I recently bought myself a Yongnuo YN1410 LED light array after receiving video requests for work as well as to get higher quality videos in personal projects. Given small scale of my videography exploits, I didn’t want to take the plunge with professional grade (think expensive) continuous lights. This was where the YN1410 came in.
When I first handled it, it felt remarkably well made for something that’s only SG$45 (from Taobao). While I was not foolhardy enough to drop it to test the durability, I’m pretty confident that as long as I didn’t abuse it excessively (say clobber someone with it), it will last me a few years easily.
Adjustment of the supposed 16 light levels was done via the 2 arrows embellished with a + and – sign on the right and left side of the power button respectively. I would have preferred a wheel/ dial to adjust the light levels as it would have been faster, but this method works as well.
The light is powered by 6 AA batteries, and it even allows the user to check remaining battery power by pressing the “T” button on the left. The more red lights switching on, the higher the battery charge.
The unit comes with a 2 dial mount below, the small dial is to loosen the mount for adjustment of the light angle up or down. The larger dial is simply to clamp down on any standard hotshoe, be it on a camera or lightstand.
I managed to test the light at a dimly lit restaurant. Given that lighting in the the restaurant was heavy on the tungsten (no doubt for the ambience), I equipped the CTO diffuser and dialed in 2800 Kelvin WB. I find that the light works pretty well for portraits on the fly, especially if you are touting a fast lens and wish to enhance the contrast of the subject from the background using light levels. From my personal, non scientific tests, the light at about half a metre will up your exposure levels by 3 stops.
Note that the light on my model is fairly soft, despite the small size of the light. I found that the diffuser panel helps with the softness of the light, though not by as much as you would expect.
So what will I use it for? I can think of the following scenarios where the YN1410 would work well:
- Product photography of small items
- Light painting
- Video lighting on the go
- Portrait lighting with fast lenses or ISOs of about 800-1600, in dimly lit places.
So…, do I feel that this is a good addition to my kit? Yes, definitely, for what I do now.
Would I recommend it to you? Why not? This doesn’t break the bank (nor require you to break a limb to claim insurance to get it) to get one, and is useful enough as quick lighting in a pinch. Convenient to boot.
Here are some noteworthy points regarding the YN1410.
- Cheap (I got mine at SGD$25!)
- Bright for such a small light (3 stops of extra light at half a meter from subject with the diffuser panel. Oddly, I calculated 3 stops without the panel as well)
- Adjustable light levels (16, if you believe the specs sheet)
- 2 Diffuser panels, CTO and Neutral
- Not daylight balanced (I found the light a tad warm when using it without the panels, try 4800 Kelvin when compensating a raw file in Adobe Camera Raw)
- A little harsh (a function of its small size, but this is nitpicking)
- It doesn’t come with any rechargeable batteries/ charger right out of the box
- Mine did not come with a stand