I have been talking today on the Canon CPS roadshow in Manchester all about the Canon C300 & how to use it. I was lent two items by two very different companies. The first was a set of lights from Gekko technology. I used them to do a 3 head interview. They are a new set of lights that include 1 soft light & 2 rocket shaped LED spot lights. All in a neat back pack & can either be powered off mains or V lock batteries.
The soft light is LED Bi colour, so you can switch it between 3200 kelvin & 5600 kelvin or anywhere in between. You can also dim it without colour temperature loss. It’s a really handy size that will easily pack away for traveling. It comes with a great little diffuser that fits on the front & you could use it direct on the face or I would like to see how it would work suspended from a ceiling if you had to light a scene of 4 people sat around a table. As with the diffuser it works like a Chinese lantern. On another note it would be nice to see a 1/2 diffuser in the kit & also a black sided diffuser with a silver interior so you could control the light more. another good feature is the compact driver that lets you switch between daylight & tungsten and also one side is a V lock battery plate the other is the light controls.
The rocket shaped LED spot lights give a good punch of light & are daylight balanced but have a flip down diachroic filter to change them to 3200 kelvin & a diffuser. Which can also be dimmed without colour temperature loss. They are very handy for quick interview set ups for a back light or putting a bit of colour on a wall. They don’t offer as much control as a Dedolight though but are smaller than a Dedolight.
Most importantly though is the fact that these Gekko LED lights have a Television Lighting Consistency index (TLCI) which is in the high 80′s. This means that they don’t have a magenta or green cast & work very well with other lights ( They play nicely!) Quite frankly to me this means they are worth every penny they cost as I’m so fed up with bad LED’s that cast Magenta or Green. I really like the way they pack into a tiny back pack & set up very quickly. As a freelance Cameraman I feel that setting up a quick 3 head interview on certain shoots should take no longer than 15 minutes from walking into a new location spotting the shot & being ready to film and this compact kit of lights would certainly help you achieve that goal.
With Diffusion screen attached.
The other product I was able to show in my seminar today is also one that I’m excited about. As a Freelance Cameraman I have for years done the shoot & handed either the tape or disc to production at the end of the day & gone home. Now with the introduction of tapeless cameras we have another job at the end of the shoot & that is as a data wrangler. So now at the end of a shoot I have to spend time depending on how many cards I have shot downloading the cards on to a hard drive & making a back up.So if it’s been a long days shooting it maybe up to 2 hours extra work at the end of a long day. Now this extra two hours maybe if your lucky being paid for but more often than not these days it’s just assumed your do it in your own time. Time that you could be… down the pub! So this new product from Lexar has got me quite excited really & straight away I have nicknamed it “The Get you to the pub hub” It’s a 4 interchangeable bay card reader that runs on USB 3. So you can use upto 5GB/s transfer speeds & also and most importantly download 4 cards in the time it takes you to download 1 card. So therefore getting you to the pub quicker!
One of the really handy aspects of this Lexar hub is that you can interchange the 4 card readers between Compact Flash & SD cards of all varieties & it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a C Fast card reader which will be great going forward with large capacity cards taking 4K footage & for cameras like the Arri Amira.
Also all 4 of the card readers come with their own USB3 cable so if you don’t want to take the hole hub on location then just take the a single card reader.
I tried the Lexar Hub with three programs today Photo Mechanic, Adobe Lightroom & also Canon XF Utility. It worked perfectly with all these programs & allowed me to download 4 cards all at one time. Marvelous. A real winner. Here is a link to the Lexar website so you can see for yourself because for me this product is a no brainer! http://suffieldimaging.co.uk/index.php/lexar-professional-workflow-hub/
If you are a video cameraman and not a member of Canon Professional services you should really consider it as there are loads of advantages. Her’s a link to there website. https://cps.canon-europe.com/Public/QualifyingProducts