For the best image quality when shooting HD video indoors, you need to supplement the light. Here are some top kits.
For better-looking videos, you need better video lighting. Here are several options available to DSLR photographers from beginners to advanced users. Go to the Video Lighting department at Adorama for our complete selection.
Note: All prices are accurate as of October 26, 2012. Additional research by Jena Ardell.
Manfrotto MLH360H Midi-36 Hybrid LED Panel
Adorama price: $114.97
Designed specifically for use with HDSLRs, the Midi-36 consists of 36 LEDs on a light panel emitting 6000 degree Kelvin light. It attaches to the camera via the hot shoe, and actually can emit "flashes" that are 4x the normal continuous light output to illuminate still images. You can stack multiple units to increase total light and in addition to hot shoe mounting you can also attach the panel to a standard 3/8-inch tripod or light stand thread.
Adorama price: $494
Simple but ingenious, the Blender consists of 12 large LEDs—six of them daylight-balanced, the other six tungsten balanced. Each set of six is controlled via separate dimming knobs, allowing you to infinitely control the color balance ranging from 2800K to match incandescent lamps, all the way to 6000K—approximately daylight.
Litepanels Mini Spot
Adorama price: $600-$2150
The Litepanels Mini Plus LED spot light is designed for professional production and fits easily on an HDSLR, a stand, or elsewhere. This flicker-free unit offers output that is three times more efficient than a conventional tungsten camera light. It is heat-free so you can actually hand-hold them, and is dimmable from 0 to 100% of full power, with almost no shift in color. The light has a 30-degree spread, but another version, the Mini Flood, offers a 50-degree spread of light. The LitePanels MiniPlus comes in a variety of configurations including a kit.
Cool-Lux Light & Sound Video Kit SL3000LS
Adorama price: $275
Aimed squarely at HD DSLR video shooters, this nicely made tungsten-balanced continuous lighting kit is designed for location interviews. The SL3000 provides three light levels, functions as a soft light with the hood attached, and increases contrast and light output by installing the included reflector. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery giving up to 30 minutes of light at 100 watts, and it attaches to the camera’s accessory shoe via the handy Cool-Lux Light & Sound Bracket. Comes with 4-pin connector, charger, soft case, and strap.
Smith-Victor KT500U Two Light Thrifty Kit
Adorama price: $111
A back-to-basics floodlight kit that provides the essential lighting requirements for shooting video or stills, the kit includes two lights with two ECA 250 Photoflood lamps, two socket and cord sets, two 10-inch reflectors with 5/8-inch stand mounts, two UM6 umbrella mounts, two white 32-inch shoot-through umbrellas, and two Raven RS8 eight-foot light stands. A new through-the-reflector mounting system places the umbrella close to the light axis for maximum lighting control. Comes with an “Imaging With Light” guide.
Polaroid PL 160DN Flash
Adorama price: $199.99
With so much convergence between still and video photography it's not surprising that there's now a flash equipped with a built-in LED unit so it could be used as both a still and video light source. For DSLR and MILC users, that makes a lot of sense. According to a sales rep, the light on one of the display models at the booth in a recent trade show had been on continously for nearly 8 hours and although it had dimmed a bit, it still exceeded the company's expectations as to how long it would stay on. But the real surprise was the name on the PL 160DN flash: Polaroid! Available for Pentax, Canon, Olympus/Panasonic, Sony, and Nikon.
Lowel id-Light Complete On-Camera Set
Adorama price: $255
This focusable, tungsten-balanced video light can be dimmed, and can be conveniently mounted directly on a wide variety of cameras and camcorders. The set includes a 55W tungsten-halogen lamp, captive cable with Anton Bauer tap, low link, cam-link, IP focus extension, spare 100W bulb, and VIP stand link. It provides essential fill light, eye-light and contrast control, which is ideal for interview and documentary shooting without overwhelming available light, and can even match candlelit scenes at its dimmest setting. It’s fitted with a high-intensity #2 reflector and prismatic glass to provide even flood and uniform spot lighting, and tilts 160 degrees via an adjustable constant-tension, one-handed, no-yoke fitting. It weighs only 1.5 pounds complete with four-foot cable.
Flashpoint Shoe Mountable LED 70 Video Light
Adorama price: $54.95
This ingenious, economical, lightweight on-camera video light comes with a silver four-leaf barndoor, built-in 2500 mAh rechargeable battery with a two-hour working time, a 110/220 volt AC adapter/USB charger, a diffuser, and a gold panel for warming the light output. Its output is daylight balanced 5500 Kelvin and it’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor shooting. Four LED indicators show battery charge status.
Lowel DV Creator 1 Location Video Lighting kit
Adorama price: Approx. $819
A great area or room lighting setup for serious video shooters and emerging pros, this comprehensive kit offers an outstanding combination of sophisticated lighting versatility, easy set-up, and reliability. It includes one Pro-Light P1-10, Pro-Light 4-way Barndoors, a 1,250W, 120-volt lamp, one Omni-Light 01-10 with barndoors and a 500W 120-voilt lamp, one Tota-light T1-10 with 750W 120-volt lamp, three compact Uni TO Stands, one Tota-frame, a Flexi-shaft Pak, a Tota-flag, Tota-brella, T/O Lampak, and assorted gels. It all packs in the included LB-30 Soft
Note: The Lowel DV Creator 44 (Adorama price: $1,099) is similar in concept to the DV Creator 1 but provides even more advanced lighting options.
Flashpoint LED On Board Video Light VL100A
Adorama price: $199.95
This pro-caliber on-camera LED light includes a two-leaf barndoor, filter set, xlr and cigarette lighter cord, and a 3200K conversion-glass for tungsten-balanced shooting. It provides 35W of output at a daylight-balanced 5600K but consumes only 11W of power to extend battery life (it works up to 10 hours on one small 12-volt 500mAh battery!). Its LEDs are rated to last at least 10,0000 hours and provide even illumination without the need for safety glass or filters. A built-in dimmer adjusts from 0 to 100% output without flicker or noise.