Last year, lighting gel company, Rosco acquired LED lighting specialists DMG Lumière. Although only founded in 2014, DMG Lumière was quickly recognised for its innovative products for film, television and broadcast. We all knew at the time that this would be an interesting mix of companies and talent that would probably go on to produce something quite special. Now, it seems, they have.
The Rosco MIX, is a new colour changing LED panel based on DMG Lumière’s previous form factors. What makes these special though, is that unlike traditional bicolour, RGB or RGBW LED panels, these contain six differently coloured LEDs to produce a wide array of colours. Famous for their high-quality lighting gels, Rosco’s new light won’t even need them.
Colour changing LED panels today typically work in one of three ways, using 2, 3 or 4-colour LEDs to let you adjust the colour.
- Bicolor – 2 individual sets of LEDs. Half of them are balanced for daylight, the other half for tungsten.
- RGB – Each individual LED contains three separate Red, Green and Blue elements which are mixed like a computer monitor.
- RGBW – These are like the RGB LEDs above, but with the addition of a pure daylight balanced white light. They are more accurate than mixing colour when you need daylight and can help to lighten up your colours for pastel shades of colour.
- RGBA – As above, except with amber LEDs instead of white. These allow you to more easily balance with tungsten light, as amber is difficult to achieve through regular colour mixing.
The new Rosco MIX, however, takes things to a whole new level. They employ 6-colour LEDs to increase the colour space it can reproduce, and offer more accuracy. Those colours are red, line, green, blue, amber and white. It combines the benefits of both RGBW and RGBA as well as adding the lime LED to help colour correction under fluorescent tubes.
And that’s one of the big goals with this light. Rosco are famous for their corrective gels. I’ve used them myself for years on both flash as well as continuous lighting when shooting under tungsten or fluorescent lighting. This array of LED colours should allow the new LED panels to adjust to those different lighting conditions without having to use any gels at all.
No longer will you need to carry around a folder containing a stack of differently coloured gels at a bunch of different strengths. You can just dial it straight into the light. But what’s even better is that you don’t even really need to dial it in. The new LEDs can actually talk to your phone and use its camera to “look” at the scene, determine the colour of the ambient lighting, and then adjust itself to match.
But it also features more creative “Gel” and “Color” modes. Gel Mode allows you to choose from the huge library of Rosco colour gels to match those in the light itself. You can then tweak these as needed to add or remove saturation, adjust the hue or fix green/magenta shift. The Color Mode offers a standard 360° hue wheel. Pick your colour, set the intensity and you’re good to go.
One very cool feature of the app is its ability to replicate any colour in a photograph. All you need to do is load up your photo into your phone, tap to target a particular spot, and the light automatically adjusts to that colour. I can see this being an extremely useful feature where you might be shooting product photography and need to colour match a background to the packaging of the item.
You can even save these colours as presets for future use. Not only that, but you can share them with your “team”. Very handy if you’re coordinating multiple crews at different locations or shooting different things weeks or months apart and need that colour to match perfectly.
Do you need a light like this to be able to do that? No, of course not. But will it potentially shave hours off your workflow over time? That seems like a certainty, and any time saved is money earned when it comes to lighting.
As for the specs, they’re quite large lights with a fair bit of weight to them. But these aren’t designed to be stuck on a camera to walk around vlogging. They’re designed to be used on film sets.
- Dimensions: 585 x 205 x 37mm / 23″ x 8″ x 1.4″
- Weight: 2.56 kg / 5.6lbs
- Max power draw: 100W
- 288 LED (48×6)
- 95 Average CRI, 90 average TLCI
- Dimensions: 1118 x 205 x 37mm /44″ x 8″ x 1.4″
- Weight: 4.18 kg / 9.2 lbs
- Max power draw: 200 Watt
- 576 LED (96 x 6)
- 95 average CRI, 90 average TLCI
The new Rosco Mix lights are initially coming out in two sizes, with a third on the way. The Mini Mix and SL1 Mix are coming this summer. The Maxi Mix appears to be a pair of SL1 units rigged together and will be rolled out shortly after.
These are not inexpensive lights, by the way. The Mini Mix kit will come in at $2,790 and the SL1 Mix kit will be $3,490. So, we can only really guess at what the Maxi Mix kit will cost. The current bicolour DMG Lumiere Switch units are $712.50, $1,605.50 and $2,612.50 for the Mini, SL1 and Maxi units respectively. So, given that, I would expect the Maxi Mix kit to be somewhere around $6K.
You can find out more about them on the Rosco website.