Author Topic: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light  (Read 12302 times)

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Offline Chris Harding

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YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« on: March 31, 2011, 10:58:16 PM »
Hi All
 
I added a new on-camera light to my gear!! These work pretty well and can also be put on a tripod to use as stand-alone lights. I figured for $75 it was a good deal.
It has quite respectable output too!!  nearly 500 lux at 2metres  and 1450 lux and a metre and it is way more powerful than my other 120 LED light!!
The barndoors are great too as there is little or no light spillage!!
 
They are available on eBay but do come from China.  I do like the fact that I can also use my old Panny batteries ..it takes either 6 x Rechargeables or the Sony NP battery or the Panny CGR series batteries (chip as chips on eBay) same batteries that the DVX cams use and the older DS series (but not the CGA batts that the GS400/500 have) I think I paid around $10 for my 2600mah batteries (including a charger!!!!) and it lasts for absolutely ages!!!
 
Chris
 
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Offline Guy Bruner

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 05:12:12 AM »
That's quite a kit, Chris, for $65US at buy it now price, even without the batteries.  It'll weight over a pound with batteries and it seems to be bulky to mount on a small cam.  However, I can see using it on a separate mount, like the tripod you mentioned.  How does it work with an AC supply?
Guy

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 06:21:07 AM »
Hi Guy
 
I guess it would be a little large and bulky for a GS300 or similar but it does produce awesome light. No AC/DC plug at all on this unit but there would be no reason why you couldn't add one to the light ...it also has a 16 step brightness controls using "+" and "-" buttons but I have found that if you hold the button in it just zooms to full brightness!!
 
The new HMC82 3MOS chips and a little less sensitive in low light than my old CCD's so I had to invest in some more potent lighting when they dim the lights for the bridal waltz!!!   
 
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Offline Tom Dickerson

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 07:16:51 AM »
Hey Chris

I see that Amazon carries it also. Let us know how it mounts on your camera. Does it come with a cold shoe adapter? How stable is it?

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 07:31:04 AM »
Hi Tom
 
Yeah they are spread across the world!!! It mounts very neatly with a double jointed cold shoe bracket (which also has a 1/4" thread in the bottom for tripod mount)  Sits pretty stable on my camera... the only thing I had to do (actually on the previous light) was turn the Rode on the second coldshoe to the right (just relocated the rubbers one notch clockwise) so that the mic and light don't collide!! The first time I used the old light all my guest interview audio had this strange "knock knock" noise!! The Rode was banging against the light body!!!!  It also has the handle but I won't use that!!  What I really like is that on the old 120 led light the diffuse filter dropped in from the top and was a very loose fit so I was forever picking it up!! This light has a slot in the side for filters and they go in and stay in!! Nice feature!! If I decide to use a bigger battery than the 2600mah then I think I might "beef up" the cold shoe mounting..on the old light I added aluminium flat bar on all the hollow plastic sections and it's great...however this light also has grooves in the centre piece so it locks better. If the light looks wobbly during the next wedding I'll do a quick mod..it seems fine at home!!
 
Chris
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Offline WorBry

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 12:23:12 PM »
There's a nice 'shoot-out' of several LED video lights here:
 
http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/the-cheap-video-led-light-shootout/
 
I was tempted to go for the Yongnuo light myself but was put off by many reports of problems with flicker (several in the comments below the shoot-out).
 
One of the other lights reviewed, the ProTech Fellini HDV-Z96 light came up on ebay this week. Like the NG 126 and 160 lights (and re-branded incarnations thereof), there are numerous 'buy-now' listings from Hong Kong and China around the $US 70-80 mark, which I am always a bit wary of, but I couldnt resist this one as it was a bid sale for a new item within Canada. Won the bid for $US60. Pretty good deal I think, considering the very same light is being offered for more than 300 $CAN by several retailers here. I have since come across a few reports of flicker with the Z96 when using AA batteries (5), but it will also take Sony L Series Li-ION batteries which apparently are less prone to this problem; consensus seems to be that it is voltage stabilty related.
 
 http://cheesycam.com/z96-led-flicker-test-with-sony-battery/
 
I'll guess I'll see when it arrives.
 
Have you had any flicker problems with the Yongnuo light?   
 
 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:39:10 PM by WorBry »
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 07:43:34 PM »
That's an awesome review!!! Thanks as I have both lights being reviewed!!
The cold shoe mount is plastic and I wouldn't say it's bad ...sorta adequate but certainly not awesome!!  Anyway the 96 sounds like a good deal too!!! Let us know what you think when it arrives. I have no flicker then then again I found using Ni-MH cells a pain in the butt!! I only use the CGR Panny batteries and they work really well. I did find that the battery holder on the NG light kept falling out so I made a little "packing piece" to put behind the tray that keeps it pushed up against the contacts and it now stays put!!
 
Chris
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Offline Tom Dickerson

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 10:51:40 PM »
Hey Chris -

I'm getting ready to purchase both an on-camera light and monitor - like the ones you have purchased from China. Once you have a chance to evaluate your new light be sure to let us know.

The on-camera monitor is for the T2i. It seems the external battery grip and external monitor (turns off lcd) helps to keep it a bit cooler. I'd like to outfit both of my cams with monitors and have the lights for receptions.

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 07:09:49 PM »
Hi Tom
 
Weddings are usually only on Saturdays and my next is the 9th April so that's when I will use the light at a shoot next. I have already used it around the house and it's a lot better buy than the CN126 light (my other one) ... rather get the 160 light and have power in reserve than run out at a particular venue that ends up darker than you realised!!
 
I took another look at the cold shoe bracket and the light does wobble a bit if you have the extension piece vertical....if you need the extra height, I would re-make the bracket I think and make the little strut from aluminium....however it's pretty solid in the other positions.  I actually saw a mini ball-head somewhere (probably eBay) that had a cold-shoe foot on it.....that would work a lot better as the actual light's foot that slides into your cold shoe is quite light too!!!  However the light itself is great and well worth the tiny bit extra compared to the 126 LED ones!!!
 
Chris
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Offline WorBry

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 09:52:13 AM »
Anyway the 96 sounds like a good deal too!!! Let us know what you think when it arrives.

Well the TecPro Z96 light arrived. First impressions:
 
Solid Build - nothing flimsy. The screw in hot shoe attachment with ball head adjustment holds well. Internal battery compartment (for 5 AA's) is rather difficult to open, until you get the hang of it. The attachment for Sony L Series LiION batteries is on the back exterior. Unfortunately M series batteries dont fit, as I was hoping, as I have several from my old Sony DV cam. 
 
Reasonably heavy - havent actually weighed it, but spec is 188g w/o batteries. With my GS400 I'd likely use it more on a tripod or on my DIY figgy-rig, or else as a stand-alone fill light on a mini-tripod.
 
Magnetic clip on diffuser plate is a neat feature. Also comes with a CTO (Daylight to Tungsten) diffuser plate. I think I'd prefer to slip a gel behind the regular diffuser plate. 1/4 CTO should bring it down to around 4500, around the same as my Sima SL-20LX LED lights (edit: which are not dimmable, but dont flicker). 
 
First tests with five fully charged Duracell 2450 mAh rechargeable AA's:
 
Nice evenly diffused beam (even with w/o diffuser plate). No obvious hotspots. Cant verify that color temp is actually 5600K, but it looks about right with no obvious blue or green tint.
 
The light is rated at 800 lux (I would assume that is at 1m). Dont have a light meter to verify but, with my GS400 (16:9, fully auto mode, no zoom) at 1m (against white projection screen), full power registers an aperture of f4.0 0db, with or without the regular diffuser plate. My two Sima lights (rated 600 lumens each, according to product specs) linked together achieve f3.4 and the beam is not as well diffused.
 
The dimmer control is not the best. It's continuous, rather than incremental, but shows some flashes of brightness and one or two points of flicker in the last (quarter turn) to full power.
 
The main gripe - after around 25 mins on full power, continuous flickering sets in, as other people have noted. I guess the only recourse is to try with a Sony L Series battery (or economical substitute).
 
http://cheesycam.com/z96-led-flicker-test-with-sony-battery/

There is an option for direct DC supply (5.8 - 16.8V) which I might try if I can find a suitable adapter, but obviously the main appeal is as a portable battery powered light.
 
If, as others have found, using a Sony L Series battery avoids/delays the flicker problem, I guess I'll be OK with it, but I'm glad I didnt pay more than $60.
 
PS - Can anyone recommend a good (and cheaper) alternative to the genuine Sony L series (NP-570/770/970) LiION batteries?         
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 10:39:39 AM by WorBry »
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2011, 08:13:46 PM »
Sounds like a nice light!!  I don't think I have ever run my on-cam lights for anything longer than 6 minutes so I've never experienced any flicker at all. When I do wedding speeches I rather setup the CFL lightbox and just use the light for short sequences. 
 
Now, both my lights have an adapter for a Li-Ion battery and both are identical too!! They claim (I haven't tried it) that the adapter is suitable for both Sony NP and Panasonic CGR batteries!! I'm using Panny batteries ...these are the batteries for the older DS cameras and also fit all the DVC models and also the DVX100...they are different to the CGA batteries that the GS400 and 500 use!!!   My Panny 2600 mah batteries last absolutely ages and are dirt cheap on eBay (The last one was around $10 and included a charger)
 
Maybe try the Panny CDR batteries and see if they work well...I must admit that I gave up on using the AA Ni-Mh rechargeables...the camcorder batts last much longer for some reason and end up a lot cheaper too!!!
 
I just use the diffuse filter only on my lights...the Panasonics auto WB the light pretty quickly but if you slide the amber filter in...the camera struggles to autoWB...My 126 LED light filters drop in from the top (and also drop out fairly easily...I liked the 160 LED arrangement as the filter slides in a slot on the side and fits nice and tight.
 
Chris
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Offline WorBry

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2011, 10:45:32 PM »
Maybe try the Panny CDR batteries and see if they work well...

Unfortunately the Z96 attachment plate will only take Sony L series batteries. They (Dedo Techpro Fellini) did do a smaller 24 LED light with optional external adapters for Sony and Pana batteries, but the Sony adapter on the Z96 is an integral part of the unit. Shame I cant fit the Sony M batteries that I have. Well I maybe could, but it would mean snapping off two of the securing pins on the attachment plate and I suspect the battery would dislodge very easily.   
 
Some (but not all) people claim better flicker-free performance with the Sanyo Eneloop NiMH AA's, but in the long run I think I'd be better going for an L Series LiION. Unfortunately, the direct DC power option cant be used to charge up installed batteries, so that will mean a charger as well; unless my old Sony M Series charger will take L series batteries, which I now doubt.
 
BTW - someone did more specific performance tests on the Z96 a while back and measured the color temp to be up at 6950K with some green and blue spikes.
 
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/photon-management/479925-96-led-light-3.html#post1553884
 
Hey, what do I know.     
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2011, 12:28:32 AM »
Something you might think about doing is buying a cheap charger for the "M" batteries on eBay and then rip all the insides of the charger out and just use the actual cradle so an "M" series battery clips into it..then mount that on the light and hardwire the terminals from the stripped charger into the light DC input. I did that on my DIY light and it works a treat!!!
 
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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2011, 12:10:25 AM »
Yes, that's a possibility. The fancy-pants Sony M series charger that I have has a double cradle, but I've seen cheapo single unit chargers for around $15. Of course what would be ideal would be an adapter plate for using M series batteries on an L series attachment, or even better, a universal adapter that could take Sony and Panny batteries, but my searches for such a device have so far have been unsuccessful. I've also considered using M series battery adapter that can be plugged into the lights DC supply socket. Such adapters do exist, but then it would get a rather cumbersome.   
 
As for substitute L series batteries. The Pearstone ones are highly recommended but only B&H supply them (probably a house brand). Of the many cheapo generics, I've found one (with a Canadian supplier) that looks might be a cut above the rest - $22 + $15 for a charger. All things considered I might just go with that.
 
Cheers and thanks for your suggestions.       
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 12:16:21 AM by WorBry »
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2011, 09:25:41 PM »
I used the YN-160 last night at a wedding and it's pretty darn good!!!  The bridal dance was done under totally dimmed lights so the HMC80 sat at OPEN iris and 18db gain!!! If you kick the light in 2 metres (about 6') from the couple it immediately peels off the gain right down to a mere 3db!!!  Bear in mind that this is on the light's default setting and if you press the "+" button 3 times the iris rises from open to F1.9 ..at 4 presses I actually get zebras on the bride's white dress !!!!  Really nice light!!!
 
Ok yes, the mounting does suck BIG TIME!!!  I think I will see if I can replace the plastic extension shaft with 3 strips of 1/4" aluminium sandwiched together with the middle one longer so it can have a hole at each end for mounting!!!  That seems to be the only weak point on the whole light ..the actual unit is brilliant and is a LOT brighter than the 126 LED by a huge amount!!!   Nope the LED's never flickered either but the longest clip I shot was about 12 minutes .... !!
 
Chris
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