Fotodiox’s new FlapJack LED Edge line provides the convince of LED lighting with the softness of a Florescent Softbox.
One of the biggest challenges of lighting for starting podcasters is they often need studio quality lighting, but with an extremely limited space and monetary budget. Traditional stage lighting provides the best light, but at the cost of extreme heat, a large space, and immense power. With the advent of LED lighting, podcasters have been able to get a quality output with minimal power and no heat. The biggest problem with LED lighting is that the light is often very harsh due to the extreme directional nature of the technology. There are often hotspots on camera, and for the talent, a conventional LED panel is very difficult to look at.
Fotodiox attempts to solve this with their FlapJack line, their new LED Edge lit line of products.
LED Edge lighting is a relatively new technique. Instead of arranging the LEDs on a single flat panel, the FlapJack lines the LEDs on the outer edge aimed towards a diffusion material. This material evenly lights up to create a soft but intense glow without hotspots. Thanks to the elegant design and lowered power requirements of edge lighting, these new panels are much thinner than traditional LED panels, being as thin as 1/2” outside of the main control module on the back.
The FlapJack provides a very soft light that is not only perfect to light subjects evenly, but also is easy for the talent to look at without difficulty.
The only setup for the light kits is simply taking them out of their case and attaching a standard NP-F style battery or AC power via an included adapter. The rear mounted control module includes an LCD indicator shows the current light level and battery life status. An alternative lighting option such as a CCFL soft box would take 10 minutes to assemble and require exponentially more space than the FlapJack.
The FlapJack series comes in a few camera top mounted sizes with 1/4”-20 threaded mount points and a standard baby-pin 10 inch round format. I tested the 4”x11″ rectangle camera top light, the C-200L, and the 10 inch round light, the C-300R.
While the C-200L light was very light, with a larger battery, it is far to heavy to put on top of a camera. It will work perfectly with an adapted light stand or mini tripod. The C-300R rounded light, with its standard baby pin and yoke mades it a great fit for a on site location video interviews or permanent ceiling mounting for a permanent podcast setup.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Fotodiox FlapJack line, and I they are a great alternative to conventional LED lighting for the aspiring podcaster looking to move into video.
You can find the Fotodiox FlapJack in 5×8 ($179.99), 4×11 ($199.99), 7 inch round ($229.99), or 10 inch round ($299.99) at various online retailers or on Fotodioxpro.com
UPDATE: The FlapJacks are now available in BI-COLOR, 3200k to 5500k. You can find them online at their website fotodioxpro.com