A few months ago I decided to upgrade my lighting kit to LEDs. I had been using hot Tungsten lights for year, and after one very long day (15+ interviews/testimonials) of burning my hands I decided it was time for a change. This was a tough change though, because I love Tungsten light - it’s absolutely gorgeous on human skin, the power output is great, and most fixtures are pretty durable - none of which LEDs are particularly known for. So I started the research….
I’ve used LEDs on-and-off for the past few years, but never owned them. Some of the newer Litepanels LED panels are really nice, but out of my price range. Fiilex makes some great spot-y Fresnel type LEDs that are easy to use and put out some solid light, but again, they’re a little pricey. I’d heard good things about Dracast lights, so when I saw the LED500 Silver Series light was the Deal of the Day on B&H Photo I decided to give them a try.
I bought the bi-color version of this light because I wanted the option to add a little warmth back in if needed (I bought several other daylight fixtures). I have mixed feelings about this since to get bi-color function in the fixture you sacrifice power output - of the approximately 500 LEDs on the unit only half are daylight and the other half are Tungsten. So if you want the full output of the light you have to settle for a mixed color temp.
Not a huge deal, but it’s certainly not ideal. That being said the CRI (color rendering index) of these lights is rated at 95, which is great. You can really tell the difference when compared to other LEDs with lower CRI ratings.
The unit comes with an AC power cord (mine was faulty so Dracast sent over another literally within hours of me contacting them and telling them about the issue - awesome customer service). And you can choose either the dual NP-F or the V-Mount battery plates for additional powering options. Because I already had a few NP-F batteries laying around I decided that would be a good route for me to go at this time.
One of my favorites parts of the light are the barndoors. I haven’t used an LED panel with barndoors before and I found myself using them constantly to shape and cut the light and to clip additional diffusion on. Another big pro on this light is the build quality - there is very little plastic on the unit and it feels durable. It’s very well made.
I also really dig the bag it comes with. When I opened the box I scoffed at this little Dracast pouch, but in all honesty it’s a quick and efficient method of storing and transporting the light, power cord, and batteries.
After using this light I’m sold on Dracast and I’m already looking at what fixture of theirs to try next. The build quality is great, it’s easy to use, and the light it puts out is high quality. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great light if you need a solid key or fill for interviews/testimonials.
Be sure to check out the video above for my in-depth review, and if you want more gear reviews, tips, tricks, tutorials, fun behind-the-scenes posts, and cute dog pics, then sign up for our newsletter, subscribe to Droi Media on YouTube, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!