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Is This LED Light an Aputure Killer?!

Photo Moment - September 17, 2019

Aputure LED lights are very well known and very popular, and for very good reason. They're fantastic. But that doesn't mean the competition isn't biting at their heels… could this light from PIXEL take the crown?

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📄 Full Video Transcript

This is a great review. I originally considered the Godox S30 but think Ill go for this. One question, do you recommend any Gobo holder/projector/lens attachments? Im at a loss finding one and am considering the Godox SA-P with Bowens adapter for it but not sure thats ideal.
who gives a f%#@? if it works...i'm buying it. Knock off or not.
This needs to happen. It’s like when RED were charging $20,000 for camera bodies 4 or 5 years ago.
You know what's funny… when RED released their cameras, it was a fraction of the price of what it was competing against. I would know; I was in the early development meetings in the early 2000s. Just goes to show, no matter who you are or what you make… somebody, somewhere, will undercut you ;-)
Great review! Thank you!

Question: There was a brief shot and mention of the cable connection from power supply to the head. Do you know the name of the connector type/specs? The reason I ask is that it looked flimsy. I don’t want the pins to break or bend if I’m trying to quickly set the light in near dark conditions. That could ruin my whole day. Could you easily bend the pins with pressure from your finger? (This is a weakness on a lot of prosumer gear.)

Comment: The name c220 is really stupid and confusing, unless the unit is designed for 220 voltage or the unit is 220 watts. Amirite?

Also, I don’t want to overstep my bounds, but I have a very minor criticism. This is more of a pet peeve/annoyance on my part. Can you please not call things [X] killer? It’s just a cheesy and tired phrase. The content of the review was great, but hyperbolic titles rub me the wrong way. Maybe (as you said in the review itself) “challenger” would be better. “Is the Pixel a real/decent/whatever challenger to the A 120?” Tldr: [X] Killer is a tired cliche. Don’t use unless the product a real game changer (if you do use it).

Thanks for a very informative review. Take my criticism with a grain of salt. Like I said, it’s just a pet peeve.
An apurture Fresnel x2 will fit in a pixel C220?
Anybody find the actual pixel website?
They may not have one, but they have an amazon storefront
What about heating?
It has a fan to keep from overheating. I'm not sure what the question is…
I hate companies who steal IP
Agreed, but shape of an object isn’t IP. It’s in poor taste, but that’s not illegal.
only in china its not illegal.
It's not about whether they're copying Aputure. It's a service to the industry to provide the same quality light at less than half the cost. If you want people to pay you for your artistry and your originality... price it competitively.
Until I rolled the video I was certain this was about the Godox VL150. Surprise!
I am here to surprise you ;-)
Can't find this light for sale anywhere now.
Yeah I noticed that too. I asked the company if there’s a replacement but they haven’t responded. I’ll update the link if they do.
I've seen tests on Amazon where these massively flicker at 71%. Have you noticed any flicker?
really! Nope, not at all. And I've used mine at pretty much every percentage from 10% to 100%. This is the light I'm using now in all my edited videos (the ones with the gear shelf behind me). On most of those the light is about 50% power.
does this run with batteries?
No. It's a text pop-up at some point; I forgot to mention it while recording but no, it does not run on batteries.
Good review though, just didn’t get whether pixel c220 has its autonomous power supply and its good for outdoors or this power brake adapter is just to cut off the power from the wall? So, no batteries at all?
Right, no battery powered. I neglected to mention it but it does pop up in text at some point.
PhotoJoseph Thanks
Hi PhotoJoseph , as a photographer I d have appreciate some test shooting with the help of a model with differents apperture , different shutter speed , ISO etc .. but thanks a lot for making this video who made me know this product who seems to be very interesting ;)
Can’t do everything but I’m glad you enjoyed what I did ;-)
Thanks YouTube for the recommendation. This video was so insightful and full of useful knowledge. Now i've got the task of convincing my boss to purchase one!
Right on, glad it was helpful, and good luck with the boss!
How’s the noise?
Not been a problem for me. All of my videos with the gear shelves background are lit with this at 50% power from about 12 ft away
PhotoJoseph would you be able to share sound tests with this light at different distances? Thanks
I finally did some tests… unfortunately my neighbor business has an industrial fan on during the day so I'm fighting that, but with an iPhone sound level meter, from where I record, 12 ft from the light (keep in mind the light and therefore fan are also on the other side of the massive soft box I use that you saw in this video), the light with fan ON has no measurable difference. I get 43db as an ambient leve with or without the light on. Not totally fair since the neighbor's noise definitely overpowers it, but neither I nor my iPhone can tell the difference between on and off. If I put the phone right next to the fan on the light, it measures 50db. Sitting in my office now with computer fans on (a few of them), I'm hearing 38db. So that's what I got for ya!
Thank you!
my pleasure!
That’s a really great review, subscribed, keep it up❤️
Thank you!
Do you know how much is in lux the difereance between the Pixel C100, Pixel C150, Pixel C220?
Not offhand. You’ll need to look it up.
thanks for ur advice
I measured all the values.
1. Yes, the Pixel is powerful. Twice a Godox 60L.
2. At about 55% the fan kicks in and it is dammed loud. Filming is not possible any more. It is possible to deactivate the fan, but after a while it kicks in again.
3. At 50% power in 1m distance the light has an output of 3000 lux. That is still 1000 lux more than the Godox 60L at 100% power.
Conclusio: It may be an Aputure 120D on steroids, but due to the fan noise the power above 55% is unusable.

I will send it back.
I use mine at a distance of about 11 or 12 feet from the mic (me) and the noise has not been a problem.
@PhotoJoseph 12 feet distance? - remember the invert-square-law!
Sure… my point is that the sound is only a problem if you're right on top of it. Anyway, not every product is for every use ;-) Glad you tried it though!
great lights
Thanks! Now I can finally show what that is for:
Your setting in the first part of the video is really amazing!
Above 60%, when the full power of the fan kicks in, it becomes really noisy.
I thought it was relatively quiet, given the power. I use this light daily now and it’s never been a problem.
I don’t comment often but this was a fantastic review! Much appreciated!
Thank you! The comment is much appreciated too ;-)
I think you forgot to mention one very important selling point in favor of the Aputure: BATTERY OPTION (or did I miss it?)!!! The Pixel only runs on shore power, whereas the Aputure lights can be powered up by one or two V-mount batteries. This eliminates the need to haul a generator, say if you are shooting an exterior scene, and insure dialogues are clean. To me this feature is well worth spending the extra money. When i filmed by motion picture DEUCE OF SPADES, we had a lot of night scenes out on the dry lake, very far away from civilization and shore power, and only two small generators to try to light everything. It was very challenging. Had I had the Aputure lights back then, it would have been such a game changer! Well, I do have them now :). Of course if your shoots are limited to small indoors sets, then it might not seem you need the battery power option (but even still, being able to power up a strong light with batteries can mean less cables and electrical wires cluttering your set ;) and more freedom in positioning the lights). Plus I think all filmmaker should invest in gear that can GROW with them. One day you'll take your shoots outdoors and the Pixel lights will fall short.
It’s mentioned in a text pop-up. You have to keep in mind they while this is a critical feature for your use case, it’s not critical for everyone. Where I use mine is a semi-permanent studio setup that always has power access.
Nice Video! I´m going to buy the Pixel! But may be, the 140Ws one. Thank U!
Did you ever buy the 140w version? I'm going back n forth between the 80w and 140w.
did the fodavil or pixel can work with the V-mount battery? thank you
Please answer somebody
I just checked Aputure 120d II discription at B&H and it says, "It consumes a negligible 180W of power while outputting 135,000 lux, equivalent". Your chart says 30,000 lux so why is it different??
You gotta read the full sentence. "It consumes a negligible 180W of power while outputting 135,000 lux, equivalent to a 1000W hot light at a distance of 1.6' with an optional Fresnel " — the fresnel is a focusing lens (and it's an additional purchase, so that's cheeky to include here), and makes the light into a more focused beam. The measurement I used is I believe from the Aputure website (don't recall exactly where I got it now) and is with just the included reflector. The distance is the same though (1.5 ft = 0.5 m). Very important when reading LUX measurements to know what modifiers are being used and the distance at which it's measured. LUX is a measurement per square meter, so if it's measured at 0.5m or 1m or 3m it will change.
PhotoJoseph I see. Thank you so much for your precise explanation! Do you still think C220 is a 120d II Killer?
XENE Genosynx I just asked the question 😁 But yes is a great value and I use mine every day
I'm using the godocs sl60 with an aperture soft box. Lol I guess we are opposite
Amzon Coupon is now for $50 off.
seems too good to be true.....more light for less money.

Looks like it doesn't go very dim though.
Hey Photo Joseph, question re: the Pixel Fodavil C220 - doesthis lightt require a special heat resistant softbox or would my softbox for strobes be ok... ? thank you..
It doesn’t get hot, so I think any photo one would be OK, but I’d check with the manufacturer. See if you can find a heat output on the website.
When I find out I'll let you know....
Have you ever tried the Godox SL60w, this looks like a good budget option?
I have not but I’m pretty sure that’s a lower power one, right?
@PhotoJoseph yes, that's right, but I don't know the details. But maybe if you use the aputure at 50% power, it might be powerful enough..
Reinhard Biller fair enough. I don’t have plans to review that light but Godox is sending a pair of S30 lights here. They have a ton of neat accessories so I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be November before I do it though.
One thing about Lux measurement is that it's a point measurement. A light can increase it's Lux measurement just by concentrating all its light in a smaller area with a lens. This can happen even with the same output power.

A better measure of output power is Lumens, which is the sum total output of a light.
I did not know that. However as long as the modifier is listed (in these cases they were measured with the included reflector), then the measurement should be equal, right?
Was that coupon only good for one day?
The coupon comes and goes on amazon
Awesome Video, can you please make a brightness test with no light other than the pixel (at night for example), showing us the brightness at different distances with the settings? For example at 20m, 5m, 1m
No sorry, not doing another video on this light. The main scene in the first half of this video was lit entirely by one light though.
Very nice video and nice light as well. I have a few questions, do you know if there is an EU version of it and what’s the name? And about the fan noise, do you think that would be an issue inside a church during a ceremony? Thanks man ✌️
This link should take you to the local version. If not, just search amazon for it by name. and the fan would definitely NOT be too loud to use in church.
@photoJoseph Are those Airbirds?
No, they’re tropicfeel. Love these. Best travel shoes ever. And obviously I wear them at home sometimes 😁
Good review.
I was almost there. They lost me on noise level. I use 3-8 lights per shoot. All those fans add up.
It is louder than the Aputure 120. BUT, according to another viewer, the Aputure 300 series which, on paper, is still only 48,000 LUX @ 0.5m, is VERY loud. I just looked at their marketing and they say “quiet” but don’t have a db reading as they do for the 120. So it may well be that this light is not any louder and still brighter than Aputure’s bigger light! Ultimately you have to try it. Buy one, and if you don’t like it, return it!
@PhotoJoseph Yes, the AC adapter is loud on the original. It isn't a factor when using a battery.
Additionally, the whole thing has been reworked in the 300D II, which is much quieter.
I'm waiting on the 600D anyway.
It probably uses a standard computer fan that you can swap out for a quieter fan. Just make sure the new quieter fan provides enough airflow to cool the COB LED to manufacturer specs. I've done this for a few other cheap chinese lights like the Savage 1000W lights that cost roughly ~$250.
Great video! I love my 120D, and my 300D, but the 300 is DANG loud. I'd love to compare this one to the 300 in terms of brightness!
I just looked it up, and the 300d claims 55,000 LUX @ 0.5m… so even lower than this Pixel! That seems hard to believe though. Wish I had one to compare.
@PhotoJoseph That is fantastic if true... and I can confirm that the 300 is way brighter, and WAY louder! So loud I often have to build a baffle with pillows on one side to absorb the sound of the fan on the power supply... at least the loud fan isn't on the light itself.
Jef Gibbons wow that’s crazy. I’d say buy one of these pixels from Amazon (please use my link in description!) and test it. Definitely let me know the results and if it is NOT better/brighter, return it. Amazon has an easy return, just make sure it’s within the return window.
@PhotoJoseph Good call! I'll be sure to click through your link if I order one, thanks again for the great video man!
@Jef Gibbons I'm waiting for your test. Thank you :)
FLICKER TEST! I just ran a series of tests and came up with NO flicker. Here’s what I ran. GH5. NTSC to 29.97, set VFR on everything from 30fps to 180fps. I ran from 180d shutter to 360d and lower. Then I switched to PAL and tested the full gamut of frame-rates and shutter angles too. If you want a specific test let me know and I’ll run it! The reason I'm a little suspicious is I couldn't get anything to flicker, and I have a lot of LED lights, but no non LED ones anymore in the studio. I would be more confident if I got flicker with something else first. So again, give me a SPECIFIC test with EXACT settings you want to see, and I'll run it!
Thank you so much for the review. And especially with the flicker test! I'm adding this one to my kit :)
This kind of savings does come down to reliability and of course ability for someone to get a product repaired. If you need to send it to China... well not so much of a bargain. If you haul it to a shoot and expect it to work and it fails in the middle then all the savings are lost. Having said that...while Aputure has a clear warranty/service channel and is even available at local shops they have had some issues with colour accuracy with the need to add on a filter to correct the green cast of some of their lights. I would certainly try out the Pixel if it were readily available. The coupon is long long gone from what I can see but there is a $50 coupon. I am not sure if Photo Joe did any tests for flickering for video. That is obviously pretty important and frankly I would say more important than fan noise. If this puts out this much light it is likely going to be very far from the subject so noise should not be an issue...but flickering is another thing all together. If I can find this locally I will see if I can purchase it. I assume Photo J does not like the Godox SL 60 or even the GVM RGB... both of which are cheaper than the Pixel 220.
It’s not that I don’t like the others; it’s that I don’t have them. I’m a small YouTuber; I can’t afford to buy every light under the sun and test them ;-) As to the flicker… I’m going to test it right now because you’re right, I have not tested that yet and a few people have asked.
OK, making a comment regarding flicker at the top of this thread. Please read that and respond there!
I have a "Breaking Bad" Feeling when I watch your video.. 😎
PhotoJoseph “I’m the one who lights”
I need more light, bye Aputure...
Great video! That power brick thingy is the ballast :)
Haha I knew there was a word for that 😁
PhotoJoseph I’m not sure that’s correct. On an HMI or a Florescent it would be a ballast. The thing on the Pixel is a power supply. If the unit came with supporting documents, I’m pretty sure it will be designated as a power supply.

That said, call it what you want. If you’ve got a crew that’s worked with HMIs and Kinoflos, they’ll know what you’re talking about.
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