Camera mounted lighting?

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#1 Sauce-Kay on 5 years ago

I'm pretty new at cosplay photography and this Fanime will be my first real cosplay-photo con. I'm wanting to take photos indoors where lighting isn't exactly the best. I don't own any lighting equipment and found this:

I realize it's for videos, but it seems like it would work pretty decently for photos. I read a lot of the reviews, but I'm not sure if it would work well for portraits/cosplay photography... it seems pretty convenient to have. I'm really not that big into artificial lighting, but I'd like to try experiment with it and I'd just like to know what would be the best (and least expensive way) to do this.

I apologize for my lack of knowledge lol. If anyone could recommend equipment that would be super duper helpful! :D Thanks!

#2 Av4rice on 5 years ago

Hard to argue with that price.

It's not really big enough to be a soft light, unless you put some bigger modifiers on it.

If you mount it to a hotshoe like that, it's going to be on-axis light, which generally doesn't look good as key for portraits unless you're trying to be Terry Richardson. But I guess you can mount it anywhere since it carries its own power and doesn't require sync. I would put it on a lightstand or a boom or handhold it or have a lighting assistant carry it. Or just use it for fill.

Keep in mind that the inverse square rule still applies, so subject exposure can change a lot depending on distance to the light. Unless you're shooting everyone from exactly the same distance away, be prepared to adjust that light a lot.

It's unclear just how powerful it really is. Those videographers say it's bright, but they have the benefit of fairly slow shutter speeds. I don't know if it would be powerful enough for ceiling bounce. If it does have a lot of power, it will eat through those batteries pretty fast, being a continuous light.

Ideally I'd want to use a flash. Good power and efficiency for the money. With TTL to take care of distance issues. If you shoot Canon or Nikon, Yong Nuo YN-468 II units should be around the $70-80 range.

#3 KVN on 5 years ago

I have a canon dslr, and in order to save money on flashes I bought a slightly older canon A-TTL flash for $3. It will read the focal length of the lens, aperture, zoom in and out, etc. but no TTL or HSS. Frankly, I always seem to under expose by a stop and a half in bad lighting anyway using E-TTL on my 550ex. Not certain what I may be doing wrong, but I'll be going full manual next. There are some nice older flashes out there so no need to mount a video light to your dslr. If you have a Nikon then simply hunt for older film flashes by Nikon like the Sb-28 or Sb-26?

#4 Access on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Sauce-Kay;4861977]I realize it's for videos, but it seems like it would work pretty decently for photos. I read a lot of the reviews, but I'm not sure if it would work well for portraits/cosplay photography... [/QUOTE]
LED lighting is rather problematic when photographing people, the odd spectrum put out by "white" LEDs often results in odd skin tones and other undesirable effects like that. And if you are shining the lights on people's faces, then it will be most obvious there where it most matters. You can see what I'm talking about if you look at my videos where the LED lighting was used, for lack of anything better, like some of the night gathering videos. For this reason I'm not a big fan of either fluorescent or LED lighting, though some of the newest "CRI95" LEDs are at least approaching the realm of acceptable.

I do see a lot of these things around at events, but I think that's mainly due to the fact they're very inexpensive, not that they make for good photographs.

#5 jeproxshots on 5 years ago

That type of lighting is ment more for vid's... I've tried it.... however that type of lighting is good to use when you need that focus light for late night shoots

#6 brucer007 on 5 years ago

LED lights like that can create great lighting, in a dark room, or at night, but it is not powerful enough to use indoors with plenty of Skylights or Windows letting sunlight bounce in.

Using a forward firing light on the camera would be pretty bland, but on a light stand, or held by someone could bring good results.

Strobes do give you much more light that can be mixed with sunlight, or diffused sun coming through windows.

Here are some images I did with two or three LED lights at night.

I mixed two LED lights with available light from the lights in the park, from a tennis court, just beyond the frame.

This was shot in her backyard with three LED lights. I bounce one off a silver reflector, to create a candlelight effect.

#7 Sauce-Kay on 5 years ago

Sorry for the late response- been pretty busy. And thank you for the replies, they are incredibly helpful to me. C:

So would this be effective for pretty much night shots only? I'm totally okay with that if it is, I just am not sure. I bought it to try it out and haven't been able to yet. I've been dying to do some night shots so I'll have to actually get off my booty and mess around with it.

You guys are so knowledgeable! :skidude2:

#8 WonJohnSoup on 5 years ago

As someone said, those are usually used for video because of it's ability to be a constant light source. When mounted on axis with the lens and with such a small surface area, it's really not that different from using a pop up flash that's already built into most cameras. It does look like it may be able to swivel and bounce off of walls and stuff, but at such a low power I sincerely doubt you'd want to deal with that amount of hassle.

It may be possible to pu a "balloon" type modifier to increase the surface area and create a faux-beauty dish soft/harsh look, but I doubt it has enough power.

If you're looking for inexpensive on camera lighting, may want to look at the lower end yong-nuo's. That's what I use (though never really on camera). Good luck.

#9 Foques on 5 years ago

LED lights are plenty powerful, and usable.
Look up ICE light (or, since most of us are on a budget, Auomotive LED torches).

Standard White LEDs provide a warmer white; granted you need to adjust for it in the temperature setting, but they are very much manageable.
Some of the best modern strobes are LED based now.