Digital Juice MiniBurst 128/256 Portable LED Lights Review

Digital Juice MiniBurst 128/256 Portable LED Lights  Review

For a low-heat, lightweight, extremely portable lighting system, check out the MiniBurst 128 and 256 LED video lights from Digital Juice.

The MiniBurst 128 and MiniBurst 256 LED lights from Digital Juice, are exciting additions to the world of portable video lighting. Complete, affordable, and powerful, these lights are highly versatile and will be very much at home as part of any video producer's lighting arsenal.

It's In The Bag

Each light comes in its very own deluxe padded bag with detachable shoulder strap. Within each bag is the light itself, a hot shoe swivel mount, 12V AC power supply adapter, a diffusion filter and a warming filter. The battery charger includes the dock, AC power cord and a 12V DC car adapter - something we don't usually see as an included item. The included battery pack is a standard 7.4V Sony NP-F type rechargeable lithium ion battery, and size appropriate.

Lighting the Way

Each light is of durable, powder-coated aluminum construction, with a 1/4-inch-20 mounting hole in both the top and bottom surfaces. On the back of each is the battery mounting plate, the power on/off toggle switch and the dimmer dial. Intensity may be adjusted over a significant range by simply rotating the knob. Both sides are vented for cooling and the left side is home to the AC power supply receptacle. The front of each light contains an array of 128 or 256 LED lights, depending on the model. The front also has a slide-in filter holder for fast, easy use of the included filters.

Both these lights are daylight balanced to 5600K and super bright. For use with tungsten lights simply slip in the warming filter and white balance your camera. Their small size makes them ideal for lighting in tight spaces, especially car interiors, where typical lighting solutions simply aren't practical. Use the long lasting battery pack and you're ready for a road trip - without inverters, cables or other nuisance items further cramping your already cramped quarters. These lights require little power and run very cool as a result. For added awesomeness, Digital Juice carries an optional suction mount ($80) with articulating arm for mounting a light to a windshield or nearly any other flat, non-porous surface. If you're a run-and-gun documentary style shooter, or do the occasional wedding, and it's not practical to be setting up and moving lights and cables around, then simply mount the battery powered light directly to the camera using the hot shoe swivel mount and you're running free. For home, office or studio interviews, a set of these bright, even, flicker-free lights does an outstanding job of lighting your subject. By varying the distance and adjusting the intensity, you can dial in the perfect combination of key and fill lighting. A third MiniBurst, placed above and behind the subject, completes the traditional three-way lighting setup. Your whole light kit now takes up a small fraction of the space - and weight - of a typical kit and consumes far less power to boot. No more hunting down circuit breakers because someone decided to use the microwave while your lights were switched on. And, if light stands are in short supply, these low-power-consumption, cool-running lights open up a whole variety of standing, propping, leaning and hand-holding options without having to worry about handling a hot light. Powerful lighting and peace of mind? What more could a video producer want?

Considering the many times we've found ourselves in inadequately lit shooting situations it's very easy to appreciate the value of these lights. When the availability of power is limited or the extension cord falls just a little short, being able to pop in a long lasting battery pack is a huge plus. When your indie film requires a lot of setups in a short amount of time - you don't have the luxury of setting up, moving around and properly wrangling the usual lighting fixtures and controls, stands and miles of cable. Having a multitude of mounting options, including handheld lighting, is priceless. A couple of grips, each with a cool-to-the-touch LED light in hand, can make short work of lighting setups in a hurry - as we discovered on one such shoot. Shooting inside close confines, such as closets, pantries or cupboards? These lights are small enough to get into the tightest of spaces (well, almost) and powerful enough to light up the darkest of sets. Check out this link for an informative video about the many uses of these lights.

Tech Specs

MiniBurst 128 LED

Size (HxWxD): 2.8"x4.8"x1.8"
Weight (Battery Excluded): 6.4oz/181g
Weight (Battery Included): 9.6oz/272g
Hot Light Equivalent: 100W with low power consumption
Operating Voltage: 6-10V DC
Beam Angle: 60 degrees
Color Rendering Index (CRI): >85
Color Temperature: 5600k

MiniBurst 256 LED

Size (HxWxD): 2.8"x8.9"x1.8"
Weight (Battery Excluded): 12.8oz/363g
Weight (Battery Included): 1.4lbs/635g
Hot Light Equivalent: 200W with low power consumption
Operating Voltage: 6-10V DC
Beam Angle: 60 degrees
Color Rendering Index (CRI): >85
Color Temperature: 5600k

Strengths

  • Light and bright; highly portable
  • Variable intensity
  • Low power requirements
  • Cool to the touch; easy handheld use
  • Battery powered
  • Filters included
  • Car adapter included

Weaknesses

  • No 5/8-inch stand mount

Summary

For a low-heat, lightweight, extremely portable lighting system, check out the MiniBurst 128 and 256 LED video lights from Digital Juice.

Digital Juice, Inc.
www.digitaljuice.com
MiniBurst 256: $379
MiniBurst 128: $279

Contributing Editor Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.

Issue: 

Mark
Holder
Mon, 10/01/2012 - 12:00am