My New Secret Weapon: Lume Dice Panel GO LED Mild Panel

Most of my work is shot outside beneath pure gentle. I exploit a flash when referred to as for however have at all times hated it because it’s arduous to know the way issues will come out. Enter my new secret weapon, an LED gentle panel from Lume Dice.

Lighting with a strobe flash could be difficult. It emits no gentle till you press the shutter launch, and it fires. Like a bolt of lightning, its gentle seems and is gone earlier than you may inform what actually occurred. Within the blink of an eye fixed, you file your topic, and the sunshine returns to the way it was. If something lives as much as its identify, it is a flash. The one strategy to see what you have captured is to evaluate the resultant picture utilizing the digicam LCD again panel.

Again once we all shot movie, it was even worse, after all. We could not see images in any respect within the pre-digital period, whether or not shot with a flash or not, till we had the movie developed. I as soon as shot a complete roll of Fuji Velvia at a gorgeous mountain tarn close to Mt. Shuksan within the North Cascades beneath pre-dawn gentle, solely to later uncover that there was a trailside marker signal seen in each body. I could not see it beneath the dim ambient gentle, however the lengthy exposures crucial revealed it within the slides. Digital imaging lets me keep away from that embarrassment. However I do not use a flash sufficient to say I’ve mastered it, and it usually means a little bit of trial and error to get what I would like. I often get there ultimately, thoughts you, however the outcomes are usually prettier than the method concerned in attaining them.

The large drawback with gentle is that its depth falls off with the sq. of the gap. This immutable legislation is what accounts for the black backgrounds in lots of flash photos. In case your topic is 5 ft away and the background ten, this doubling of distance signifies that solely 1 / 4 of the sunshine falling in your topic reaches what lies behind it. All gentle sources, together with the solar, behave this fashion, however a distinction of 5 ft is insignificant when your gentle supply is 93 million miles away.

Flash strobes additionally are likely to create harsh shadows since they operate primarily as a degree supply of sunshine. Rating one other level for the solar, what with the complete sky performing as an enormous diffuser. Sure, you may add a diffuser to the entrance of your flash, however you continue to have the issue of predicting what the web consequence will likely be when the lightning bolt fires. Many trendy flash models characteristic built-in modeling lights that may make it easier to perceive directionality points upfront. Nonetheless, these are a poor substitute for what’s going to occur while you press the shutter launch, and the precise gentle briefly disorients you.

The trendy answer to at the very least most of those challenges is the LED gentle panel. And the Lume Dice Panel GO is a superb one.

As you in all probability know, LED gentle is far more energy-efficient than halogen or incandescent bulbs, which means that it might probably run constantly somewhat than solely firing when the shutter fires. As such, you may compose your shot with the precise gentle supply, placing the Lume Dice on a extra degree taking part in subject with ambient gentle. The panel packs 112 high-power LEDs onto a package deal not a lot greater than your smartphone. The unit measures 4.eight x 2.6 x 0.three inches and weighs in at 4.Four ounces.

The rated most brightness is 1080 LUX at half a meter. That is greater than sufficient gentle for macro work and enough for including fill gentle over a broad space for different topics. At 100 p.c output, it is darned vivid. The sunshine has a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) over 96, so it carefully emulates pure gentle. The output is variable in five-percent increments all through its vary so you will get simply the brightness you want. And higher but, you may regulate the colour temperature simply as simply from a heat 3200Okay as much as a cool 5600Okay to match the time of day correctly with out messing with coloured gels. It comes with a frosted white diffusing cowl produced from what appears to be silicone to make the sunshine much more pleasing.

Energy for the Lume Dice GO is offered by a built-in lithium-ion battery that may be recharged with a USB-C cable. Run time ranges from 1.three hours at most brightness as much as a whopping 16 hours at one-percent output. You may get 2.three hours at fifty-percent brightness. In sensible use, that is greater than sufficient for many taking pictures periods. If not, it may be recharged through a regular exterior battery pack as with most USB-powered gadgets. And it really works tremendous whereas charging. It is really a luxurious to compose at my leisure whereas seeing what the digicam will see.

Present settings and remaining energy are displayed on a small, built-in colour LCD display.

The unit comes with a flash hot-shoe mount that may be fixed alongside both the lengthy or quick fringe of the Lume Dice through a 1/4″-20 threaded socket. However my choice for macro is to perch it atop a small tripod like one from the wonderful Gorillapod line by Joby. This fashion, I get final flexibility in positioning.

The Lume Dice Panel GO sits in the course of the corporate’s line of photographic gentle panels and retails for $99. On the decrease finish sits the $59 Panel Mini at about half the GO’s dimension, with about half the facility output. On the high-end, you will discover the $199 Panel Professional with full RGB output somewhat than the fundamental bi-color LED association of their different panels. I care far more about colour temperature than wild colour tints, so I opted to purchase two Panel GOs for a similar value. Each collectively weigh lower than my Nikon flash.

There are comparable competing merchandise from different producers, however Lume Dice appears to hit the candy spot for me by way of performance, efficiency, dimension, and price. My solely criticism could be that it lacks any type of distant management. I might find it irresistible if it included Bluetooth, however it is a minor downside.

Very extremely advisable. This new secret weapon is cool.

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