the CN-160 to the light. Any way you use it, the CN-160 is an effective, feature packed light source at a low price with an average service life of 50000+ hours. When mounted on the L bracket, it increases the stability and feel of the camera resulting in shake-free images.
CN-160: Price varies. For more info go to: http://bit.ly/MEMnm8
L bracket camera mounting bars are available at most camera supply stores. istablizer: http://bit.ly/Quqcjc
GADGETEER’S RATING: *****
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.