I’ve been searching for a versatile video light for my Zoom/YouTube live broadcast that could also be used for product and portrait photography that wouldn’t break the bank. Before now, the budget-friendly lights I found were great for video, but not that good for photography.
Imagine my excitement when B&H sent me the Genaray PortaSun Round Flexible Bi-Color LED Light to try out. Could this be the budget-friendly versatile video light I’ve been looking for? Short answer — YES. Here’s why.
Round flexible LED
Unlike many LED light fixtures, this light is round, which is why it’s called the PortaSun. The round LED array creates a broad 120-degree throw for lighting or accenting a large area. The LED is mounted on a flexible backing that lets you roll it up in its carry case and take it anywhere. It weighs only one pound, making it easy to mount anywhere.
This light is bright! The 20-inch, 672-LED array of tungsten and daylight LEDs provides up to 5460 lux of bicolor light. But you don’t have to use it all at once. The PortaSun features step-less dimming from 100% to 0%. I was able to replace my LED light that was set to full power with the PortaSun set to only 40% and lowered my ISO from 640 to 200! This resulted in less power and less digital noise.
Adjustable color temperature with two operating modes
The PortaSun has an adjustable color temperature range from 2750–6500K, making it easy to match my lighting conditions. I dialed the PortaSun to 5800K, set my camera to custom white balance and instantly had accurate colors.
If you want more control over color, you have the option of taking complete control over the LEDs using the Auto mode. The Auto mode automatically adjusts the level of the daylight and tungsten LEDs as you change the color temperature. Manual mode lets you control the strength of each set of LEDs individually.
Battery or plug-in power
The PortaSun gives you the option of direct AC operation or it can use the integrated V-mount so you can operate with battery power. It’s a multi-voltage fixture capable of running on 100–240 V, 50/60 Hz, so with the proper plug adapter, you can use this light at home or abroad. I can see this coming in handy for outdoor location shoots or conducting trade show interviews when plugging in isn’t an option.
X-style mounting bracket and light shaping
The included X-style bracket lets you mount the PortaSun on a light stand. It also provides rigidity so you can use the included diffusers and softbox to shape the PortaSun’s beam to your needs.
A diffuser softens the beam and eliminates multiple shadows. The included softbox reduces the spread of your beam and eliminates light spills.
For further directionality, the included grid fits neatly inside the softbox and provides a spotlight effect to focus the beam on your subject and add drama to your exposures.
The PortaSun’s size and featherweight give you lots of creative lighting options. Use it as a standard photo or video light mounted on a light stand. Without the X-bracket, you can hang the light on a nail or touch-connect strip. Since it’s flexible, it can squeeze into places you could never fit a standard lighting fixture, so you can light almost any space. And since LEDs don’t generate much heat, you can even hold it by hand.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly versatile video light that can also be used for portrait and product photography the Genaray PortaSun Round Flexible Bi-Color LED Light is a perfect choice.
Genaray PortaSun Round Flexible Bi-Color LED Light
The PortaSun Round Flexible Bi-Color LED Light with Softbox and Grid V2 from Genaray is a lightweight, flexible, circular LED panel with a 20″ diameter array, featuring 336 daylight and 336 tungsten LEDs to provide up to 5770 Lux of output. The X-bracket gives the bendable light panel rigidity that enables the use of light-shapers like the included softbox and grid, which attach in moments via a touch-fastener border on the front of the panel. The X-bracket has a ball head with 180° of tilt for precise aiming and a 5/8″ receiver so you can mount it on most light stands.