Monday, December 7, 2015

i-Torch Venom c92 Video Light Review

By Margo Cavis
After years of using older and less powerful lights, or relying on filters and manual white balance, I had the pleasure to test out the new iTorch Venom c92 video lights. The results were undeniably improved, with clean, vibrant colors and far more detail. So... I will never go without good quality video lights again.

The i Torch Venom c92 produces a nice, even light with 4000 lumens of brightness. I loved the LED read-out so I always knew exactly what power setting each light was on and I could be sure that both lights were set the same. I also was able to easily remember what power setting I needed for what type of dive, because of the number display. The fact that there are two buttons also made control of the light much more user friendly - one to control the mode and one for the power level, making things super clear cut.

It uses a COB light emitter, which is more balanced than a normal LED array. The light has a high 92 CRI index, making it very close to balanced daylight lighting. When using the Venom c92, it was very hard to see the edge fall-off (edge of the light beam) with the naked eye, but later when editing the footage, the edge fall-off was obvious in some shots. I would like the edge fall-of to be more gradual, but the only time this became an issue was when I had to keep moving and adjusting the lights to swim through wrecks - or inside the tight space of the wrecks. But this is partly because of the close quarters. As long as I had my lights aimed correctly, everything in frame was evenly lit, with the edges falling off screen and a nice gradual fall-off for things in the background or distance.

The Venom c92 has a two button control layout with an LED showing the power setting. One button is for mode the other for power, so controlling it for video was much easier than having to ramp through a long series of modes and powers with a single button. There is also a remote control available that uses fiber optic cords to control the power. The two powers of red light are useful for night dives or it can be used as a focus light. The red light is pretty bright, so I also experimented with using it on a shallower dive - to see what type of effect it had. I think it does make an extra level of color correction similar to a red filter, so it’s worth trying out.

The Venom c92 is powered by a rechargeable lithium cell that is enclosed in the tail of the light. To recharge it, you unscrew the tail of the light and plug it in to the supplied charger. The charging was the only part I wasn’t happy with - since the charging cable did not fit very securely into the battery unit. So after one attempt to charge failed due to the cable falling loose - I made sure to always leave the battery half attached to my armature system, then wrap the cord around the arm so it would not fall loose. When the lights were fully charged, I was left with more than enough power for a 2 dive trip.

Overall I was very happy with these lights. They are an excellent choice for underwater video.

Below is a video shot side-by-side with and without lights. You can see how much more detail, sharpness and color proper lighting can bring out. You can see more of my videos on the Optical Ocean Sales YouTube Channel.