Object of Desire: Litepanels Croma

June 21, 2012

By Dan Havlik

LED light fixtures that attach to your HD-DSLR’s hot shoe and offer soft, continuous light for shooting videos or stills have been around for a few years now but the Croma from Litepanels is the first one we’ve tried that also offers color temperature control.

That’s a plus if, like most photographers who also shoot video, you’re moving from one lighting environment to another and don’t have the time to change your set-up or add gels. Changing the color temperature on the Croma is a simple process: Just turn one of the light’s two dials. The larger, lower dial is the dimmer control, letting you change the intensity of the light from zero to 100 percent. The smaller dial controls color temperature giving you light output ranging from daylight (5600°K) to tungsten (3200°K). Pretty neat.

The Croma is powered by either six AA batteries for up to 1.5 hours of battery life or an AC adapter. Some LED fixtures in the past have felt flimsy but we liked the soft-touch rubber coating on the housing of the 12-ounce Croma, making it feel sturdier yet not heavy. And even after using the Croma for an hour, it was still cool to the touch.

Price: $584