The 2018 edition of the NAB trade show has given us plenty to talk about already but, of course, there is always more gear upon which to feast our eyes. One of the notable sectors this year is lighting, with multiple manufacturers releasing equipment ranging from small accessories to full-fledged kits. The variety can seem massive, with each company expanding its own lineup in different ways, but it also means that you have more options. So, let us dive in!
Kino-Flo: The veteran lighting giant Kino-Flo has come out with several bundles of its FreeStyle 21 and 31 LED fixtures. The core components are available in the DMX System model, including the light panel itself, a DMX controller, 25' extension cable, and twist-on mount with a 5/8" baby receiver. For those who regularly travel, the DMX kits include all these items, plus your choice of a soft case or hard flight case for easy transport. Finally, those not satisfied by a single light can purchase a two-unit kit that comes complete with a larger shipping case to hold everything in it. Oh, did I mention you can purchase SnapBag softboxes for both lights, as well, so you can easily create soft continuous light? Well, now I have.
K 5600: Chock-full of interesting releases, K 5600's offerings are centered around three different lights that are part of the Joker² series: 400-, 800-, and 1600-watt versions. These updated models promise decreased electrical consumption relative to their output and can be used with different beamers or as a bare bulb. Each fixture comes with a dimmable ballast that can work at 300 or 1000 Hz for shooting at fast shutter speeds, as well as antenna and Lumenradio support for wireless control via a tablet or smartphone. Note that the lights can be found in base, News, Zoom, and Jo-Leko kits, which increase their versatility. Finally, a wide variety of accessories is available, including softboxes and a Softube for diffusing your light, and crossover adapters for using Broncolor or Profoto reflectors on your fixture.
Lupo: New from Lupo are the Superpanel Soft LED fixtures, available in the classic daylight, tungsten, or bi-color configurations and with or without DMX support. These 12.5 x 13" panels aim to give you diffused, homogenous light in a package that is easy to transport, thanks to its low weight of 6.2 pounds. Lupo also promises silent and flicker-free operation for those seeking to shoot video, and the light comes complete with a dedicated battery and yoke for a truly portable design.
Lumos: Manufacturer of several kinds of LED lights, Lumos has released the Glow Panel 400C, which is a mid-sized fixture with an integrated soft panel. With durable, all-metal construction, the light is capable of full RGBW output and offers color temperatures from 2800K all the way up to 10000K for ultimate customization. If having all these options scares you (or your wallet), the Glow Panel 400F offers a more traditional experience by allowing you to switch between tungsten or daylight color balance with no intermediate steps. Other notable features of both fixtures include stable 0-100% dimming, flicker-free operation, and your standard DMX ports for easy off-board control.
Matthews: Two new stands from Matthews are sure to please professionals looking for a reliable support system. The Steady Rest is a double riser pole with a simple rubber tip at the bottom, meant to be handheld like a monopod. It is designed for those with large Steadicam or other stabilizing rigs, so you can rest them safely between shots and give your back a break, but it can be used with anything that fits its 5/8" stud. For those with several LED fixtures, the K-Stacker II stand allows you to stack up to three 4' panels, such as the Kino-Flo FreeStyle 31, for creating a single large, soft source of light. The DMX controllers can be secured on the stand, as well, or with optional extension cables, of course, and the K-Stacker allows for downward mounting so you can hang the entire rig like a space light from a studio grid.
Outsight: For this year, Outsight has focused on expanding the range of options for one of its most compact lights, the Creamsource Micro+ Bender. The highlight is a High CRI kit aimed at industry professionals, which bundles the fixture with your choice of V-mount or AB-mount battery plate, a softbox, a holographic lens, a snap grid, and a carrying bag. For those who already own the light, you can purchase the V-mount battery plate separately, or accessorize it with items such as a custom-fit hard case, a speed ring, or a silk skirt target for an improved experience.
Are you excited about the NAB product releases? Did you get to try any of this gear in person, or wish that you could? Share your opinion with us by adding to the Comments section, below.