CAME-TV Boltzen LED review

CAME-TV Boltzen LED review

The CAME-TV Boltzen LEDs are a newer lighting product from CAME-TV that holds a lot of promises especially for event film makers and “one man band” type video production teams.

The 30 watt and 55 watt versions of the light are both the same size, commonly compared to the size of a typical 70-200 zoom lens. For comparison, it’s slightly larger than the popular DEDO 150watt light, but only by a small margin. It is far more portable however as it can be run on batteries (V-mount or Sony batteries) and it doesn’t have a bulky dimmer box.

This will be an evolving review so I will be adding some test footage as well as some photos and other information in the next week or so.

What I Like

  • Can run on V-mount and Sony batteries, as well as AC power. The AC power adapter is included. Battery life on a GENUINE Sony NP-F970 was right at 2 hours at full brightness, but, it’s probably more practically around 1 hour 30 minutes on one battery at full brightness (for the 30 watt version).
  • 5500K version has gels with it and the tungsten gel seems fairly color accurate
  • Good CRI, so, great colors on video.
  • 30 watt is very bright and has great focus able throw. Very similar to the Dedo light, with key advantages.  30 watt has been enough to light a dance floor during ballroom receptions at weddings.
  • Additional advantages over the Dedo – no delicate bulb to break, no big clunky dimmer box, CAME-TV claims there is a remote control for this coming next month (March 2017), doesn’t get skin melting hot, runs on batteries when needed.
  • Includes barn doors (very nice touch!)
  • Bowens adapter available to allow easy attachment of light modifiers
  • CHEAP.

Bottom line: this should be the new go-to over the DEDO and the Lowel offerings in coming years if I had to guess.

What I don’t like

  • Comes with a bag that is a nice touch, however, as with almost all photo/video accessories, the bag is sized to fit EXACTLY the thing it came with and nothing more. It also happens to be useless once the light is assembled which is the biggest ding against it. Once you put the light mount onto the light, it will very poorly fit into the bag if you force it. The only option is a different bag or to take it apart each time. Unfortunately, the light mount has two very small washers that are more or less required to use it properly,  and yes they’ll get lost in no time.
  • 55 Watt version has a small fan but that’s not a big deal for most types of work. I would have maybe just used a larger or more dense heat sinking material if I were them.
  • Zero instructions (that would have cleared up some remote questions as well as where the gels were SUPPOSED to go). Otherwise I understand why it doesn’t really need them.
  • Remote control language on the CAME website seems to suggest it’s included, but it’s an optional accessory. One which does not yet exist as of February 2017.
  • Light flickers on battery when it’s really dead. Minor problem as you’d like change the battery long before this starts to happen as it’s very dim by then, but, it’s a potential nuisance.
  • Update: Wifi remote control is terribly implemented. $50 or so for the adapter to use the remote, can only be controlled with a smart phone or tablet. Most of the features do not work properly. Cannot adjust dimmer when the wifi adapter is in place. Requires you to have a wireless network or to bring a portable wireless router to use on location.

Verdict:

  • Great dedo alternative (probably a better option for most). Skip the wireless remote for the most part.

Get it from CAME TV or from eBay — the eBay seller I use ships insanely fast to the US. Even during Chinese New Year I was able to get mine in about 3 days.

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