Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Quick Review of Manfrotto ML360 video light Midi LED panel

This light approximates a 16:9 screen horizontally and the basic ML360 is a 36 LED panel and ships without any additional filters. You do get a cold shoe adapter.

Here's what's in the box:

It's rated at 420 LUX up to 1 metre and reckons it will pick out your subject at up to 3 metres. I'm inclined to agree after my initial testing. Easily.

This thing is as light as a feather.
It's small and should easily fit in a coat pocket or inside jacket pocket.
At the maximum brightness it's pretty darned bright, enough for fill at a relatively good MCU to mid-shot distance, or closer.
Dimmer built in.
Takes 4x AAA batteries you can find them anywhere.
I got a continual usage of three+ hours on Asda own-brand AAA alkaline batteries using 50% brightness (easily enough for MCU fill on a talking head for example).
Includes a ribbon in the battery compartment to allow easy and quick removal of dead batteries.

Only lasts around one hour at full power.
Takes AAA batteries that you will have to go and find if you are anything like me and have a bias for AA.
Doesn't ship with filter/diffuser and you don't appear to be able to buy these separately.
At lower brightnesses then at wide angles you will likely notice some vignetting. But hey, if you're doing lomography that will actually be a GOOD!

The filter/diffuser you make yourself will be pig ugly clipped to this thing.
Quite plastic-y build quality, and the battery compartment is difficult to replace so it is flush with the body.
Expensive (approx £60 from Amazon at time of writing).

Despite its flaws, the killer features for me are its featherweight, small size, and 4x AAA batteries as a power source (though I would prefer if it ran from AA cells). Sure there are better lights out there but when running-and-gunning with minimal kit,

I will definitely be using this LED panel as part of my doco and reportage acquisition.

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