Callum McInerney-Riley sings the praises of Manfrotto’s latest colour-balancing LED panel

Manfrotto-Chroma2-LED-Light

Manfrotto Croma2 LED Light at a glance:

  • On or off-camera LED panel
  • 900 Lux@1m
  • Adjustable colour temperature
  • Dimmable from 0-100%
  • Powered by either mains, AA batteries or an L-type Li-ion camcorder battery
  • Website: www.manfrotto.co.uk
  • Price: £329.95

Manfrotto’s latest offering in its LED continuous lights range – one of two colour-balancing LED panels available – is the Croma2 LED Light. The other is the professional Lykos LED panel, which is 1,500Lux@1m and bigger. Croma2 boasts an impressive 900Lux@1m and is the more portable of the two. It weighs only 300g without batteries, is small enough to mount on a camera but big enough to suit portraits and video interviews.

The whole idea of the Manfrotto Croma2 is to allow the light to control the colour temperature from the cool daylight balance of 5,600K through to 3,100K tungsten. This allows users to add some light and match it to the ambient light of the scene.

The brightness is controlled easily, thanks to a dimmer switch on the side that will take it from 0-100% of its 900Lux@1m range. To power the Croma2 you can use either the mains AC plug, which is included, six AA batteries, or an L-type Li-ion camcorder battery that costs around £90 – the adapter for the L-type battery is included in the kit.

A total of 24 LED lights feature on the Croma2 and it boasts Manfrotto’s SMT (Surface Mount Technology) design to ensure great performance, illumination efficiency, colour accuracy and a brilliant quality of light.

Manfrotto-Chroma2-LED-Light-back

In use

This latest LED range has been designed in collaboration with Litepanels, bringing together its expertise with that of Manfrotto to create some great continuous LED lights. The Croma2 is a bit expensive at more than £300, but the build is solid and the quality of light is good – and it makes a perfect keylight for interviews. For the photographer or videographer who wants to adjust the colour temperature, the Croma2 is a fantastic choice.

Manfrotto Croma2 LED Light – key features

Diffuser

LED lights can be harsh, especially when photographing people. For that reason, Manfrotto has included a diffuser to soften the light. It simply slides into the front of the unit.

Flicker-free

The Croma2 doesn’t flicker, which is especially important for those who would like to record high-definition video.

Ball head

Included with the Croma2 is a small ball head with numerous attachment options, including hotshoe and two different tripod mount threads.

SCORE: 5 out of 5

Also in the range

Manfrotto-Lykos-Bicolor-LED

Manfrotto Lykos Bicolor LED

Price: £399.95

This offering is Manfrotto’s top-end LED light, giving a total of 1,500Lux@1m. Users can control the light using a smartphone or tablet app via a detachable Bluetooth dongle.

Manfrotto-MicroPro2-LED-Light

Manfrotto MicroPro2 LED Light

Price: £259.95

All-in-all, the MicroPro2 is similar to the Croma2. Its colour temperature is a constant 5,600K, but it boasts a bit more power with 940Lux@1m and doesn’t have the ability to control the colour temperature like the Croma2.

Manfrotto-Spectra2-LED-Light

Manfrotto Spectra2 LED Light

Price: £154.95

With fewer LEDs and a rating of 650Lux@1m, the Spectra2 is the baby of the bunch, and like the MicroPro2 LED Light it also has 5,600K colour temperature. For many enthusiasts, this is more than sufficient.