Flexlite–The Flexible, Dimmable, Versatile LED Light Panel
Just one more thing to get out of the way over the weekend and I’ll start putting together a review of the Flexlite LED panel.
Like everything I review, I own it. And I only review it if I really like it. And I only buy it if I really like it anyway.
LED lighting is coming of age in the film and video industry. There are a LOT of good LED lights out there. This one was the only one of it’s type–the rest mainly being encased in aluminium housings of one sort or another.
But for sheer functionality without the weight and bulk, this may be the perfect solution for the run and gunner.
You can snap in its holder for regular light stand mounting or even put it at the end of a selfie stick or monopod for hand-holding (say for fluid man-on-the-street interviews).
Or, using the velcro already sewn into its corners, you can velcro it to a surface or even to the inside of one of your existing soft-boxes (which I did). It’s brighter than the brightest spiral flouro lamp.
What I intend to do is some testing to quantify its brightness and colour temperature.
I’ll also show it in use during an actual corporate shoot (nice to be able to sit in the chair with the viewfinder flipped so I can see it and simply dial in the correct exposure).
It’s also apparently quite durable. The fellow at the BVE show in London earlier this year threw it down on the ground while it was lit to answer that question when I asked it–and said he had been doing that all day long.
You can curl them up into a cylinder, wrap with rubber bands and drop into Chinese lanterns for 360˚ illumination.
Anyway, hope to get the review up within the week.
Hi Everybody, yes, I’ve actually got the Vivitar RC800 remote, which works fine with the NX30, but doesn’t make the camera zoom go any slower than it’s own inbuilt minimum speed. Because of some people’s budget limitations, they will hire me to film their weddings with a single camera, so particularly during the vows or the speeches, you can’t miss a moment of the sound to reframe from from a close up to a wide shot with a straight cut. So to make the visuals interesting and not just have the camera sitting there for twenty minutes in a medium shot or whatever, it’s nice to be able to pull out (or zoom in) at a very gentle, almost imperceptible speed so it doesn’t look amateurish, but gives that necessary visual variety over that fairly long period of time. As said, I have found the NX30 to be a brilliant camera for what I do, but would have liked that slowest zoom speed to be slightly slower, and was hoping there would be a solution in some kind of firmware or whatever.
the vivitar works on the lanc protocol, but it will take over the speed settings of the camera. so even if won’t go slower than the minimum zoom speed of the lens at least will be constant, instead of gambling with the rocker at variable speed on pressure.
Now if the zoom is still not slow enough then the only thing left to do is slowing down in post.
the other thing you could do is to put the camera on a tripod and get a dolly (even the cheap ones with at least 3inch wheels) , then decide a direction and tape the little wheels of the dolly to go on that direction only) -note: it will go around like crazy if you don’t tape the wheels! – : so after that you move everything slowly and steady (I use a a rubber band on the tripod to do that slowly). even if you move horizontally you’ll get out of the boring effect of a continued still shot … about that? that’s an idea, no? makes a one-man-band take a little more interesting.
talking about rubber bands they can do miracles on pans as well (by the way). It’s a gadget we all should have, pretty cheap but soooo powerful!
Hi Mark, a tripod/dolly is a nice theory, but when you’re on your own among a mob of unpredictable people filming something as theoretically predictable as, say, a wedding speech, any kind of equipment trapping the camera can be a pain. People come back from the toilet and stand in your way, or suddenly decide to descend from the speech position to present a bunch of flowers to Great Aunt Doris sitting on the other side of the room. I’ve filmed about 300 weddings, probably half of those as a single camera, and I use a very simple camera support system: a liittle leather holster (a small digital camera case) threaded onto my trouser belt, and the camera mounted on a monopod compressed to about 2ft long which plants into the holster. All the weight of the camera is transmitted through to my hips: no weight at all on the shoulder or arm: I can stand there for an hour during a speech or the vows absolutely rock steady with no problem, and if I do need to move my position for any reason, I can simply walk smoothly in any direction without having to yank the camera off a tripod or whatever and spoil the shot: I can get right across the room to Aunt Doris with camera still rolling if needed. Also sometimes during a wedding you have to move very fast to another position; typically at the end of the ceremony when from being up at the altar you have to run like crazy to be at the bottom of the aisle shooting back to get the bride and groom making their grand exit: without a tripod to lug about or reset you don’t miss the shot: and they’re not going walk down twice for you! Also when the music gets going and you’re in among the dancers, you can lift the monopod out of the holster, extend it to its full length, and hold the camera high above your head tilted downwards, so you can get some interesting overhead shots from different angles without lugging a stepladder around. None of this of course applies to a commercial shoot when you have time to set up shots with any amount of equipment, but with fast moving spontaneous people events, the most important thing is to capture what is happening, not capture one thing with beautiful cinematic perfection, but miss the next five things completely because the equipment has bogged you down. That’s why I like a gentle little zoom sometimes…..
I understand completely and the monopod on the belt is probably still the best support even today. back in the ..80’s or so there was the camera stick -smith victor I think- based on basically the same idea (a lil’ rigid but good enough for long takes). So it’s all good.
don’t underestimate the power of a tripod with a quick release to move the camera on and off quickly. Not only for the stability thing, but also to reserve a space , crucial when in a crowd (any), or when competing against the still guys for a spot or when competing against the uncle with a handycam.
tricks, John.. tricks.. (LOL you’re not alone… my friend)
just think about it,
after all you can still get to use the tripod to actually hold the camera as well every once in a while … no?
ok now to Joe who wants to scream at me for being “unethical” with the reserving space thing just look at all those empty sticks on press conferences and such.. why empty? where is the camera? are those there in a “just in case basis”?
You guys have got it all wrong. I rarely do weddings, but when I have done them, no matter the small loss in profit, I always hire a second cameraman. AND I put a static camera or two somewhere on long shots. The guy I hire I put on the money shot (bride, groom, minister and cross my fingers and hope he stays out of trouble) and I run around hand-held getting various angles, family, reaction shots and various angles on the main action. That way, with two cameramen you wind up with what appears to be a multi-camera shoot with 5 cameramen. (and if the dude does get into trouble I’ve got two or 3 other cameras to cut to, including mine).
there are things we don’t talk about , left unsaid, even if things are slowly changing lately : why wedding shooters still go there with an mc2000 that shoots ridiculously low quality but gets the better overall footage? because it’s big and gets access. can you go with the X70 or AX100 or GH4? sure you can. But nobody will take you seriously and jump in front of you, push you, block the lens and your shot with their cellphones and stuff like that. Maybe I’m wrong, let’s be all politically correct in this business too. yey , in events the size of the camera doesn’t matter. And that works everywhere , not just weddings : an example (real story): a guy shoots X70 , then he gets a gig live with a local TV station: other TV crews come over with their cameras, the guy shoots beautiful stuff (SD to the truck via SDI) , the others shoot average SD to the truck but with their PMW-500 get closer and get the better composition. The X70 guy buys another camera (fs7) to fix that: now the fs7 can’t go SD on SDI right, like the X70 does. Son he has to convert hdmi to SD. Crazy stuff. So the X70 was perfect in any sense, but … ya know … it’s small (if not then what was the problem?).
I told the tripod stuff for a reason, and for a onemanband scenario.
/end of rant
I have the Sony HXR NX30U. Great camera I use for weddings etc. But do you know if there is any kind of firmware fix which could slow down the very slowest zoom speed a little? The reason is that during, say, a very long ceremony, I like to do a really gentle creep zoom back from a close shot to a wide. My previous Canon XH A1 had a really slow minimum speed: the Sony is just OK, but I would love to make it a shade slower if there is any way to do this. Any ideas anyone?
I’m not going to be very helpful here, but that’s a small camera and can only do so much. Slow zooms don’t make or break a wedding. I don’t mean do fast ones either. You are using more than one camera, aren’t you? Nothing wrong with static cuts. Change image size quickly when you’re on another camera.
see what I mean? people note that Joe here just confessed that he DID use the top zoom of the X70 …. ONCE!
he did.. ok, just one time but it’s still a big step … wow
I rest my case bydaway..
anyway I agree that using the zoom like animals is stupid, boring, takes all the fun away and distracting and incredibly amateurish.
But I shoot sports for a living,so for me the zoom is as important as a cup for tea. and few more applications. But let’s be clear: we all should use the zoom only when absolutely necessary.
Come on Mark. I’m sure it was more than once. Two or three times at least 😉
here we go again,… John slow zooms look good on a wedding and you can get them with a vivitar lanc remote (that comes with a sony A/V adapter). The remote has a rotary dial for the zoom speed (you have 8 speeds from slow to fast). Now understand that Joe comes from big productions (and you can tell by the way he keeps the camera steady.. that’s a sign ! LOL). steady before anything else. So the big productions cameramen don’t like the zoom. they’d rather move the camera and everything than using the zoom. They HATE it. (well.. they’re actually right most of the time). but it’s in their DNA.. what you wanna do?
I thought of you Mark on this one, but wasn’t sure if the NX30 had the same jack as the X70. (you can see by that how often I use those jacks). Now, as to your smart remark young man ;-), I first hated zooms because the controllers in the old days would either not go when you wanted them to or they’d launch you into outer space. But one day at a trade show in the 80s I saw that some smart dudes had a new invention that very quickly became the standard in Hollywood. It was an amazing piezoelectric devise that worked on thumb pressure. Can’t remember the name off-hand. Just a rather stiff red knurled pyramid-shaped button that activated the zoom depending how much pressure you applied to it. Boy you could creep it if you wanted to and you could ramp it up and down. No rockers. That said, the big million dollar video cameras we used at events did have rockers, but they worked just as good. I must say that the top rocker on the X70 is pretty good when set to a slow speed and I have used it. So there. 🙂
I remembered the name: J4 zoom controller.
forgot to mention that the 2 reasons for me to get the h528 are 1) the price (obviously) and 2) the fact that they charge and run on 2 960 batteries that can stay on the light permanently.
looks good. clever but expensive. ’cause prices are really going down . I bought this aputure al-h528S (comes in 3 flavors , wide, regular and bicolor). They are bright, no questions and no heat which is fun!. Problem is that with that idiotic WB procedure of the X70 it takes forever to guess the right temperature. Dunno but if they wanted to make the WB complicated and next to impossible sure they found the way. buy you really have to work hard to make a WB setup soooo complicated LOL