Aputure has announced what is probably the smallest filmmaking light you’ll own. The Aputure Amaran M9 is a sub $50, credit card sized LED light with high color accuracy, 5v USB charge power and magnetic front for colored gels. We thought the matchbox light was small, we now get the credit card light. The Amaran M9 is Aputure’s teeniest, tiniest light fixture. Just 11m thick, weighing 5oz and fitting in the palm of your hand, you’ll be able to mount the Amaran M9 pretty much anywhere you please. A cold shoe bracket and 1/4″ thread ensures the light is compatible with industry standard accessories. Here are the specs: – TLCI 99 – > 350 lux at 0.5M – 5500k Color temperature – 5V USB rechargeable (even while in use) – built in lithium ion battery (90 min at 100%) – 120° beam angle – includes 2 magnetic diffusion filters TLCI is much more handy for considering LED fixtures than CRI, so it’s nice to see a company disclosing a useful rating for color accuracy. Aputure are known for offering high color accuracy on daylight fixtures at an affordable price, so this is exciting for sure. Its tiny size will not only open up many possibilities and doors but also make it quite a niche tool. Such a small fixture can yield a harsher cast than a larger one, but in low light situations this may be great bounced off a bit of card, or great for illuminating foreground detail when shooting through objects. Its built-in 90min battery life at full whack keeps it ultra nimble. But there’s added versatility in that it can receive charging power from universal 5v USB power even whilst in use. The Amaran M9 will ship for just $49, and we have one in for testing so will share our thoughts on it properly soon.Read more
Our friend Dan Chung from newsshooter.com recently published a fascinating interview with Alan Roberts. We can best describe Alan as UK’s most respected camera tester who spent his career at the BBC evaluating and creating standards. Since his retirement from the BBC he has continued to test independently and you may well have come across one of his white papers while researching your camera purchase. Alan’s thoughts on “how to test and evaluate LED lights” go hand in hand with what we keep hearing from some LED manufacturers who are concerned that industry rivals are misleading their customers by indicating CRI (Colour Rendering Index) values as the most important factor about LED light accuracy, while in practice, this old “measuring standard” is actually borrowed from the architectural world when measuring lights for offices, shops and factories is required… Based on a research done by BBC colleagues, Alan has created a new way to test lights and compare them scientifically bringing a better way to evaluate different light sources. The solution is the TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) which, although not an approved international standard, is recommended by the EBU and is finding success among manufacturers. The TLCI takes a measurement of the spectral power distribution of a luminaire, using a spectroradiometer. It then analyses the performance of the luminaire in the context of television. It awards a single number value to the luminaire, on a scale from 0 to 100. The significance of the numbering is the same as the CRI, but with important differences. Unlike the CRI, where a score of greater than 90 is widely regarded as the minimum for television use, the TLCI-2012 scores are more spread out: 85 to 100 – errors are so small that a colourist would not consider correcting them 75 to 85 – a colourist would probably want to correct the colour performance, but could easily get an acceptable result 50 to 75 – a colourist would certainly want to correct the errors, and could probably achieve an acceptable result, but it would take significant time to get there 25 to 50 – the colour rendering is poor, and a good colourist would needed to improve it, but the results would not be up to broadcast standard 0 to 25 – the colour rendering is bad, and a colourist would struggle for a long time to improve it, and even then the results may not be acceptable for broadcast All of Alan’s LED light accuracy test results are published in the guild of television cameramen site and can be dowloaded from here. In order to help you understand the categories on the list, here is a short description made by Alan: CCT – (correlated colour temperature) d-(distance), If values are grater then 1, lights results are not particularity reliable. Qa- That’s the TLCI score. The higher the number, better the light. It is striking to see how poorly some leading manufacturers like Gekko, Manfrotto and Litepanels with their 1×1 panels did in terms of LED light accuracy. On the other hand, Litepanels Astra and a relatively young company by the name “Fiilex” with their Fiilex 100 did extremely well! Head to newsshooter.com for the full interview Dan did with AlanRead more
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