Hi all! It often happens that with a subject photo or video shooting at home, the lighting leaves much to be desired. Especially, this manifests itself in late autumn or spring, when natural consecration is not enough at all. Of course, photo-video editors, to some extent, can improve the result, but this is far from always the case. Therefore, I have long been looking at a not very expensive and compact universal tool that could improve the quality of photos and videos taken at home under artificial lighting. As a result, I settled on the new VIJIM VL196 model. It will be discussed in this review.
By no means do I claim to be highly professional in this area, however, for those who write reviews and just want to take home photos or shoot videos in better quality than the usual lighting lamps that we use at home, this light panel will definitely an interesting proposition. In addition, it has a number of interesting features in addition to simple backlighting.
The device is delivered in a high-quality, beautiful, and just the same gift box:
Inside, everything looks like a smartphone packaging:
Complete set: panel, instructions, charging cable, mounting hinge platform, two dissipative silicone pads.
The panel itself in shape and size really resembles a gadget, only instead of a display there is a matte-milk diffusing plate:
- Brand: VIJIM
- Model: VL196
- Color temperature range: 2500–9000K (± 200K)
- Battery capacity: 3000 mAh
- Operating voltage: 7.4V
- Charging time: 2 hours (when using QC3.0 compatible charger)
- Power: 12W
- Usage time: ~120 minutes (at 100% brightness)
- Illumination angle: 120°
- Number of LEDs: 128
- CRI: 95+
The body is made of brushed aluminium, painted black. On the reverse side there is a very small display showing the operating modes:
The colored bar below is a reminder scale and displays the correspondence of the “degree” that is displayed on the display to the color of the light emitted by the device (I will explain a little lower):
On one of the sides there are controls: a rubber power button, a color change return lever, a brightness control:
On the other side is marked:
At the bottom there is a mounting hole for attaching the panel to the mounting platform (for a 1/4 screw), a tripod, etc.:
The Type‑C charging connector is located on the top:
Dimensions of the device and complete accessories, as well as its weight (206 grams):
A few words about accessories… The hinged platform on which the light panel is mounted is about 5.5 cm high and has a tilt lock. With the bottom platform, it can be mounted on the screw of the tripod head or mounted on the flash pad on the camera:
You can choose and fix a convenient angle to illuminate exactly the shooting location:
In the kit, as I already mentioned, there are two silicone pads (or covers) that are put on the panel: matte white for even more “soft” light diffusion and smoothing contours, black with honeycomb-shaped holes, as if to emphasize the “light” transitions ‑shadow”. The covers are simply put on the panel and held by the sides, holes are provided in all the right places for fastening and access to the panel control:
The panel is turned on by holding the power button for two seconds, the logo appears on the display.
The device is ready for operation almost immediately, the mode in which it worked the last time is switched on. The display is small, but everything is clearly visible on it. Displays the selected operating mode, remaining battery power, color temperature / hue degree, brightness:
The display is located well, the numbers are always in front of your eyes:
There are three panel modes in total. Switching modes is carried out by briefly pressing the power button.
CCT mode. We can consider that this is the main mode for shooting, in this mode the white color temperature is adjusted in a wide range from 2500 to 9000K and the brightness is from 0 to 100%. In fact, you can achieve both warm and cold and natural lighting. The movement step is 10K, the temperature is adjusted by the return slider on the side panel by shifting it up or down. If you hold the lever in the extreme position, then the temperature values \u200b\u200bchange rapidly, after releasing it, it returns to the central position. The brightness is regulated by the second vernier, the adjustment is smooth. Below is a photo with a short exposure in different values of color temperature and brightness, you can see that there are two types of LEDs:
The brightness of the panel is really high, the luxmeter gave a maximum of 528Lux, at 100% brightness and a color temperature of 6800K at a height of 60cm from the table:
And this is how you can light up a room without other light sources:
Now you do not need to carry a backlight lamp in the evening, the light is right on the camera:
Shooting is much more convenient than in a photobox, you are actually not limited by anything:
Several different color temperature options for one scene: 2500K, 4000K, 6800K, 9000K:
But if you put on a white cover, then the light really becomes “softer”, more uniform and you can get rid of glare:
The honeycomb case makes the scene more clearly defined, but the brightness is significantly lower with it:
RGB mode. In this mode, instead of white temperature, we change the light color from 0 to 360°. As far as I understand, this is a kind of interpretation of the chromatic ring, where each color or shade has its own degree.
The panel can really give out light of almost any shade. It looks very interesting:
The device itself, with a scattering case on, looks like an art object 🙂
Scene with shooting in different colors. You can achieve both a “thick” base color, and soft and transitional shades:
scene mode. This is the mode for shooting video. There are 20 different scenes of flashing lights, for example, to simulate the work of the “chandelier” of a police or fire truck, the effect of massive paparazzi flashes, a smooth change of colors, etc. Here is a list of “scripts”:
The sequence number of each scene and the name is shown on the display. You can adjust the brightness:
In terms of battery life and charging, at 100% brightness, the lightbar lasts 2 to 3 hours, depending on the mode, but full brightness is not needed all the time, so on average we can say that the charge lasts for 5 hours. When connected to charging, the display shows the corresponding icon with charging progress:
The device is charged with a conventional charging current of about 1.3A in a little less than 4 hours. And if you use QC3.0 charging, then even faster.
If necessary, the light panel can be mounted on a tripod:
Even with prolonged operation, the temperature of the device rises insignificantly — about 46 ° C on the emitting side, and 36 ° C on the reverse side:
Summing up, I will say that for myself I consider this device one of the best purchases I have made on Aliexpress lately. The VIJIM VL196 LIGHT PANEL is well-made, has great functionality and perfectly expands the possibilities for preparing high-quality photos and videos at home (and not only).