The tiny MC light from Aputure first made the journey as a stand-alone product and was then bundled into a 4-light kit and finally a 12-light production kit with a hard case and accessories. What else is there to say about the newest form of the Aputure RGBWW MC light that is now available in a larger kit form? Quite a lot, actually.
Aputure MC 12 Light Kit – First impressions
At first glance, the Aputure MC 12-Light Production Kit is intended for rental houses or professional owners. After unpacking it feels developed for professional use in the field and the connection with my Sidus Link app on my iPhone only took a few minutes.
Supplied accessories in the lockable pull-out drawer. Photo credit: Graham Sheldon
The exterior itself seems to get some real hits in normal production, and the case becomes wireless through the use of a standard OSHA-style charging cable that is easy to find on most devices (as is common with monitors and PCs) Qi charging station in particular) – The 4-light MC kit uses a proprietary power cord that would be difficult to replace in an emergency.
Size comparison between the 4-light and the 12-light kit. Photo credit: Graham Sheldon
When the 4 light MC kit first shipped in the summer, I ran into some issues in our first article. For one, the soft accessories bag is sold separately from the hard case for the 4 light kit, which makes it another item to remember, otherwise you may be short of essential items in the field. With the 12 light kit, this is no longer a problem. All of the accessories fit easily into a hidden pull-out drawer accessed on the side of the cabinet. This hidden compartment has the feel of a Dan Brown DaVinci code, and it's exciting to pull it out and find the following accessories:
- 4 x silicone rubber diffuser
- 4 x mini cold shoe ball head
- 2 x USB-C charging cables
- 3m adhesive pads
Another little problem I had with the 4 light MC kit is that it didn't come with enough diffusers or cold ball headed shoes for all of the lights in this kit. Same here and this time the accessory drawer will certainly have enough space to hold more than the list above. So I'm not sure why Aputure didn't go for more accessories. For me, the rubber diffuser accessory specifically makes the MC light work a little better as a backdrop in the scene, and new owners of the 12 light kit may want to purchase a few more a la carte accessories to add to the kit .
I asked the Aputure marketing team about the number of accessories in the kit and they responded:
“The 12-light kit contains four of these sets (rubber diffuser / ball head) because it fits neatly in the accessory drawer including the cables. The reason the accessory drawer was created was to take advantage of the empty space left by powering the case. The power supply unit occupies one of the lower parts of the housing and determines the minimum depth of the housing. With the remaining empty space, we decided to make it useful by inserting the drawer, which, although it has the advantage of keeping everything very neat and compact, has limited storage space. "
– A future team
For those who want an equal number of accessories per MC light, Aputure also comes with an 8 light kit:
“We figured that while some people might be happy with the accessories that came with the production kit, other users and rental companies might appreciate the ability to have a diffuser and ball head for each light.
In the next few months, the MC 8-Light Accessory Kit will be available and for sale and will include 8x silicone diffusers and 8x cold shoe ball heads encased in a durable EVA foam case to balance out the protective properties of the case and lightweight design. "
– A future team
It also sounds like empty 4-light and 12-light charging cases as well as MC accessories à la carte will be available “in the next few months”. Exciting news there!
Check out Aputure's introductory video for the 12 light kit:
A quick note on weather resistance: the 12 light production kit has large cooling slots on the sides (see image below) so this may not be the kit you want to leave out in the rain. As I mentioned earlier, it seems absolutely necessary to take some physical hits in the van or during the normal course of production.
Passive ventilation slots that lead directly into the electronics. Photo credit: Graham Sheldon
By now you may have read my first field report on the Aputure MC and the breakdown of the 4-Light MC kit, and a lot of my thoughts on the MC device have been spread across these two articles, but I've now had a chance to read some over the months Spending time with the MC. In my opinion, I found the MC device great in a variety of scenarios (this list is obviously different for everyone):
- Practical background in the scene (becomes a more pleasant source for my eye with the diffuser).
- Tabletop – app control and the wide range of colors and effects available make this a breeze. The attached magnets make assembly particularly easy.
- Eyesight – Reduce the power of the MC to a few percentage points and place it next to your lens near your subject. You get great eyesight.
- Live Streaming – I have been creating more live streams lately due to the pandemic and the MC finds an easy home on my desk!
Photo credit: Graham Sheldon
I am aware this is a DP cliché but I found the 4 light kit to be good for things like live stream and commercial use on the table, but I always wanted more MC lights to differentiate Highlight elements in the background of recordings. So what is the perfect number of MC lights you have on hand, you ask? Twelve! For me the answer is twelve. You guys in the music video world may be laughing at this and need more, but over the last few weeks of filming I've been very pleased with the size of this kit and have found that I can potentially use up to eight MC lights and leave four in a given scene Charges in reserve to replace when the battery is empty.
Photo credit: Graham Sheldon
You should keep an eye on a charge rotation schedule for most shots, as it takes a few hours to charge the Qi before all 12 devices are fully charged. Like the 4-light kit, the 12-light kit also has multiple USB output ports for charging additional MC lights or your favorite mobile device.
A couple of well-placed MC lights should also work great for indoor process car shots, but I haven't had a chance to test that theory yet. The Sidus 1.2 update with the Sidus Pro FX setting seems great for this, but more on that in a follow-up article.
Power input options. Photo credit: Graham Sheldon
Are you primarily looking for a luminaire with a high CRI to replace existing practical house lamp internships? Personally, I would suggest waiting for the Aputure lamp for this particular use case. Some early details on the lightbulb HERE.
A little bit of the envelope math shows you paying a touch over $ 400 for the wireless charging case, when you factor in the $ 90 per cost of the twelve MC lights. You also need to consider not having as many accessories as buying the MC lights individually, but the cost of the case seems right to me given the power input options and the three USB output ports available. All of this results in a contained package that is easy to use in the middle of a quick day of production and whose value shouldn't be taken for granted there.
For those who want to occasionally borrow their kit, the 12 light kit is the perfect size when compared to the 4 light kit or an a la carte DIY solution when you add a few extra accessories. If you already enjoy working with the Aputure MC light, the 12 light production kit is the perfect turnkey option.
The Aputure MC 12-Light Production Kit is delivered now to the $ 1,499.00.
What do you think of a 12 light kit? Can you imagine that during your production? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.