Falcon Eyes RX-718 RGB Light Review

In this episode, lets talk a look at the Falcon Eyes RX-718 which is an RGB flexible LED light… One of the big things at the NAB show this year were RGB LED lights What are RGB LED lights? Well… They are LED lights you can use for video or photography And not only do they allow you to produce, typically white light ….or tungsten coloured light, but they also have red green and blue LEDs which allow you to do very stylised lighting as well. Let’s take a closer look at this particular light which I’m using as a key in this particular case. It’s about…I would say… a yard and a half.. a meter and a half-ish away from me here and this is first of all a flexible LED light so it’s a mat, that you can roll up when it’s time to transport or store which is really nice, it makes it a lot easier to get it on location where you are going to be shooting. To use it in a more traditional fashion as a key light, for example, like we are doing here there is also this included X-frame, which is metal and it is foldable, which is very nice as well and it holds it in a flat plane, just like you would normally use a panel light A nice thing about the frame is that it is 100% metal as is the yoke that you use to connect it to your light stand and this is a very solid yoke, and no question that this thing will hold up over time Like many of the light designs we’ve seen over the last few years this has a separate controller box from the panel itself which is really nice because that means it can stay cooler and therefore does not need a fan. I love lights that don’t have a fan! It makes sound recording so much easier. If you are powering from AC mains there is also an AC adaptor and conveniently you can attach that to the controller box so you’re not fighting with an AC adaptor on the floor controller box hanging from the stand when you’re trying to move the light. In addition to the AC adaptor, there is also a V-Mount battery plate on the controller box which means you can can power it using cinema style V-Mount batteries which is really nice as well So if you going to be out on location, where you don’t have access to power you’ve got options without using a generator. The light comes with a soft box, and also a grid you can put on the front of the soft box so of course the soft box is very nice because it diffuses the light… works very nicely when you’re using it as a key light or even as a rim light, when you want the light to wrap around the side a little bit and it also prevents any of the double shadow issues that you sometimes get when the LEDs are spaced apart on a panel like this. The grid is nice because it prevents the light from spilling everywhere And so you have a little bit more control over where the light goes and doesn’t go! But of course the headline feature on this light, it being an RGB light is that it can produce a whole spectrum of colors which is really pretty interesting and allows you to do a lot of interesting very saturated stylised colors or more subtle colors, if you want to do that I find this very helpful as a backdrop light and maybe in pieces where you want a more Sci-Fi look things of that nature. We measured the colour quality with a Sekonic C700 which allows us to measure the CRI… Now I realise that CRI is not the perfect measurement, but it is a pretty decent indicator so…we went ahead and used that. What we found is that the CRI differs a little bit on the light depending on what colour temperature you have it set to but it ranges from 93 to 97, 100 being the perfect score so that’s actually entirely usable, I was quite pleased with that I was expecting, that as an RGB light, we would see lower numbers than that because again the focus was on being able to create these very rich saturated colors. However… It’s definitely useable as a key light or anything where you are going to be rendering skin tones That make this light very flexible. You can use it like a key light, like I’m using it here or you can use as a backdrop light for more stylised kind of lighting. A nice touch is that it comes with this padded hard case, which is great for storing it, or getting it to location It does have a pretty decent build quality, the controller box is mostly metal and the light itself is again, a thick fabric with the LEDs embedded in it. Everything included with it seems like it’s built quite nicely I do have another flexible Falcon Eyes light that i’ve been using for… coming up on about a year, now and its held up very nicely, in fact that’s whats illuminating our backdrop right here. And I ended up liking that light a whole lot more than I expected to in terms of build quality, it’s held up very nicely over twelve months I would expect the same thing out of this RX-718 as well Here are the readings we got from the Sekonic in terms of overall light output But from a practical point of view what this translates to is when I have it maybe a little over a meter away… At ISO 200, shutter speed of 1/48th of a second which is about a 180º shutter angle …if you’re shooting at 29.976, you can set the aperture at f4.0 and you’re getting plenty of light, so… just to give yourself a sense for how much light this puts out It’s not enormous, and you’re not going to light up a mountainside with this but from my point of view, it’s definitely enough for interviews and definitely enough for illuminating a backdrop or a background. In terms of electricity, it’s drawing about 117 Watts when you’re at 100% power. One of the challenges of LED lights is that they can have a tendency to flicker when you drop them down… …from 100% What we did here is we ran this at 50%, set our shutter speed to 1/784th sec which was an 11º shutter angle and we had the frame rate at 23.976 and what we found was… in that case we were not able to detect any sort of flicker, so… it seems like the dimming they have done here, works very nicely …and is not going to produce a lot of flicker issues for you. With the frame and the yoke, you can actually rotate this and you can have it in horizontal or vertical positions so you can fine tune the shape of the catch light in somebody’s eye At the time of review, this is priced at $749 US Now, one note: in terms of beam angle, we did some testing here… they didn’t say in the specifications, what the beam angle is with the soft box, and the grid. My tests suggest it’s about 100º, so it’s very much more like a floodlight that a spotlight, Just so you’re aware! Is that good, or is that bad? It’s neither. It just depends on what you need. So for me this is largely going to be a light that I’ll use on the backdrop in most cases But it could also be used as a key light, like it is here… So, there were a few cons, so let’s go ahead and run through those… First of all there is no sort of wireless control, or an app to mix the colors so on the control box itself, if you want to do anything with RGB colors you individually dial in the amount of each of the Red, Green or Blue you’d like to illuminate So there’s no Hue control, or no app to do any programming, as far as I can tell The control box buttons are a little bit hard to see if you’re working on a dark set Again, not a huge deal when you get to know where everything is It’s not going to be a massive problem, but it would be nice if they were backlit, or something like that. On the other hand, the OLED readout is actually quite nice, and definitely viewable, on a dark set. And then, finally, the yoke doesn’t allow you to angle the light down very much. Typically when I’m doing the light as a key light I like to put it up a little bit above the eye-line.. and then aim it down a little bit because our eyes are used to seeing light on people, in that fashion. This yoke doesn’t allow you to do that You do have to come up with your own solutions For example if you’re on a C stand with a boom arm, you can easily rig it to angle it down a little bit more But if your using a lightweight stand that doesn’t have a boom arm, you only get a few degrees to point it down So, it would be nice if we could see a yoke that would aim down a little bit more. So, overall, what are my impressions of this light? I actually find this to be a lot more useful than I expected… I expected an RGB light that would have poor colour quality if you were trying to use it as a key light on skin …and you would probably end up with weird colors I haven’t found that at all. In fact it looks like it came out really really nicely… so it can be used as a key light… can be used as a rim light… it can be used for pretty much for anything and you can do these super stylised crazy colors as well. So this light becomes a very useful light, from my point of view for doing lots of different things, so it can fill different roles. I have a very important addendum here… as I was shooting the last few insert shots.. the light stopped working. I did some trouble shooting, and realised it was the control box. I contacted Foto vision, they sent a new one. The time they said they would send it, to the time i received it.. it was two business days, it actually spanned a weekend but it was two business days And it is working again, so… I felt it was very important to let you know that this happened.. and i don’t know what to make of it entirely. What i can say is.. that their customer service is very good. There is a one year warranty. I can also say I have had another Falcon Eyes mat light similar to this Not the RGB model, the RX-18 TD which we reviewed about a year ago. And I’ve had a very good experience with that…in fact I liked that light more than i expected as I’ve mentioned before So, all that being said, what I can say is I can keep you updated on how well this is working… …because I do intend to use this light. I really love the ability to do these kind of funky colors I think it will be fun to experiment with that If at some point in the future you’re curious as to how it’s working at that point and you don’t see a recent comment, go ahead and leave a question for me there. I’ll respond to you, and let you know how it’s working. So, overall, there’s my experience with the RX-718 Hope that was helpful for you. If you have any questions, go ahead and leave them down below If you’ve not already subscribed, make sure you do that and I’ll be sure to get you more great videos on how to improve your lighting and sound…for video Talk to you soon


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