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Stellar Lighting SystemsSTL-Varicolor336 Artist On-Camera LED Light with NP-F550 Type Battery

(based on 2 reviews)

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Good value when discounted

By T

from Santa Monica, CA

About Me Hobbyist

Verified Reviewer



      Best Uses

        Comments about Stellar Lighting Systems STL-Varicolor336 Artist On-Camera LED Light with NP-F550 Type Battery:


        Produces a surprising amount of light. I don't forsee ever using the 100% setting except maybe as fill on a strongly backlit face; even the minimum setting of 10% puts out a lot of light.

        Is totally quiet and doesn't hum, can be placed near microphones.

        Respectable weight.

        Built well, the housing seems quite tough and the unit should survive a drop provided the (recessed) LEDs don't hit first.

        The cold shoe adapter does an excellent job of securing the light to the camera.

        Light pattern is wide enough to provide even, shadow-free lighting even when using a wide lens or short focal-length.


        The barn doors of my unit were all assembled backwards so the matte-finish sides were on the outside, and the doors would not fold flat. In addition, one of the doors had popped off its hinge during shipment, probably because it wouldn't fold flat and the frame got twisted.

        The magnets used to attach the diffuser and barn doors are too weak. The frosted diffuser alone will be held securely by the magnets, but while it is possible to stack the diffuser and barn doors, the barn doors are barely holding on. If you shoot outdoors and there are gusts of wind, or if you make any sudden camera movements, the doors may fall or get pulled off.

        The magnets on the diffuser seem to be attached using clear hotglue. One of the magnets came off within the first five minutes.

        There are no detents on the brightness and color temperature dials.

        Because the LED voltages are stepped, changes in the dial positions don't result in smooth changes. In addition, because the color temperature is determined by the ratio and brightness of the white and yellow LEDs, I could induce a situation where a particular dial position produced occasional slight color temperature changes. Nudging the dial every so slightly stopped that.

        The color temperature control has markings for 2800K, 4600K, and 6500K, but the required dial positions aren't indicated. Consequently you turn the dial to the two extremes or half-way in between and hope that you get what you want. Consider the color temperatures on the dial a guideline only. On the other hand, doing a custom white-balance in-camera using a calibrated target, and then setting up a close-enough match for fill light using the dial is quick and easy.

        The cold shoe adapter is not hand-adjustable and requires you to keep a Philips-head screwdriver on hand if you want to adjust the aim. I wound up buying a Vello Multifunction Ball Head (B&H # VECSBH1) to remedy this; I tightly locked down the adapter that comes with the light, and have it attached to the Vello. That also added a bit of height which helped me clear contact between my shotgun microphone and the light.

        The cord on the included AC adapter is too short (four feet) to be practical. You'll need an extension cord and secure the adapter to a tripod leg since it probably won't even reach to the floor on its own.

        The box included only one NP-F550 clone battery instead of two as stated in the "In the Box" tab of the B&H website. Since even the manufacturer doesn't claim that the unit ships with two batteries, I suspect someone was confused when adding the item to the online catalog.

        The source of the NP-F550 clone battery is unknown with no hint as to who made it. The label says "Fits SON. NP-F550/F570" -- yes, they replaced the "Y" in "SONY" with a period because they probably aren't authorized to make the batteries and don't want to get sued.

        The battery charger is based on a universal design with an adapter plate for the type of battery being charged. That's either good or bad, depending on how you look at it. In my case the adapter plate comes off when trying to remove the battery because the adapter plate isn't being held in place securely.

        Doesn't come with any type of documentation. An item that lists for $250 should come with a $0.05 manual, if for no other reason than to explain the LED indicator on the no-name battery charger.

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        Great light

        By Viral Video

        from Frisco, TX

        About Me Business Owner, Professional Artist

        Verified Buyer


        • Compact Design
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Professional Quality


          Best Uses

          • Complex Projects
          • Independent Films

          Comments about Stellar Lighting Systems STL-Varicolor336 Artist On-Camera LED Light with NP-F550 Type Battery:

          This was an upgrade from the 320 model and it works great. The light is more diffuse than the 320 so it doesn't feel like a spot light on the subject. The extra battery capabilities will run this light for multiple shoots without a recharge.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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