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Customer Review

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Value for a No-frills Video Light, October 26, 2012
This review is from: Chromo Inc.® 216 LED CI-216 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Digital Camera / Camcorder Video Light, LED Light for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Panasonic,SONY, Samsung and Olympus Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
Chromo's LED video light is far less expensive than competing products that contain similar numbers of LED bulbs (160 in this product arranged in a 10x16 pattern). It is extraordinarily bright when set to full, lighting up a 12'x12' room sufficiently to get "reasonable" video with a 40mm to 70mm lens (very wide angle lenses may succumb to a bright center image and heavy vignetting at the edges).

In fact, it is too bright for close up interviews when set to full illumination, and will cause adults and children to squint. But it has a very functional wheel based dimmer switch that can raise and lower the brightness in infinite increments and can bring the illumination down to just barely on. Nonetheless, spare your subjects' vision and use the included diffuser panel along with a gentler brightness setting.

It takes 6 AA batteries and also some video camera rechargeable battery packs, however, the instructions do not itemize which specific battery packs those might be. Nor do the instructions stipulate to remove the window-pane panel on the back so as to insert the AA's. Use common sense and a gentle hand when figuring out how to use this the first time.

The entire unit is thin plastic. For such a bright light it does not weigh as much as might be expected and with 6 AA's is still lighter than my Metz-58 strobe. That said, I have no intention of placing this on my DSLR's hotshoe (just as I do not mount the Metz on the hotshoe) since over the years I have broken off far too many hotshoe mounts even when using less weight than this.

It has a standard tripod mount in the base to allow it to be threaded directly onto a light pole or a tripod. Its mount is recessed and consumes an extra three threads, so a short tripod screw will not reach, though longer screws will. Alternatively it includes a ball head adapter mount that will receive a tripod screw or will slide onto a hot or cold shoe via a thin plastic foot. The ball itself is stable enough to keep the light upright when tightened, but the design of the adapter is such that it tends to rotate far too freely around the center axis for my purposes; I'll just mount it directly to a tripod screw.

Durability? I can say nothing of that yet. On arrival all the LEDs lit, the switch worked, the battery indicator showed full charge from my fresh AA's, and the dimmer is exactly what one would expect. I will order another one of these as a backup. Further, if anything goes wrong, I will provide an update.

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Update: 10/28/2012
I just returned from an outdoor video shoot for a web commercial. One Chromo light was used to fill in for deep shadows when shooting under a shelter roof. Using one set of AA's the lights continued to burn brightly after more than an hour of shooting (the power indicator show 50% power remaining). The lights did well when focused on the subject in the middle of a darker background, but were insufficient when the sheltered subject was backlit by bright scenery (compensating for outdoor backlighting is an unfair test of an LED light, I know, but since I tried it I thought I would tell about the results). Still, the Chromo lights proved their value even outdoors as a fill light in deep shade/shadow. Very glad I brought the light.
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