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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Video/continuous lighting on a DSLR...I've been thinking quite a bit recently about low light situations when you cannot always/want to use flash and that ...
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Old 23-09-2007, 09:26   #1 (permalink)
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Video/continuous lighting on a DSLR

I've been thinking quite a bit recently about low light situations when you cannot always/want to use flash and that got me thinking about video lighting. I'm referring to the type you usually see on attached to high end or semi-pro video cameras at weddings etc. If possible I would like it hotshoe mounted a bit like this. It would not be used at any great distance, maybe 2-3 metres and probably with a shortish focal length lens, probably 55mm at the most.

I've had a quick look on Google but haven't found anyone who has done similar and was wondering if anyone had any experience of this type of set up or what pitfalls might be encountered. WB could be an issue but as I always shoot in raw hopefully it won't be a problem.

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Old 23-09-2007, 09:44   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Video/continuous lighting on a DSLR

dont know much about videography etc...... but the one problem i can foresee is a power supply, if its sun off batteries i cant imagine them last that long, and if its a mains one it kinda defeats the purpose of having it attached to the camera for mobility. its not the WB i see if you shoot in raw is the amount of variable light that is needed, it can change frmo one momment to the other so im thinking it would only be useful in very specific situations/ shoots



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Old 23-09-2007, 10:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Video/continuous lighting on a DSLR

Thanks Fiona. I started thinking about this recently when covering a wedding and there was no flash allowed but the videographer was using a continuous light and this was okay. I can understand about the no flash rule as it can be distracting and I was looking to find an alternative to shooting in low light without upping the ISO too much (Nikon user and all that ).

My main concern would be the heat but that would be with halogen lamps which are also very power hungry, but the LED's as linked to in the original post obviously would not generate the heat. I've seen some cheapo video lights on ebay and elsewhere but to be honest they don't look as if they pack much power, although I may be wrong on this. The one I linked to earlier also has barn doors which has the potential for some interesting lighting such as natural vignetting etc.

To use corporate speak, just trying to think out of the box.
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Old 23-09-2007, 10:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Video/continuous lighting on a DSLR

You can get video lights that are powered with an internal battery that will run for around 10-20 mins depending on the wattage of the bulb. however, you can also use an external pack/battery belt that will extend the time considerably. I think the lights came with 20w or 40 w bulbs.

The Pros I work with all use battery belts with the lamp mounted on the cam, but this tends to be mounted quite near the lens - that is away from the back end of the cam which is usually used with the LCD and not held near the face, so heat is not a problem.

Although it is some time since I dabbled in video, Keene Electronics used to do reasonable self-powered lights (as against those powered from the cam battery - NOT a good idea!)

Maybe a flash bracket that holds the flash/video light to one side of the cam could be the answer?

Not sure about external LED lights as I have no experience with them, but the one built-in on my video camera is not up to much, but it is very small. LED's are obviously better on batteries. You can now get LED torches with up to 42 LED's that do give a good spread of light over fairly short distances. Good battery life on either AAA or AA batteries. Perhaps you could rig on of these to a bracket.

One downside about continuous lighting is that it can be very uncomfortable for people at short range having a bright light source shone in your eyes.
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Old 23-09-2007, 14:53   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Video/continuous lighting on a DSLR

Being an alternative sports photographer, BMX, Skate, Rolling, i have this problem quite often. It's always best to be out at dusk, but sometimes (most of the time), quick shoots are never quick and often you're out until 2 in the morning. We have resorted to mounting 2x1 000 000 candle light power torches (from B&Q) on tripods. You can still use your flash as well. I wouldn't suggest putting the light you get on your camera in the first place...but then again, i completely disagree with on camera lighting.
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