iFootage Anglerfish LED Lights Review
In this video, I put the iFootage Anglerfish SL1 60DN, 220DN and 320DN lights through their paces, testing for power, colour accuracy, and slow-mo capabilities.
iFootage claim that the Anglerfish are some of the best quality LED lights on the market, while at the same time being competitively priced. If this is the case, these new lights would be very impressive indeed, so I decided to put that claim to the test.
The full package
iFootage sent me three different lights in their new Anglerfish SL1 range. These were the 60-watt 60DN, the 200-watt 220DN and the 300-watt 320DN. The 220DN and 320DN come with ballast units, while the 60DN has a built-in control panel. It also comes with an adaptor for attaching modifiers, which is necessary because of its smaller mount size.
The modifiers iFootage provided include lantern-style modifiers, which are great for global illumination if you’re lighting interiors. I also received some parabolic softboxes. In my opinion, these are mostly a waste of time and space, but if you take the front diffuser off, you may benefit from the reflective surface underneath.
Ballast units, controls and features
I took a close look at the ballast units for the two larger lights. The first thing I noticed was how compact and light they were, which would be a boon for photographers and videographers on the move.
It features a wheel for adjusting the exposure, which you can also alter using the ‘Intermittent’ button. Various special effects are available via the unit, including Lightning, Faulty Bulb, Paparazzi, Strobe, and others.
If you’re using the Lumin app to control the lights, you can access other special features. For example, the lights can be synced with music so that they flash in time with a beat. This could be particularly useful for filming music videos.
Overall, despite being surprisingly small and lightweight, the ballast units offer all the controls and effects you need.
The ballast units for the Anglerfish 220DN and 320DN are compact and lightweight.
Lights for Filmmaking
Test #1: Light Power
Before I tested the colour accuracy of these lights, I wanted to assess their power. How much light do they actually throw out?
To test and compare the luminosity output of the Anglerfish lights, I blacked out my studio and made two marks on the floor, two metres apart – one for the light, one for the light meter. I positioned each light at my head height and held my light meter at the same height. I used a base ISO of 640 and a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second, and tested each light using its standard reflector.
The highest reading came from the Aputure 600d Pro at f22.9 – very nearly f32. This was followed by the broncolor HMI F400 at f22.2.
The most powerful Anglerfish light (the 320DN) achieved f16.8, slightly less than half the output of the twice-as-powerful Aputure 600d. The 220DN achieved f16.3, while the 60DN gave a reading of f8.7. This was half a stop more than I expected it to be capable of, so I was quite impressed even though a 60W light inevitably produces less light than I’m likely to need.
Testing and comparing the luminosity output of the lights.
Test #2: Colour Fidelity
Having tested the extent of the light, it was time to look at its quality. How pure? How clean? Full-spectrum or not? And what kind of CRI can we achieve with the Anglerfish lights compared with the broncolor and Aputure units?
Using my go-to studio flash lights (which I know to offer perfect colour accuracy) as a benchmark, I set up a still life scene for the test. This featured a mannequin head, some pieces of fruit, a Coco-Cola can, a wine bottle, and of course the all-important colour checker card.
I then captured an image using each of the six LED lights, plus the house lights and the benchmark studio flash. You can see the results below.
I was extremely impressed by the colour fidelity offered by the Anglerfish lights. iFootage have claimed super-high colour accuracy for these new lights, and they really did deliver just that.
Test #3: Slow motion
In the final test, we checked the efficacy of the Anglerfish lights when filming slow-motion. This is always a useful test because you lose a lot of light in slo-mo, so if you can still get decent exposure levels in slow-mo, you know your light is providing sufficient output.
Using a shutter speed of 2/50th of a second, a base ISO of 12800 and an aperture of F16, we shot slo-mo using each of the lights, primarily to check for flickering.
Thankfully we detected zero flickering with any of the lights, though naturally the 60DN Anglerfish gave us less light to work with than the others, as was to be expected.
Checking for flickering when filming in slow-motion.
Frame Rates, Shutter Speeds and Slow Motion
Offering excellent colour fidelity and more than respectable power output, these Anglerfish LED lights certainly live up to the performance claims made for them by iFootage. But what about value for money?
The good news is that they’re very competitively priced. The 320DN retails at around $600, compared to about $900 for a 300-watt Aputure model. The 220DN is priced at around $420, while the 60DN costs around $200, compared to $370 for the 60-watt Aputure.
When you combine this affordability with the high performance we saw in our tests, it’s impossible not to be seriously impressed with the Anglerfish LED lights.
Have you tried them yet? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments.
NOTE: Though iFootage sent me these lights to review, I received no financial reward for doing so and this is my 100% honest, unbiased opinion!