LED lights were originally more focused on being soft than on having real punch. They started as panel units designed as a fill light or a soft key. For punch, and the ability to shoot light across a room, you still wanted to get a joker HMI or even a tungsten unit.
However over the last few years, we're seeing more and more LEDs with "punch," built around COB (chip on board) technology, and Aputure has been one of the leaders in the affordable LED space with their 120d and 300D units.
They've now revised their most popular unit, the 300D, with the 300D Mark II, which offers 20% more output than the original.
In its native form (with a reflector, which is now 55°, with a new coating that should create a brighter, punchier light out of the box), this means you can get 325 foot candles/3500 lux at 3 meters/10 feet.
However, you can also pair this unit with an option Fresnel lens for up to 80,000 lux output, which is putting it in 575watt HMI territory, while only drawing 350 watts. All this is done while still offering some of the most appreciated features of LED, such as full 0-100% ability (other units often only dim down to 5% then hard cut) with 4 dimming modes, pre-programmed special effects modes, and very high color accuracy.
One of the major revisions we appreciate in this release is the all-new power supply. Now the battery plate and ballast have been combined into one unit.
While we liked the original 300D, it was awkward having the battery plate and ballast as separate units, and it's nice to see them combined into a single unit here. Additionally, this unit places the batteries on either side of the unit, instead of stacking them on the same side. What does this do?
It will make it better balanced if you place it on the ground and makes for a compact unit. Also cool: you can run the 300D Mark II with only 1 battery, though only at half power. In a pinch, if you only have 1 battery and you need to keep shooting you have a new solution available.
Better yet, the whole thing packs up into a convenient soft carry case with a space for the unit, the battery adapter, and cables. For the 120D Mark II, Aputure came out with a 3-light case, and hopefully, we'll see something similar for the 300D Mark II. Because the ability to bring along 3 lights in a kit to a location and do a basic interview setup is a staple of most filmmakers freelance careers.
The light also features smart fan technology to keep the unit cool while not interrupting your shots. Accessories are attached with a Bowens S mount, more common in still photo units than film units, but very flexible. Aputure themselves make a whole host of accessories, including a new lantern attachment, and there are many third-party items as well.
One criticism of the original 300D was the yoke design which wasn't quite robust enough for very heavy softboxes. Good news: that is also addressed here using the same, more robust yoke and knuckle as the 120d Mark II. As a bonus the yoke now offers a full 360° of rotation.
- 20% More Powerful than Original C300d
- Wireless 2.4Ghz Remote with 328' Range
- 5500K Color Temperature, CRI/TLCI: 96
- 0-100% dimming, in four modes: Linear, Logarithmic, Exponential, and S-Curve
- Available with V mount or AB (Gold) mount battery plates
- Bluetooth Sidus Link App
- 110-240 VAC power supply
- Up to 80,000 Lux peak output when paired with Fresnel lens
- 55° reflector
- Paparazzi, Spark, Lightning, Faulty Bulb, TV, Pulse, Flash, and Explosion modes
- CRI 96 at 5500K, TLCI 96 at 5500K, CQS 95 at 5500K
- 325.1 fc / 3500 lux at 9.84' / 3 m
- 11.7 x 8.5 x 13.6" / 298.4 x 215.6 x 344.5 mm