Long story short, there is a pretty significant difference between low and high CRI LED’s. Enough that you could plunk down the extra $30 for good quality LED’s.
Budget LED’s on Amazon are about $30, and most of them I’ve seen make zero mention of CRI rating… yet most of these products are rated 5 stars. But truth is, most people just starting out probably wouldn’t notice this type of thing. Fortunately, I did the dirty work for you and I have two recommendations (as mentioned in the video):
As mentioned in the video, I found the lighting from the YN360 a bit harsh, even diffused with the umbrella. So I did redid it, toned down the power just a tad and added a tiny bit of fill and here was the result:
Ultimately, I like both of the high CRI options. Here’s my pros and cons:
- As far as light output, it’s the best value. It essentially had double the power than one of the Aputure HL198C’s (I used two in the video).
- Has a warming diffusion filter.
- You can also dial in R/G/B colors, albeit at a low power.
- No power included. You’ll have to buy the adapter and/or battery separately (I bought a generic NP-F750).
- No clear diffusion filter. Even shot through an umbrella, I thought it was a little harsh.
- Does not take AA batteries.
- It’s pretty big – not something that fits in most camera bags.
- Bi-Color LED’s which I think is better because you can dial in the exact look you want.
- Takes both the specialized batteries (NP-F750) and double AA batteries, having the ladder as an option is useful because they’re cheaper and more readily available (ie. if you’re on a shoot and you run out, any store will carry AA batteries).
- Comes with a diffusion filter.
- You can connect them together. This is great because you could essentially create a large LED panel if needed, and because of the larger light source, the lighting is softer.
- Portable – Something you can easily throw in most camera bags.
- Full power with double AA’s was not very long… I wasn’t timing it but I think the power started decreasing after 30 mins. Though it probably performs better with the specialized batteries.
- Not as strong as the YN360.
Overall, I think it comes down to personal preference. If you want power, the YN360 is the best value. But the Aputure’s offer a lot of value elsewhere… so it’s up to you.
Last thing, if you’re relying on lighting your videos with these… I used the Panasonic G85 at I believe at F2.0 and ISO800. So depending on your setup, you’ll need at least 1 Yongnuo or 2 Aputure’s… probably double that if you want something a little more professionally lit. I should also note that Aputure has larger LED panels available… probably something I’ll explore next!
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