LED lighting has come a very long way in a short space of time, first looked down upon by photographers and filmmakers alike for their weedy power and inconsistent results, LED lights have turned opinions, and are now becoming the gold standard for creatives.
Rotolight has been one of the companies pioneering LED lighting since its founding in 2009. Winning huge acclaim, Rotolight's Anova series has been a staple in the TV and film industry, finding its place in BBC productions and blockbuster movies such as Ghostbusters: Afterlife. But with this impressive reputation among professional filmmakers to maintain, the development of the Anova Pro 3 has spanned seven whole years, which reflects the commitment to preserving its illustrious legacy.
Now finally (almost) ready for primetime, the Anova Pro 3 is Rotolight’s most powerful and versatile light yet, while also seamlessly joining the Rotolight family, offering familiar features like the user-friendly touchscreen interface and full color spectrum. But with so many other excellent Rotolight lights to choose from, what sets the Anova Pro 3 apart?
Rotolight Anova Pro 3: Specifications
|Peak Output (Lux) at 1m||>22,000 (continuous)|
|TLCI / CRI||99 / 95|
|Battery type||2x V-Lock 14.4V|
|Connectivity||Artnet RJ45 / M/F 5pin XLR / CRMX Wireless DMX / Lumen Radio / RDM support|
|Wireless control||WiFi / Bluetooth / Lumenradio CRMX / App|
|Beam angle||40 degrees|
|Mounting||TVMP bracket via yoke|
|Weight||3.4 kg / 7 lbs|
Rotolight Anova Pro 3: Key Features
The Anova Pro 3 offers impressive illumination capabilities, delivering 22,000 Lux of light at a one-meter distance. This substantial brightness makes it suitable for both indoor spaces and outdoor lighting, and the Anova Pro 3 is designed to withstand outdoor conditions with its IP65 weather resistance rating. To enhance portability, it supports two V Mount lock battery plates, which can draw up to 200W of power, ensuring sustained full-brightness operation for extended shooting sessions.
In terms of color accuracy, the Anova Pro 3 stands out with a TLCI rating of 99+ and a wide color temperature range spanning from 1,750K to 20,000K. Its versatility extends to reproducing the complete color spectrum, making it well-suited for creative and unique lighting applications. It also features a range of special effects, such as police sirens or lightning, crafted in collaboration with professional cinematographers to achieve results akin to those seen in mainstream productions.
Operating the Anova Pro 3 is straightforward, with connectivity options including Bluetooth, radio, and WiFi through the Rotolight companion app. Additionally, it offers built-in wireless compatibility with various other brands, such as Godox and Profoto, expanding its usability.
An innovative feature is Rotolight's 'Magic Eye' technology, which adjusts the Anova Pro 3 to match ambient lighting conditions, making it valuable in scenarios with mixed light sources of varying color temperatures.
For users of Rotolight's Anova series, existing accessories like barn doors are compatible with the Anova Pro 3, as well as Rotolight’s exciting addition of the electronic diffuser accessory, which electronically softens the light output, with wireless control options through the rear of the light or the companion app.
Rotolight Anova Pro 3: Build & Handling
Let's just get this out of the way, the Rotolight Anova Pro 3 is heavy, if you have used the Anova Pro 2 then this won’t come as a huge shock, but if you are coming from Rotolight’s smaller offerings or some of the best COB lighting, then you might be surprised when you pick it up. That is not to say it isn’t maneuverable, there are grab handles on the frame and an able-bodied gaffer will be able to move the light around on set, or even hold it aloft for brief periods, but it's not a light you're going to be traipsing round with.
All that bulk serves a purpose however, as this light is not only very powerful but also serves a broad and even output of light which off the bat is just easier to work with than lights with one very concentrated source. The Anova Pro 3 follows the design of other Rotolight lights with a large flat dish with those signature little domes to diffuse and enhance the light evenly, which meant that I wasn’t rushing for my usual collection of umbrellas, scrims, and softboxes to soften the light into something that was actually useable like I would be forced to with my usual COB lighting, but more on that in a moment.
The quality of the Anova Pro 3 is undeniable, the whole package feels so solid and rugged, and now for the first time, the Anova Pro 3 is water and dust resistant, so you can take it out in the rain, snow, sand or any other weather you can think to throw at it. As standard, the Anova Pro 3 comes with an attached bracket for angling the light, which can be locked onto any sturdy enough light stand.
The Anova Pro 3 continues Rotolight’s signature color touchscreen controls, which are just the easiest controls I have used on a light. The touch screen is relatively small (or maybe the Anova Pro 3 is big), but it is still simple to navigate with big icons and easy-to-drag sliders for the temperatures and colors. Working in the studio it only took seconds to dive into the right setting and adjust it. If you are going to be working far away from the light, or have several to control then Rotolight’s app is here for you to remotely change settings.
Rotolight Anova Pro 3: Performance
As I have touched on briefly already, the quality of light from the Anova Pro 3 without any additional accessories is just sensational. The light manages to possess a unique ability to be both incredibly powerful and broadly even. I used this light pointed directly at a model’s face with no modifiers, and the photos were downright usable.
My style is still much softer than the Anova Pro 3 used directly, but anyone who likes hard contrasts in their work will love this light on its own. Just quickly throwing up a shoot-through umbrella gave me more of the quality of light I was after. The Rotolight SmartSoft Box was unfortunately not available for my testing but looks like it might be the perfect complimentary accessory, and I can’t wait to try it out.
The Anova Pro 3 can get bright, I found that for a lot of my shoot in my small studio, I needed only hover around 50 percent, anything more was overblown at a couple of meters distance, but this light could comfortably light a much bigger set on its own. The Anova also has a huge color temperature range (separate from its creative colors), which is a nice feature, but will only be useful in quite limited situations.
The Anova Pro 3 also has so many lighting tricks up its sleeve. The most exciting of all is the new ‘Magic Eye’ feature, which is like Apple’s TrueTone on steroids. Magic Eye allows the Anova to take a reading of the ambient light in the room and adjust its color/temperature accordingly to match. As someone who has collated a collection of different lights from different brands, this feature allows me to broadly match the subtle color differences in color with the Anova Pro 3 for more consistency, which will save me so much time in post-production making masks to alter competing hues.
Rotolight Anova Pro 3: Verdict
The Rotolight Anova Pro 3 has truly impressed me with its remarkable power and versatility. It seems like there are very few tasks this light can't handle. With an incredibly extensive color temperature range and the ability to cover the entire spectrum of colors, it can function as a manual flash and offers a wide array of special lighting effects. What's more, it's worth noting that this light is even waterproof, and comes with dual V-Mount batteries for long-lasting power.
New features like ‘Magic Eye’ which can match the color of the light output to ambient light make the light easier to use than ever. Rotolight’s simple wireless connectivity and unique color touchscreen are also present. This might just be the sole lighting fixture that most professional setups will need.
Editor's note: As with all crowdfunding projects, there is no guarantee that the final product will match the early depictions in the campaign – or that the final product will be completed or delivered at all. DCW does not endorse this or any other crowdfunding campaign.