Aputure comes into the RGBW lighting came with the small MC, perfect for putting a little touch of color where you need it.
Aputure are best known for their very punchy Daylight Lightstorm units, like the 300D and the new 600D. Designed for indie productions, they offer a great combination of a lot of light output for not much power draw, and their price puts them in a range that many filmmakers can afford. They can add them to their kit or even build their kit around them. However, we are gradually moving to a world where RGBW lights, that can output any color, are becoming more common. So now Aputure is shipping their first RGBW unit to hit the streets, the MC first seen at NAB earlier this year.
It's good to see Aputure dipping their toe into the RGB space, after hinting at RGB lights for awhile now, and the MC is a great step into that direction.
It wouldn't be Aputure if they didn't do things a little bit differently, and also pack in nearly every single possible feature they could.
These little units are roughly the size of a credit card, and have magnetic mounts that allow users to mount them just about anywhere. They are able to achieve CRI and TLCI scores of 96+ for accurate color reproduction when working as a white color source. They use not only RGB LEDs, but also tungsten and daylight LEDs to create accurate, bright white light. In addition to HSI, you can work in traditional Bi-Color mode and also FX mode.
They charge over USB-C, of course, but they are also compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard. This is something you don't see a lot of with film lights, but actually ends up making a lot of sense -- especially when you start to think about working with several, or even dozens, of these units.
You could build a travel case with Qi, in which they automatically charge, without having to plug in each one individually. While plugging in a single USB cable isn't a big thing, plugging in dozens could get annoying -- and working with the widely established Qi standard is a nifty feature. Aputure is also releasing a 4-Light Travel Kit and 12-Light Production Kit that come in charging cases.
Best of all? Each MC works as a node in the new Aputure Sidus mesh. This means you can use the Sidus app to control lights spread over a 400 meter space (more than 1000 feet), provided that there is never more than an 80 meter gap between lights.
If you've worked with other Bluetooth solutions, you know how frustrating it can be to leave bluetooth range while trying to control a light. Using a mesh network allows Aputure to build a much larger and more robust system for controlling lights. Each MC works as a node, and could potentially be set up just to relay signal if you needed.
While these lights are small, and not likely to be used as key lights -- unless working with miniatures -- when arrayed in a mesh they will be powerful for helping filmmakers paint with light. Want a little more light in a tabletop setup? Hide an MC or three in a chandelier, pointing down, and you'll get full remote RGB control with battery-powered units that magnetically stay in place. These little guys are going to see a lot of use in a variety of shooting locations for the power they bring to a small package.
We're hoping this means even more RGB units are coming from Aputure soon.
The new units are available now.
- USB-C PD and Qi wireless charging
- Full 360° HSI with 100 steps of saturation
- CRI and TLCI scores of 96+
- Built in lighting FX: Paparazzi, Fireworks, Faulty bulb, Lightning, TV, Pulsing, Fire, Party, Cop Car.
- 3200K-6500K in 100K increments
130g, 17mm (11/16 in.) thick with 1-4"-20 screw mount and magnetic mounts