Aputure has really carved out a name for itself with LED lights in the last couple of years, and the LS 300X looks set to continue that trend. It’s based on the 300D II, but because the LS 300X delivers a variable color temperature range from 2,700-6,500K (along with two presets) compared to a fixed temperature of the 300D II, Aputure has redesigned the LED chip.
While there are an array of LED light panels available that are more suited to video work, there are also now a number of studio-style LED lights that are compatible with a wide choice of light modifiers – and the LS 300X is a great example of this. The design enables you to control and sculpt the light as you wish rather than just illuminate your subject, while you’re not shackled to the studio either. The unit is mains powered, but there is a rechargeable battery option which comes into its own on location
A benefit of LED studio lighting is the ability to shoot at wider apertures compared to strobe-based studio lights, while cameras’ autofocus behaves better with a constant light source. Add in the fact you don’t have to worry about flash recycle times, and there’s much to be said for a quality LED studio light.
The LS 300X (like the similarly-priced NanLite Forza 300) uses a relatively new chip-on-board (COB) LED design that sees multiple LED chips bonded directly to a substrate to form a single module. However, rather than use a uniformed grid pattern of LEDs that cheaper lights feature, the LS 300X sports what appears to be a randomised arrangement of diodes that’s paired with a disseminating front unit. Why go to this hassle? To eradicate warm and cool lines that can appear in the shadows with a more uniformed design.
Color temperature: 2,700-6,500K
Illumination: 56,000 lux at 1m (with Fresnel 2X modifier)
Color Rendering Index (CRI): 98
Control: On-board controller, 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 Mesh, DMX512
Power source: Mains (optional Lithium battery)
Max power consumption: 350 watts
Compatibility: Compatible with Bowens bayonet
Dimensions: 29.8 x 21.5 x 34.4cm
In the box: LS 300X lamp, control box, carrying case, quick release clamp, 55° Hyper-Reflector, VA-Remote RC1+, mains cable, cable relief hook
The 300X has a huge output of 56,000 lux at one metre. This should be caveated though, as to achieve this you’d need the optional modifier on the front, and in reality you should expect something closer to 20,000 lux at one metre. With a power consumption of 350 watts, it’s a more energy hungry light than many of its direct rivals.
The LS 300X features an understated design, with control inputs taken care of via the control box that the light connects to. There’s a quick-release clamp that means it’s easy to attach to the light stand, and to save you going back and forth to the light, Aputure has bundled in a compact remote control.
The best ring lights in 2021