LED Video Lights From Aputure Marked Down For the Holidays
– My favorite reasonably priced video lights from Aputure are on sale for the holidays and, if you’re in the market to buy some new LED lights (or are looking for an awesome gift for someone special) then I can’t recommend these deals enough. In this article I’ll talk about why I’ve fallen in love with Aputure products – and I’ll share the current deals I’ve found at B&H.
Why I love Aputure
My favorite companies for photography and video gear are the ones who create great products with a very large range of prices. I’ve always preferred to spend my money with companies who make super high end products – but also offer a range of products that are affordable and incorporate features from their high end products. I’ll give a few examples.
Sony is a company that is currently at the top of their game in the photography and video market. In addition to cameras like the awesome A9, A7 series and the A6000 series (an A6000 with kit lens currently costs less than $500) Sony offers a professional line of cameras (the Sony FS7 with lens costs about $12,000). At the extreme end of Sony’s line is a series of digital cinema projection systems that cost more than $150,000. If you ask me, a company that creates super high end products should have the resources to include some amazing features in their affordable gear.
Over the years I’ve installed and calibrated some of those super expensive Sony projection systems and It’s one of the reasons I use Sony cameras today.
For LED lights I love Aputure because they have a range of lights (and microphones) that covers the entry level as well as the semi-professional markets. Aputure makes a LED light for more than $1,100 but they also offer one for $45. The professional Lightstorm line are well built, super bright and offer light quality that is second to none. I love their lights and have been building my personal studio using their awesome Amran lights. Unlike companies that only offer “budget” lights, Aputure maintains a quality of light (CRI of 95 or higher) across their entire line with the top of the range features included in their most affordable lights.
Currently on Sale
The reason I’m talking about Aputure lights today is because I recently discovered some great prices on their LED lights, including the Amran AL-M198 I recently reviewed.
For me, LED lights have been a huge step forward for my product photography. I love being able to see the results of my lighting setup in real time and that’s something I can’t do when working with studio strobe style flashes. For video there’s just no substitute for good quality LED lights and over the years I’ve tried plenty. The one thing that has been difficult to deal with is the inconsistent quality of the light for video work when using lights from multiple manufacturers. For still photography I can fix the problem in Photoshop – but for video work it’s super important to have consistency when using multiple lights. This is why I’m such a huge fan of Aputure lights.
Several Aputure LED lights are now on sale at B&H Photo including the following lights:
The Aputure AL-M9
The least expensive LED light from Aputure is the one I consider to be the most versatile. It’s also the tiniest at 3.4″ wide by 2.2″ tall. It has a built-in battery that is rated at 13 hours of minimum power or 1.75 hours at full power. The tiny size means it’s perfect for use as an accent light. At $45 you can buy 3 for your product photography setup and still be well under $150 spent. For location video work the AL-M9 can be used to add a little splash of light to your background without being obvious. Like all Aputure products it comes with everything you’ll need (including a case, charging cable and diffusion filter, CTO color filter and even a CTB color filter) and it has a CRI of 95+. I love the AL-M9 and considered it a bargain for $45. Now that it’s on sale for $40 it’s an even better deal.
The Aputure AL-H198 and AL-H198C
The 198 LED Amran is my work horse. It’s conveniently sized and has lots of power options including AA batteries and the popular Sony L-series battery. It’s super bright and has outstanding quality (CRI of 95+). For product photography it can be used as an accent light or a main light and it’s great for run-and-gun video shooters. In my studio I use three of them and they’ve never let me down. Normally the AL-H198 is priced at $58 but for a limited time you can get them new at B&H Photo for only $49. This is a steal!
The bi-color model adds variable color temperature ranging from 3200K to 5500K and normally sells for $1 more than the regular model. While it’s nice to have variable color you will give up some brightness. The AL-H198C model is now on sale for $49.
The Aputure AL-528S, Aputure AL-528W and AL-528C
The 528 LED Amrans are awesome lights that find themselves in a unique place in Aputures lineup. All three are bright, but each offers different light outputs. The 528S is my personal favorite and it’s also the brightest of the trio. The S (for spot) and it has the most focused light output. The S is perfect for when you use diffusion and it’s an awesome light for a very reasonable price. The W (for wide) isn’t as bright as the S model but it can easily light up a much larger space with it’s 75 degree light output (the S has a much more focused 25 degree output). Finally, the C (for color) light offers variable color temperature capability with 3200 degree to 5500 degree color capability. All three are the same size and, again, they come with plenty of great accessories. Batteries are not included – but an included AC power adapter means you can be up and running without having to spend any additional money.
The Aputure AL-528S and AL-528W normally sell for 159 but they’re currently on sale for only $135. The AL-528C normally sells for $169 but it’s currently on sale for only $140.
The Aputure AL-HR672S, AL-HR672W and AL-HR672C
The jump from 528 LED’s to 672 LED’s may not sound like much but believe me when I say it totally is. The size of the AL-HR672 lights may be identical to the AL-528 lights but there’s definitely a jump in brightness (the 528S is rated for 12,700lux at 1.6 feet and the 672S is rated for a whopping 18,800 lux at the same distance). The real showstopper, in my opinion, is the addition of remote control with multiple group and channel settings. This means you can set up your lights and easily control everything including power on/off, color temperature and brightness. This is great for high mounted – lights like hair lights boomed over your subject.
Another great addition is the included Sony style batteries. In the box is two massive NP-F970 sized batteries so you’re good to go when you’re away from AC power (that’s a $220 value if you’re buying genuine Sony batteries). Like the 528 lights you also get a nice case, nightstand adapter and AC power adapter. This is one complete package normally priced at $278 (S & W models) to $298 (bi-color C model) but now they’re on sale for only $230 – $268.
Aputure Amran Tri-8S and Tri-8C
The top of the Aputure LED panel line is the awesome Tri-8S (spotlight) and Tri-8C (bi-color). Unlike the primarily plastic built of the less expensive Amran lights the Tri-8’s feature sturdy aluminum construction that makes it far more durable. If you’re looking for professional-grade build quality at a great price then the Tri-8 should be on your short list. With 888 LED’s in a unique layout (to minimize shadow banding) the brightness jumps up to 24,000 lux at 1.6 feet while also achieving a CRI of over 95. That’s awesome!
Like the 672 models the Tri-8 includes everything in the box including a carry case, batteries, remote control and AC power adapter. It also includes a cool soft box for diffusing the light and it gains a professional battery option with either V-mount or Gold mount options (these are some seriously big professional batteries that let you use big, bright LED lights for a full day of shooting). This is a package that is extremely complete and compares with much more expensive lights. The Tri-8S normally sells for $488 but it’s now on sale for $439. The bi-color Tri-8C model normally sees for $498 but it’s now on sale for only $448.
And The Rest
In addition to all the LED panel lights I mentioned above you can also find the Aputure accessories (like the soft boxes designed to fit the 528, 672 and Tri-8 models), the 3 light kits and the awesome Lightstorm line of LED lights on sale.
Ever since I picked up my first LED light from Aputure I’ve been a huge fan of their products. They’re well priced but offer performance that goes way beyond what you’d expect for lights in this price range. If you’re looking to up your LED light game there’s never been a better time than right now…
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