Panasonic GH5S: Shooting With Handheld LED Panels

Caleb Pike puts the GH5S to the test by lighting a scene with the smallest LED lights he owns.

Pike was testing out his new GH5S a month ago when he realized that he could use a handheld LED light through a diffusion panel as a key light. This obviously required the camera to pick up the pace and show off its low light capabilities.

This week, he’s showing off how far he can push it. As he mentions, some of this tech is pocket-sized. So you'd figure that there's not a huge amount of light coming off these panels. Could you imagine having all the needed lights for an interview in your pockets?

The smallest light that Pike is using is the Aputure AL-M9. I've used it for beauty shots backstage at Fashion Week because I can get right into a model's eye up close. It is about the size of your palm and, to its credit, packs a punch. However, it's not nearly enough light to bother diffusing: you'd have nothing left. And that is why I find it astonishing to see Pike get usable footage by using it.

Perhaps this GH5S-AL-M9 setup could be a further step in the LED revolution we've seen over the past couple years enabling a small backpack to carry everything you'd need to interview somebody: a mirrorless camera, wide lens, travel tripod, a couple light stands, radio mics, and some pocket-sized LED panels.

Could you see yourself using such little lighting? Personally, I’d prefer to pour light onto a subject for the cleanest image and more control of the lighting. Nonetheless it's an innovative idea for owners of the low-light champions that cameras like the GH5S and the Sony a7S truly are.

Stephen Kampff's picture

Working in broadcasting and digital media, Stephen Kampff brings key advice to shoots and works hard to stay on top of what's going to be important to the industry.

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