So, this is an interesting, if rather unusual idea. Photonicz is an LED based strobe (a world’s first, apparently) designed to offer the advantages of both strobes, and modern LED technology. Lots of power, lightweight, portable power through V-Mount batteries, weather sealed… It sounds ideal. But, it does kind of just look like a giant heatsink with an LCD bolted on.
The product is currently being funded through Kickstarter where they say they’re ready to start tooling and production. On paper, they look quite impressive. They boast flash durations as fast as 1/50,000th of a second, with up to 30 pops per second at full power. Full power, they claim, is the equivalent of a 2500Ws traditional strobe. It also offers high speed sync for a whole bunch of camera brands.
As I said, it’s an interesting concept, although I’m not entirely sure this is the light to do it. Even the discounted $749 early bird price seems ridiculously overpriced to me, for what it is. The basic specs seem fairly respectable, though.
- “Thousands” of full power flash pops on a single charge
- Touch screen LCD User Interface
- App based remote
- 1KM (3,000ft) wireless range
- Bowens S-Fit modifier mount
- Universal batteries (bought separately)
- Lifetime software and hardware updates
That last one’s going to be tricky. The software & firmware, sure. But lifetime hardware updates? How will that work? You just send your lights off to them every time there’s a new revision? Or they send you components? I get that these lights are expensive, but surely neither of those solutions is cost effective. Nor expected by customers.
The coolest thing about this light is the touchscreen LCD. Thanks to the devices in our pockets, tough screen user interfaces are becoming far more commonplace. And it’s nice to see this on a light of any sort. Of course, using our phone as a touchscreen controller is starting to appear, too. And using a phone allows manufacturers to cut costs and pass that saving onto the customer.
The big selling points, though are…
- Weather sealed
- 2500Ws equivalent output
- Zero recycle time
- HSS up to 1/32000 sec with Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Pentax, Panasonic and Olympus
- It’s teeny tiny compared to traditional strobes.
Whether they’re enough to justify $1,499 per light, though, is another matter.
It’s a bold concept, and one I quite like the idea of. But, I’d have to see it in person before I’d be willing to put my own money into it. And at that kind of price, it’s very unlikely. I certainly can’t see it being any more useful for me than the Godox & Bowens gear I already have. Even if it also works as a continuous LED, I already have Spekular on the way to me.
If you want to find out more, or back the project, head on over to the Photonicz Kickstarter page.