Thursday, January 18, 2018

On Camera Lighting: Rotolight’s Solution

May 31, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

Lighting videos is crucial to quality productions

If you’ve been reading our blog you know how strongly we feel about making your videos look as good as possible. One of the most important pieces of equipment you need to do this and one often overlooked by the novice videographer – and a few professionals – is a good, lightweight portable light.

Until the last couple of years you probably had to rely on a tungsten light to supplement natural lighting. This required a blue gel to make the tungsten light match daylight color temperature, and tungsten light often requires a heavy battery pack that drains quickly.

Tungsten light works best in a studio with access to electricity. Another down side of tungsten lights is that they get very hot. Put a few people in a small studio and it can get uncomfortable quickly

On camera lighting just got better

The good news is the recent availability of LED and fluorescent lights that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, which require less power and produce little or no heat. That’s what I was looking for at NAB. I was shopping for a solution for my studio when I came across this innovative low-cost on-camera light.

I found the Rotolight, a ring light like one of those that you can can put around the camera lens that give a nice, even light on your subject’s face. This one pushes on to the foam baffle of industry-standard microphones and sits above the camera lens. This solves the problem of having only one accessory shoe on your camera but needing to mount both a light and an external microphone. It also give you a little bit of directionality to the light.

For most general purpose, close up video work, it’s a good choice. As you see in the video below, the Rotolight rep shined the light on me and it was very pleasant. Some LED lights are uncomfortably bright up close and can be distracting. The Rotolight was a flattering light that made me look very nice, if I do say so myself! The Rotolight throws a wide angle of light to cover a subject close up but don’t count it to light a subject at a distance of more than a few feet. That’s why it’s such a soft light source.

The whole interview kit comes with 2 lights, gels and a neat little accessory pouch which you attach to your belt so you have easy access to. They also have a single light set up that comes with the travel pouch for $100 less.

This on camera lighting solution is definitely worth a look.



4 Responses to “On Camera Lighting: Rotolight’s Solution”
  1. Very interesting article about an innovative new solution for lighting both video and still pictures. This would also be perfect for those of us who use a web cam and need a soft lighting product.

    Liked this so much that I immediately put it on my Amazon gift list!

    Thanks for bringing this intriguing product to our attention.

    • Kim R Miller says:


      We put it on our wish list too! Since we just plunked down some change for our studio lighting set up – which we’re very happy with by the way and will be blogging about in the future – we had to forego purchasing the Rotolight system.

      I could definitely see people using it for their webcams! So many people could improve the way they look with a nice light. It was very easy on the eyes too.


  2. Tungsten generates a lot of heat and tends to go yellow as it gets older. This means you have to compensate by using a filter on your camera or a tungsten balanced film.


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  1. […] RL48-A Interview Kit – A more expensive option, but we saw first hand how nice this light was from Rod Gammons of Rotolight when we were at NAB earlier this […]


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