The Flaspoint 500C LED dimmable light is a rather compact and affordable LED solution from Adorama. The light features 500 individual LED bulbs – 250 of which are daylight balanced and 250 of which are tungsten balanced.
The two sets of LED bulbs are controlled by two independent dimmer knobs. As a result, you have a fully dimmable light and a variable color temperature light. Both are pretty cool features for a $200 video light.
The unit is very lightweight, as it is made of plastic – 14″ wide x 7.5″ tall x 2.75″ thick. It features 4 adjustable barn doors with a reflective surface. The light is powered by the included AC adapter or, optionally, a V Lock battery. A stand mount attaches to any standard 5/8″ stud and tilts at the base. Additionally, a carry handle is fixed to the light on the top of the shell.
Another cool little feature on the Flashpoint 500C LED is the cold shoe rail on all four sides of the case. This allows you to mount the light from the top or bottom – or from either side. A smart little design addition for such a cheap light.
Overall, the light handles very well and is practically idiot-proof. I read a few customer reviews on Adorama’s site concerning faulty connections and general quality control issues with this unit and its daylight-balanced sibling, the Flashpoint 500 LED. I have yet to experience any problems with the light. Everything has worked as advertised since day one.
My only complaint with the Flashpoint 500C LED is a somewhat greenish tint when adjusted to the tungsten-balanced setting. This is not the first LED unit that I have experienced a green tint on a tungsten setting. I’m not sure if this is a common issue across all LED lights or only the cheaper models. I just haven’t used a broad enough range of LED units to make that general assessment. Regardless, there is a green tint issue with this light, which requires some work to balance it in post with other tungsten sources.
These show my dummy that I use for lighting setups with both the Tota + umbrella lights and then the Flashpoint 500C LED at 3200K and 3700K in an attempt to manipulate the color cast in camera. Check them out below.
This green cast can be pretty simply corrected in post. And I’ll probably just duplicate and then modify my effect preset in Premiere Pro that I use to balance FS100 and 5D footage in order to clean up the green in both cameras. Accordingly, when I shoot with the Flashpoint 500C LED, I can just use the preset to balance both cameras to each other instead of stacking another effect or adjustment layer onto the balanced footage to accomodate the green cast.
I found the Flashpoint 500C LED to be plenty bright for single subject interviews. I used it in place of two Tota lights that shoot through a 60″ umbrella as a key light for one of my standard interview setups. I left in place a tungsten-balanced 250 watt hair light and a 300 watt rim light (cut down to about 1/2 power by a ND gel) in place, along with a 40″ reflector for fill.
Moving the Flashpoint 500C LED a little closer as the key got me the brightness level that I needed; however, since we’re moving to a smaller source, we’re losing some of the softness from the umbrella.
All in all, I’m impressed with what the Flashpoint 500 LED delivers even in spite of the green color cast. And, I’m very impressed with the price that Adorama delivers it.
While some of the customer reviews on Adorama’s site cause me a bit of concern with regard to the bigger picture of quality control, I’ve had several Flashpoint products myself and have had few problems with the gear. The one time that I had to return a Flashpoint product, Adorama was quick to respond and get a working replacement out the door.
With that in mind, I have no trouble recommending the Flashpoint 500C LED light to budget-minded video shooters.
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