The Zylight Newz is a small, camera-mountable, dimmable LED fixture that is quite powerful for its diminutive size. With the added flexibility to change color temperature from tungsten to daylight, this versatile unit can be used anywhere. Where else can you get this power output, indoors or out, and still be stingy on power?
Measuring almost 6-inches in length, 3-inches in width, and slightly over 2-inches in thickness, the Newz attaches easily to your camera’s hot shoe or almost anything else. With its articulating arm, plastic barndoors and the diffusion light take up very little real estate. Powered by an AC adapter, or taped into any 7.2 or 14.4V DC camera battery, the Newz pulls only 15W.
The Zylight Newz offers an articulating arm, plastic barn doors and has controllable color temperature adjustments. The back of the unit has two rotary rheostats: pushing the one on the left turns the light on and twisting it changes the intensity from zero to full output. The second knob controls the color temperature from tungsten to daylight, or anywhere in-between. Controlling the color temperature is helpful when working in environments where you don’t have pure 3200 degree K or 5600 degree K illumination, (which is just about most environments).
The barndoors and diffusion screen is a new addition to the Zylight, making the light beam that much more controllable. With the Zylink Wireless Linking and Control feature, you can control several Zylights and mimic the output by controlling just one master unit; all this in a minute package with LEDs that can last up to 50,000 hours.
I am no stranger to Zylight, having used their first light back in 2005; that light is still used on every shoot. The Newz was immediately put into use on one of our class projects. Shooting in a musty attic in a century old house, we had very few power options.
Connecting the Newz to our Anton Bauer 14.4V battery, we had almost unlimited use of the unit. The shoot lasted three hours and with a 15-W power drain, we could have the light illuminated for days. I like that the LED digital readout of the light’s output is displayed on the articulating arm as well as its ability to mix color temperatures. When adjusting color temperature, the display on the arm changes to the balance of tungsten versus daylight. Wanting the attic’s light slightly warmer, we adjusted the Newz closer to the full tungsten setting.
Needing a strong backlight, the Newz was clamped to one of the exposed studs in the attic. The initial output was far too strong and bright. Dimming it slightly, we still had an evident backlight for the scene and the actress was bathed in warm illumination.
Our next shoot was outdoors with the Newz providing fill light for an actor who was strongly backlit. Still tapping into a DC power source, we could actually compete with the sun by filling in the shadow on the actor’s face. Adjusting the color temperature to full daylight, we achieved enough output on the actor’s face and still had the sparkle in her eyes.
Back in our studio, I wanted to measure just how strong the Newz’s output was in foot-candles. At a distance of three feet, with the Newz’s intensity at 100 percent, we had a reading of 350 footcandles. Normally, the falloff with LEDs is rather rapid, but at a distance of 6-feet, the light’s output only dropped by 50 to 300 footcandles. The unit could still be used at much greater distances, but this is a strong punch for a unit this small.
The versatility of the Newz is what I admire most. Like with the older unit that I still use, it fits right in the camera case and may be pulled out whenever it’s needed, which is pretty much all the time. Mounting it on the camera indoors requires using the diffusion screen, or at least dimming it; outdoors is where the full power will come in handy most often. The price point is the best feature—the Newz actually costs less than its older brothers and is more convenient to use.
You now should have no excuse for not adding the Zylight Newz to your lighting arsenal. What I enjoy most is that it costs virtually nothing to operate; it’s there when you need it, and you aren’t putting a lead weight on the top of your camera. Viva Zylight Newz!
Chuck Gloman is an associate professor and chair of the TV/Film Department at DeSales University. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An extremely powerful light for its size and cost, with controllable color temperature adjustments.
Dimmable; controllable color temperature from tungsten to daylight; draw only 15 watts of power from AC or DC source