For the past three years I've been searching for the remains of Noah's Ark. My journies have taken me to some of the most remote and harsh locations in the world. I've been part of two expeditions to Turkey, one of which I climbed the icy slopes of Mt. Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah's Ark. As a filmmaker, I've faced a quality/durability issue with the equipment I take with me. In most cases, I've been forced to sacrifice quality for durability or durability for quality. The equipment just doesn't have to survive the sub zero temperatures of Mt. Ararat, but also the drops, bumps and bruises along the way. It's not like filming in a studio!
Perhaps the most difficult choice any documentary filmmaker has to make is deciding what type of lighting to take with them. Currently I'm in Moscow, Russia working on a 5 minute segment for my Noah's Ark film. Over the past month, I've been using the VIDLED light for a lot of the production I've been shooting here. Why didn't I find this light sooner? It's built like a tank! I've dropped the light on two occasions, it's been subject to the snow and rain and still operates like a charm.
Have you seen the effects of other lights on the market? I have and I didn't want something that put out what looked like a spot light from a prison break! Since the VIDLED light uses LED's, it puts out a smooth, evenly distributed light. I remember the first time I got to use the VIDLED. My film crew and I were on a train headed from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The sun had gone down and we lost most of the light in the train. My cameraman turned on the light and it just about blinded me! The guy sleeping behind us immediately woke up. It has a dimmer switch so you're easily able to control the intensity of the light. The VIDLED light maintains a consistent color temperature across the entire dimming range.
We set up the light, added a gel filter and I was just amazed at the quality. It far surpassed what I anticipated. No more messing with half-baked lights that put out a few watts with uneven colors and that cost me a fortune! I'm not the type of guy who goes "cheap" when it comes to buying the tools that I need to enhance my craft. Most professionals in the filmmaking industry connote price with quality, which most of the time is simply a marketing ploy. My thanks to the people at VIDLED for not gouging us on price like so many other others have done in the industry. The VIDLED light is worth every penny that it sells for!
The VIDLED features 52 LEDs arranged in 2 separate grids. There are 3 different attachments holes at the bottom of the light to allow for different shoe mount configurations. The battery is mounted to the top in either of the two 1/4 holes. Weighing in at only 11.5 ounces [incl. battery pack], the light didn't significantly weigh down the camera, but you will feel the added weight.
The battery is mounted directly to the light, so I can pop the light off the camera and use it as a key light if needed. What a huge advantage! No one likes the flat light that most on camera lights provide, but with the VIDLED you just take it off the camera and move it where you need it without losing power. Use it as a key light, fill light or bounce light.
If there's one single problem that advenuture style documentary filmmakers face, it's an issue of power. You need power for cameras, mics and lights. Before I attempt any expedition, I test the power consumption of my equipment to determine the amount of battery power I'll need to take with me. Because the VIDLED light uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) it's very efficient and requires less battery power than tungesten lights. I took an extra battery with me just in case, but never had to use it. The light never overheated and was actually cool to the touch.
Over the next year I'll be traveling to several countries, living with a primitive tribe on an island in the Asian pacific region, interviewing experts in archeology from Hebrew University in Israel and once again climbing Mt. Ararat in Turkey to search for Noah's Ark. Everything is shot in HD with the Panasonic HVX200. I'm definitely taking the VIDLED light with me and will continue to post some pictures of how the light performs during my travels.
Take it from a guy who's done his homework. If you're looking for a high-quality, dependable, durable, and versatile light, then I definitely recommend the VIDLED light for your next production.