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SmallRig RC220 Bi-Colour LED Evaluation: Correct and Inexpensive


SmallRig’s 220 Watt RC220B LED light is a much-anticipated replace to the RC120 sequence LED. Whereas the D model is daylight balanced, the B mannequin we examined provides a shade stability of 2700K to 6500K. After making a number of smaller vlogger-style LED lights, it appears with this replace, SmallRig is formally getting into the skilled steady lighting world.

The updated system seems to have merely retrofitted the RC120 physique with a set of extra highly effective inner elements, permitting present customers to maintain the identical baggage, packing containers, and modifiers they already personal. Out of the field, the RC 220B mild ships in a semi-rigid shell carrying case that features the sunshine itself with a protecting plastic cap, a big reflector, and the ability brick and cable permitting for about twenty toes from plug to mild.

Design and Construct High quality

The sunshine itself seems to be nearly an identical to the compact RC120 mannequin with an built-in deal with on the rear of the physique for a safe grip when dealing with or making changes on a lightweight stand. The physique of the sunshine itself includes a steel chassis and a plastic enclosure, in addition to a stiff plastic mild stand mount and tightening crank.

Throughout my testing, the plastic felt like it might break after I was tightening the sunshine on a growth, however a lot to my shock, even with a hefty quantity of stress, it held agency. I wouldn’t advocate going loopy with the stress on it however for what most customers would want it to do, the mounts had been sturdy and safe sufficient.

The sunshine itself includes a Bowens suitable mount for modifiers with a fast launch lock on the highest of the sunshine. Seeing a brand new LED system use a considerably industry-standard mount was good, particularly since I already had a number of modifiers that I might take a look at with it. If Bowen’s isn’t your factor, the mount has an built-in umbrella holder on the facet.

The again of the LED includes a fairly minimalist design and homes the ability cable, on/off change, an LCD display, and two jog dial buttons that management the depth, shade temperature, and results.

The sunshine is cooled with a fan that, even when on, was surprisingly quiet and unintrusive. When recording video even the slightest of sounds might be picked up by on-set microphones, however compared to some of the LED lights I’ve examined not too long ago, this one was by far the quietest.

Moreover, even after leaving the sunshine on at full energy for a number of hours, the followers saved the sunshine from getting too scorching and it was not tough to deal with in any respect. Based on the corporate, the fan robotically activates when the temperature hits 60-degrees Celcius (140-degrees Fahrenheit) and the noise output is at or lower than 30 decibels.

Additionally it is value noting that this mild does have an optionally available V-mount battery plate that will let you buy a separate 14.4V/26V battery (not included) to connect with this rig and use the LED in areas the place direct energy is unavailable. Consider, that customers would want a really beefy battery to reap the benefits of this, however the possibility is there.

Options and Settings

The brand new RC 220B mild options an ordinary (adjustable) 2700K to 6500K shade temperature and brightness management, in addition to a choice of particular results which are greatest fitted to video shooters. This new mild additionally features a built-in Bluetooth controller that permits you to management the sunshine and alter just about each single setting by way of the SmallGoGo app that’s obtainable for iPhone and Android customers.

Utilizing the app is nice when you’ve related, however to be truthful, the method of getting it related was considerably counterintuitive and required me to go to the corporate’s YouTube channel to lookup a information on the best way to particularly add the lights over Bluetooth. The method was somewhat too unrefined for my liking, however it’s an early era that ought to solely enhance with future firmware and software program updates.

To attach the sunshine to the Bluetooth app, you must maintain down the reset button on the sunshine for about 5 seconds to set off the Bluetooth pairing.

SmallGoGo-App-Screens

The app permits customers to simply flip the sunshine on, off, or make adjustments to any of the obtainable settings together with brightness, shade temperature, and activating or adjusting the particular impact choices.

The particular impact choices are attending to be commonplace in trendy LEDs for video work, however the options are nonetheless enjoyable and welcome nonetheless. Included on this mild are settings for Flash/Paparazzi, Lightning Bolts, Occasion Lights, TV, Fire, Fireworks, and some others that permit for some attention-grabbing and inventive background setups when capturing video. Sadly, none of those have any actual worth for nonetheless shooters.

Gentle High quality and Efficiency

Based on the corporate, with the steel reflector mounted, the sunshine is rated for 84,500 lux and includes a TLCI of 96+, CRI of 95+. To place that into a standard strobist perspective. With this mild at full energy utilizing a big softbox, I used to be capable of mild company headshots (in addition to artistic portraits) at about ISO 500 with an f-stop of 5.6 with none points. On no account “excellent” however nonetheless very usable and truly far more highly effective than I used to be anticipating from the system.

Headshot Station Setup - SmallRig LED Main with Profoto Fill Lights

SmallRig BTS

Throughout the brief time I examined this mild, the colour temperature was very correct, with a variance of solely 100 to 150 Kelvin relying on the place I set it. Whereas not completely excellent, it was fairly spectacular contemplating the very low price of the sunshine and remains to be effectively inside the identical acceptable variance ranges of {most professional} strobes.

The underside line is, aside from having to bump up my ISO, the sunshine could be very usable by itself (as seen within the portraits) and even when combined with different lights just like the headshots proven within the photographs under. For the headshots on this overview, I used the SmallRig RC 220B as the principle mild with Profoto B2 heads used for the backdrop and rim lights.

SmallRig Portrait Example

SmallRig Portrait Example

SmallRig Portrait Example

Headshot Lit with SmallRig LED

Headshot Lit with SmallRig LED

Headshot Lit with SmallRig LED

Headshot Lit with SmallRig LED

Inexpensive Steady Lighting for Pictures and Videography

The 220B mild is extra highly effective than its predecessor and surprisingly useable for professional-level photograph and video work with correct shade temperature management. Whereas the sunshine isn’t excellent or loaded with tons of bells and whistles, it is small, light-weight, transportable, and might be each powered immediately by way of an outlet or by way of a battery making it far more versatile than I initially anticipated.

As a primarily targeted still-photo artistic, I’d favor to have a larger energy output, however that bigger output will doubtless include a a lot bigger price. Given the sunshine’s low $370 worth, the ability provided is definitely fairly spectacular and undoubtedly usable to provide professional-level photographs.

Are There Alternate options?

Seeing as how this LED is on the extra reasonably priced facet of issues, there are literally numerous alternate options obtainable at the same worth, every with its personal professionals and cons per greenback. Out of the gate, should you don’t want the additional energy of the $369 RC220B, it can save you about $100 and go together with the 120B additionally from SmallRig. Moreover, you’ll be able to select from one of many different alternate options just like the $199 Aputure Amaran 100D, the $520 Nanlite Forza 200, $475 Rotolight AEOS Portable Bi-color LED, the $449 Godox/Flashpoint FV200, and $189 SL-100Y or $395 SL-200WII.

Every of those lights gives you somewhat kind of energy and performance linked to their asking worth, so based mostly on what you want out of a steady LED system, any of those are worthy alternate options. Nevertheless, the RC220B appears to supply probably the most bang for buck so far as mild energy is worried.

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure. In case you are a hybrid shooter in search of an reasonably priced, expandable, and quiet lighting system in your video and nonetheless work, the SmallRig RC220B is certainly value wanting into.


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