RGB Critter 2: Top quality RGB flashlight for mild portray?
The RGB Critter 2.0 is an especially brilliant, high-quality RGB LED color-changing flashlight designed for circulation artwork. How wouldn’t it carry out for mild portray topics in evening pictures?
Created by Ants on a Melon, the RGB Critter 2.0 flashlight is in style with LED circulation artists throughout reveals, artwork exhibitions, occasions and raves. It’s additionally highly regarded with evening photographers for mild drawing, which some describe as mild portray. (I exploit “mild drawing” to point shining a handheld mild supply immediately into the digicam lens to create drawing and patterns, and “mild portray” to point illuminating a topic with. a handheld mild)
Once I stumbled throughout the RGB Critter, my first thought was, “How wouldn’t it do with illuminating or mild portray topics in evening pictures?” Though this isn’t the intention of the design, I used to be instantly curious. My analysis of this flashlight is primarily for mild portray topics. It’s not for circulation artwork or mild drawing which includes creating patterns by shining the sunshine immediately into the digicam lens.
Observe: Ants on a Melon despatched us the RGB Critter 2.0 LED flashlight and equipment to assessment and preserve. Nonetheless, that is an unbiased assessment. All ideas and emotions about this mild are our personal. We’ve got not been influenced in any approach.
- Improbable, pleasant and responsive buyer help
- Extraordinarily high-quality mild
- Analog mild output choice that creates particularly wealthy, vibrant colours whereas stopping strobing (nice for video or lengthy exposures)
- 39 high-quality coloration settings that are wealthy in coloration and retain element when illuminating topics
- Good, sturdy construct high quality
- Raised silicone buttons for ease of use at midnight
- Many circulation artwork options and equipment too quite a few to say
- A common mount for a lot of attachments and equipment
- Micro-USB rechargeable and with replaceable 3050mAh 18650 battery
Observe: please keep in mind that the flashlight was not designed for individuals who illuminate, or mild paint, topics. These cons might not apply for LED circulation arts or mild drawing.
- Three-button consumer interface may be complicated
- For mild painters, it could be simpler if there have been a devoted brightness management
RGB Critter 2.0 — Technical specs
All technical specs have been taken from the Ants on a Melon web site:
- Size: 5.4″ (137.5mm)
- Diameter: 1.3″ (33mm)
- Weight: 8 oz (together with the battery)
- Energy: Replaceable 3050mAh 18650 battery
- Inside USB charging
- Can be utilized with USB energy provide related
- Aluminum Physique + Silicone Shell (supplied in a number of coloration selections)
- 3 illuminated buttons (button LEDs may be turned off)
- LED: Pink, Inexperienced, and Blue (RGB) LED emitters (can coloration combine, coloration change, or coloration fade)
- 39 strong coloration choices
- 93 adjustable presets (9,300 variations of presets may be achieved by merely holding the Rocket button)
- Constructed-in microphone for sound reactivity
- Constructed-in accelerometer for motion reactivity
- Max Lumens (coloration white): 170lm
- Max runtime at full brightness: 3hr (white), 6-9hr (all different colours and patterns)
- Max runtime at lowest brightness: 30hr (white), 6-9hr (all different colours and patterns)
- Threaded lens for twist-on equipment (over 100 choices)
- Threaded tail for Critter Connector
- Lanyard loop gap constructed into detachable aluminum Finish Cap
- Firmware can simply be up to date utilizing our RGB Critter Software program
Ants on a Melon additionally despatched me a few attachments for mild portray. These had been the Illuminator and the Illuminator Flex. Additionally they included a mushy drawstring mesh case for the flashlight, a micro-USB charging cable, Critter Key (to open up the tail to entry the charging port and battery), and two spare O-rings.
RGB Critter 2.0 — Ergonomics and construct high quality
The construct high quality instantly leapt out at me. The physique and buttons on the flashlight really feel strong and fashionable. Keep in mind too that that is designed for circulation arts/performers whereas having lengthy attachments affixed to it. They’re not going to make use of a lightweight that’s flimsy since they’re waving it round and sometimes whacking it on the bottom or a railing.
The flashlight, together with the buttons, is roofed with mushy rubbery silicone that makes gripping really feel fairly safe in your fingers. It’s probably the most comfy flashlight I’ve used.
RGB Critter 2.0 — Within the area
I photographed the tree in my yard in addition to Previous Automobile Metropolis USA in Georgia with the flashlight. I’ll begin with the “actual life” expertise in Georgia first. Then I’ll get deep into the geekery with some comparisons and particular examples of lighting.
Actual world mild portray — Retaining element in a forest full of deserted vehicles
I photographed on a December evening with fog and lightweight rain in Previous Automobile Metropolis USA. The sunshine carried out properly. The silicone masking was a welcome bonus, offering a grip that was fairly welcome within the damp surroundings. Though the beam was narrower than the opposite mild I’ve used, it by no means created a difficulty when illuminating the vehicles. The standard of sunshine was pleasing. I’ll cowl this in much more element within the subsequent part.
The RGB Critter 2.0 was capable of retain the attractive particulars of the vehicles it doesn’t matter what coloration mild I used. Retaining particulars may be a difficulty with different RGB flashlights.
To vary colours whereas the digicam shutter was open to take a protracted publicity picture, I might shine the sunshine away from the topic and choose a distinct coloration. Then I might resume mild portray the topic. Throughout a two-minute publicity, this was not a difficulty when utilizing simply two colours.
Above: The RGB Critter 2.0 mild retains an unlimited quantity of element.
High quality of sunshine
This can be a notable space the place the RGB Critter shines (sorry in regards to the pun … it occurs). The flashlight is able to producing 39 totally different colours, all of them fairly wealthy.
Nevertheless it will get even higher. The sunshine defaults to outputting its mild utilizing PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). Nonetheless, you may swap it to Analog output by urgent the On and Rocket Button. This ends in even richer colours that aren’t liable to strobing throughout lengthy publicity pictures or movies. I used Analog output for all of those examples.
That stated, I have to say that the PWM Mode nonetheless produced lovely colours that may very well be used for mild portray topics.
Above: I examined quite a few totally different colours from the RGB Critter 2.0 in Analog Mode. I selected their most intense purple and blue. Many digital cameras appear very delicate to intense purple mild specifically, and it’s straightforward to lose highlights and element with a purple mild. Nonetheless, right here, regardless of the extraordinary purple saturation, the small print maintain up fantastically. This can be a high-quality mild. To a lesser extent from my expertise, it appears straightforward to lose highlights and element with very saturated blue colours as properly. Nonetheless, it held up properly as properly. Click on on the photographs for a greater have a look at the element. There are a number of hues of inexperienced as properly, and these render properly. This specific one is the Stardust Inexperienced #37 setting (and sure, Stardust Inexperienced is a bit dimmer than the opposite two, as that is the very same illumination time and place of illumination). Good!
Controls, menus and show
You management the RGB Critter 2.0 by way of three buttons. There are not any menus or show. Consequently, the flashlight will “acknowledge” modifications by totally different coloration flashes or pulses.
The buttons are raised silicone shells which are straightforward to seek out and press at midnight. In follow, I had no points. Moreover, they’re backlit by LEDs because the default. This definitely makes it fairly straightforward to seek out at midnight. Once I needed to stroll by the body of a protracted publicity picture to light up topics, I discovered that I may cease the lit LED buttons from displaying within the picture by both 1.) turning the lights off solely, 2.) masking them with my hand, or 3.) blocking them from the lens with my physique.
Discovering the buttons and scrolling by the assorted colours was easy. Though there are quite a few modes, for mild portray functions, staying in m1 mode and utilizing its 39 strong colours is simple to do.
The problem arises while you wish to change the brightness. This includes urgent a number of buttons. See the RGB Critter 2.0 Gentle Portray Cheat Sheet beneath for a way. to do that.
Because the RGB Critter 2.0 just isn’t designed for somebody mild portray a topic, it’s troublesome to criticize this side of it. Nonetheless, many people who mild paint topics like to alter the brightness on the fly, so it bears mentioning.
A devoted brightness button, or maybe with the ability to assign a button completely to brightness in m1 mode, could be splendid. Nonetheless, many people additionally use LED flashlights that solely have excessive/low brightness controls to mild paint utilizing white mild solely, and we nonetheless handle to do good work.
Subsequently, I’m pondering that when you’ve got a flashlight that produces 39 high-quality colours by way of Analog or PWM output, together with a number of totally different shades of white, you’ll adapt shortly.
Recycle occasions and battery life
I really like having a micro-USB rechargeable flashlight. For evening photographers who do mild portray, it’s one much less merchandise that requires a selected battery charger. As a bonus, the RGB Critter 2.0 permits. you to simply exchange its 3050mAh 18650 battery! The battery will totally cost in beneath two hours when plugged right into a wall outlet adapter and beneath six hours when plugged into a pc port.
Every RGB Critter comes with one battery. This supplies between three to 9 hours of use at full brightness on every cost. Extra particularly, the battery will final three hours utilizing the colour white and between six to 9 hours utilizing all different strong colours and presets. Clearly, should you use the Brightness Management perform to dim it down additional, it’ll last more. For those who use the bottom brightness setting, the flashlight will final for 90 hours.
Because of the particular measurement of the battery, Ants on a Melon advises that you just solely use their batteries to stop attainable harm. You additionally ought to use their offered charging cable, additionally to stop attainable harm. They promote each on their web site.
I’ve already dropped it on cement as soon as from about three ft. This isn’t a part of the Official Rigorous 101-Step Photofocus Evaluation Protocol. I’m simply clumsy.
No downside. Not a scratch. Use a lanyard round your wrist and it’s possible you’ll reduce your probabilities of being like me.
I additionally used it on a humid, misting, and sometimes wet December evening in a forest with bushes dripping water. The flashlight suffered no unwell results.
Illuminator and Flex
Presently, whereas the corporate has over 100 totally different attachments, these are the 2 greatest attachments for mild portray topics: Illuminator and Flex.
Illuminator is considerably formed like an oil sieve, whereas Illuminator Flex has a wider opening. Illuminator Flex, because the title implies, is bendable as properly, permitting for additional mild portray alternatives equivalent to altering the form of the outgoing mild. You are able to do nice mild portray of topics with both. If you need to select one, I might go along with Flex for its wider opening in addition to its, properly, flexibility.
Above: Illuminator Flex and Illuminator. The Flex is the bigger, bendable one. You’ll be able to squeeze it to alter the form. When you launch it, it pops again into form.
Above: RGB Critter 2.0. The left picture reveals the Illuminator attachment whereas the appropriate picture reveals the Illuminator Flex attachment, right here utilizing the Default White setting. Now, keep in mind that I’m mild portray the tree by hand, so there’s some inconsistency. I illuminated the tree from the identical three angles for a similar period of time, however after all, it’s by no means precisely the identical. You’ll be able to in all probability see the place the sunshine beam is wider and extra of the scene is illuminated.
Above: RGB Critter 2.0. The left picture reveals the Illuminator attachment whereas the appropriate picture reveals the Illuminator Flex attachment, right here utilizing the Blue #22 Setting. Just like the earlier instance, it’s not an unlimited distinction, however you do discover that it’s wider in these examples in addition to in particular person when you’re mild portray. the topic.
Heat white mild and beam
Above: The left picture is the RGB Critter (Heat White #34 setting). The correct picture is a customized setting I’ve (RGB of 45 at 53% saturation at 7.5 brightness). I tried to visually set the brightness of the ProtoMachines in order that it seemed to be the identical because the RGB Critter once I was aiming at each a wall and the bottom. I illuminated the scene on the identical angles for a similar period of time in each photographs, largely to indicate the width of the beam. Take notice that my customized heat white setting is hotter partly as a result of I mistakenly left the saturation at 53% once I meant to decrease it again right down to 40% after my final photoshoot, only for the document.
Many people who mild paint topics like heat white mild for common illumination. I used these to take a look at how broad of a beam there’s between the ProtoMachines LED2, which I exploit on a regular basis, and the RGB Critter 2.0. As you may see, the ProtoMachines has a significantly wider beam. Is that this higher or worse? Like many issues, it relies upon. It depends upon what you are attempting to light up, whether or not that requires a narrower beam or a large beam, and your private desire.
You are able to do nice work with both. With a lightweight that has a narrower beam, you’d merely have to illuminate extra of the scene, which may take barely longer. Then again, should you had been doing element work with, say, automobile emblems, grilles, headlights, interiors, or different element work, you may want to make use of a snoot with a ProtoMachines to match the RGB Critter.
The assorted white mild settings have a barely coloured ring across the periphery of the beam, seen when you’re shining the sunshine on a white wall. The Heat White mild has a barely inexperienced ring, whereas the Default White and Pure White mild has a barely purplish-bluish hue on the periphery. In follow, I really feel this can be a nonissue since you might be most certainly greater than a number of ft away from the topic you might be illuminating and shifting the sunshine round. As you may see, this didn’t have an adversarial have an effect on on any of my mild portray photographs. To take the photographs above, I held the digicam and flashlight roughly one foot from a white door at midnight. All photographs are proven right here at 5500K.
RGB Critter 2.0 — Gentle Portray Cheat Sheet:
Utilizing m1 mode for strong colours for mild portray
When on, be certain the flashlight is displaying a strong white coloration. Maintain the Arrow Button till the LED pulses white a few occasions, then launch. You at the moment are in m1 mode, which is right for mild portray. This mode incorporates 39 strong colours. For those who maintain the Arrow Button too lengthy, the LEDs will begin blinking, which implies you’ve gotten entered Programming Mode.
Switching between PWM and Analog output
When on, press the On and Rocket Buttons concurrently however don’t maintain. You will note a flash for one second. PWM flashes white for 1 second. Analog flashes purple for 1 second.
When on, press the Arrow and Rocket Buttons. It will trigger white, purple, inexperienced, then blue flashes to point that you’re in Particular Options mode. Additionally, the three button LEDs will begin constantly blinking. Use the Arrow Button to navigate to white for Brightness Management. Then to extend brightness, press the Rocket Button as wanted. This cycles by the ten totally different brightness ranges.
To avoid wasting a Particular Characteristic setting, maintain the Rocket button till the LED pulses white 3x. The following Particular Characteristic will load routinely as soon as the setting has been saved.
To exit this Menu, maintain the Energy button till the LED pulses purple and launch. Your brightness setting is saved and activated. If vital to return to the strong colours in m1, do a Gentle Reset after which activate m1 once more to make certain.
Flip off Button LED lights
When off, maintain Rocket Button for 1.5 seconds.
When off, maintain Energy Button till the flashlight activates in m1 (coloration white). I exploit this perform greater than I in all probability have to, however it works for getting again shortly.
Manufacturing facility Reset
Obtained into “actual hassle?” Carry out a Manufacturing facility Reset. When off, maintain all three buttons for 5 seconds. This ends in a rainbow burst.
How a lot cost is left?
When off, maintain the Arrow Button for 3 seconds. Cooler colours = good, hotter colours = low.