Posts Tagged ‘lighting’

Polaroid Brightsaber Pro Handheld/Mountable LED Lighting Wand Now Available

March 1, 2016 Comments off

PolaroidRIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ – March 1, 2016 The Polaroid brightsaber pro LED lighting wand is the easiest and most affordable way to get a perfectly lit shot, whether on set, in the field, or anywhere in between. The highly portable lighting solution can be comfortably handheld or mounted to a tripod for studio setups, and comes with an integrated rotating tungsten filter to give photographers, videographers, event planners, set decorators and more the light they need to create a beautiful look.

Polaroid Brightsaber Key Features
• Includes infrared lamp and camera shutter remote; rechargeable battery pack
• Professional-grade LED lamp driver chip enhances consistency and lighting stability
• Ergonomically designed, the 1.7” diameter multi-purpose grip provides maximum comfort during handheld use, while a built-in threaded tripod mount enables studio setups
• Intelligently integrated, freely rotating, tubular tungsten filter in wrap-around design ensures perfect lighting balance
• Array of 298 powerful, efficient, low-heat 5600k LED bulbs rated at >50,000 Hours

Your Work in a Different Light…and Lots of It
The Polaroid brightsaber’s 298-piece LED bulbs deliver true daylight color 5800K, and have been engineered to be in optimal proximity to the gently frosted light diffuser, resulting in a soft yet powerfully projected and evenly dispersed shine. Photographers can easily set the light to a rapid or slow flash with the press of a button. Offering the pros extra versatility, the Polaroid brightsaber features a tungsten color temperature filter in the form of a 3200k sleeve, giving users the ability to add dramatic lighting effects without the need for additional devices.

Video or Still, Pro or Prosumer, It’s All the Lighting You Need
Getting a well-lit shot is easy with the Polaroid brightsaber, eliminating the need for lighting umbrellas, stands, mounts and sweat-inducing spotlights. At just 22 ounces, the Polaroidbrightsaber is super lightweight, portable and overall refreshingly manageable. Even so, it provides a full range of powerful and sophisticated “studio-level” features professionals will appreciate in the studio and on location.

Infrared Remote
Helping photographers stay focused on set, the Polaroid brightsaber comes with an innovative multi-function IR remote. This handy device gives users full control over the lighting, while doubling as a remote shutter release for virtually any Canon, Nikon or Pentax camera.

Pricing and Availability
The Polaroid brightsaber pro is available now on Amazon for 162.29 USD and ships with a lamp, filter, remote control, battery, AC power adapter, case and manual.

The Polaroid Brand
Polaroid is one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands with a rich 75-year history beginning with Polaroid instant film. Our range of products include instant and digital still cameras, high-definition and mountable sports video cameras, tablets and flat-screen TVs that deliver the fun, instant gratification and value for which the brand has long stood. Today, thePolaroid Classic Border Logo rooted in our beginnings of instant photo sharing serves to designate genuine Polaroid branded products.  For more information, visit

Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.


Sigma Introduces Electronic Flash EF-630 Multifunctional External Flash

February 23, 2016 Comments off

Sigma EF-630 Flash UnitKANAGAWA, JAPAN — February 23, 2016Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessories manufacturer, has just announced the Sigma Electronic Flash EF-630, a multifunctional flash designed to work with current digital SLR cameras. Offering greater output of light, the EF-630 features TTL exposure control, high-speed sync, wireless flash functions, auto-zoom and bounce-flash, amongst additional features that make it ideal for many types of photography.

“Lighting is one of the most important factors when it comes to creating a beautiful image, and can be the difference between capturing the perfect moment and missing it entirely,” comments Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “The EF-630 has all the features advanced photographers look for in a flash and is the perfect companion to the DSLR.”

The Sigma EF-630 flash automatically adjusts for focal lengths of 24mm to 200mm focal length, making it ideal for wide angle and super-zoomed shots alike. For ultra-wide angle shots, photographers can utilize the built-in Wide Panel to cover an angle of up to that of a 17mm lens.

Compatible with most well-known digital SLR cameras, the EF-630 features auto TTL exposure control, as well as remote control operation through the TTL wireless flash function, where the camera lens calculates the correct exposure automatically for perfect lighting. For multi-flash setups, photographers can use the Slave Flash Function to trigger additional flashes. To achieve a softer look, photographers can bounce light off of a white wall, ceiling or reflector by tilting the EF-630’s flash head upwards by as much as 90°, or swiveling left or right by 180°. For close-up shots, the flash head can also be titled down by 7°.

The FP Flash function of the EF-630 makes flash photography possible at shutter speeds greater than the normal sync speed, which is typically limited at shutter speeds up to 1/250 second for most cameras. The FP Flash function for high shutter speeds is necessary when setting a larger aperture to limit depth of field when shooting in daylight, as high shutter speeds are used to balance the daylight and the flashlight at any shutter speed. To capture natural motions, the Rear-curtain Sync mode allows the flash to be triggered immediately before the rear-curtain of the shutter closes, recording blurred trails behind a moving subject rather than in front.

Additional EF-630 features:

  • Intuitive user interface: dot matrix LCD screen for improved menu visibility, D-Pad and dial settings controls, and easy one-click disengage function improve ease of use
  • Modeling flash function: check for intense reflections and shadows before capturing the shot
  • AF assist light: accurate auto-focus in low light conditions
  • Auto Power-off: flashgun automatically powers off after a period of non-operation to conserve battery life
  • Manual flash power level control: manually sets the flash power level from 1/1 to 1/128

The new EF-630 Flash can be updated with the latest software from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Flash USB Dock (sold separately).

About Sigma Corporation
Since 1961, Sigma has worked toward a single, simple goal: To imagine and develop photographic technologies that push the envelope, empower photographers and produce unparalleled imagery. We’ve honored this commitment by maintaining control of our design, research and development, and manufacturing processes in our own Aizu Factory. Our products are built with premium materials and are known worldwide for quality and performance. Our family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 45 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Photography is all we do, and it’s all we’ve ever done.

For information about Sigma, please visit or follow the company on Twitter,Instagram and Facebook.

Flashpoint 300 LED on Camera Light (Review)

October 1, 2015 Comments off

Flashpoint 300 LEDFlashpoint 300 LED

The Flashpoint 300 (300) LED is the first on-camera LED light that I’ve tried and I have to say up front that I love it. The 300 is a lightweight, versatile, fully adjustable light source that delivers as much or as little light as you want for a very good price. 300 individual LEDs provide you with strong, even light that you can’t reproduce with a standard flash unit.

Flashpoint 300 LED: On-Camera Light with Audio

The large 300 diode LED gives action videographers and still photographers super bright, high-quality output. With auto light levels, stereo microphones and a signal flash mode, the 300 LED can sense lighting requirements and delivers automatic balance exposure as it passes from one environment to another, making it ideal for run-and-gun shooters looking for the most light on demand. The on-board stereo electret condenser microphones are also invaluable for traveling shooters, minimizing the need to cage-rig a camera for attaching an external microphone. The sensitive mics are distanced from camera sounds on either top corner of the light, delivering clean audio directly to the camera. All fitting comfortably atop a camera’s hot shoe or off-camera via the convenient stand thread, the 300 LED is a comprehensive package in a superior, sleek design.

I like that the unit delivers consistent light at all levels. There’s no flicker or any odd color shifting at full power or at any power setting.

  • Advanced 300 LED lamp count in a sleek but strong unit.
  • Delivers amazing flicker free Daylight 7140 lux at 50cm.
  • Generous beautiful wrap around 80 degree angle emission.
  • Automatic light level mode responds to conditions automatically or total manual control with fine settings.
  • Dimmer dial from 0-100% with shift free color.
  • Renders at least 85% of total spectral value.
  • Digital display for battery level and light output .
  • Uses standard Sony NP 7.4v Lithium battery plus DC power adapters.
  • Built-in Stereo Microphones delivers clean audio to camera.
  • Constructed of super tough black ABS.
  • Keeps subjects and gear cool and comfortable when used close up.
  • Special emergency signal capabilities.

FP 300 LED BackWhy it’s Frugal: The Flashpoint 300 LED is frugal because it’s the only light you need for a variety of situations including run-n-gun, still photography, video, and fill lighting. When you only need one light that can fill almost every need, then it’s frugal.

I took the 300 with me to SpiceWorld 2015 in Austin last week and I had a professional photographer ask me all about it. I showed him all the same features that I explained in the video. I’ll bet that he’s already placed an order for one.

If you can only carry one light with you, this should be the one. In its bag, with two extra batteries (sold separately), that I highly recommend that you purchase, the space cost is approximately 9″x7″x1.5″. That small space contains the 300 LED, the audio cable, two batteries, and your filters.

NP-F550 BatteryThe only reason that the 300 didn’t get the coveted 10/10 is that it drains batteries (sold separately for $22.70) pretty fast. And it drains them even when the unit is off, but the the batteries are connected. So, remove your battery from the unit if it’s going to be off for more than 30 minutes. Buy more than one battery. You get two plus a charger from the link above at Amazon.

Rating: 9.5/10

Recommendation: If you are a photographer or videographer, this light must be in your bag. And the batteries too.

Using the FlashPoint 180WS StreakLight (Review)

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Flashoint 180WS StreakLight with Flashpoint Blast Pack

Flashpoint 180WS Streak Light

Flashpoint Blast Power Pack BP-960

*Bundles available at significant discounts.

If you’re a professional photographer, you need great lighting. You tell stories with light, but you can’t always have the perfect natural light that you want when you want it. You have to use continuous or flash lighting. For flash lighting, there are a lot of options. However, for those field trips, you need something powerful, rugged, portable, and long-lasting. That’s where the pack narrows down to the leaders. Among the clear winners is the FlashPoint 180WS Streak Light (180WS).

[The 180WS stands for 180 Watt-Second — a standard measure of flash power]

The 180WS has to have a power source, such as the pictured Flashpoint rechargeable Blast Power Pack BP-960 (sold separately).

  • Powerful 180ws Guide Number 197 (ft ISO 100) with standard reflector
  • Super Soft and Even Light from Replaceable Bare Bulb
  • Stable Color Temperature
  • Fast Recycle Times from with Flashpoint BLAST POWER PACK or Quantum Turbo
  • Precise output from 1/128 to Full in 1/3 stop increments
  • Four Modes : Pure Manual [M], Slave Normal [S1], Slave Filtered [S2], Multi/Stroboscopic with calculator [RPT]
  • Auto Focus Assist Beam
  • Switchable Audio Recycle
  • Built in Optical Slave
  • Wireless Remote Control USB Port
  • 2 Sync Jacks PC & 3.5mm
  • Overheat Protection Circuitry
  • Vertical and Horizontal Head Adjustments
  • Umbrella Mount Adapter
  • Tough Secured Hot shoe Mount
  • Full Line of Optional Light Modifiers from Snoots to Beauty Dishes

Flashpoint StreakLight 180WS Rear ViewThe 180WS is a powerful flash unit, but it can also be “dialed back” to a mere 1/128 full power to give you just enough light to fill in those subtle shadows, even in bright sunlight.

Why it’s Frugal: The 180WS and Blast Power Pack are true professional tools at an extremely good price ($349.95 for the 180WS/BP-960 bundle). The 180WS Creative Collection is also a value at $549.92. This professional lighting model and power pack are frugal because they offer fully adjustable, immediate flash lighting at a very affordable price point. It would be a challenge to find the power and the features of this combination anywhere at twice the price.

The 180WS is easy to setup and to use from a tabletop standalone, to tripod mount, to on-camera hot shoe mount. It is surprisingly lightweight and not bulky nor clumsy to use. The handy belt clip on the Blast Power Pack is a nice feature, although you can also use the lanyard to hang it around your neck.

The 180WS is so powerful and so versatile that my videographer and I use it off-camera, mounted on a tripod using a wireless remote shutter to fire it. We have used it for more than 300 shots on all power settings, in a variety of situations, without ever having to recharge the Blast Power Pack. It never failed us nor did it ever hesitate to fire on demand.

Flashpoint StreakLight 180WS Specifications:

  • Strobe Output – 180 watt seconds
  • Guide Number – 60m/196ft for ISO 100
  • Power Supply – External Lithium Battery and compatibles*
  • Recycle Time – 0.05 – 2.6 seconds
  • Flash Duration – 1/300 – 1/10,000 sec
  • Recycle Indication – Ready Light and Switchable Audio
  • Light Coverage – Approximately 65 Degrees / 28mm coverage on 35mm full frame format
  • Vertical Angle – -15 to 90 degrees
  • Horizontal Rotation – 0 to 270 degrees
  • Slave Eye Sensitivity – Greater than 33 feet / 160 degree radius
  • Color Temperature – 5600K +/-200K
  • Housing Size – 8 X 3.55 X 2.75 in
  • Body Weight – 19.4 oz /1.50 lbs

The unit gives you the characteristic flash “beep” when the unit is ready to fire again. There was never any hesitation during any of our shoots. It consistently recharged immediately. Fire. Beep. Fire. Beep. Fire. Beep. In fact, the 180WS responded so well to our demands, I think we’re spoiled in never having to wait for a flash unit to power up again.

And I love the ability to adjust the power from 1/128 in 1/3 stop increments because it’s easier to bracket your shots. It’s great to get just enough light without blowing out the subject or the background when using it for bounced lighting.

The 180WS comes with a parabolic reflector and a set of two diffusers to further soften the light source, although the bare bulb delivers an even light coverage for objects that are as few as five or six feet away.

The flash head adjusts from horizontal to vertical and locks into place. The parabolic reflector also locks into place so that there’s no chance of it falling during movement if you have it camera-mounted. The head also rotates 270-degrees so that you can aim the flash to create any kind of special effect or bounce reflection that you want. You can also purchase an umbrella reflector setup for the 180WS so that you don’t have to have a separate umbrella light unit.

I really like working with the 180WS and the Blast Power Pack. It’s impossible for either of us to work with standard on-camera flash anymore after this experience. The 180WS is so versatile, usable, rugged, and powerful that every professional should carry one in his or her gig bag. Both units are small enough to fit into a carry on bag or into a standard camera tote.

Every time we pull out the 180WS to use, we get a universal “Wow” from whomever is within sight of it. During one video and photography shoot, we had several other photographers approach us to see what exactly it was that we were using. Of course, Joseph and I were only too happy to show it off and give our own demonstration of the product. For a moment, we both felt like we were selling the units at a trade show. It gave us a personal boost to show off the high end equipment we were using and I think gained us a little street cred in the process.

Don’t let me put you high-end amateurs or prosumers off, this unit would be great for team sports shots, school events, family photos, vacation photos, or even your first foray into the pro world. The combination is affordable enough for amateurs and pros alike. Amateurs will love the ease of operation and although the unit looks intimidating, it isn’t. It’s easy on, easy off, and adjustable with the touch of a single finger and fire, fire, fire, as fast as you can press the shutter button.

Honestly, this is the finest product of its type that I’ve ever used and I’ve used a lot of flash units over the past couple of decades. Quality really makes a difference. This unit is an investment that is a real winner. And you can take that from two guys who’ve eaten a lot of lemons over the years. The 180WS and Blast Power Pack are a winning combination.

Rating: 10/10

Recommendation: Pros: It’s a must have–you can’t afford not to have one. Amateurs: This could be exactly what you’ve been looking for to take your photography to that higher level.

Note: I will soon have our own video up demonstrating the 180WS and the BP-960. My camera battery went dead during my original video. Too bad it wasn’t powered by the BP-960.

Apple Begins Selling Nova – The First Wireless, Bluetooth iPhone Flash

November 10, 2014 Comments off

Sneaky Squid LLC –

  • Nova is the first wireless, Bluetooth iPhone flash and will be sold in the Apple Store
  • Funded on Kickstarter in 2 days, Nova raised 3-times its funding goal by backers in more than 60 countries
  • Created by former Senior Google Engineer (Mobile and Photos)

Possible Topics

  • Nova is the first wireless, Bluetooth flash for iPhone. Apple starting selling Nova online at in November 2014, and it will be available at select Apple stores in the United States and Canada later this month.
  • Nova is a portable, sleek iPhone accessory that fits in a wallet and can go everywhere your iPhone does. Unlike other iPhone flash accessories, Nova has a Bluetooth connection to avoid dealing with clunky connecting cables and packs 10-times the number of LEDs as alternative options to give users greater control over their photos (to create consistently great photos).
  • Nova is the photographer’s friend, providing beautiful natural light. It gives users the creative freedom to position and angle the light where they need it. Nova also offers a custom option to select from cool to warm and soft to bright light using 40 LEDs set behind a built in diffuser.


  • Joe Walnes (Former Senior Engineer at Google, Mobile and Photo products)
  • Alex Lukashevich (Software Services Manager, DRW Trading Group)


Nova is the first wireless, Bluetooth flash for iPhone users to capture consistently great photos. With a beautiful natural light, Nova captures photos that are rich with color and depth, smoothing out lines and wrinkles, with soft shadows, that makes everyone look their best. It is an off-camera and wireless accessory designed to provide the right light in the right place for amazingly lit photos. Anyone can point and shoot or unleash the artist within using different positions and tilting the light.

The Nova features and details include:

  • 40 cool and warm LEDs behind a soft diffuser, controlled by the app
  • 4 presets: gentle for close ups, warm for portraits, neutral for daylight and bright for groups or strong background light
  • Custom option to select exact cool to warm and soft to bright light
  • Slim design to fit in a wallet
  • Requirements: iPhone 4s and above, running iOS 7 or later
  • Price: $59 – for hi-res photos

Glow Hexapop 20-inch Portable Softbox (Review)

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Glow Hexapop - Side ViewGlow Hexapop 20″ Portable Softbox by Flashpoint (R-series)
$129.95 (free shipping)

If you’re an amateur photographer and just getting into lighting, you’re probably also looking for a few good choices to provide shadowless light to your subjects. Look no further than the Glow Hexapop line of portable lighting softboxes. A softbox is a cloth “box” that is black on all sides except for the side that faces your subject. This design keeps stray light from entering your lens as you take pictures. The softbox also spreads (diffuses) the otherwise harsh, concentrated light from your flash unit onto a white cloth sheet so that you don’t get the hard shadows, that “deer in the headlights,” or Rosemary’s Baby red eye effect from your subjects.

These softboxes are available exclusively  from Adorama.

Many photographers use the softbox light as an artistic eye reflection artifact for portraits. Look at a few portraits that include the subject wearing sunglasses or extreme closeups and you’ll see what I mean.

Glow HEXAPOP Includes

  • HexaPop 20″ Softbox
  • Speedlight Bracket
  • Stand Adapter
  • Zippered Soft Case & Strap

But the softbox isn’t used exclusively for portraits. You can use it for product photography, closeup photography, night photography, and limited daytime outdoor photography to provide gentle lighting in shadows (fill flash).

Glow Hexapop - Back viewThe Glow Hexapop 20″ softbox (Hexapop) is an ideal soft lighting solution because it’s fast and easy to setup, it’s very lightweight, you can use it on your camera for a truly portable soft lighting effect, or you can use it off camera for stable subject lighting. To use it off camera, you’ll need a stand, such as the Flashpoint Pro Air Cushioned Heavy Duty Light Stand (sold separately). You’ll also need a flash sync cable to attach your camera to the off camera flash unit. There are so many different sync cables available, that I can’t give you a single URL to accommodate them all. You’ll have to search for the one that connects to your camera’s hot shoe and then to your flash unit. Be sure to buy one long enough so that you can place the flash unit out of frame for your shots.

The video below shows the Glow softboxes in action.

The Hexapop folds down with a “POP!” into a very small bundle to fit into the included carrying case.

If you’ve ever wondered why your photos don’t look like those of the pros, lighting is the primary reason. The other two reasons are that they have very expensive lenses and they spend a lot of time in Photoshop. Most of you don’t need that level of perfection and can live with a few artifacts, stray lights, empty pixels, and a hair out of place. What you need is better lighting. You might also need Photoshop and better lenses, but it’s really hard to fix bad lighting without it looking fixed.

Why it’s Frugal: The Hexapop is a great value. The tough fiberglass rods will last a very long time. The material is also very tough. No part of the material is stretched enough to tear a seam. Solid construction plus the included accessories worth an estimated $75 by themselves make this softbox an excellent and frugal choice for amateurs and pros alike. Durable, complete, and a great value.

Glow Hexapop - Collapsed viewFor those of you who know a photographer, this softbox is a great gift idea. If you think your photographer has everything, he or she might not have this. Once your lucky recipient has unwrapped the Hexapop, you should suggest an impromptu portrait session to “try it out.” In about 60 seconds, you’ll see the diffused light hitting your face. It might be the single most used item in your photographer’s accessory list. Everyone needs great lighting and the Hexapop is it.

Rating: 8/10

Recommendation: By it for yourself or for your favorite photographer and watch the smiles happen.

iBlazer Flash for Smartphones (Review)

September 28, 2014 Comments off

iblazr LED Flash Unitsiblazr LED Flash Unit

The iblazr LED Flash Unit for Smartphones (iblazr) is an absolutely essential accessory for any serious phoneographer. Whether you’re making short films, taking photos, or providing an extra light source for photographic equipment, the iblazr is a lighting dynamo that easily fits into any pocket or bag. It is a source of continuous light or flash for your visual work.

The iblazr package comes with one, four-light iblazr LED flash unit, an instruction booklet, a microfiber drawstring carrying pouch, and a 3.5mm to USB interface charging cable.

  • 70 degree beam
  • 5600K color temperature
  • >80 CRI
  • 27mm (1 inch) x 32mm (1.25 inchess)
  • 10 grams
  • Three Power Modes: 16, 60, and 120 Lux at 1 meter
  • Easy battery level check
  • USB charging
  • 3.5mm jack
  • iblazr app takes movies and photos
  • Continuous lighting or flash
  • Can be used off the device
  • Cold shoe mount for DSLR and SLR continuous lighting

The founders and iblazr team members are obviously visionaries who know what we phoneographers like for versatile lighting. When you read the list of features, note that many of them are advanced for such a small and inexpensive device. I’m usually a bit critical of accessories like this that are priced in excess of about $39, but not this time. I think the $50 price tag is just right. And, no, you can’t get it cheaper on Amazon–I looked.

white_with_handI particularly like the feature that allows you to have continuous like off the camera or in the so-called “cold shoe”. The cold shoe is really just a plastic holder for the iblazr that slides into the hot shoe on your camera. It’s handy because how else do you get continuous, mobile lighting for your DSLR or SLR? Think of trying to provide some continuous lighting with any of the lo-fi cameras such as the Holga, Diana, LomoKino, or Smena. The answer is that you can’t–not easily anyway.

The iblazr makes photography more fun because good lighting is essential to produce good images. How many times have you lost a great shot because of poor lighting or lighting that was off or cast the wrong shadows? Well, you won’t anymore thanks to the iblazr.

Why it’s Frugal: The iblazr is frugal because it is an expensive way to deliver a lot of light on your subject. What’s frugal about that, you ask? Have you priced photographic lighting? Have you ever priced portable photographic lighting? Have you looked at portable lighting at all? The way I figure it, the iblazr is very frugal because it does so much for so little. Frugal.

iblazr on the iPhone

There’s nothing that I don’t like about the iblazr LED flash unit. I can’t find anything wrong with it. It does everything I’d want it to do if I’d designed it myself. And I’d never have thought of the cold shoe attachment, so it’s better than what I could have dreamed up.

Rating: 10/10

Recommendation: If you’re a phoneographer or a photographer who needs portable light, you must have it.


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