Rotolight has just released its groundbreaking NEO 3 Light Kit and one arrived late last week. Although I have not had time nor the best subject matter to really put it to the test yet, what I have seen so far is impressive. It looks like the NEO lives up to the not inconsiderable hype and it really should become “the next industry standard”.
Although the NEO is also described as “the next evolution of on-camera LED lighting”, my prime interest in it is as a reasonably powerful but subtle portable stand-mounted light for on-location portraits and documentaries. Hence the three-light kit, for versatility and to cover a range of lighting situations.
I can see the attraction of always carrying at least one NEO light in one backpack when the whole kit would be overkill and so am considering rigging up my new f-stop Satori backpack with a couple of tripod bags – when the f-stop online store has them back in stock – to better protect and carry a MeFoto WalkAbout monopod or a RØDE Micro Boompole.
Pod or pole, microphones or small lights can be attached to both. Some field tests will tell me which I can hand hold better while also shooting with a tripod-mounted camera. I am not so sure I want to handhold a camera and light on a pole like photographer Jason Lanier does in his videos for Rotolight!
Until Neo’s appearance at NAB 2015, I had been keeping an eye on Rotolight’s Anova lighting range but hadn’t seen or tried one out. The Anova product shots showing off its 6-bladed barndoors were what excited me the most followed by the new bi-color version that came out a couple of years ago. But size and cost ruled it out – I need to carry all my gear on my back or in a roll-along case whereas the Anova lights would be too big to carry by myself.
Back then, one big question remained – would the NEO give me the control, power and subtlety I have so desired for so long? Images of the NEO 3 Light Kit released earlier this year hinted that it may well do so, especially given the barndoors and filter packs depicted in them. I was impressed by specs like a color temperature range from 3150 to 6300 degrees Kelvin – amber through neutral to blue sky shadow fill – and output adjustments in steps of one percentage. What a combination!
Just one downside; the NEO 3 Light Kit’s contents have been reconfigured. It no longer includes three barndoors as standard. Market research informed Rotolight that customers preferred a lower cost, barndoorless kit. The folks at Rotolight tell me the barndoors are still undergoing development and will be available for separate purchase later this year. I can’t wait! I am also interested in seeing how the softbox, currently under development by Chimera, works out.
These are great times for portable LED lighting and I am really looking forward to shooting some serious footage very soon with my 3 Light NEO kit.Groundbreaking Rotolight NEO 3 Light Kit arrives & immediately impresses. Click To Tweet
Rotolight Neo 3 Light Kit
Rotolight NEO™ is a revolutionary on-camera or location LED lighting fixture designed the most demanding of professionals. NEO’s Bi-Colour LED system with AccuColour™ delivers exceptional colour rendering (>CRI:95+), and fast, tunable colour on location thanks to the accurate colour temperature display (CCT). Powered by 6 x AA, AC, DC or D-Tap, NEO™ gives Industry leading performance (1077 Lux at 3 feet) whilst providing a gorgeous soft light source and Rotolight’s signature ‘Ring-Light’ Effect. Dual Controls for both dimming and colour make NEO™ a highly versatile solution for run-and-gun news shooters, filmmakers or still photographers.
Neo™ includes three groundbreaking features that sets it apart from the field. Designer Fade™ mode for custom fade up / fade down production effects and True Aperture Dimming™ which accurately calculates the correct aperture (F-Stop) for your subject at a given distance. Finally, an arsenal of Cinematographic Special FX (CineSFX™), provides customisable creative visual lighting effects, on set or location (Strobe, Lightning, Fire, Cycle, Throb)
– Bi Colour (3150K-6300K), Soft Light Output – 50º Beam Angle
– Delivers a Powerful Output of up to 1077 lux at 3ft
– AccuColour™ Technology for CRI>95, Skin Tone>99, TLCI>91
– True Aperture Dimming™, CineSFX™, Designer Fade™ modes
– Flicker Free at any Frame Rate or Shutter SPEED
– Power via 6 x AA (3 hours), AC, or OPTIONAL D-tap Cable
Learn more about the Rotolight NEO 3 Light Kit Here.
planetMitch note: Karin did purchase this item out of her own pocket (it was not a freebie in return for a review/post).
(cover photo credit: snap from Rotolight)