NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

45W LED - Chinese "100W" / "1000W" from NiceFoto / Came

This is going to be a short review of the CAME "100W" LED light. I ordered it from China, and within a couple of weeks or so it had arrived. First impressions were not good at all, I found that it does work, just not at all as advertised.

A screenshot from the video review which is coming soon.

A screenshot from the video review which is coming soon.

Pros:

  • It gave me 2000 LUX at 1 meter. That's not terrible, it's still light you can use, but it's 3.6 times less than the advertised 1800 LUX at 2 meters in the specs of this light (As you should know, light decreases to one quarter every time the distance is doubled.) and it's 4.25 times less than what you would get from a quality 100W LED unit like the Jinbei EF-100, which gives me 8500 LUX at 1 meter from it's 100W power rating. which actually uses some 110W of power, so Jinbei is actually giving you more than they promise, not less.
  • It's silent. No fans.
  • It has barn doors, which are very useful, although aren't 100% perfect.
  • It has a beam focused with glass which helps use the light more efficiently. If it didn't, it would be weaker.
  • It costs £135 on eBay, including shipping from china. Not too bad but not great.
  • It is a single source of light, not a big panel of LEDs. This can allow you more control of the light.

Cons:

  • It's uncomfortably heavy compared to other units of the same power rating. Just for some electronics not much larger than a full wallet. Unlike dimmable units which do really require far more space for the complicated electronics.. I can smell a DIY project coming up..
  • It's not very well built, although it doesn't feel like it would fall apart. Chunky and clunky.
  • The light stand connection is too big, but still works.
  • It's light has color fringes - A color change at the edge of the light because of the lens that's supposed to focus the light.
  • It's barely focusable, with a maximum beam size change of about 6 inches at the edge of the beam 1 meter away from the unit.
  • The barn doors won't stay in place. After some tightening of the screws they won't close fully. 
  • In a warm environment it gets hot at the body. Maybe not enough to burn you badly, but enough that you wouldn't touch the top of it.
  • It's not dimmable.
  • It's cable is non removable and pretty short.
  • It's ON/OFF button is on the cable. Not ideal. 
  • And most importantly, it's a 45 watt unit being sold as a 100 watt unit, and it's immediately apparent in the light output. 

My cat and I tested the CAME with a clamp multimeter (an electric amperage/voltage tester). We got 0.18 amps on my 253 volt power supply. So lets do the maths, 0.18A x 253V = 45.54W.
(WARNING: Electricity is dangerous. Do not mess around with it unless you are qualified to do so.)

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 19.36.40.jpg

I'm joking about the cat thing of course - cat's aren't very good with electronics.

Conclusion:
If you don't like money, or you like really expensive "Hollywood style" decorative floor lamps, then this light is perfect for you. - If you like quality film and photography lighting that's easy to travel with, there are far better options. For example, at this price range, the Yongnuo YN-600 (fan noise issues) or the Aputure AL-528s.

UPDATE:
I politely wrote to the eBay seller that sold me the CAME. Surprisingly, they weren't buttholes about it (usually when you complain to an ebay seller about incorrect specs, they'll start acting even worse, but not this time.) and they simply offered a partial refund. Sending 5KG back to china would cost a lot of money, and could take months to arrive. They asked how much I thought was fair and I said half-price for half-power seems fair. They agreed and promptly refunded half of it. I do hope they stop selling it with incorrect specs, because most people wouldn't know they got an incorrectly marketed product, but the listing has so far not changed.