In video, the picture quality does not only depend on the model of the camera, the lens type or the size of the sensor, but also the lighting. Even with a camcorder equipped with a Super-35 sensor or reflex 24×36 and with a bright light, it is often difficult to avoid the noise in the image. Many videographers are indeed brought to film in dark places (church, apartment) to capture weddings, baptisms, birthdays, a concert or a night party. In this case, the torch is an essential accessory. For this there are different models for different budgets.
Temperature And Power
A light is defined by two elements: the power (in lux) and color temperature (in Kelvin). The Kelvin scale covers the entire color spectrum from warmer (dark red) to the cooler (light blue) through the white. A candle display such as a temperature of 2000 K, a midday sun 5500 K and a white cloudy 7000 K. It is also this scale that adjusts the white balance of a camcorder. This is typically pre-factory set two values: 5600K (daylight) and 3200 K (tungsten, interior light). It is the same for torches which most models provide a temperature of 5600 K and 3200 K, and can even vary by compensating filters.
Nowadays, torches for camcorders, also called “babes”, use mainly LED technology that consumes little and little heat. LED torches feed either on batteries or battery or both (HDV-Z96), and may even directly feed on the camcorder battery.
Regarding the power of the torch (or intensity), it is measured in lux. The most powerful of our selection displayed a power of 2100 lux (Aurora MAX 5600) and 4600 lux (Pro-X) only 1 meter of the subject. A dimmer allows to regulate the power of the torch to avoid “burn” the faces in an interview.
The ergonomics of the attachment is also very important. Many torches are sold with a ball and a pitch of 1/4 inch screws to secure the claw camcorder accessory and move in all directions (Litepanels MicroPro, Aurora MAX 5600). Other torches can not move from top to bottom (SWIT S-2010). Some are equipped with a handle for hand held (Aurora Ring). For transport, most models come with a carrying case or a hard case for the more expensive models (Pro-X).
There remains the question of the price. The 7 models in our selection covers a range from 100 euros to 1,000 euros and is aimed at both “fans” who seek an inexpensive torch but effective as professional cameramen seeking a reliable and resistant torch. All types of torch are presented: the torches ‘flat’ incorporating LED lamps tens conventional torches with shutters and filters the light ring rather designed for SLR cameras.
Lighting not only serves to make the topic visible. It also improves an image view to create an atmosphere.But without going to a working director of photography, camp lighting helps to balance the light when working in the studio, during an interview inside or on a short film. In general, a light is used in three light sources: a light side ( “key light”) which may be a torch, a mandarin or even sunlight (outdoor), a light side ( “Fill light”) for remove shadows that is generally less bright than the key light as a reflector panel and a light against the light ( “back light”) behind and slightly to the side to detach the subject of the decor. To learn more, read our article The art of light in the studio.