Lupo’s new Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro is their first Bowens Mount fixture and is a direct competitor with Aputure’s 300X. There are a few things that set the Movielight 300 Pro apart and I’m happy to share with you guys my findings. Here is my Lupo Movielight 300 review.
First, there’re no external ballast and cables. Second, it’s brighter. Third, it’s lighter weight. And fourth, its single COB style chip cuts very clean lines when using barn doors or flags.
This is Lupo’s first venture into an instrument with a Bowens Mount. Bowens Mounts have been used for decades in the photo industry and over the last several years they have really gained popularity with video lights because they’re fast, easy to use, and there are tons of Bowens Mount modifiers available. The reason they’re just catching on in the video world is that most video lights used to be really hot and tungsten and HMI units would literally melt Bowens Mount modifiers. But now with the LED revolution, lights are much cooler allowing for their use.
Lupo Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro – Features
One of my favorite features of the Movielight 300 Pro line is that there are no external ballasts and cables. This makes for a quick, simple, hassle-free setup. Since Lupo has packed all the electronics inside the lamp head, there is no extra gear to carry around and set up. Lupo’s streamlined approach simply makes your life easier.
The dual color version of the Movielight 300 Pro has the Calvin range of 2800K to 6500K. It is always nice to have that extra range on the top and bottom of the spectrum versus the standard 3200K to 5600K.
On the back of the unit, there is a power-con input and output for AC power. Power-con is a professional connector that locks your cable into place to ensure it doesn’t come unplugged. The power-con output allows for daisy-chaining several instruments together, which is really handy when using a lighting grid. It can also detect and run AC power from 90V up to 240V, which means you can use it just about anywhere in the world.
For DC power, there is a 4 pin DC connector. The Movielight 300 Pro kit comes with a simple but effective V-mount clamp and a 4 pin to D-tap cable. I tested this with my Hypercore NEO 14.8V 150Wh battery and was pleasantly surprised to find that the battery lasted 1 hour and 5 minutes with the light on full power at 5600K. You can also use higher voltage batteries with the light. It accepts batteries from 14.8V – 24V DC.
There is also a 5-pin DMX in and out for use with a lighting board. Finally, it has a user-replaceable 15-amp fuse.
Bluetooth App Support
Besides DMX, the Movielight 300 Pro can be controlled via Bluetooth, which is exciting. The one thing missing from Lupo’s lights has been the ability to control them through your phone. Well, Lupo has now developed a Bluetooth app that allows you to change your setting straight from your phone. No more climbing up a ladder or bringing the stand down to change your output, color temperature, or to remotely trigger effects. The app is currently in beta and is pretty buggy, but Andrea from Lupo assures me that they’re improving it daily and hope to be out of beta by mid-February.
Lupo Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro – Effects
There are a few built-in effects including lightning, paparazzi, black and white TV, and strobe light. Each one of these effects has tweakable parameters that allow the change of speed and color balance. These are nice to have and I’ve found them occasionally useful.
Lupo Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro – Built Quality
Lupo makes all their instruments out of a reinforced polymer instead of aluminum. This light is heavy-duty stuff that is shock and heat resistant and really stands up to a beating. It also makes it relatively lightweight, as it comes in at 11 lbs. versus the 25 lbs. of the Aputure 300X.
The Movielight 300 Pro also has a heavy-duty metal yoke with a good breaking clutch that has no trouble with heavier modifiers like their Lupo Dome softbox, which I’ll talk more about later.
In my years of production, I’ve used a lot of lights and I’ve come to realize that there are pro light and semi-pro (or worse) lights. A lot of LED light manufacturers are in the semi-pro category for me, where Lupo sits solidly in the pro category.
Lupo Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro – light quality and output
I used my Sekonic C-800 color meter to measure the light output and quality of the movielight. I took reading at 1, 3, and 5 meters at both 3200K and 5600K. Here’s what I found:
- First notice, that throughout the CCT numbers are really close to the target number. They are almost right on at 3200K and are off a little over 100 at 5600K. These are really good readouts and better than most lights that I’ve tested.
- The CRI and TLCI are both good at over 96 on the CRI and 97 on the TLCI.
- The 5600K lux readings on the Movielight at 1 meter were 15,500 lx with the bare bulb and 36,600 lx with the hyper-reflector on. The Aputure’s 300X reads 6,300 lx bare bulbs and 20,500 lx with its hyper-reflector. This puts the Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro a good one-stop brighter than the Aputure 300X, which is significant.
- The Movielight does have a slight green shift of 0.6G, which is a little higher than I’d like to see.
Lupo Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro – Accessories
The Movielight 300 Pro KIT comes with the previously mentioned V-mount clamp and D-Tap to 4 pin DC power cable. It also comes with a nice heavy-duty black backpack with lots of pockets, which provides plenty of room for the light along with other gear.
Lupo also offers the Lupo Dome, which is a Bowens Mount 34 ”wide and 27” deep softbox with a 40º honeycomb egg crate included. This is very similar in size and functionality to Aputure’s Light Dome, with a similar quick release speed ring for rapid build and breakdown. What is different is the material used around the softbox is more robust and not as flimsy. It is similar to what you’d find on the much more expensive Chimera or Snapbag softbox.
Lupo is in the design phase of a Fresnel and barn door attachment. But because the Movielight comes with a Bowens Mount, you can use third-party accessories. For example, the Nanlite Fresnel for the Forza 300 works perfectly.
I am a fan of the Bowens Mount and it is good to see that Lupo is starting to make fixtures with these mounts. I like the idea of having one standard, which allows you to share light modifiers across a variety of lights and brands.
The Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro has a lot of positives going for it.
First, it does not have an external ballast or cables to deal with. This means there is less gear to lug around and it is just a cleaner faster workflow. Second, it is brighter than its competitors. In my measurements, it is a little over 1 stop brighter than Aputure’s 300X. I’ll take an extra stop of brightness any day! Third, it’s lighter than its competitors but it maintains an excellent build quality. It comes in at 11 lbs. versus the 25 lbs. of the Aputure 300X. Fourth, the Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro uses the latest COB chip technology, which produces very clean lines when it is cut with barn doors or flags.
Lupo has developed a new Bluetooth app that allows for remote operation of the light via your phone. With this, they are definitely playing catch up with Aputure’s very mature app. Currently, Lupo’s app is in beta and is pretty buggy but they plan for the app to be out of beta and much more stable by mid-February.
On the downside, it does have a slight green shift when new of 0.6G. As LED lights age, they do get warmer, so this number will eventually go down. The fan on the light is a little on the loud side, but that is the same with the Aputure 300X and other competitors.
The Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro runs $ 959 USD, which is $ 40 cheaper than Aputure’s 300X. The Pro-Kit goes for $ 1,098 and includes the backpack, V-mount clamp, and D-Tap to 4 pin cable.
If you’re in the market for a dual-color light that is bright and can be used as hard light or soft light depending on the modifiers used, and that has a Bowens Mount, you might want to check out this new movie light.
Full Disclosure: Lupo gave this light to me to make this review. They have not paid me further, have not told me what to say, and have not reviewed this video prior to posting. All opinions shared here are my own.
Are you a proud owner of the Lupo Movielight 300 Dual Color Pro? If yes, please share with us your working experience with it in the comment section below.