View Full Version : New Video Light Test (Setting up a small studio)

02-28-2014, 01:20 PM
Hello All,

I finally jumped in and bought all the components for my new video lighting setup.

The difference with the covers on the soft boxes was very noticeable to me so I'll be leaving those on all the time. Much better color rendition.

Setup is as follows:

(2) - Hex Softboxes. These are a shape I have found to cast the lighting to my preference.
(2) - 45 watt CFL bulbs at 5500k and a CRI of 90
(1) - Backdrop Stand
(1) - Black 100% cotton muslin
(4) - 4 backdrop clips to hold the backdrop taught.

I need to steam out the muslin as it was just unfolded and hung up because I wanted to check it out and not steam or iron it first. You can't tell but if your camera is not set correctly, you'll see the backdrop and if it's wrinkled it's even more noticeable.

Short test, but hopefully for those who are thinking about making videos with a lighting set up, you can see the difference here.
I hunted Ebay for weeks looking at DIY stuff and realized that for the price of buying materials and my time, waiting for an Ebay auction deal would pay off and it did. I got all my lights with stands, bulb and softboxes for 50 bucks (thank you midnight auction end time!), and the Muslin normally $75, for $25 bucks from someone who bought it, never used it and so a great deal. Most muslins I saw that were cheap were paper thin, so you get what you pay for. The backdrop stand I found for 40 bucks. All in: $115.00 bucks and it's all portable and folds down in a nice small bag.

So you don't need to spend a fortune for a studio lighting set up. Could I spend $500.00 and get better quality items? Definitely. However if you are not moving things around and setting up at a home or office studio, the Elinco lights work fine. I was shooting during the day which is not great as there was a lot of light in the room but I think the video came out great as far as a nice solid black backdrop.

Having brighter lights like 65 or 85 watts during a day shoot would be better if your camera needs that light to stop down the aperture.

Here are my results:


03-08-2014, 05:33 AM
Hi Jay,

I too am looking at having a better lighting setup for making my Seasons contest videos, as well as other videos to put on youtube, and this looks great. I used to work in video many years ago, but never kept any of the old equipment, and now my iPad is my camera, which is good enough for what I need. I used the app called FilMic Pro, mainly because it shows me the audio meters on the screen which helps with making sure I dont overload and get distortion...

Thanks for making this video and listing all the equipment. I makes a big difference to see it in action.

The color, shadows, and highlighting looks very even and balanced.

When you put the softboxes on, I think part of the reason it looks better in addition to what you said, is because the light is diffused, and more like natural daylight, without the hotspots you get without any diffusion.

I wanted to start using a green screen, but my problem with that is uneven lighting and I get glare from the hotspots, as well as the chepie green screen I'm using right now is nothing more than what looks like a vinyl shower curtain liner material, and is a bit reflective.

Amazon has one that is more of a muslin or spandex for sale by Cowboy Studio for like $35 and I might get that to remove the glare problem.

I have a few different shotgun mic's that I've been testing, but I am getting good results using an AKG studio condenser mic so far. What mic's will you be using?

Do you have any thoughts as per above?

Keep up the good work - I especially liked your video review about the Pepe Romero Tiny Tenor, and I think that your review was the first ever of this ukulele to appear on youtube!

Take care,


03-09-2014, 07:20 AM
Hi Booli, thanks for your comments. Wow you figured out I was the first YouTube on the Pepe Romero Tiny Tenor. No one has ever said that but you are right. It was the first one. My legacy lives! lOl.

Definitely get a good green screens there is so much cheap junk from China out there, and it's 99.99 from China as I did my research. I found one that was on Ebay in an auction that had a name brand that I checked which was a very high quality Muslin as most are paper thin and you can see right through them.

I shot two more videos that are going up where I didn't focus on audio as it is just talking and the audio is clean but with a little bit of sounding like we are in a big room due to the hard floor (no carpet). So on the next videos moving forward, I am going to try an small diaphragm condenser right in front. I have at AT2020 which is great, and I have another large diaphragm condensor I am going to try. My mics were very far away that I used as we are holding up Ukes and showing different sides in our Uke'n Talk series so we don't want to be banging into mics.

I think I am going to put the large condensor right between use next time so it's only 6 inches or so away. I also have a great DAW I have not used on any of my videos but I am going to go straight into ProTools or Ableton with the DAW hooked to the computer. That will be the best I can do but setting up all of it takes time. I am using an H4N and it works great but also should be close otherwise it records the entire room and all it's dynamics too well, so to eliminate that big room sound where you may get a little echo going, keeping the mics close is key as I don't have a shotgun mic. Those are great but I think since we are in a silent room, the large diaphragm condensor should sound fantastic.

Good luck on the green screen and thanks again for watching the videos,

03-09-2014, 07:32 AM
Looks good. One thing you may want to try is to move one light a bit further way to get a bit of difference, slight shadow on your face. Having them the same distance makes it a bit flat. Here are some tips. http://www.izzyvideo.com/video-lighting-techniques/