Raw Light vs Lightroom Edit
Winter Wonderland seemed like the perfect place to test out this pocket-sized LED light from Aputure. It is crowded, anxiety-inducing and an overall embodiment of pure chaos, especially the Bavarian Village – folk get HANGRY. Setting up a light in the middle of all this madness and snapping some nice portraits, not to mention at night surrounded by fluorescent and neon light, was an appropriate challenge.
Aputure MC RGBWW LED Light
This is the Aputure MC RGBWW LED Light. It's only just bigger than a credit card, so will fit in the palm of your hand and this tiny size makes it incredibly versatile. You can use it almost anywhere when you need a boost of colour and/or light in your shooting. It features HSI/CCT lighting modes as well as nine FX lighting modes. The light also has Sidus Mesh tech built and the Sidus Link Control App allows you to control pretty much everything on the device. The unit comes with a USB cable for charging but some that add even more to the versatility of this device is that it is actually compatible with Qi wireless chargers!
The Aputure MC LED light is portable and easy to set up, can’t emphasise that enough. To control it, all you need is the free Sidus Link Control App for iOS. With it, you can change the colour of the light as well as remotely control it, even though you can easily operate it with the side buttons located on the light casing itself. In addition to changing the colour, which you can only achieve with the app, you can also pick from a range of effects, or pre-sets if you like. I played with these on the train to London; people were not happy with me when I turned the party mode on. I can see how some of these effects can come in handy in different situations, including quick videography with a siren/candle mode or the party mode; which is perfect for a quick rave set-up. This makes the MC LED extremely versatile. The MC can be utilised on film and photography sets, promotional videos, and as a source of lighting for streamers or influencers. The light is truly powerful and is 100% dimmable; the opposite spectrum is VERY bright. My friends can testify as I shined it directly into their eyes on accident – professional.
The difference in coloured light from the MC – Subtle Green vs Bright Cyan
The way my friends and I used it was - one person modelling, one taking the photograph and the third holding and controlling the light. You could manage with just two people when the model is holding the light; this would come in handy for influencers. When it comes to professionals, the light has a mounting thread allowing it to be mounted onto a tripod or the top of a camera. On top of this, the back of the light is magnetic for even easier mounting. With how small, powerful and hassle-free it is to use I’d recommend having one on hand if you are a modern creative, whatever the level of professionalism. For Instagrammers, especially ones who are starting, it can be a little bit of an investment; for photographers and videographers, it would make for a handy additional piece of equipment or even a key light for certain shoots! Quickly take it out of your bag whenever you feel there is a perfect opportunity for a shot. Urban photographers and documentary filmmakers could greatly benefit from this.
Without the MC, With the MC, With the MC Post-Edit
So how did the light perform? Even though Winter Wonderland is filled with colourful, bright lights - as you can see in the example above - you can still end up with a plain, yellow-toned photograph thanks to the abundance of fluorescent lighting populating the funfair. The light can add gorgeous dimension to your portraits and can be as dramatic or as subtle as you want it to be. I hope I included a sufficient variety or colour and intensity combinations, albeit this is just scratching the surface of the MC’s capabilities. The light provides a good base for colour correction, allowing you to truly bring out the details in the model’s face; especially when working at night. I love Winter Wonderland as a backdrop and how the key light from the MC works with the many background lights. My favourite example is the second set of portraits where the cyan light from the MC creates a smooth gradient into purple; blending with the background light and complementing my pink hair. This can make post-production workflows easier as you already have a gradient present in your image. You simply have to emphasise it by boosting the vibrancy and contrast of the colours. It reminds me of Brandon Woelfel’s work, obviously, quality-wise it doesn’t come close but the atmosphere is there. I love his creativity with light and how he uses it as a base for his iconic editing style.
Raw Light vs Lightroom Edit – Intense Purple
I approached these photographs from an influencer’s perspective and above all, I wanted to have fun with my friends. We shot these on Google Pixel 3 and honestly the camera on that phone is one of the best I’ve seen around. The bokeh effect is gorgeous, so are the lively colours it picked up. Imagine these photographs shot on a mirrorless camera with this light - STUNNING. I posted some pictures from Winter Wonderland to my personal Instagram - quick VSCO edits on the train back- and received messages asking what camera captures such rich colours, especially at night. As much as the phone camera did a great job, the light helped massively with bringing out those beautiful colours. People were quite impressed with the light to the point of asking how we created our images. They were not photographers, just people wanting to get creative with documenting their everyday lives. I think that for its price the light is worth it, even for personal photography.
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera
Save £100, was £569
The Canon PowerShot G7 X II brings expert-level control and uncompromising image quality into a classically styled compact small enough to take anywhere. With a 1.0-type sensor, bright f/1.8-2.8 lens and superior DIGIC 7 processing engine, this pocket-sized, large-sensor compact offers DSLR-like creativity when capturing both stills and Full HD video. The camera's 5-axis Advanced Dynamic IS and MF Peaking will ensure pin-sharp focus and steadycam-like footage, while the 3.0" vari-angle LCD with Touch AF permits low-angle shooting and quick fingertip control for cinematic focus pulls.
In conclusion, I’m thoroughly blown away by the Aputure MC LED light. The power, price point; how creative you can get with it along with expressive results and versatility; this light is worth buying. Whether you are a professional looking for a convenient light source for fast workflows, an influencer, vlogger, streamer, or an artistic individual; this light is for you. I have no complaints except that it can take you a little bit of time to not set off light effects accidentally and then struggle to turn them off in public places – true story. I would recommend pairing it with the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera. For about £600 you will have a fantastic beginner photography set. It is enough for above-average consumer images too and would be ideal for influencers and vloggers.
Raw Light vs Lightroom Edit – Bright Red
About the Author
Patrycja Reimus is a Norwich based horror artist and an award-winning filmmaker. She is also our Technical Copywriter who frequently enjoys writing for our blog. For more information about her work please visit patrycja-reimus.squarespace.com. You can also follow her wonderfully weird and obscene imagery on Instagram @reimuspati_art or stalk her personal life @patrycja_reimus.