Aputure Light Storm LS300X- Bi-Color LED Leave a comment

The 300 level Light Storm series from Aputure just became bi-color with the addition of the 300x that we previously announced during IBC 2019. We had the opportunity to review the flagship 300D MK II late last year and called it “Aputure’s best light to date”. Given that the 300D MK II boasts Aputure’s highest output for their LED fixtures so far we would expect similarly impressive punch from the 300x. Do we give up anything in exchange for that bi-color feature and is there more under the hood of the 300x then simply being able to select different kelvin temperatures? Here’s our first look of the 300x: 

First Impressions: 

Nobody re-invented the wheel here in terms of the look and general usability of the Aputure LS 300x. If you’ve used a 300D MK II then you will be at home with the 300x, but that isn’t to say that there haven’t been any design improvements beyond the addition of bi-color control between 2700K and 6500K. For one, there’s a new “max output” and “constant output” mode. In constant output mode you can change your color temperature while keeping the same overall luminance. Max output —  just like it sounds — optimizes everything for more output overall, though Aputure suggests keeping your kelvin range between 4000K and 5500K to achieve your highest overall output. This is typical with most bi-color LED fixtures in the sense that there is a sweet spot for output when it comes to your kelvin selection.

There’s an additional wheel added on the controller beneath the familiar intensity wheel from previous generations that gives you CCT control and you’re also able to easily create and select presets by pressing in the middle of the wheel. You can adjust your kelvin temp in 50K increments, which is great for pinpoint accuracy when matching other light sources. Presets in general are very handy for quickly shifting between different looks while on-location depending of time of day or look of your scene.

300X KEY FEATURES

  • 2700-6500K Tunable White Point
  • Bowens-S Mount
  • Compatible with Lensed Optical Modifiers (e.g., Fresnel 2X, Spotlight)
  • Up to 56,000+ lux with the Fresnel 2X
  • CRI & TLCI scores of 95+
  • SSI Scores Higher Than The Industry Standard. Tungsten SSI: 85; D55 SSI: 74
  • Smooth 0%-100% Dimming Control
  • Preset Button to Toggle Between Common CCT Presets (2700K, 3200K, 4300K, 5500K, 6500K)
  • 4 Dimming Curves: Linear, Exponential, Logarithmic, & S-Curve
  • All-in-One Silent Control Box
  • Neutrik-Locking Connector
  • Single Battery (50%) or Dual Battery (100%) Operation
  • Firmware Upgradeable
  • 9 Built-in FX w/ CCT Control: Paparazzi, Strobe, Lightning, Faulty Bulb, TV, Pulsing, Fireworks, Explosion, & Fire
  • Handbrake Locking Yoke with 360° Rotation
  • 55° Hyper Reflector for Increased Output
  • Quick Release “Lightning Clamp” Included
  • Durable Carrying Case Supports up to 100kg
  • User Presets available via App Control
  • DMX512 Compatible
  • Sidus Mesh Technology
  • Compatible with Sidus Link App & 2.4Ghz Remote

Why would anyone buy the 300D MK II over the more versatile (in terms of color temp at least) 300x? The answer is output. There had to be a tradeoff for the addition of bi-color, right? This varies per light to some degree, but you’ll have an output hit in the realm of 25-35% on average (depending on color temp) with a bare bulb at 1 meter according to a little back of the envelope math when comparing the 300x to the 300D MK II. Again, keep in mind that this is an estimate based on manufacturer supplied specs and I’ll need to secure a 300D MK II for some additional head to head testing in the future once our local quarantine/stay at home order is lifted.

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