We recently had the opportunity to review the excellent Intellytech Fast Frame and after learning about the new Light Cannon X-100 light fixture from the same company during our Virtual Trade Show it seemed like a good opportunity to review this promising new portable fresnel. When you name a product the “Light Cannon” there is a certain amount of expectations that come along with a name like that. Is the X-100 worthy of the Light Cannon moniker? Let’s find out!
The $699.00 Light Cannon X-100 kit ships in a soft case with a molded foam interior that doesn’t seem like it could take many hits, but it’s a great way to keep everything organized. You almost don’t need to worry about the case offering any protection though because the lamp head of the X-100 feels indestructible. Trust me when I say this feels engineered to last for years. The ballast/controller feels a little less sturdy, but I’ll dive deeper into that below.
This could be a peculiarity with my specific unit, but the yoke is very tight and it takes a bit of effort to tilt. Better that versus a yoke that will slip often, however.
Here’s everything included in the kit:
- Intellytech Light Cannon X-100 Fresnel
- Ballast/Controller with Battery Plate
- AC Power Cable
- Bowens Reflector
- Wireless Antenna
- Soft Carrying Case
The full kit weighs in at about 12 lbs and the lamp head accounts for most of that weight while keeping a small physical footprint. The fixture is focusable between 17 and 70 degrees using a plastic ring (see below image) and, in practice, that works very well and makes this light very versatile as a flood or to pinpoint something specific in a scene.
An onboard Bowens Mount means the Light Cannon X-100 is compatible with hundreds of accessories from other brands ranging from softboxes to snoots and reflectors. I tried a few Bowens mounted accessories from other brands and didn’t have any issues — everything fit fine and can be unlocked by a small release on the side of the light.
The Light Cannon X100 is available in both Gold Mount and V-Mount versions and the controller/ballast has a little toggle that allows you to switch between AC (marked as “Cable”) and battery power input. It would be nice if this power switchover was handled dynamically by the controller, but this does allow you to simply leave a battery on the ballast while plugged into the wall for those moments when you might need to un-tether and move the unit quickly for a pickup shot.
There are a few selectable effects built into the light including one with the interesting title of “warm breathing” and here is the full list:
- Lightning 1
- Lightning 2
- TV Screen
- High/Low Beam
- Double Flash Hazard
- Warm Breathing
Most of these are self-explanatory, but the “warm breathing” effect feels like a warm pulse from an alien spacecraft. Good to have these effect options for the moments they might come in handy on set, versus not having them and needing to manually try to toggle a pulse effect mid-scene over dozens of takes.
Color temperature is selectable between 2800-6500K in 50 Kelvin increments by using the upper right silver wheel (see picture above). You can change intensity in single % increments using the below right silver wheel, which is partially protected by a small metal bar. You do have integrated ports for connecting to a DMX512 network or you can use a $79.00 X-WR remote (available separately), though there is no Bluetooth connectivity.
The output feeder cable that connects the controller/ballast to the lamp head is integrated into the unit (see below image) and that means you’ll need to send in the entire unit in the case of a damaged feeder cable — something to keep in mind.
An included strap gives you an easy way to hang the controller on a C-stand, though I’d love to see an integrated clamp option in the future. Overall the controller/ballast unit is easy to use and light/small enough that it doesn’t kill the portability of the overall kit.
I grabbed a few measurements on my Sekonic C-700U Spectrometer of how accurately the X-100 handled color temp (Kelvin) at a distance of 3ft set to a 70 degree beam. Overall we averaged a very good 96.0 CRI (Ra) throughout all my testing. Here are my readings with a target of 5600K:
We hit a 5449 kelvin temp with a target of 5600K — these are excellent results and well within a normal margin of error. The 4310 lx output at 3 feet makes this a very punchy LED light, but not quite HMI killing territory in terms of output.
Now for a quick test with a target of 3200K:
At 3063 these are solid readings for the kelvin temp target at 3200K. We did see a slight drop in output from 4310lx to 3870lx once we changed over to Tungsten from Daylight.
Now for a quick reading with a target of 5600K and the included reflector attachment added.
A certain amount of color shift is expected with most modifiers, but a 500+ K difference is considerable and an argument for not using the including reflector without corrective gels. You do get a significant bump in output while using the reflector attachment, so that is something to keep in mind.
Given the size to output ratio the X-100 is an incredibly versatile light and very worthy of being called a light cannon in my opinion. Flood the fixture to 70 degrees and you can fire it into diffusion for a soft key or spot the light to 17 degrees for a hard source providing an edge to your subject or pinpoint something in the background. It’s small enough that you can check it on a plane and the build quality suggests it would make for an excellent rental or run & gun item too. Bi-color also gives you the added flexibility of not needing to worry about gels and it helps you quickly match the color of existing architectural lighting in a scene. In short, the $699.00 price point makes this a fixture that is batting well above what the affordable price tag indicates.
What do you think? Are you in the market for a punchy and focusable COB LED? Would you add the Intellytech Light Cannon X-100 to your kit? Let us know in the comments below!