There’s a bright update regarding lights here at NAB 2017. The Aputure Light Storm C300d is the latest addition to their lineup and it’s really bright! Ted Sim from the A Team talks us through all the features.
Aputure Light Storm C300d
Not very long ago, I did a review on the Aputure Light Storm C120t. The t in that model stands for tungsten, so the d in Light Storm C300d clearly stands for daylight. Simple! At 150% the size of the previous tungsten version, the new Light Storm C300d fixture is the bigger brother of the C120t. This light is tremendously high-output, and as such, its LED COB (chip on bard) system needs some serious cooling and the enclosure space to house it: not one but two fans and a large heatsink are built right into the unit.
Basically, this light can replace a much higher-powered HMI source but without the need of a power outlet. With 300W of power, Aputure claims a massive 82,000 lux of light output. However, that’s its rating at about 0.5 meters. Since lux ratings are usually measured at a distance of 1m, these 82,000 lux may not actually mean so much. I’m walking on thin ice here, but I assume this number translates to about 20,500 lux @ 1m when consulting the inverse square law to do the math.
EDIT: Ted from Aputure just got back to me via mail and he’s telling me that the rating is actually 31,000 lux @ 1m. Nicely done, indeed! To clarify even more, read the following comment by Aputure’s Ted Sim:
When we said 31,000 lux, we were talking about at 1m with the Bowens Reflector which puts it at a 60 degree beam angle. With the fresnel, we’re looking at 187,800 lux at 0.5m.
One thing to be careful of though is that lux isn’t really an accurate measurement of output since it’s only testing the brightness of a fixture at a single point in space. It isn’t measuring every ray of luminescence that light is emitting, which means that if a light has a hot spot in the middle of the beam when compared to the edge of the light’s cast (ex. a 4:1 ratio rather than 2:1), that can cause a light to give off higher (even double) lux readings even though it isn’t actually any more efficient or bright.
We specially design the Light Storm Reflector to give as even of a spread as possible. We think it makes for a better tool in cinematography where you want as much control as possible. However, it does mean that if you test the center of the light and compare it to the edge of its cast, the lux readings won’t vary much.
We’ll be releasing full photometrics the following week, but the best thing to do is have users compare the lights for themselves and in person. At the end of May in NYC and at the beginning of June in LA, we’re going to be hosting an open house where anyone is welcome to bring their lights and compare fixtures.
The external ballast is also a bigger version of the original. It now sports two V-mounts, though you can order a Gold Mount, too. In terms of stamina, we’re looking at about 100min run-time at full power when you attach two 150Wh batteries to the ballast. That’s not a vast amount, but it does allow you to have a very bright light in the field. Just bring a bunch of batteries and you’re all set.
You can still remote control the ballast and group several fixtures together. The dimming knob is also still there.
Just as the C120t, the build quality is pretty solid without too much plastic. The Light Storm C300d still has the Bowen-S mount to attach a vast variety of available light-shaping accessories. Also, the Light Storm C300d will ship in a case, which is always a nice accessory to have.
Pricing and Availability
The Aputure Light Storm C300d should be ready for shipping in under three months, so we’re looking at a July 2017 release. No final pricing has been set but according to Aputure they are trying to get it under $1,000 which would be nice to see, of course!
Do you have a Light Storm fixture in your kit already? Share your experiences in the comments below!