Changes are upon us! I thought I’d properly introduce the latest hardware and write a bit about it’s capabilities.
Panel form factor
The new prototype has a panel form factor. There are 112 RGB LEDs in an 8 by 14 configuration. This is almost exactly a 16:9 format.
Since we’re using RGB LEDs, we can emit any color. That is any color within the colorspace determined by the red, green and blue color coordinates of the emitters. How does this relate to colorspaces like sRGB, ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB, etc? I’ll go into those details in a future blog post.But the short story is that you can dial in any color you like by entering RGB values like you do in Photoshop. Or you can pick colors from a color chart.
Color Temperature and White Balance
We have adjustable color temperature from 1850 to 15000 Kelvin. That is a range from deep down in the really cozy candle-light range, all the way up to a clear day north of the North Pole. And the brightness does not change when you change the color temp!
Automatic color temperature
The built-in color temperature meter lets you measure the color temperature of any light source around you. You can walk into a room, point the light at the dominating light source in there and it will start emitting light with the exact same color temperature (CCT) . This was a bitch to get working well. It is very accurate, but it definitely needs a lot more field testing.
It is pretty bright. Way more power than other LED panels of similar size. But power is basically a matter of how fast you allow your batteries to drain. Both brightness and color temp are very stable over time. Brightness is adjustable in full, half and thirds of a stop over a 10 stop range. It may be that the lower end of the scale does not make sense and we should shorten the range a bit.
There is a Mini-B USB connector for firmware updates and future accessories.
There is a 10 pin generic input/output port because, well, because it is nice to have. The I/O port gives access to a few MCU pins and an I2C bus.
There is a mini jack sync port. It accepts a flash trigger from the camera, a quench signal and a frame rate sync. Frame rate sync means you can feed it from, say, the A/V port on your camera. The light will then flash in sync with the frame rate of the A/V signal. Not 100% sure that A/V sync makes that much sense. Ideally we should have a HDMI port and sync to that. I don’t know if that would actually work.
A power input connector that accepts 9-12 volts for powering the light and charging the batteries.
This is a tricky issue. Everybody has different needs and opinions. Right now we are working on a Li-Ploy battery and charger solution. But it is technically possible to use AA batteries as well (no charging in that case though).
I guess that is the headline features right now, there is a ton more details that we will have to work out going forward.
Till next week,