Camera lights are very important for professional photographers and video. Lightning is the illumination of scenes to be photographed.
Photographs record patterns of color, lights, and shade. This means that lightning is a very important factor in controlling the image. Lightning is great for creating effects such as high-key and low-key.
Photography has transformed not only the art world but also all the cultures as well. Photography is a very great thing because it allows people to have access to an image that hasn’t been seen in the public realm.
The camera is an astonishing technology that allows people to record their everyday life, and the lightning is an electrical discharge that takes place either cloud to ground or cloud to cloud.
The light that originates from behind the camera and that is pointed directly at the subject gives you very flat lightning and it also makes the shadows fall in the background.
On the other hand, side lightning produces a more unique light, because it shows the shape of the subject much more. Last but not least, is the lightning sourced from the back of your subject, from the back most of the light will hit the side of the subject and it will make the subject look brighter.
What you need is to create natural-looking artificial lightning, but you should know that there are two significant differences between artificial sources and natural lightning. One is a rapid fall-off in intensity and the other is the character of the fill.
As you may know, in nature skylight fill is usually brighter from above and the final characteristic is a bit hard to duplicate with a directional artificial source. Many people consider the on-camera light as an essential piece of kit that’s why we did our research and came up with the best on camera lights. Let’s check them out.
|NEEWER 160 LED
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Best For The Money
|VILTROX LED On Camera Video Light
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|Genaray LED-7100T 312
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Best For Beginners
|Rechargeble 96 LED Video Light
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Best Budget Option
|Selens 168 LED
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The Top 5 Best On Camera Lights
5. Selens 168
Selens 168 is a very great camera light that can help you a lot in taking more professional-looking photos. They have a dimmable lighting intensity, and you can rotate switch for on/off and brightness adjustment. Another great thing about this one is that it has an adjustable color temperature, and you can change the color temperature by using the filter.
It has a general hot shoe mount, and it can fit most of the camera brands like Nikon, Canon, Pentax and more. Something else that I noticed about this on-camera light, is that it is compatible with five different kinds of battery, and that is great. This on-camera light will make your photos look more sharp and bright.
Selens 168 supports single or multiple installations to adjust lighting levels. It weighs around 1 pound and it comes in dimensions of 15.1 x 10 x 5.6 cm. It has a luminosity of 1080 lm and a voltage of 5.5 – 9 V. It is one of the best in the market and you should see if the Selens 168 is the one you were looking for.
4. Ulanzi Pocket Mini
Moving on, we have another great on-camera light. It is the Ulanzi Pocket Mini on Camera Led Light. It is designed for DSLR cameras and for phones too. It can be charged directly by USB cable and it comes with a 2500mAh battery. The best thing about this one is that it is very portable and you can easily put it anywhere.
It is a very high-quality on-camera light that can help you a lot with videography and photography. It has a maximum power of 9 watts and it has a luminance angle of 120 degrees. You should also know that it has a color temperature of 5500K and a luminous flux of 860lm. It has many more great features to make more professional-looking photos.
Another great thing about this one is that there is no need to buy batteries, because you can recharge the item when there is a power shortage, and I would suggest you fully charge it before usage. The two magnet filters that are included which can give you softer led lights, which is amazing.
3. Genaray LED-7100T
Moving on we have the Genaray LED-7100T. Genaray has manufactured some great on-camera lights lately, the Genaray LED-7100T is one of the best. It can be powered by two included NP-F550 batteries, AC adapter, or other Sony L series batteries. You should also know that you can use a single battery or two at the same time.
There is a 4-LED indicator, which lets you know how much battery life is left. I also noticed that the ball head features a shoe mount that can be removed. Also, the carry case fits the light easily along with all the other accessories. It is adjustable from 3200K to 5600K color temperature and has flicker-free brightness dimming from 100-10 percent.
Genaray LED-7100T offers soft and bright light output with precision controls, it is great for AC-powered studio setups, and it is ideal for on-camera applications. Also, there is a magnetic, snap-on diffuser which lets you reduce the contrast and soften the light between different areas. It is one of the best on the market, make sure to check this one out.
2. Viltrox RB-08
Another great on-camera light is the Viltrox RB-08. This one has 24 dual-color LED lights, with a built-in OLED display screen and a color temperature range of 2500 to 8500K. With the display screen of the Viltrox RB-08, you can see the brightness level, battery power, and the color temperature.
This one is dimmable from 100 to 10% brightness and the integrated rechargeable battery is another amazing feature of the Viltrox RB-08. It has a cold shoe mounting foot and a 1/4-20 mounting hole. The rechargeable battery can charge from a micro USB cable and it can run the light at 100 percent brightness for 1 hour at 5600K without a problem.
It is a very small device, and it is very portable. The 1/4 screw is also suitable for tripod and the all-plastic body weighs just 108g. The magnetic diffuser of the Viltrox RB-08 delivers natural and soft lights. If you want to step up your photography game, make sure to check out the Viltrox RB-08 and see if it is the one you were looking for.
1. Neweer 160 LED CN-160
As our top pick, we have the Neewer 160 LED CN-160. This is the best on-camera light no doubt, and the best thing about it is that it comes at a very reasonable price. It consists of 160 daylight-balanced LED lights. This one also features a dimmable dial that operates as an on/off switch. You can either use 6x AA batteries or a lithium battery.
I would suggest you get the AA batteries because they are widely available. I noticed that the battery level indicator is located on the bottom left of the light. You just have to hold down the TEST button and you will see the battery status of your on-camera light. It has many more features and you can enjoy taking professional pictures with this one.
Another thing that I should mention is the lockable hotshot adapter and the tripod mount. You just have to mount the unit on a camera’s hotshot or a tripod to get a more secure unit. It has a color temperature of 5600K, and it also comes with two filters included with diffuse effect, and spotlight effect. If you were looking for the best on camera lights out there, make sure to take a look at Neewer 160 LED CN-160.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you use the light on a camera?
What you need to know is that a camera lens takes all the light rays and uses glass to redirect them to a subject or a single point, and that results in a sharp image. So, when all of the light rays meet on a piece of film or a digital camera sensor, the results are amazing and as I just said, they create a very sharp image.
What are on-camera lights?
Camera led lights are some sort of flashes that give continuous lightning, and they have their advantages. They are usually used to light up scenes when filming. They are great for both photographers and videographers. I would highly recommend these to any professional especially videographers because they give the best results.
What is the best lighting for outdoor portraits?
When it comes to shooting outdoor portraits the best light is the softest because the soft light is gentle. Overcast days are also great for shooting portraits because the illumination tends to be very constant on these days. Also, a sunny day is great but there is a small problem. When the sun gets lower, the shadows get longer, which means that the intensity of the light and the color shift much more quickly.
What accessories do I need to take more professional-looking indoor photos?
The best thing about indoor portraits is that the photographer works in an environment in which they have 100 percent control over for the lightning. They can eliminate things like lightning drama, contrast or even change the position of lighting and more. There are some accessories that might help you for getting more professional-looking portraits, and they are Mini Softbox, Bounce Diffuser, Lightning Umbrella, and more. The mini softbox is very important because the flash on this one is fired out through a translucent fabric, to soften the light. The bounce diffuser is another great accessory because they are very useful in almost any indoor situation. They can soften the light by slightly diffusing it. The Lightning umbrellas are mounted on a stand and they also soften the light. You can get the shoot-through type of umbrellas, and those that reflect the light. The best thing about these is that they are not very expensive.
The thing you need to know before buying an on-camera light is that you should understand how the light meter in your personal camera functions, because it will help you with becoming a professional photographer, and it will help you know how you need to change the exposure settings to get the perfect shot.
Using these type of lights does not mean to have harsh looking videos, you can use the light sparingly, diffuse it and offset it from the center.
Something else that you should know about on-camera lights is that most of them have a color temperature of 3200 degrees, which is the equivalent of indoor light. Also, you will need to place a small piece of blue color correction gel in front of the light.
However, you will only need this in case you are using the on-camera light to supplement the outdoor lightning.
If you want to get the best results, you should experiment with many ways to enhance your on-camera lights, because if you practice a lot with it you won’t get hard lights and annoying straight shots anymore.
If you don’t want a on-camera light, you can look for alternatives such as ring lights or strobe lights. Each of these have their pros and cons depending on what you plan to use them for. A flash diffuser can also come in handy.
You should also know that the ”diapering” technique is one of the best ways to make a hard light softer and bigger. There is a material called tough spun which can be attached in the front of the light so that it spreads and softens the light. There are many ways and techniques to improve your lighting skills.
I hope this list has been helpful to you in explaining why are on-camera lights important and which ones are the best on camera lights.
Photographer & Writer
I specialize in landscape, street and portrait photography and I have been featured in various galleries and publications. I believe that photography is a way to tell stories!