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Monday, 01 March 2010 00:00

Swits S-2010 On Camera Light

Written by  David Hurd
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Swit's S-2010If you’re in search of an on-camera light that’s lightweight and dependable, the Swit S-2010 may be just what you’re looking for. Its new, high-efficiency LED lamp technologies have sparked innovations in mobile lighting for shooters on the go –– the professional S-2010 on-camera (OC) light uses four advanced LEDs that can last in excess of 100,000 hours, so there’s no problem with your bulb burning out in the middle of your shoot.

The S-2010 is about 4x3x2.5 inches, which is a useful size for an OC light. It’s not too bulky and, even with a battery, it weighs less than a pound. The S-7200F/J/P/C bracket kit includes a separate bracket that is designed to accept JVC, Panasonic, Sony, or Canon batteries, so make sure that you order the same model as your camera. The bracket clamps to the top of the handle of your camcorder, and uses the same type of battery that powers your camcorder. The light mounts in your camera’s hot shoe and connects to the S-7200 battery bracket via a short cable. This configuration works well, but if you’re handholding your camera there’s a way to avoid the bulk of the S-7200 bracket.

I also tested Swit’s heavy-duty S-8D62 battery, which mounts into your camera’s regular battery mount and has a power tap to power the OC light as well as the camera. This setup allows you to mount the S-2010 directly onto your camera via the hot shoe mount, resulting in a smaller overall camera/light package. It also works great as a long-lasting camera battery.

There are a lot of nice features to the S-2010. While mounting the light, I noticed that the large tightening knob gives you a wobble-free connection with only a normal amount of tightening. The power switch is also well designed and placed at the rear of the unit for easy access. The dimming control has a convenient center-position detent at the 50-percent setting. I found this feature handy when I wanted to re-create a brightness setting. This light also tilts up and down about 30 degrees from center, which works well for about any shooting situation. Both the light and shoe mounts are made of metal to stand up to real-world camera work, and the S-2010 has some vents that allow it to run cool. While all lights heat up, this one won’t burn you. This feature is important because burning your hand on a hot light in the middle of a shoot can ruin your whole day (please don’t ask me how I know this). The S-2010 also has a handy Diffusion and Color Correction filter built into the light. The light is normally daylight balanced with a color temperature near 5600K. Using the diffusion filter softened the light without changing the color, and to match tungsten lighting I just flipped down the 3200K filter.

The S-2010 throws a fairly round, 40-degree beam of light at a working distance of 3–6 feet, which is about where you would normally use it. Like most OC lights, it’s a little hot at the center, but the spread and fall-off is pretty even, so the beam from the S-2010 is very usable. In addition, the diffusion filter does a good job of smoothing out the hot spot. The light falls off enough at the edges to fill your talent without blowing light all over the walls and, if you need even more control, the two barn doors are handy for horizontal light control.

LED lights have a low-power draw, an important feature that many DV users love. With my DV Rig Pro mount, I use an Anton/Bauer brick battery, which powers the camera, RF mic and OC light, but on a small handheld camcorder, this just isn’t practical. Since the four-lamp array in the S-2010 only draws 12 watts of power, it can be powered with the same battery that you’re using for your camera. A heavy-duty camera battery will power the S-2010 for about three hours (less when powering both the light and camera).

Overall, the S-2010 is a very professional OC light that won’t weigh down your handheld camcorder. It has both Diffusion and Color Correction filters, it’s dimmable, well built and puts out a good quality of light.

MSRP: S-2010 $295
S-7200F/J/P/C with bracket kit $345
S-8D62 battery $98


David Hurd operates David Hurd Productions in Tampa, Fla. More reviews are available on his site at www.dhpvideo.com.



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