What does a "smart" softbox do that a normal one doesn't? Well Rotolight has just unveiled its world-first electronic softbox, called the SmartSoft Box, and it will enable photographers and filmmakers to control the amount of diffusion and adjust the focus with the touch of a button.
Being able to change the light source without having to buy extra accessories means that photographers could potentially save a fortune on kit, not to mention time changing between different gels and modifiers.
The Rotolight SmartSoft box was unveiled earlier in the year at the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for the popular Rotolight NEO 3 and the Rotolight AEOS 2 and it has been a very anticipated product. The Rotolight NEO 2 has already been popular among photographers and videographers due to its portability, power and ability to double up as a flash unit, and the SmartSoft Box looks like it could be as innovative.
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We haven't had a chance to test it yet, but Rotolight says that "the SmartSoft box mounts in just seconds to the AEOS 2, and is adjustable via the intuitive touchscreen display or, via the Rotolight App."
Since 2009, Rotolight has designed and manufactured its products in the UK, and it has become synonymous with making high-class LED lights such as the Rotolight AEOS . It has patented and pioneered several industry-firsts such as CineSFX and now SmartSoft, so it’s no stranger to breaking the mould when it comes to lighting.
SmartSoft technology was first seen in Rotolight’s Titan Cinematic range but this is the debut for a consumer-grade removable electronic softbox. Famously, the Rotolight Titan X2 panels were used to shoot some high-budget Hollywood films including James Bond and Batman.
Initially, Rotolight launched a Kickstarter campaign (opens in new tab) in hopes of raising £15,000 (roughly £18,720) to fund the research for the new lights, but with 640 backers it has managed to raise a whopping £641,911 ($801,126). Those who have pledged will be the first to receive the new lighting kits and one of the benefits of pledging is that you will be able to access the SmartSoft eclectic diffusion panel as an add-on at a discounted price.
Having had a chance to use the new kit, Sam Nash, an award-winning commercial and fashion photographer said, "The new SmartSoft™ Box has revolutionized how I can control light. It simply allows me to create pictures with just one modifier that has never been possible before. It’s a game-changer in how I control light for both my commercial photography and has saved me so much time. The ease of use is phenomenal."
The software will be preinstalled on the AEOS 2, however the electric diffusion panel itself is purchased separately. Using Rotolight’s Native iOS or Android App, you can switch between different lighting modes as well as remotely adjust color, power and SFX making the whole experience efficient and up-to-date.
Rotolight SmartSoft Box is now available to pre-order directly from Rotolight’s website (opens in new tab) for $499/£439. Shipping will commence in August 2022 which is when we will also start to see the products in official Rotolight resellers.