Saturday, 25 August 2012

7DVL1 64 LED Video / Photo modelling light

Originally published on Sep 25, 2010 @ 20:15


I don't think there are many photographers that will argue that one of the most important if not the most important element of creating a good photograph is good lighting. Good lighting is also essential for those of us dabbling in the world of DSLR film making. For guerilla style filming, mainly a hand held one man film crew a good portable, powerful light source is essential when filming inside or at night. I have a found an extremely affordable video light that is hot-shoe mountable.



It is the 7DV1 64 LED video light from 7dayshop.com.
Here are the specs:
Dimensions: H7 x W7 x D3cm
Weight: 198grams (with batteries inserted)
Colour temperature: 5500K
LED luminosity: 480 lumens
Power requirements: 4 x AA batteries.  NiMh are recommended
Battery life is approximately 2 hours at full brightness and 4 hours at reduced power mode (36 LEDs)
It is supplied with a fairly sturdy plastic mounting bracket that attaches to a standard 1/4 inch thread.
The really good thing about these lights are that they can be connected together to make a large panel.  I only have two but you can get the idea.




The light has four hot-shoe sized slots to allow them to be connected together in any arrangement.  In theory any size panel can be created but each light needs to be turned on and off individually and takes it's own set of 4 AA batteries, so the practicality of making a large panel isn't great.  Lots of batteries, lots of weight.  Also a custom made rig to mount them on would have to be built.  The brightness of one of these lights is very impressive, I found two lights are very practical for filming inside in complete darkness, I will post an example video in the future demonstrating this in the future.
There are options when it comes to mounting the lights to a camera:  hot-shoe, bracket, both or 2 brackets.




Mounting the lights in this way involves screwing one mount into the other.  Because the mounts are plastic there is a bit of wobble but it's not too bad.  I'm sure there are lots of third party metal flash brackets available to give a more sturdy mounting solution.

I only really have one issue with these lights and that is the power switch, it's a push on / push off type rather and a sliding switch.  The power switch could easily get pressed when it's in your camera bag, for this reason I leave one battery out of each light when they are not in use.  This small issue can be easily forgiven as the price for one of these lights is just £17.29 delivered with a 2 year warranty.  I highly recommend these lights and at under £20 a piece it's a no brainer buying decision.