Camtree 600 LEDs were one of the cheapest around when I originally bought them and I have to say, they are great value for money, especially if you compare their price to LEDs from some top brands. I’m not saying the high end LEDs are bad or that they are bad value for money, but for a Budget Filmmaker like myself, they are simply pout of reach.
Now that I used my LEDs on couple of shoots I can go through a few more points not covered in original review.
Recently I shot a music video mostly just using these lights with a 1k generator. What is so good about such lights is the incredibly low power consumption. According to specs it only draws 30W maximum with luminous efficiency equivalent to 500W tungsten light, which is absolutely incredible. I was able to use this very nice compact generator (of course bough on eBay) to power 2 of these light + 2 small fluorescent lights and they were barely drawing any power at all. I was getting 1000W of light while only drawing 60W form a generator. Imagine how many lights you could use with just this small 1K Generator. If I was using the common tungsten lights with this generator, the best I could get out of it would be 800w from a redhead, or 1K at very best. I’ve worked out how much I power I could potentially get out of LEDs drawing up to 1K from a generator. According to simple calculations, I could power 33 x 600LED lights, giving me 16.5K of light!!!! Crazy amount of light and somehow I just don’t believe 1K generator would hold up, although theoretically it should. Even then, it should easily handle 10x600LED lights still giving 5K of power, so if you are in situation where you have a limited amount of power, of just investing into your own lighting and possibly a portable power source, LEDs and a small generator could be much cheaper, lighter, more portable and cheaper solution than using common tungsten lights which require loads of power, excluding a lightweight power source like a 1K generator.
Now couple of bad points I picked up about these and maybe a lot of similar LEDs, (all seem to be produced in the same way). The power cord/cable is too short when light is fully extended and the power adapter is left dangling in the air, weighting the cable down putting a lot of pressure at the point when you plug in the cable into the light. The socket on the light is not designed for heavy use and when moving the lights about cable quite easily pops out, which can be very annoying. Two solutions to this problem are: plug in the cable and put tape around socket (not very secure), second is to tape the power adapter to the stand, so there pressure to the power socket on the actual light, the power adapter takes all the pulling around which is fine, because it has much better, heavy duty 3 pin plug connection. As I said, cables are too short, so each light needs it’s own extension cord to use properly. I think similar problems will be found in most budget LED lights, because most seem to be designed in the same way.
As you can see in the video, my LEDs don’t have any barn doors, which is a shame, I miss them and would love to have them. At the time when I bought mine, Camtree were only making them without barn doors. Now all of them have barn doors, so you will not have such problem.
I do recommend these lights, a kit of 2 is a good start, although I’m already looking at possibility of buying a third one, so I’m currently doing a lot of research on different LEDs currently available.
I will be posting a big article soon, covering all the best choices currently available on eBay, so if you are thinking of investing into LEDs, make sure to check back soon