When LED lighting launched, we first saw it come to prominence in softlight units that make great fill lights but lack the "punch" to be really versatile. The last few years have seen a host of punchy LED units hit the streets, with Aputure leading the charge in the affordable space with their 300D, a punchy LED that fits in a shoulder bag with all its accessories and yet outputs an impressive amount of light. Now Aputure is doubling that with their newly announced 600D, a unit that outputs nearly twice the already impressive 300D Mark II which came out at NAB.
The 600W is more than just bright, there are a host of other innovations that make it very appealing for indie filmmakers looking for a flexible light for upcoming productions. They've changed the body design, making it shorter and wider, so they can use a larger fan but report that it is just as quiet as the 300D, despite the larger heat output the new fan needs to control. They've redesigned their accessories, including fresnel, softbox, and spotlight, to work in complement with the new unit and take full advantage of the light output available.
It also still offers battery power, with 4x mounting plates for V mount batteries for times when you just need to work without wall power. If you only have 2 V-mounts available, you can mount them up and still get 50% output. It all works, of course, with the brand new Sidus mesh network for light control.
One fascinating design innovation we appreciate is that the battery panel can also function as a charger when not in use. This is actually a major improvement that we hope other manufacturers will emulate. When you work on a battery heavy shoot (in the woods or a park, or just an indie shoot in an old, underpowered location without the budget for a generator), you are eating through batteries. You'll likely still want a dedicated charger getting you through the day, but the ability to have an extra charger working at night or through setup changes is a major plus that comes with the new lighting uint.
The 600W kicks out a tremendous amount of power, so be sure to pay attention when setting it up with accessories. While it shares the same Bowens mount with the 120D and 300D units, not every accessory that works with the smaller lights is going to work with the heat output of the larger unit, and compatibility will be important to double-check.
At the same time, Aputure has also rolled out the new 300X, for "X-fade," which is a punchy bi-color unit that can switch between 2700°k and 6500°k light output. While Aputure has many bi-color soft light units, this is their first hard light 'punchy' unit that allows for bi-color flexibility. While HMI and LED technology is moving us to a world where we work with tungsten balanced lighting less and less, there are still setups where matching to a tungsten foundation is useful, and more than that tungsten-balanced lighting has aesthetic qualities we appreciate. If you have a setup with a 300X as your backlight, the ability to just turn a knob and "warm-up" the backlight will be one a lot of DPs take advantage of.
The standout feature of the 300X is the front optical prism. Bi-color units work by having multiple LED units on the chip that output different wavelengths of color. you can see this by looking closely at basically any bi-color or RGB LED unit. Since these are discrete bulbs, they often cause issues of banding or edges when combined with something like a fresnel accessory. By putting an optical prism at the front of the lighting unit, the 300X fully mixes the light into a single source before it interacts with any accessories creating a cleaner, more pleasing light output.
Pricing not yet announced, if we had to guess anything under $1800 will be a good deal. They are promoting it as competition with 800W HMI, the most popular of which is the Joker 800, which sells for $7000.
- 600W COB LED
- Dimming without any color shift.
- Full Sidus Link App Control
- Larger reflector, brand new fresnel and barn doors
- 4x 14.4 V/Gold Mount Batteries, 2x 28.8V V/Gold Mount Batteries, 2x 14.4V V/Gold Mount batteries for up to half output,
- 48V DC Input for Block Batteries.
- New LCD Screen interface.
- Dual Voltage Battery Plates (14.4V and 28.8V) on the control box
- Separate DC Voltage Step-up Converter Box takes 4x 14.4V batteries and converts the output voltage to 48V
- Dual Junior Baby Pin
- Identical body and control box to the 300D Mark II
- Front optical prism
- Variable CCT: 2700K-6500K
- Constant Output Mode: peak brightness of the light consistent regardless of the CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) utilizing the two 180W chipsets: 2700K-6500K
- Max Output Mode: peak brightness of each color temperature is used, up to 300W. In the CCT range of 4000K-5500K, the 300x achieves brightness nearly equivalent to the 300d Mark I