WESTCOTT SOLIX 2-LIGHT KIT £2200/$1400 www.fjwestcott.com
SPECIFICATIONS Size: 26.7 x 24.8 x 26.7cm/ 10.5x9.8x10.5in Weight: 1.5kg/3.3lb Power: 60W CRI: 96 Colour temperature: 5600K Battery: Pairs with any standard D-Tap/PowerTap 14.8V battery and D-Tap cable HOW IT RATES Features: 5/10 Only offers a locked- in dimmable 5600K daylight colour temperature Performance: 7/10 For what it does it performs pretty well. It just doesn’t do verymuch Handling: 9/10 Light, solid, durable and quiet Value formoney: 7/10 Two lights for yourmoney and a heap of accessories PROMOVIEMAKERRATING: 7/10 Pros: Simple to use, quite lightweight, all-in-one kit Cons: Poor feature set and not great value formoney
The light itself is easy to carry around, weighing in at 1.5kgs/3.3lbs, and it couldn’t be simpler to use, with just one scrollable button that controls the light’s intensity at a locked-in 5600K. There are magnets on the front offering a neat solution for attaching barn doors or frost milk diffusion caps, which are both included in the case. Each light provides up to 1.44 foot- lamberts of light intensity at a distance of 1.8m/6ft, which is a decent performance, and the light is nice and even. There’s an adjustable speed ring on the outside of the light for fitting different types of umbrella designs and a Velcro strip that allows the external powerstrap to be attached to the stand. No battery included, but you can buy a Westcott battery for £400/$573, so if you wanted to power both units you’d have to spend a further £800/$1146. There’s only a 60W draw from the battery, so it will run for a long time. Overall, the lights have got a solid feel to them and they’re nicely engineered, and if you’re after a neat all-in-one kit that will serve a specific purpose then this is an option. The frustration is that this really isn’t taking advantage of the benefits on offer from LEDs, such as the opportunity to be able to change colour temperature and create RGB colours and effects. That said, if you wanted to quickly set up two lights for an interview on location this would hit the mark. One final point is the current disparity in price between the UK and the US: for commercial reasons there’s a huge difference right now. Just something for UK filmmakers to be aware of.
This is certainly a nice circular light source, but there’s a lot of competition at this price point and the Solix doesn’t have the features to match some of its competitors. That said, the kit does come with two lights and all the accessories you’d need to cover most lighting needs on set. Inside the travel case there are two softboxes - a 60.9x81.2cms/24x32in model and a 30.4x91.4cms/12x36in strip version. There is also a pair of silks, a couple of light stands and various other power and lighting elements.
versatile, packed with power and offers all the benefit of the Fresnel system. Moving towards the higher end of the budget scale and Litepanel’s Gemini is a fantastically made option, well put together with a great feature set. Similarly priced, DMG Lumiere’s Maxi Switch might be a little fiddly and heavy for some, but it carries enormous potential and offers a powerful performance, something many professionals will be willing to pay handsomely for. As with all areas of digital video, LED technology is changing rapidly and it will be fascinating to see howmuch more efficient, lightweight and powerful they get over the next few years.
There are so many lighting options these days that it’s hard to know what to go for, but it really does boil down to: what they will be primarily used for; and howmuch budget you’ve got. If you’re on a tight budget, you need to travel light and you don’t need ultimate build quality then the Nanguang RGB173 will fulfil your needs. The Westcott Solix lights are another option, but lack sophistication, while the Rotolite Anova 2 could be the perfect product for the hybrid crossover photographer/filmmaker. Spend a little more and the Kino Flo Lite would be a great choice, offering a good range of features with tremendous lighting performance, while the Fiilex Q8 Travel Light is
SUMMER 2018 PRO MOVIEMAKER
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