NAB 2017 – Aputure

Aputure is a Chinese manufacturer that has a better U.S. online presence than most.  They started off in the LED panel space.  There are (I think literally, after walking the NAB floor) a thousand panel manufacturers.  Aputure distinguished themselves with better build quality than most, solid connections, very high color rendition and separating the light controls into a separate unit.

Then they moved into single point source lights.  Their COB series started gaining some traction for them, and is very well reviewed across the web.  They’ve put some real thought into the design of their products and aren’t just doing it “because that’s the way everyone else is”.  Bowen’s S-mount is popular in still photography, and there are literally hundreds of light shaping accessories that have built up over the years from various manufacturers, most at an inexpensive price point.  Aputure has taken advantage of this established system and made it the mount on their lights.  Since they are exclusively using LEDs which don’t put out much heat, hitching a ride on an existing still camera standard was smart.

Their new high power COB 300d daylight fixture promises 2000 watt tungsten output for 300 watts of power, and you don’t have to CTB it to daylight.  The power supply and light controls are significantly larger than their earlier COB 120 products and appear to be two separate units.  On that front, I asked if there was ever going to be a bi-color COB 120 unit.  Casey told me the design of the actual LED array makes it unlikely.

Aputure aren’t just making lights, they also make audio products.  I have their hardwire lapel microphone, and it sounds good, especially for the price.  Again, they have thought out the accessories that come with it more than most other manufacturers.  They launched a shotgun mic this year at NAB too that has the appearance of a German manufacturer’s long time standard.  We’ll see how it sounds.