Review, Adorama Flashpoint 180 – Portable Flash Unit

I have a new portable flash unit in-house for testing. It is the Flashpoint 180 – a highly portable, lightweight unit that produces up to 180 watt/seconds of output. It comes complete with portable battery pack and charger, a diffuser dome, a reflector, a shoot-through white umbrella, a brief instruction manual, and a carrying case.

180 1

According to the manufacturer’s specs, it is capable of up to 700 flashes at full power. Flash duration ranges from 1/400 to 1/1100 of a second, depending on power output selected. Specifications state that color temperature is 5500k +/- 200k, which is reasonable.

The battery pack consists of two Sony rechargeable units housed in a plastic case; these are removed and charged via external charger. The manufacturer provides two charging units. Good news is that 700 shots should get you through a full day’s shooting. If you are shooting consistently outdoors in bright light or direct sun, depending on your needs you may want to get two of these, one of the 180 model, and another of the 400 model, using one for key lighting and the other for fill or add-on.

Overall, this is a lightweight unit, favoring portability over bullet-proof construction. The controls are sturdy and well made, and should hold up over time. Most of the flash body is aluminum, and a diffuser dome does double duty protecting the flash tube and LED-based modeling light. This is definitely not water-proof, so I would take care outdoors in mist or rain.

180 2

Power output is controlled via a stepless rotating knob, providing about 5-stops range. A slave sensor is also provided, along with an on/off switch for a triggering audio signal.

An LED modeling light is provided, but it’s anemic at best. Not too surprising, as many people will leave it turned on throughout a shoot, and that will drain batteries quickly.

Adorama also provides a short padded handle which can be inserted into the mounting socket – it’s easy to carry the unit around in the field – you would just clip the battery pack to your belt or carry it in your off hand.

Like any other studio flash unit, time to recycle depends on power output selected. This ranges from 1-5 seconds; not surprising at all on a battery-powered unit supplied by a lower-voltage power pack.

I also like that the unit is Bowens-compatible. As I own some Bowens gear, that’s a big plus in my book. I can use their light modifiers on this flash unit, for example.

Overall, a good, lightweight unit, highly portable and suited for use in the studio or just about anywhere you want to go.

Link to the Adorama page: http://www.adorama.com/FPBPLB.html

New Webinar – Small Lighting For Big Spaces

New Webinar – sponsored by Datacolor and co-sponsored by Metz

Not too long ago, standard practice for lighting large spaces involved hauling a lot of heavy equipment into a venue, laying out electrical service lines, creating support stands and scaffolding, and so on. Of course there was also tearing it all down, packing it away, and hauling it off again. Things have changed. It’s now possible to carry all or most of the gear you’ll need to light a large space in a duffle bag and camera bag, frequently doing it all without touching an electrical outlet and getting an equivalent or superior result.

Join David Saffir and David Tobie as they explore newer methods for lighting interiors using lighting systems adapted from on-camera flash units, purpose-built remote units and triggers. We think you’ll be surprised by the possibilities and impressed by the results!

An interactive Q&A will take place throughout the webinar to answer any questions you may have.

Webinar attendees will have the chance to win a SpyderCHECKR or Metz 44 Flash as well as receive exclusive discounts!

October 17, 2 PM EDT, 11 AM PDT

Register HERE!

DSLR Dynamics – The Art and Practice of Digital Filmmaking

New Workshops – DSLR Dynamics

Join us and explore the art of digital filmmaking!

The Video Visuals workshops are taught by two award-winning instructors.

Barry Andersson is the author of a top-selling Amazon book for DSLR video/filmmaking, THE DSLR FILMMAKER’S HANDBOOK, speaks at top film schools, & is a regular instructor for many NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL production crews.

planetMitch is the owner of planet5D – a highly ranked website that features blog and video reports on topics vital to the HDSLR community — and he also interviews industry leaders via his popular planet5D podcasts. In addition, planetMitch co-produced the short film “Incident on Marmont Avenue.”

The sessions will cover, among other things, best lighting practices, cameras, lenses, and camera settings, adding movement to video, and effectively capturing sound, editing and post-production.

I’ll be joining them, sponsored by and representing Datacolor, and I’ll be addressing color management issues as they relate to capture and post-production.

Cities coming up on the schedule include Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and more.

For dates (sessions starting this week) and registration go here: http://dslrdynamics.com/workshop/

New Workshop/Seminar – “Camera to Output”

Camera to Output – “Begin With the End In Mind”
October 19, 2013 Denver, Colorado

Join us for this comprehensive seminar, and sharpen your skills in image capture, color managed workflow, studio photography, and post-production techniques.

Getting it right in the camera

Begin with the end in mind

Color managed workflow

Introduction: Live Studio Setups and Lighting

Live Image Capture

Macro, Product & Live Model shooting workstations

Effective and efficient post production techniques

Creating Portfolio-Worthy Prints

Attendees receive special discount coupon packs and free sample materials.
Hosted by Digital2You. Sponsors include Datacolor, Epson, Pentax, Eizo, and Photo Imaging Consultants. Fee for attendance. Lunch provided.

Register:  http://www.digital2you.cc/cameratooutput.html

New Published Article, Managing Dynamic Range in Post-Production

Latest in a four part series: Managing Dynamic Range in Post-Production, published on the Datacolor blog:

Here’s the link: http://blog.datacolor.com/david-saffir-managing-dynamic-range-in-post-production/

© David Saffir 2013

© David Saffir 2013

New Webinar Schedule Updated May 1

Datacolor® , a global leader in color management solutions, announced today its spring 2013 line-up of free color management webinars featuring co-sponsors. The popular webinar series continues with a variety of introductory and advanced webinars that discuss new techniques and offer insights and tips for photographers to enhance their skills. Datacolor is bringing dynamic topics to photographers with the help of notable photography related companies including Triggertrap, Phlearn.com, onOne Software and Lexar.

Each webinar includes step-by-step demonstrations using Datacolor’s line of Spyder color calibration devices, and in-depth discussions on how to effectively use the right tools to create images. The bi-monthly webinars, hosted by David Tobie, global product technology manager for Datacolor, and David Saffir, Datacolor expert, noted landscape and fine art photographer, and author of “Master Digital Color,” focus on managing color using tools in both capture and processing stages. Topics range in subject matter and focus on providing photographers with new methods of producing high quality results with their images.

“Photography continues to evolve and there are always new methods to master,” said David Tobie. “Datacolor has always been committed to helping photographers achieve the highest quality photos. By adding more partners to our webinar series, we continue our goal of providing photographers at any level with the methods, techniques, and recommendations on tools to produce incredible photos.”

Upcoming topics for the Datacolor color management webinar series to include:

May 8, 2013 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT: Digital Workflow Process for the Capture Stage (Co-sponsor: Hunt’s Photo & Video)

May 30, 2013 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT: Remote Control Photography (Co-sponsor: Triggertrap)

June 12, 2013 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT: Introduction to Color Management (Co-sponsor: Phlearn.com)

June 18, 2013 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT: Focus Control: Before, During, and After the Shot (Co-Sponsor: onOne Software)

June 27, 2013 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT: Digital Asset Management (Co-sponsor: Lexar)

Those interested in attending can register in advance for the free webinars. Attendees will be given discount codes for Spyder products and/or products from co-sponsors. They will also automatically be entered to win a Datacolor Spyder product and products from co-sponsors coinciding with the webinar topic. Guests will have the ability to interact with the speakers in a Q&A format, and get first-hand input on applying color management effectively in their workflow.

Register now at spyder.datacolor.com/freewebinars.
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Down In The Weeds © David Saffir