Andy Westlake tests the Kaiser SmartCluster Midi

Kaiser SmartCluster Midi at a glance:

Kaiser’s SmartCluster Midi is a slimline LCD light with adjustable output for stills or video use. Measuring 115x71x21mm and weighing 135g, it will slip easily into a camera bag and can fit onto a small mirrorless camera without overbalancing.

Light is provided by an array of 80 surface-mount LEDs, with a nominal colour temperature of 5,800K. On measuring, it was closer to 6,000K with a slight green tint, which means it’s wise to use a custom white balance. Power is provided by a replaceable NP-120-type lithium-ion battery that is operational for 90 minutes at full power, and can be recharged in situ via a standard micro USB socket. A dimmer dial allows the output to be adjusted, but while Kaiser claims it can be reduced to 9% of its full power, my review unit only allowed 1.3 stops adjustment in practice. Crucially, though, the colour balance stayed constant at all light levels.

Kaiser-SmartCluster-Midi-on-camera

The unit incorporates a standard tripod thread and comes with a hinged mount to fit onto the camera’s hotshoe. A clip-on diffuser and a 3,200K colour-balancing filter for artificial light complete the package.

Build quality is acceptable without being outstanding. The plastic case and camera mount do not feel like they can take much abuse, but they should be just fine with careful use. The quality of light is good, giving accurate colour reproduction from an X-Rite Color Checker Passport test target. It also offers a very broad120°of coverage that is easily sufficient fora16mm(or equivalent) wideangle lens.

Overall, if you want a compact, easy-to-carry LED light for video or photo use, the Kaiser SmartCluster Midi is a neat unit that’s well worth a look.

SCORE: 4.5 out of 5