I’ve received two items in the post this week – both of them related to Vlogging. The first is a small waterproof, rugged Vlogging light by Ulanzi called the L1. It’s a big upgrade from my existing LED light, which isn’t very sturdy.
My second purchase was a Vlogging cage for my GoPro Hero5 Session. Produced by Soonsun, this Vlogging cage will allow me to attach the GoPro to a standard tripod and it has a cold shoe mount as well, so I can stick a Vlogging light on top.
I also provide a quick explanation of colour temperature, do some night-time Vlog-style filming with my LED lights, and conduct a waterproofing test.
Ulanzi L1 light: https://amzn.to/2HSv0l5
GoPro Session Cage: https://amzn.to/34qJj88
Whatup nerds? I’m Jay Shareef.
Welcome to another episode of Tech Tuesdays.
Every Tuesday I make a video talking about whatever tech or gadgets I’ve bought in the last week.
And I’ve had two deliveries in the last seven days.
Both of them related to vlogging, and
linked to previous episodes I’ve made.
Let’s start with the more expensive item.
By the way, if you’re hoping for unboxing videos
this isn’t the place for that.
I don’t enjoy them so I’m just not doing them anymore.
So, a few weeks back, I built myself the perfect
vlogging rig and as part of that setup
I purchased a cheap, and not very rugged,
LED light for night time filming.
However, what I really wanted was
a decent waterproof vlogging light.
Unfortunately, the waterproof lights
were always ridiculously expensive.
Luckily, I discovered that Ulanzi have released a
reasonably priced, rugged and waterproof, LED light
that’s ideal for vlogging, called the Ulanzi L1.
And I got mine for less than £30 GBP from Amazon.
Now the first thing that worried me
about this when I opened it up
is this USB charging port.
It’s totally open to the elements.
Ulanzi assures us, however, that this thing is entirely waterproof, including this charging port,
all the way down to 10 m – that’s about 30 ft.
So you could use it for diving too. Which is great news.
I probably won’t be testing the waterproofing though.
I’m just glad that this thing can cope with a rain shower
because that’s about the limit
of the action I expect it to see.
As well as the charging cable, the light
basically comes with just two accessories.
Firstly, there’s this cold shoe adapter
that allows you to attach the light
to a camera or camera cage.
Oh, and if you don’t know what a cold shoe is
then check out my last Tech Tuesday’s video
where I explain the terms “hot shoe” and “cold shoe”.
The second accessory that Ulanzi
provides with the light is some filters.
I’ve got a white diffuser, and a
couple of orange colour filters too.
That might seem like a strange choice,
but it does make sense I promise you.
Basically, it’s all to do with colour temperature.
There are usually two types of colour
that most lights will give you as standard.
Firstly bright white light.
Which has a colour temperature of 5500 Kelvin.
Which is often written as “5500K”.
That is what’s supposed to come out of this Ulanzi LED light.
Which is basically the colour of pure bright sunlight at noon.
However, as you get closer to sunrise or sunset,
the colour of the light starts to change.
At first it becomes more yellow and
then it starts to get more orange in tone.
Orange light can produce some beautiful images.
And that’s why a lot of photographers
like to take pictures just before sunset
when everything is bathed in a kind of golden glow.
They even have a term for it: Golden Hour.
Now orange light has a colour temperature of about 3200 Kelvin.
And by putting this orange filter on the Ulanzi L1
you can adjust the temperature of the light for a look
that more closely mimics that Golden Hour vibe.
Anyway, that’s a very, very simplified
explanation of colour temperature.
I have now charged this cube.
At first, I thought it was broken, because every
time I pressed the button nothing happened.
Then I read the instruction manual.
You’re supposed to hold the button to turn it on.
There are four power settings. When you
first turn it on, it’s at its minimum power.
Each press of the button changes the light intensity,
and, if you want to turn it off, you
have to hold down the button again.
Right. Time to head outside, at night time, and test this
light against the cheaper version that I bought earlier.
Right, so it’s 3.30 in the morning.
It is pitch black here by the canal.
Let’s see what it looks like when I
turn on my old, cheapo LED light.
Whoa! OK, so can you see me?
Can you see anything else?
OK, so that’s the cheapo LED light.
I’ve turned that on to full brightness.
Which is probably too much, quite frankly.
Let’s turn it down a little.
This has dimming capabilities.
So we can go all the way down to zero.
Now, let’s try the Ulanzi L1 and see what that looks like.
That’s the Ulanzi L1.
Let’s show you the canal.
So that’s the Ulanzi L1.
I think that’s at minimum power.
That’s a little brighter.
And brightest. I think that’s the
brightest that the Ulanzi L1 will go.
Alright, this is spooky and it is four o’clock in the morning.
The things I do for you!
Look, you can make your own judgments
from that test but I’ve got to tell you,
I absolutely love this little gadget.
You’ve got to keep in mind that action
cameras, like the DJI Osmo Action,
have absolutely tiny, tiny sensors.
They’re designed to work in daylight only, basically,
and you can’t expect a small light to work miracles.
But having one definitely made the video better.
And it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to buy a nice little
light than it would be to buy a large sensor camera.
This light cost me £30 GBP. A decent camera,
with a large sensor, will cost you at least £300 GBP.
So this Ulanzi L1 has a 1000 mAh battery,
that will last 80 minutes at full charge.
That’s amazing, quite frankly. And it can
be charged on the go using a power bank.
It’s just so damned versatile and I’m genuinely
delighted to add this to my vlogging rig.
What’s interesting is that the Ulanzi L1 light looks
a hell of a lot like my GoPro Hero5 Session.
And both devices have exactly the
same size battery inside at 1000 mAh.
As it happens, my second purchase of the
week relates to the GoPro Hero5 Session.
This GoPro was the first device
I ever reviewed on this channel.
And I told you all about how much I loved it.
The tiny size makes it the perfect
vlogging camera in many situations.
People are always surprised when I say that because
they know I have much better cameras
than this sitting in my cupboards.
However, the main benefit of the Hero5 Session
for vlogging is that it’s inconspicuous.
Nobody notices it.
There are many situations where
using camera will attract attention.
And sometimes, in some situations, people
can become defensive or even angry
if they see you walking around with a large camera.
There are some situations where Police
or security guards will come up to you
and demand that you stop filming.
They may even try and confiscate your
camera and then delete your footage!
Obviously that’s not likely to happen in the UK or US.
But, if you’re a travel vlogger, there are plenty of third
world s***holes where human rights just don’t exist.
And, sadly, thanks to “security” legislation,
even British citizens passing through British airports
no longer have basic human rights protections.
And, if you’re a libertarian like me,
then that will really piss you off.
Anyway, I digress.
The big advantage of the Hero5 Session
is that it’s practically invisible.
The disadvantages are that it’s got a short battery life,
it can’t be mounted on a regular tripod or monopod,
and you can’t mount a light or microphone to it.
Now there’s not much you can do about the battery life.
But there is a third-party product that
can help with the other two issues.
It’s a camera cage specifically designed for the
Hero5 Session. It’s by a company called Soonsun.
And mine arrived yesterday.
This cage is made of sturdy aluminium,
with an optional plastic lens protector.
As you’d expect, it fits the device perfectly.
And it isn’t much bigger than the standard Hero Session frame.
It has a little switch at the bottom to
open and securely close the back door.
This camera cage also allows you to connect
the Hero5 Session to a regular tripod, like so.
And I can also attach my Ulanzi L1 waterproof
light to the cold shoe at the top of the cage.
Basically what this cage has done
is given me a backup vlogging rig.
Which can be used in circumstances where my
normal rig would attract too much attention.
This cost me £22 GBP. Which is twice the
price of the normal Hero Session frame.
But I think the Soonsun cage is ten
times as good, so that’s a bargain price.
You know what? I said I wasn’t
going to do a water resistance test.
But seeing as I’ve now got a waterproof
light attached to a waterproof camera…
We might as well give it a quick dunking!
Are we okay?
So, there you have it. Another week
of successful gadget purchases.
There are links in the description as usual
if you want to buy any of the products I’ve mentioned.
This has been another episode of Tech Tuesdays.
I’ll be back again next week with more.