At A Glance: The LEDZILLA

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The big difference between ENG-style camerawork and cinematography is that with ENG, you’re usually recording reality, and with cinematography, you’re trying to create a mood, typically with light. For ENG shooters, one of the most popular camera accessories is an onboard camera light, which is commonly used to give a little fill light to a subject—most likely an on-camera reporter. With the rise of LED technology, nearly all onboard lights made the switch to LEDs due to their low power consumption, minimal heat and the ability to dim. Typically, LEDs are great for fill, but what if you want to add some shape to your light? The trouble with most onboard lights is that when pointed directly at a subject, the light tends to be very flat and washes out any shadow detail. To combat this, Dedolight has introduced a new LED light that hopefully will eliminate the problem, the LEDZILLA.

The first Dedolight was built by cinematographer Dedo Weigert in 1984, and although the company has a full line of lighting gear, its classic 150W DLH4 spotlight remains one of the most popular and respected lighting instruments in the industry. What makes the Dedolight special is that it contains two aspherical lenses and a zoom focus mechanism that not only allows smooth and even light distribution from spot to flood, but also provides two to three times more output than lights of similar wattage. With the LEDZILLA, Dedolight has created an onboard mini-LED light that’s an all-purpose cinematography lighting tool.

First off, the light is small and easily can fit in the palm of your hand or atop any DSLR or shoulder-mounted camcorder. Dimensions are 4.7×2.5×4.8 inches, and weight is less than a pound.

Like the Classic Dedolight series, the LEDZILLA contains the double aspheric optics (two lenses), which helps even the light distribution and the focusing range, as well as gives you greater light output. When I switched it on at full spot, I was taken aback by how powerful and directional the light was, especially for an LED. Besides the higher output and the ability to focus, another important feature of the LEDZILLA are barndoors, which enables you to shape your light. Unlike most LED lights, the LEDZILLA is a single LED light, which gives you cleaner edge-to-edge results when using the barndoors. To me, this is the most outstanding feature of the light. It’s literally like having a DLH4 on your camera.

Besides having the ability to focus, dim and shape the light, another great feature on the LEDZILLA is the ability to diffuse and switch to Tungsten light. Unlike most lights, where you have to insert a piece of gel or diffusion into a frame, the LEDZILLA contains a diffusion filter and a Tungsten dichroic filter, which are attached at both sides on the front end of the light. Simply lower one filter, or both filters, and then snap down—simple and efficient.

The LEDZILLA lets you power off any 6V-18V DC power source and offers a battery shoe that’s compatible with Sony or Panasonic mini-DV batteries (sold separately). Since it’s an LED, it’s very efficient (8W consumption), and a 4,000 mAh battery will give you a runtime of about 31?2 hours.

LEDZILLA offers a multitude of accessories, including an articulating arm, a triple shoe with tilt lock, a short cable with an Anton/Bauer connector, a suction mount with vacuum pump and articulating arm, and many others. Dedolight also has developed an 8-inch detachable soft tube with plastic barndoors, a 5-inch-wide softbox for fill light and a 5.5-inch Chinese lantern for an even gentler light. The MSRP is approximately $550. For such a little light, the LEDZILLA is a monster.

Contact: Dedolight, (413) 229-2550,