Filmmaking With Still Cameras


For the fast bursts of large amounts of light required by still photography, strobes, monolights and speedlights still can’t be beat, but continuous lighting solutions are seeing a lot more popularity thanks to video. Video requires a constant source of unwavering “flicker-free” light to illuminate a subject, as well as foreground and background, through long takes.

LED lights draw a small percentage of the same amount of power as comparable classic continuous lighting systems like tungsten, halogen and quartz bulbs. Litepanels, who holds several patents over the use of LED technology with film and video lighting, is the most well known when it comes to LED lighting solutions, as they have several on-camera models such as the SolaENG, Croma, Micro and MicroPro.

Manfrotto‘s Spectra compact LED on-camera lights are a competing line of LED fixtures small enough to affix to a hot-shoe. Like many of the Litepanels solutions, they’re battery-operated, making them good solutions as key lights that can be hidden within a scene. A budget-friendly option for multiple light setups, Flashpoint‘s BiColor 312B (Estimated Street Price: $140) offers stepless color control from 3200K to 5600K, and you can link up to four units together in an array. F.J. Westcott‘s wand-like handheld Ice Light (Estimated Street Price: $499) is a great LED choice for its portability.

Litepanels also offers higher-powered studio solutions, which are capable of outputting the equivalent of standard 2K and 1K Fresnels or HMI lights, like the huge spotlight fixtures you might recognize from behind-the-scenes shots in filmmaking. There are even a few new professional filmmaking and studio solutions like the Rotolight Anova, which can be linked together and controlled wirelessly with several other Anova lights. Cineo Lighting employs a Remote Phosphor Technology for their powerful 1K and 2K equivalent lighting solutions for lights that work in a setup very similar to LEDs. For an alternate low-power, low-heat lighting source, fluorescent lighting solutions are available from companies like Bowens, Flolight, Impact, Interfit, Kino Flo, Lowel, Mole-Richardson and Westcott.

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