May 1, 2019

Testing Out Aputure's Budget-Friendly Mini LED Lights

Get amazing lighting on a budget with Aputure's Amaran series of LED lights.

Since 2005, the nice folks over at Aputure have been determined to create professional-grade equipment at an affordable price. Their LED lights are a shining result of this philosophy. 

I recently got my hands on two of their mini bicolor LED lights: the AL-MX and the AL-F7. In this video, I take a closer look at both models and give them a quick test run in an interview lighting setup.

Aputure Amaran AL-MX - $149

Aputure Amaran AL-MX

You can really feel the quality of the MX when holding it. At 9.88 oz/280 g, this little beast fits comfortably in your pocket. It's made of aircraft-grade aluminum and features an efficient heat management system. With 128 LED bulbs, it's amazingly bright at such a small size. The 5-step adjustable color temperature ranging from 2800-6500K makes this light extremely versatile. Check out the full specs here:

Color Accuracy

  • CRI > 95
  • TLCI > 95
  • CQS > 95

Illumination

  • Normal
    • 0.3m > 2400lux
    • 0.5m > 880lux
    • 1.0m > 200lux
  • Booster mode
    • 0.3m > 3130lux
    • 0.5m > 1140lux
    • 1.0m > 260lux

​​Performance

  • 128 SMD bulbs
  • Beam Angle - 120°
  • Color Temperature - 2800K-6500K
  • Battery Type - Lithium-polymer battery(3.7v 800mAh)
  • Battery time - 0.5 to 4 hours
  • Battery Input Port - USB Type-C

Physical

  • Dimensions - 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.9"  / 93 x 59.8 x 23.5 mm
  • Weight - 9.88 oz / 280 g
  • Mount Type - 1/4"-20 Female Thread

Aputure Amaran AL-F7 - $98

Aputure Amaran AL-F7

The F7 is lower in price, and you can feel it in the quality of the build. While it's lightweight it feels like if you drop it, it's most likely going to break. One of my favorite features of this light is the advanced output readout that includes stepless controls all the way down to 1% (8 lux @ 0.5m, 3200K). This allows for additional precision when fine-tuning the lighting of your shot. Like the MX, the F7 is extremely versatile and portable. While you can't exactly fit it in your pocket, it's still a great portable bicolor LED light. 

Color Accuracy

  • CRI > 95
  • TLCI > 95
  • CQS > 95

Illumination

  • 1% Brightness(@0.5m)
    • 3200K - 8lux
    • 5600K - 18lux
    • 9500K - 8lux
  • 100% Brightness(5500K)
    • 0.3m >14000lux
    • 0.5m ≥5500lux
    • 1.0m ≥1500lux
    • 2.0m ≥400lux
    • 3.0m ≥180lux

Performance

  • 256 high-CRI LED Beads
  • Beam Angle - 45°
  • Color Temperature - 3200K-9500K
  • Compatible Battery - Sony NP-F Series Battery
  • Battery Life ≥3H(100% Brightness, with Sony NP-F970 )
  • Battery Input Port - USB Type-C  (For Power Supply Only) D-tap port

Physical

  • Dimensions - 6.2 x 3.4 x 1.3"  / 158 x 87 x 34 mm
  • Weight - 9.17 oz / 260 g
  • Mount Type - 1/4"-20 Female Thread

No matter the shooting situation, these budget-friendly LED lights will serve your lighting arsenal well.      

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