Photography News 95 - Web

First test

The Neo 3 is the brightest on-camera LED light ever made, and is also a versatile flash – capable of outputting in 16.7 million colours. It’s available to pre-order now Rotolight Neo 3 PRICE: FROM£514.99 ROTOLIGHT.COM/NEO3

SPECS ›  Prices

Neo 3 starter bundle £514.99 Neo 3 ultimate bundle £549.99 Neo 3 three light kit £2058.99 ›  In the box Starter bundle: Neo 3, custom battery, USB cable Ultimate bundle: Neo 3, custom battery, diffuser dome, fast charger Three light kit: 3x Neo, 3x custom battery, 3x diffuser domes, 3x light stand, 1x dual channel fast charger, hard case ›  Peak output 5443 lux at 3ft (continuous) 10,700 lux at 3ft (flash) ›  Lux at 3ft 5443, f/10 at ISO 100, f/22 at ISO 400 ›  Lux at 6ft 1463, f/4 at ISO 100, f/7.1 at ISO 400 ›  Lux at 9ft 695, f/2.8 at ISO 100, f/5.6 at ISO 400 ›  Colour temperature range 3000-10,000K

changed via the red control knobs, or by touch. Using a Gossen light meter, I took incident readings at ISO 400, at various output levels and distances of one and two metres. Colour temperature was set at 5500K (daylight) for this first test. A reading at full power at one metre resulted in f/5.6. At 50% output, this dropped to f/4, and f/2.8 at 25%. Moving out to two metres, I got readings at 100%, 50% and 25% of f/3.3, f/2.4 and f/1.7, respectively. These are usable power levels of continuous light from a unit that can happily sit on your camera. My readings also showed how accurate and stable output was with proportional power changes. Maximum output is produced at 4600K and this gave an extra 0.5EV on the above values, so f/4 at 100% at two metres and f/6.7 at one metre. The HSI mode gives the choice of 360 colours – selectable on a sliding scale on the touchscreen. Furthermore, the chosen colour can be fine-tuned by touching the Hue virtual button, which switches to SAT. Then, colour saturation can be varied within a 0% to 100% range. “THESE ARE USABLE POWER LEVELS OF CONTINUOUS LIGHT FROMA UNITTHAT CAN FIT HAPPILY ONYOUR CAMERA”

LATE LAST YEAR, the Rotolight Neo 3 and AEOS 2 became the most funded photography and video LED lights in Kickstarter history, generating over $860k in just over 30 days. Both units are now available to pre-order, with sales starting in spring 2022 – 1 April for the Neo 3. PN got hold of early samples to see what they have to offer. This month, it is the turn of the Neo 3, and we tried out a pre-production light with firmware D.10.07. Our unit’s functionality might be different from final samples. Fitted with 56 bi-colour LEDs, the clear front panel offers little diffusion. For softer light, optional S-mount and universal speedring adapters are available to hold a modifier – these are priced at £59. Accessory barn doors, filters and a softbox are featured in the Rotolight system. The light is quite compact, so good for location shooting. There are three 1/4in-20 screw thread fittings, meaning the Neo 3 can be fitted on the camera’s accessory shoe using a coldshoe or ball head mount. It also allows the Neo 3 to be tripod- mounted, used on a clamp or a lighting stand. Build quality is very good and reassuringly solid. Around the back are the light’s only physical controls, two adjustment knobs and the power switch, an LED touch panel and a gap for the bayonet-fit battery. The Neo 3 can be mains or battery powered – it accepts Sony NP-F-type batteries. I tried an NP-F550 and the larger NP- F960 – both third party. The light’s control centre is the touch panel, and with its clear layout and responsiveness, this rates highly in providing a lovely user experience. Adjusting and fine-tuning features is very easy and intuitive. A Rotolight app for iOS and Android will also be available for the new lights when they go on sale – not available at the time of this review. Turn the light on and it’s ready to use a second or so later. It starts in the same mode and setting as when the unit was powered down. The five modes are all accessible via the home menu. CCT is the basic continuous lighting mode, with intensity variable from 0% to 100%, and colour temperature from 3000K to 10,000K. Both parameters can be

›  Digital filters 2500 ›  Special effects 14 ›  Touchscreen Yes ›  TLCI 99 ›  CRI 95 ›  Beam angle 50° ›  Max shutter speed sync

1/8000sec (with optional trigger) ›  Wireless control Wi-Fi, Bluetooth via iOS and Android app ›  Battery type NP-F type ›  Mounting Three 1/4in screw threads ›  Power consumption 50W ›  Dimensions (wxd) 145x50mm ›  Weight 354g ›  Contact

Another way of accessing colour output is using the Gels feature. This mode enables you to match light output to that produced using filters from Rosco and Lee Filters. To make

selection easier, filters are grouped in six colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Rotate the right of the two red knobs and you can scroll through the many

MOUNTING MAGIC Three 1/4in screw threads means the Neo 3 can be stand, clamp or tripod mounted, or fixed to a camera accessory shoe via a ball socket or coldshoe mount



COLOUR MATCH Output on the Neo 3 was set at 5500K and the test camera, a Canon EOS R5, was set to AWB and 5500K

Issue 95 | Photography News 45

Powered by