The Aputure LS 300x is an incredibly versatile, single-point, bi-color LED light. In just a short time, Aputure has grasped a hold of a field that was once dominated almost exclusively by ARRI and Mole Richardson. They have led the charge as the industry has turned away from the hot, heavy, power-hungry lighting fixtures of the past and with each iteration have upped their game considerably.
The LS 300x brings their state-of-the-art innovations into the hands of independent and documentary filmmakers, commercial videographers, and content creators. It offers the advantages of COB (chip-on-board) LED technology with the additional flexibility of a Bowens mount for modifiers, remote controls, battery powering options, and an expanded white-light range.
Curtis Judd takes an in-depth look at the Aputure LS 300x and with his enviably smooth radio-voice explains everything you’ve ever wanted to know about one of the most exciting fixtures to come out in years.
To begin, I can’t say enough good things about Curtis Judd. He has dozens and dozens of detailed reviews and tutorials that he has been creating for over a decade now.
And in addition to his absolutely clean audio, he presents everything in a perfectly clear and easy to understand manner. I’d highly recommend checking out his YouTube Channel. Now about this cool light.
Until recently, bi-color LED lights simply weren’t bright enough for most filmmakers to want to use them. The color quality of the light was low, and adjusting the temperature of the light meant cutting out half the luminance of the fixture. You could get more bang for your buck with a single-color light by placing color filters over the light when you needed to change the temp.
But a lot of that changes with the LS 300x. At 25800 lux at 1 meter (5500K) it’s slightly more than half as bright as the Aputure C300D II (the really bright one), still enough to use as a fill light in daylight. Along with that, it’s color quality is excellent with a Spectral Similarity Index (SSI) of 85 at 3200K and 74 at 5500K.
The color quality of the light is good enough to allow the light to be used in commercial filmmaking situations where color needs to be accurate. The expanded vari-white CCT range on this fixture allows it to be tuned from 2700K to 6500K. That is slightly lower than tungsten and slighting higher than day-light white which should make it easier to match practical lighting in some locations.
It also doesn’t produce flickering – which is common in low-cost LEDs. Professionals should have little to no issue using this light in a critical situation, opening up this fixture up to a wide range of projects.
The standard Bowens mount on all of Aputure’s COB LED lights also offers a host of options for modifiers. You can add barn doors, light domes, a lantern, spot light, and fresnel attachments with a simple click making this the most versatile light I’ve ever seen.
Aputure has included the standard remote, but this light also connects to their Sidus Link App which can control the Aputure C300D II and the Aputure MC (the handy little RGBW light).
Sidus allows you to control the light without having to create an Ad-Hoc network opting instead for a Bluetooth mesh connection that keeps additional fixtures linked over a larger area. You can adjust the brightness, color, trigger lighting effects, and create lighting presets.
One neat new mode the LS 300x brings to the table is Constant Brightness mode. Often with bi-color fixtures adjusting the color temperature of your lights means a shift in brightness, but the 300x can be set to maintain its output which means you won’t have to adjust your exposure if you make minor corrections to the temp.
For cooling, the fixture features two low RPM fans which produce a very faint sound and won’t mess with on-set audio at 2 meters away. This is an issue with some similar lower-cost LED fixtures – the fan noise can get pretty loud. I’ve never noticed fan noise with an Aputure 300D, and I don’t think it would cause any issues here either.
This light is an important step forward in the film and video lighting arena. Aputure pulled off the difficult task of engineering a single-point, bi-color LED that still fits-in perfectly with their fantastic Bowens mount lineup. I think people will look back and wonder what they ever did without it.
Aputure Light Storm LS300X Features
- 2700K to 6500K Bi-Color Adjustable
- 25800 lux @ 5500K
- Excellent 85 SSI @ 3200K and 74 SSI @ 5500K
- Hardware Remote & Sidus App
- Quality Construction
- Bowens Mount for Modifiers
- Lighting Effects
- Constant Brightness Mode
- Price $1,199
This is definitely a worthwhile investment if you’re in the market for good lights. You can do a whole lot with a highly portable, easy-to-use product like this. Way to go, Aputure!
[source: Curtis Judd]
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