I’m usually very cautious about publishing my own views on kit, especially as I’ve bought a lot of LED camera lights that have, quite frankly, been a big disappointment. Often producing strange coloured skin tones (massive fail for a top light), hot spots, over heat or use a lot more battery power than they should. However, on the advice of the famous Mark Moreve, I recently decided to buy yet another… The ‘Aladdin Note Lite’, which confusingly also seems to be marketed as the ‘Aladdin A Lite’. Either way, it’s model number AMS-08T/D
I don’t care what it’s called, because I reckon it’s possibly the best top light I’ve ever tried. Small, lightweight and yet surprisingly solid in construction, it really does feel like a ‘pro’ piece of kit. The whole thing is housed in T6 aluminium and there’s a 1/4” thread on the bottom so it’s easy to mount on an arm or DSLR hot shoe.
It’s a bi-colour LED with an integrated battery which gave me over an hour of use at full power. But here’s the best bit… you can charge the internal battery with any micro USB lead. For those of you with Sony FS7/F5/F55’s, you’ll now be realising you can power it from the camera’s own 5v USB socket… and yes – it works. My first job using the Aladdin was a night on the red carpet at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. It ran faultlessly for over four hours using the lower USB on my F5, and I didn’t even notice the extra drain using just one IDX HL9 V-Lock battery all night.
So, it’s easy to power but what about the light quality? The super high CRI power 8W LEDs are bright, but dimmable from 100% to 5%. With 140° beam angle, the Aladdin also comes complete with a very nice soft diffusion filter that screws solidly to the front. The colour is adjustable from 3000K to 6000K and the CRI is an amazing 98% at 3200K. That’s a lot of numbers, but what they mean is everyone just looks great. No nasty green spikes and not a hint of magenta skin, even on my F5 shooting in Custom mode!
My night on the red carpet involved grabbing hand held interviews of celebs in front of a nicely lit hedge? Unfortunately, there was considerably more light on the hedge than the carpet, so it was a tough first test for the Aladdin. Once inside we were catching the winners in a corridor behind the stage. No time or space to set-up proper lights… it was shot in the news style “make the most of what you’ve got”. The Aladdin was seriously impressive both in the brightness and quality of colour. I think I’ve finally bought my last LED camera light.
Is there a downside? I can’t think of any. If it came in a nice soft pouch to protect it when not in use, it would be almost perfect. I bought mine in the UK for £291 + VAT
(The last screen grab isn’t great quality but I put it there just for Steve)