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  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

Use ONE Light to Create 3 Different Cinematic Looks

My latest YouTube video was a lot of fun to produce and the GIF above nicely showcases the end results. As this blog post title says - we used ONE light to create three different cinematic looks while shooting the same scene.

And the one light we used was the new VIJIM R70 RGB LED. It's a very affordable, yet powerful light from Ulanzi's new lighting brand VIJIM. Ulanzi is best know for affordable smartphone accessories like camera rigs and lens adapters. So I'm assuming they wanted to separate the two businesses as these lights can obviously be used with traditional cameras as well as smartphones.

It just so happens in this video we shot with an iPhone 12 Pro Max using the FiLMiC Pro app and their latest 10-bit LogV3. Watch below:

The new LED light is very impressive (a lot of bang for the buck) and so it is something I'd recommend, but the other thing that was impressive on this shoot was the LOW LIGHT performance of the 12 Pro Max and LogV3. I'm going to do a follow-up video looking at that soon. Maybe a podcast episode too.

This is some of the best footage (objectively speaking from a technical point of view) I've ever shot on an iPhone. The camera performed (almost) like a traditional camera. I did NOT denoise the shots at all and really didn't need to. Very impressive indeed and very exciting to finally be able to RELIABLY use iPhones in more truly cinematic ways - primarily meaning lower light shooting.

Now if we can just get Apple to let third-party app developers turn dynamic tone mapping off we'd really be in business! Although we didn't really have an issue with that on this shoot, but the talent wasn't moving much.

For those that don't know, dynamic tone mapping is Apple's way of creating better dynamic range through computational imaging. Areas of the screen will shift the exposure/contrast depending on the light. This is great for still photography, but for video it can and often does cause issues because you don't want the "exposure" to shift/change on moving video.

Even when everything is locked (exposure, white balance, focus) this can happen, especially in lower light or high contrast shooting scenarios when someone or something moves across the screen. It's a real pain to be honest and has ruined many a shot of mine.

FiLMiC Pro LogV3 has improved this though through some clever computational work with their code, however, it has not eliminated it - so we can only hope one day it can be turned off and on (sometimes it is useful, but more times than not it's bad for video).

Overall this was a great shoot and I'm very happy with the results and can't wait to shoot more narrative style scenes like this with the amazingly affordable filmmaking tools now have at our disposal. I say this a lot, but it really is a great time to be a filmmaker and/or video creator.

Don't wait to create! :)


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