When I am referring to best on-camera lights, I am basically referring to the continuous lights that are imperative for video shooting.
Video lights can be as expensive and complex as you want them to be. On the other hand, they can be simple and inexpensive.
The thing about on-camera lights is that they are always on. For video shooting, you need lights which are always on.
In this buying guide, I shall go through a few of the best on-camera lights for video shooting:
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1. Genaray LED-6200T 144 LED on-camera light
You can buy this light from B&H for $99.99.
On-camera continuous lights such as the Genaray LED 6200T 144 are very handy when you want to shoot professional-quality footages on a budget. You might be wondering what the 144 means, it means that there are a total of 144 tiny LED bulbs on the array. It’s a number system used on virtually all on-camera lights.
The LED light comes with variable color temperature settings so you can adjust the same between 3200–5600K. The brightness levels are also adjustable. You can set the brightness between 100–10% without any flickering effect.
Thanks to its design, this is a portable LED continuous light. The kit comes with a Sony L-series battery mount. Additionally, the LED-6200T comes in several other combinations of the LED array.
You can pick from 120 LEDs or 256 LEDs and even 320 LEDs depending on your needs. The Genaray LED-6200T 144 is one of the best on-camera lights at this price point.
2. iKan iLED312-v2 On-Camera Bi-color LED light
You can buy this light from B&H for $199.99.
The iKan iLED312-v2 on-camera LED continuous light is composed of an array of 312 LED lights with variable color temperature. The light comes with removable barn doors which are useful for narrowing down the throw of the light, or alternatively, maintain a wider throw depending on the look and feel of the image you need.
The light comes with a digital display at the back which gives you all the main information like brightness level, color temperature, as well as the amount of power that is left so that you can estimate how much working time you have left.
The area where the iKan iLED312-v2 wins over other lights of this type is the battery power. The iKan iLED312-v2 comes with two slots for Sony L series type batteries. Plus, you get two batteries in the package.
3. Core SWX TorchLED Bolt
Note: This model has been discontinued.
The Core SWX TorchLED Bolt is a 250W LED on-camera light with variable color temperature control. You can vary the color temperature between 3200 and 5600K. There is also a brightness control feature on the light. That allows you to control the brightness from 100-0 %.
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The Core SWX TorchLED Bolt is compatible with Sony L series batteries. But that said, the unit comes with a D-Tap cable too for using 14.4V batteries. Additionally, the system comes with a ¼”-20 ball head to hot shoe mount, which ensures that you can easily mount the system on your camera.
4. DOFTec Z-96K Professional Photo & Video LED light
You can get it used from B&H for under $100.
DOFTec’s Z-96K light is a small 96-LED lighting system for video shooting. It is an on-camera lighting system which works by mounting on to the hot-shoe of your camera. Unlike other units, the color temperature of the unit is not variable. At least not the way you can with some of the other continuous lights that we have discussed here. There are no adjustable buttons or dials on this light, the temperature is fixed at 5600K. With that said, you can always adjust the color temperature using filters which the kit provides. These are 3200K and 4200K respectively.
What you can control, however, is the brightness of the light. You can set it between 0 and 100%. The light comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery system. Alternatively, you can also use five AA batteries or use the AC power adapter to supply continuous power to the unit.
5. Savage LED204 Luminous Pro On-camera Bi-color LED light
You can buy this on-camera light from B&H for $121.99.
The Savage LED204 is a continuous lighting system with 204 LED bulbs in an array. The system comes with a variable color temperature control. You can also control the brightness of the light from 0% all the way to 100%.
This unit is powered by a Sony L-series type battery unit. Optionally, you can also plug in an AC input using an adapter for continuous shooting. The LED204 comes with a removable hot shoe mount as well. All in all, it is one of the best on-camera lights that you could buy for your video work.
6. Aputure Amaran AL-HR672W Daylight LED
Note: No longer available
Now, the Aputure Amaran on-camera light is massive and very useful LED continuous light. At a working distance of 3′ 3″ the brightness of the light is 2080 Lux. This is a daylight balanced light with the emission at 5500K temperature. This temperature is fixed, though. Which means you cannot change it around. But you can change the brightness of the light throw. This can be set between 0 to 100%.
The light is a wide 75-degree beam. At the back of the light two Sony L-series battery slots have been provided. The pack comes with two batteries for the light. Alternatively, you can use an AC adapter to plug this to a wall socket and shoot for an extended period of time.
7. Genaray LED-5700T 240 LED Variable Color on Camera light
Note: No longer available
We discussed the Genaray LED-6200T 144 LED earlier in this list of the best on-camera lights. This is the alternative Genaray LED-5700T 240 LED unit equipped with a variable color temperature option. The temperature can be adjusted between 3200–5400K. The maximum brightness you can achieve is 1100 Lux at 3′, along with the temperature you can also control the brightness of the light. It can be set to anything between 100% and 10%.
The system is compatible with Sony NP-F, NP-FP, NP-FV, and NP-FH batteries. That said, the package comes with adapters that allow you to use Panasonic VGR-D batteries as well. Alternatively, you could use six AA batteries, too. Finally, a swiveling tilting ball head is provided which comes with a hot shoe mount for attaching to your DSLR/mirrorless camera.