The Prolycht Orion 300 FS is a versatile spot light that combines six-channel color mixing technology, high output, and the ability to run a range of lighting modifiers. It is the follow-up to the original Orion 300 that I reviewed earlier this year.
Prolycht has taken a lot of feedback they got from users of the original Orion 300 to make improvements. It is good to see a company listen to consumers and want to improve their product.
Lights in this form factor are becoming increasingly more popular because of their versatility. So, let’s get on with the review and see if the sequel is better than the original.
The concept behind the Orion 300 FS was to make a very flexible, fully-featured lighting source that could be run off camera batteries and controlled via an app. Prolycht’s goal was also to improve on the original by implementing changes that were raised from user feedback.
In a lot of ways, the Orion 300 FS looks to be a hybrid mix between an Aputure Light Storm LS300X and an ARRI Orbiter.
Prolycht doesn’t make any outrageous claims about the Orion 300 FS, nor do they compare it against any other fixture. It is refreshing that they don’t try and compare it to something else. A light should be able to stand on its own, and if it is good enough, then it shouldn’t need to be compared against something else.
In saying that, this is a review, so I will be comparing it to other fixtures.
So what’s new and improved?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Here is what is new and improved according to Prolycht:
The fan noise has apparently now been reduced. The Orion 300 FS features five fan modes: Silent, Low noise, Mid speed, High speed and Auto. The light’s output in the Silent fan mode is capped at 25%. In all other fan modes, you can use the light at full intensity. According to Prolycht, they measured the fan noise in the low noise mode at 13~14 dB.
- Strengthened Bowens mount
- More reliable yoke lock
- 360-degree yoke rotation with the cable plugged in
- Improved physical dials
- Improved color accuracy at low intensity
- Larger CCT tuning step
Who is Prolycht?
You may have never heard of Prolycht before. Prolycht is still a relatively new lighting company, that just like quite a lot of other lighting companies, has its roots in China. Their founder, Anqing Liu is a lighting research scientist who graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Smart Lighting Research Center and worked at Philips Lighting Research Center in Boston.
Prolycht has also gotten practical input from Rodney Charters ASC and Mitch Gross also serves as a technical consultant.
The Orion 300 FS is not the companies first light, they also make the Thunderlite and Thunderlite ONE.
The build quality of the original Orion 300 was pretty good and fairly on par with the latest Aputure fixtures. The new Orion 300 FS has a very similar build quality to the original, although they have improved a few elements.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Prolycht has stuck with the same controller/power supply that was supplied with the original Orion 300 FS. This is well made and robust.
The locking mechanism on the original Orion 300 was pretty bad. I found that I could still move the light when it was fully locked down. You also have to remove the locking mechanism to pack the light away, which was a little inconvenient.
Thankfully Prolycht has listened to the feedback and now the locking mechanism is a lot more robust and the fixture won’t move around when it is fully locked down. You also no longer need to remove the locking mechanism when you are packing the light away.
I’m glad that Prolycht has stuck with the thick and robust power connection cables that came with the original.
Prolycht also strengthened the Bowens mount.
As far as the design goes, it does look a lot like an Aputure fixture. Whether this is on purpose or just coincidental, I’ll leave that for you to decide. In saying that there are only so many ways you can design a COB spotlight in this form factor and most of these types of fixtures all look fairly similar.
The design consists of the lamp head and a separate power supply/controller. This is fairly common with lights such as these. Having multiple components can be a pain, but it does allow you to use the light on smaller-sized light stands because you don’t have all the weight sitting just on the fixture itself.
A lot of today’s modern lights are now a seamless blend of hardware and firmware. The Orion 300 FS, like so many of the new lights coming to market, is an example of blending software and hardware. With software playing such a big role, lighting companies can continue to improve and update fixtures over time via firmware updates. This does give them somewhat of an advantage over older fixtures.
Quite a few LED lights on the market, including the Orion 300 FS, are using COB technology. COB stands for “Chip On Board” where multiple LED chips are packaged together as one lighting module. The advantage of COB LEDs being multi-chip packaged is that the light-emitting area of a COB LED can contain many times more light sources in the same area that standard LEDs could occupy. This results in a greatly increased lumen output per square inch. The caveat with COB LEDs is that they produce a ton of heat and that heat needs to be effectively dispersed. You also need to diffuse them as they are very bright to look at and unsuitable for directly lighting talent.
Weight & Size
The Orion 300 FS weighs in at 3.7kg / 8 lb. This is a few hundred grams heavier than the original that tipped the scales at 3.5kg / 7.7lb. What you need to clearly factor in is the power supply weighs an additional 3.2kg / 7 lb.
So how does this weight compare to some other similar fixtures?
Just to be crystal clear, some of these lights don’t have the features of the Prolycht Orion 300 FS. I am simply giving you a reference as to how it compares weight-wise to other similar styled fixtures.
The original Orion 300 has a problem where even though the light could physically travel 360 degrees around on the yoke frame, once you plugged in the power cable in, it would hit the yoke frame at a certain angle.
With the new Orion 300 FS, that issue has been solved. Prolycht has made the yoke frame slightly longer and now it doesn’t have clearance issues.
The light draws 320W. So how does that compare to other competing fixtures? Below you can see.
The light can also be run off V-lock batteries as the controller/power supply features dual V-mount (or AB Gold Mount depending on the version you purchase) battery plates. As the light only draws 320W you can run it off two flight safe camera batteries at full power.
Prolycht also includes a nice mounting bracket for the power supply so you can attach it directly to a lighting stand if you wish.
It is nice to be able to power a light like this from two flight-safe camera batteries. This does give it somewhat of an advantage over other competing fixtures.
Controls & Menu System
The Orion 300 FS controller/power supply uses a nice sized LCD screen that clearly shows you information about the light. While it is not a touchscreen, it is still pretty quick to access all of the available lighting modes and make changes. It is one of the easiest interfaces I have ever used.
The design and look of the screen clearly take inspiration from the ARRI Orbiter. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
With a good light, you shouldn’t have to read a manual to work out how to operate it. You should be able to turn it on and use it straight away. You won’t find any deep sub-menus or complicated way of making changes on the Orion 300 FS. In fact, Prolycht has actually removed a few menu items from the original fixture.
The physical dials that you use to control the light were ok on the original, but I personally felt that they could be a little more tactile. Prolycht has improved them slightly on the Orion 300 FS, but I still feel like they could have gone further. The intensity/selector dial is better, but the other two dials don’t have the same tactile feeling.
Prolycht has a very easy way to save and recall presets. This is really well implemented and it allows you to jump between saved settings very quickly.
The menu also gives you the ability to adjust the dimming curves, the fan speed, check the operating temperature of the fixture, update firmware, etc.
The light can be controlled via Bluetooth using the Chromalink App.
There is a range of parameters that you can adjust using the Chroma Link app.
I also like that you can save favorites and then also bring them back up very quickly.
What is new is that there is now a color picker function that you can utilize within the app. This allows you to use your camera to capture certain colors that the Orion 300 FS will then attempt to replicate. Prolycht even gives you the added ability to alter those colors that you have selected.
What is also nice is that Prolycht has added a video record mode so that you can use your phone to capture a scene and then play it back. When you play it back the fixture will try and replicate those colors it is seeing in real-time.
Above you can see a video showing the interface and how it works.
The app is straightforward and easy to use. I like how they have made it intuitive and visually appealing. Lighting control shouldn’t be overly complicated.
It is certainly one of the better lighting control apps I have seen or used.
If you need further control and you want to adjust multiple Prolycht fixtures as well as other lighting fixtures from a wide array of companies you need the Chroma Link Pro app as well as an ArtNet system.
6D Light Engine
We are seeing a lot of lighting companies now using RGBW technology. RGBW stands for Red, Green, Blue & Warm White. There are, however, other types of RGB such as RGBWW and RGBAW.
The Orion 300 FS actually utilizes Red, Green, Blue, Amber, Cyan, and Lime LEDs. It is interesting that the Orion 300 doesn’t use any white LEDs. Instead, they are mixing all of those different color LEDs to produce white light. This is exactly what ARRI does with the Orbiter. Hive Lighting has also been using 7 LED-chip blending. Instead of the traditional 3 colors, Hive uses red, amber, lime, cyan, green, blue, and sapphire.
Just how well the Orion’s light engine works, we will see later in the review.
The light has 6 key lighting modes:
- Lighting Effect
- Single Color
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
This is the mode most people are going to use the light in. In the CCT Mode, you have full access to making Kelvin color temperature adjustments between 2000-20,000K.
The fixture also has continuously variable (full minus green to full plus green) correction.
Being able to dial in more or reduce the amount of green coming from your lighting source can make a huge difference. Different camera companies use different sensors in their cameras and they all react differently to light. Some camera sensors may lean towards magenta, and some, more towards green. By making CCT adjustments you can dial in the light so that it looks better for whatever camera system you are using. CCT adjustment also helps when you are trying to match lights from different manufacturers.
The Kelvin color temperature range is impressive and it should suit most people’s needs.
On the original Orion 300 when you were operating in the CCT Mode, you could choose to set the light to either High Performance or High Brightness. I am glad to see that this option has been removed on the Orion 300 FS. From my testing of the original light, I found that there weren’t any real-world conceivable differences between these two modes.
The HSI mode lets you create just about any color you can think of. It gives you full hue and saturation control as well as intensity. By manipulating, the hue and saturation you can create some really interesting colors that depending on the project you are working on can really add some creative flair. I quite like using this mode to create a lot of color separation between the foreground and background, or for recreating a really cold or warm-looking image.
The colors are represented as degrees from 0-360.
Because the interface has really good visual aids it is so much easier to dial in the exact color you want to create. On some lights, you have to use dials with no visual reference.
Inside the fixture, there is a huge assortment of industry-standard gels from both Lee and Rosco. In fact, you can choose from 318 Rosco/LEE Gels.
Having built-in Digital Gels not only means that you don’t have to physically carry gels around, but you can also quickly and easily replicate popular gels. Using the gel mode can help you match other lighting sources, especially if you are working with other lights with physical gels.
You can select 5600K or 3200K and then the selection of gels you see will change.
Source mode builds on the Gel mode, and it gives you access to a huge range of pre-mapped lighting sources.
Whether you want to replicate a computer monitor, a green traffic light, a mercury vapor bulb, or a warm antique bulb, this light has you covered.
There are now 46 natural/artificial light sources you can choose from. These are incredibly handy when trying to match other ambient lighting sources.
The 6D light engine allows the fixture to deliver a lot of very realistic full-color lighting effects.
Effects mode lets you recreate a wide range of lighting effects that can be handy for certain scenarios. The effects include:
- Club Light
- Cop Car
- Light Strobe
- Skin Tone
- CCT Sweep
- Fluorescent Flicker
- Color Chase
- Clouds Passing
All the effects modes can be individually adjusted and tailored to your lighting needs.
In this mode, you can individually adjust the colors of the 6 LEDs being used by the Orion 300 FS.
What does the Orion 300 FS offer that its competition doesn’t?
The Orion 300 FS offers a lot of functionality and features that are not found in similar-sized lights with similar power draws. The only other two similar spot lights that you could really compare based on features and functionality, are the ARRI Orbiter and the HIVE LIGHTING Super Hornet 575-C Open Face Omni-Color Led Light.
Prolycht decided that to have their light stand out they needed to make something that offered a lot of functionality and features, without having a massive price tag.
Other comparable fixtures with a similar power draw and design don’t have anywhere near the features that are found in the Orion 300 FS. For instance, the Godox VL300 is a daylight 5600K only fixture, as is the Nanlite Forza 300 LED Monolight.
Let’s compare it directly against the three lights it most closely resembles are the Aputure Aputure Light Storm LS300X, HIVE LIGHTING Super Hornet 575-C Open Face Omni-Color Led Light, and the ARRI Orbiter.
|Prolycht Orion |
|Aputure Light Storm |
|Mount||Bowens-S Mount||Bowens-S Mount|
|Battery Plate||Yes, 2x V-Lock|
(or AB Gold Mount)
|Yes, 2x V-Lock|
|Weight||3.7kg (lamp head)|
|7.3kg (lamp head)|
|Prolycht Orion |
|HIVE LIGHTING Super |
575-C Open Face
Omni-Color Led Light
|Mount||Bowens-S Mount||100mm diameter |
Profoto-type modifier mount
|Battery Plate||Yes, 2x V-Lock|
(or AB Gold Mount)
|No (only 48V DC IN)|
|Weight||3.7kg (lamp head)|
|2.49 kg (lamp head)|
3.63 kg (controller/
Orion 300 FS
|Mount||Bowens-S Mount||Quick Lighting Mount (QLM)|
|Battery Plate||Yes, 2x V-Lock|
(or AB Gold Mount)
|No (only 48V DC IN)|
|Weight||3.7kg (lamp head)|
|15 kg (Including Yoke)|
How does it stay cool?
Large, high-powered COB lights get very hot, and keeping them cool is not an easy task. Using fans is the best solution, but the caveat with fans is that they can create noise.
The Orion 300 FS has a couple of large fans to deal with the heat.
Above you can see what the fans looked like on the original Orion 300.
The light gives you the option of changing the fan speed. You can set it to:
The fans in the original Orion 300 were quite noisy and this noise was certainly the fixtures Achilles Heel. On the original, I couldn’t tell much of a difference in noise between Low, Medium, and High. If you did turn the fan to Off there was a temperature icon on the screen that showed you how hot the light was running at. This big issue was that if you set the fan speed to Off and tried to run the light at higher intensities the fan would just come back on automatically. This was a problem I faced when using the light, especially when crucial sound recording was needed.
Prolycht has certainly improved the fan noise on the Orion 300 FS. It isn’t nearly as loud, but there are still some caveats that you need to be clearly aware of. In the various fan setting modes, there are limitations depending on what you choose. Below you can see what those are:
In the Silent Fan Mode, you are limited to using the fixture at just 25% output. In Low Noise Mode, you need to be in an environment where the ambient temp doesn’t exceed 30c / 78F.
The High Speed Fan Noise is still pretty loud and you do need to be aware of this if you are using the fixture in hot environments. The Low Noise Mode is very quiet and the Medium Noise Mode is still in the confines of what I would consider being fine for recording critical audio., as long as that audio isn’t happening right next to the light.
New with the Orion 300 FS is the addition of an optional 2x Fresnel attachment. This is a relatively compact and lightweight Fresnel that certainly increases the Orion 300 FS’s versatility. The 2x Fresnel utilizes a proper glass Fresnel lens, it isn’t made out of acrylic.
The 2x Fresnel has a flood/spot range of 30° to 12°. It also comes with a set of barndoors. Now, optically this is a 12-45 degree fresnel, however, as the lamphead already features color mixing optics, when it is aligned to the Fresnel, the light’s output is actually only 30°.
On the Fresnel, Prolycht has marked 45°, as technically this is the specification of this fresnel, but on the product specifications, it is listed as 30°. This is the beam angle of the total light output.
So, does it cut well? With the barndoors you can’t cut the light in a similar way to how you would if you were utilizing an HMI. This is something a lot of LED Fresnel’s struggle with. Above you can see some quick examples with the light set at 30°. As the beam angle of the Fresnel only goes as wide as 30° you are not going to be able to obtain a good cut.
If you try using the 2x Fresnel at 12° with the barndoors you will find the same issues as with running it at 30°.
Is there any color fringing? I was impressed with the lack of color fringing I was seeing when using the 2x fresnel. Prolycht has done a great job with making sure that you don’t get any nasty surprises with the 2x Fresnel.
How is the fall off? I took a series of measurements at distances away from the center of the beam when using the 2x Fresnel at 12° and 30° to see how linear the fall-off was and if there were any hotspots.
The 2x Fresnel definitely creates a hot spot in the middle, especially at 12°.
Above you can see lux readings taken at the corresponding distances from the center of the beam at a distance of 3m when the light was used at 12°. You can see that the hotspot in the middle is around 33% brighter than if you take a reading 30cm to the left or right.
The intensity of the light then starts to drop away quite dramatically from 30cm to 50cm away from the center of the beam.
Above you can see lux readings taken at the corresponding distances from the center of the beam at a distance of 3m when the light was used at 30°.
At a distance of 3m when using the 2x Fresnel at 30° the center of the beam is around 21% higher than it is 30cm from the center. Once you start moving outwards from 30cm the illumination levels start to drop off quite quickly. The disadvantage the 2x Fresnel has when compared to a lot of HMI fixtures is that they can usually go out to around 65°. That does allow you to create a much wider light source which is handy if you are in smaller spaces.
While the 2x Fresnel does perform well, the beam angle adjustment range is fairly limiting.
So now let’s get to the photometric results. I always test lights in this way so that I get a reference to how they compare to other fixtures. Results only tell part of the story and should never be used alone to judge a light. I have found from extensive testing over the years that certain lights that have good photometric results don’t always look good, and lights that have worse photometric scores can sometimes look better than their results indicate.
You can’t judge a light from one set of photometric results. You have to look at all of the different results to be able to come to a conclusion.
Different lights can also look different depending on what camera you happen to be using.
Output & Color Temperature Accuracy
I tested the Orion 300 FS at a variety of Kelvin color temperatures with a Sekonic C-800 Spectrometer to find out how much output the light had and how accurate the Kelvin color temperature reproduction was. All readings are taken at a distance of 1m (3.28ft) in a controlled environment. The readings were also taken directly from the lighting source. In the case of using the light with the Reflector and Fresnel, they were taken from the edge of those attachments.
5600K (open face)
Above you can see the Orion 300 FS recorded an output of 26400 lx (2450 fc) when set at 5600K and used open face.
The light recorded a Kelvin color temperature reading of 5543K which was very good.
3200K (open face)
Above you can see the lights output when it was set at 3200K in the open face configuration was 24200 lx (250fc), which is 8.3% less than the 26400 lx it produced at 5600K.
As far as Kelvin color temperature accuracy goes, it recorded a very accurate reading of 3155K.
So, now let’s see how much output the light has when used with its standard reflector.
5600K (standard reflector)
Above you can see the lights output when it was set at 5600K with the standard reflector was 25900 lx (2410 fc). This was marginally less than the 26400 lx it produced at 5600K when used open face. It is important to note that this measurement was made from the edge of the reflector.
As far as Kelvin color temperature accuracy goes, it recorded a very accurate reading of 5665K.
3200K (standard reflector)
Above you can see the lights output when it was set at 3200K with the standard reflector was 25000 lx (2320 fc), which was only 3.47% less than what it output at 5600K.
As far as Kelvin color temperature accuracy goes, it recorded a reading of 3148K which was a very good score.
How does this compare to the Aputure Light Storm 300x?
|Output at 5600K||CCT (K)|
|Prolycht Orion 300 FS||25900 lx |
|Aputure Light Storm 300x||17500 lx |
|Output at 3200K||CCT (K)|
|Prolycht Orion 300 FS||25000 lx |
|Aputure Light Storm 300x||15100 lx |
*The Aputure Light Storm 300x was previously reviewed on the site.
How does it compare to some other fixtures? Below you can see:
Below you can see how the output of the Orion 300 FS compares to some HMI fixtures at a distance of 3m.
Please note that the readings from the two K 5600 Lighting options and the ARRI M8 are claimed figures. I haven’t independently tested these lights.
While the Prolycht is quite different from a light like the Joker2 and M8, at least you can get some idea of how its output compares.
How does it perform at various Kelvin color temperatures?
Summary of results (standard reflector)
These results show me that the light’s output is fairly consistent at most Kelvin color temperatures and that it has the most output when used at 4500K. The output across the 3200K to 10,000K range only varies by 10.8%.
The results also show me that the light is highly accurate when it comes to Kelvin color temperature reproduction throughout its range. It doesn’t matter what Kelvin color temperature you run, the Orion 300 FS is very good throughout its entire range.
The consistency of the Orion 300 FS, is to me, one of its most impressive attributes.
+/- Green adjustment
As the fixture includes +/- Green adjustment you can quite easily correct any tint. While there is no exact science to this, and it really depends on what camera you are using as well, it’s just a matter of trial and error to see what setting actually works the best. The nice thing is, any light with +/- Green adjustment can be fine-tuned to deliver better results.
Kelvin color consistency when dimming the light
Now, what you should always do when testing lights is to see if the Kelvin color temperature remains consistent when dimming the light. Just because you set a light at say 5600K, that doesn’t mean that the Kelvin color temperature will remain stable as you start dimming the fixture down.
I decided to do a series of tests at 100%/75%/50%/25%, and 10% to see if the Kelvin color temperature being recorded changed. This was done at a distance of 1m using a Sekonic C-800.
The Orion 300 FS maintains good Kelvin color consistency once you start dimming the fixture. My testing showed that the Kelvin color temperature only drops by 149K by the time you hit 10% output. This is a big improvement over the original Orion 300 which had quite a significant drop off in Kelvin color consistency once you started diming the light down. It is good to see that Prolycht listened to feedback and addressed this issue.
So let’s now have a look at the output you get when using the optional 2x Fresnel attachment.
Full Spot 12°
Above you can see that when used in its full spot position of 12° at 5600K it recorded an output of 99700 lx (9260 fc). It is important to note that this measurement was made from the edge of the Fresnel.
As far as Kelvin color temperature accuracy goes, it recorded a decent reading of 5509K. This does tell me that the Kelvin color temperature is getting changed slightly when using the 2x Fresnel in its full spot position. However, the slight difference isn’t dramatic enough to be of any real concern.
30° (Full Flood)
Above you can see that when used at 30° at 5600K it recorded an output of 95000 lx (8820 fc). It is important to note that this measurement was made from the edge of the Fresnel.
As far as Kelvin color temperature accuracy goes, it recorded an almost perfect reading of 5614K.
5600K (standard reflector)
So now that we have seen how much output the Orion 300 FS produces, how does it perform when it comes to replicating accurate colors. Above you can see that when the light was set at 5600K using the standard reflector it recorded an average CRI (R1-R8) of 97.2 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 96.06. For replicating accurate skin tones it recorded for R9 93.2 (red), 98.7 for R13 (closest to caucasian skin tones), and 99.5 for R15 (closest to Asian skin tones). These are excellent results.
As a comparison, the original Orion 300 recorded an average CRI (R1-R8) of 96.8 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 94.78. For replicating accurate skin tones it recorded for R9 92.3 (red), 98.9 for R13 (closest to caucasian skin tones), and 98 for R15 (closest to Asian skin tones).
The light, when set at 5600K, recorded a TLCI score of 96.
3200K (standard reflector)
Above you can see the scores for when the light was used at 3200K. It recorded an average CRI (R1-R8) of 96.3 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 94.85. For replicating accurate skin tones it recorded 89.8 for R9 (red), 98.7 for R13 (closest to caucasian skin tones), and 97.3 for R15 (closest to Asian skin tones).
These results were fairly similar but not as good as when the light is used at 5600K.
As a comparison, the original Orion 300 recorded an average CRI (R1-R8) of 96.7 and an extended CRI (R1-R15) of 95.47. For replicating accurate skin tones it recorded 95.4 for R9 (red), 97.3 for R13 (closest to caucasian skin tones), and 97.3 for R15 (closest to Asian skin tones).
The light, when set at 3200K, recorded a TLCI score of 91.
How do these figures at 3200K and 5600K compare to the Aputure 300x and ARRI Orbiter that we have previously reviewed? Below you can see:
So let’s see how the color rendering when using the Orion 300 FS with the 2x Fresnel at 30° compares to the ARRI Orbiter when it is used with its 30° Optic.
CC Index & ⊿uv
The CC Index displays the CC correction value and whether any magenta or green need to be added or subtracted. 1 CC corresponds to 035 Kodak CC values or 1/8 Rosco filter values. Any reading less than +1.00 or -1.00 and you’re probably not going to need to make any kind of adjustment. The ⊿uv is the value to show how much this light is away from being an ideal light source (black body radiation = incandescent lamp). As with the CC Index you want this number to theoretically be zero. Kelvin is not a linear value, so we need to convert from Kelvin to MK-1 to compare the values of color temperature. To calculate from Kelvin to Mired is MK-1= 1*1000000/Kelvin. While this may sound confusing, it is the only way of measuring if the Kelvin shift is significant enough to warrant having to use a filter for correction. Below are the results for the Prolycht Orion 300 FS:
Kelvin Vs MK-1
|Kelvin||Difference in K||MK-1||Difference in|
|ACTUAL READING||2538K||38||394.01||-5.99 MK-1|
|ACTUAL READING||3148K||52||317.66||5.16 MK-1|
|ACTUAL READING||4542K||58||220.16||-2.06 MK-1|
|ACTUAL READING||5665K||65||176.52||-2.05 MK-1|
|ACTUAL READING||6546K||46||152.76||-1.08 MK-1|
|ACTUAL READING||8015K||15||124.76||-0.24 MK-1|
|ACTUAL READING||9955K||45||100.45||0.45 MK-1|
These figures might look confusing, but what it tells me is that the light is very Kelvin color accurate at all temperatures. Any MK-1 score that is under -9/9 means you wouldn’t have to use any color correction gels. The MK-1 scores for this light were extremely good, especially at 4500K and above.
CC INDEX & ⊿uv
TM-30 is a relatively new color rendering standard that was developed to deal with the limitations of CRI. TM-30 looks at 99 individual colors. These 99 colors are categorized into seven groups: nature, skin color, textiles, paints, plastics, printed material, and color systems.
TM-30 scores go from 0 – 100. The higher the score, the more accurate a light is at producing colors. Any TM-30 Rf score in the ’90s is considered to be good. What is interesting and something that you need to be very aware of is that two separate light sources with the exact same CRI scores can render colors very differently. A light with a high CRI rating could have a low TM-30 score. Conversely, a light with a good TM-30 score could have a bad CRI score.
Now, there are two measurements associated with TM-30, Rf and Rg.
Rf (Color Fidelity)
Rg (Color Gamut)
With Rf value, ideally, you want a score in the 90’s.
With Rg value, a score below 100 indicates that the light source renders colors with less saturation than the reference source. So ideally you want this score to be above 100.
Above you can see the scores for the Orion 300 FS at various Kelvin color temperatures. Below I have listed the figures as well.
The TM-30 scores are all good and it shows me that the light is pretty consistent at replicating accurate colors with full saturation.
SSI (Spectral Similarity Index) was developed by the Sci-Tech Council of the Academy. SSI gives me the ability to set any light as a standard, or use predefined standards (such as CIE D55), and then give other lights an SSI score based upon how well they will match standards such as CIE D55. This way I can measure spectral response and compare it directly against an ideal light source. This is actually a much better test than recording CRI scores.
In this graph, the red bars indicate a perfect Planck 3200K source. The gold bars indicate a perfect 3200K Tungsten source. This lets us compare how close to a perfect 3200K lighting source the Orion 300 FS is. Any SSI score in the high 70’s, low ’80s is very good for a 3200K LED light. As you can see, LED lights have a hard time replicating colors below about 450nm.
As a comparison, above is the results for the ARRI Orbiter.
In the graph above the gold bars indicate a perfect CIE D55 source. The red bars indicate a perfect CIE D 5600K source. This lets us compare how close to a perfect 5600K lighting source the Orion 300 FS is. A score in the low 70’s is typical for a 5600K LED source.
As a comparison, above is the results for the ARRI Orbiter.
The main reason we want to record SSI scores is so we can see how well they match with other lights. As an example, I wanted to see how well the Orion 300 FS matched the ARRI Orbiter and Lupo Dayled 2000 Dual Color Pro. Below you can see the results.
As you can see neither lights are a perfect match to the Orion 300 FS, but you could potentially fine-tune the lights to try and get them to match more closely. In saying that, a score in the ’90s is still reasonably good.
As another test, I thought I would compare those same lights against the Orion 300 FS at 3200K. Below you can see the results.
As you can see, both lights had similar scores, but again, they weren’t an exact match to the Orion 300 FS. In saying that, very few lights from different manufacturers are ever going to be an exact match.
SSI tests are a great way of telling you what lights you own or use will work well together.
Above you can see the spectral distribution of the Orion 300 FS when it is set at 5600K. The spectral distribution is very full, but you can see a few spikes.
As a comparison, above you can see the spectral distribution of the ARRI Orbiter.
Above you can see the spectral distribution of the Orion 300 FS when it is set at 3200K. The spectral distribution certainly has a slight push towards green and it’s also missing some color information in parts of the spectrum. Although, with +/- Green adjustment you could easily correct this.
As a comparison, above you can see the spectral distribution of the ARRI Orbiter.
As the Orion 300 FS uses a Bowens mount you can attach a large range of accessories and modifiers.
I previously tested the original Orion 300 light out with the Focal Lens attachment. This is a really nice option for the light and it allows you to cut the light and create various shapes and patterns using drop-in gobos and gels, etc.
You can use the attachment to cut the light into very small shapes. Above you can see what was possible to do. The cut is super clean and there isn’t any color fringing or light fall-off at the edges.
Above you can see the gobo drop-ins you can use with the attachment.
Real-World Performance & Quality of Light
As I always say, photometric scores only tell you part of the story. So let’s find out if the scores from the Orion 300 FS translate into good real-world performance.
The photometric results can only give me scientific data and it is much more important for me to see how the light looks and performs, especially with skin tones.
Unfortunately, it is very hard at the moment with the Coronavirus for me to showcase the strengths of the light. I live in Japan in an apartment so there isn’t a lot of space to do much testing. I have still tried to do as much as possible, I apologize that I can’t do more!
It is very easy to create a very soft, flattering light source using the Orion 300 FS. I found that by using a softbox you could create a very soft lighting source without needing to punch it through a diffusion screen. This makes it a very quick and easy light to use for interview situations or for any scenario where you need soft light.
Above you can see what the light looks like with the optional softbox being used. For these examples, the light was only set at 25% intensity.
The softbox also produces nice soft shadows as you can see from these examples above.
It also works well when you punch the light through a large diffusion screen or into some polyboard.
So how linear is the fall off from the Orion 300 FS when using the optional soft box? Above you can see. I tested the light at a distance of 3m to see how linear the fall off was once you started moving away from the center of the beam spread. The light has a nice linear fall off when using the soft box.
While the softbox does a pretty good job, despite having a beauty dish, it still has quite a hot spot in the middle.
I also liked experimenting with the light, especially by using some of the in-built library of filters. By choosing a filter and then balancing your camera to that light, you can create some interesting looks because your background lighting sources take on different color tones.
Who is the Orion 300 FS aimed at?
You could use the Orion 300 FS for lots of different applications, but the light is certainly being targeted as a versatile, high output, lighting fixture for professionals in the TV and film industry.
It is priced to appeal to owner-operators who are looking for a jack of all trades lighting solution. The Orion 300 FS has the ability to be a hard light source, a soft source, a fresnel, a gobo, a Source 4, or just about anything else you want it to be.
The Orion 300 FS is likely to appeal to solo shooters and small crews who are looking for a similar light to an Aputure 300x, but with more features. I personally think it makes for a good solution due to its output and feature set.
I personally think it is certainly one of the most versatile lighting fixtures that are currently on the market.
Price & Availability
The Prolycht Orion 300 FS retails for $2,150 USD. This makes it a very appealing prospect for those shooters who are looking for a light that offers features and functionality that are only currently found in much more expensive fixtures.
I do feel for any buyers of the original Orion 300 because that light was only released around 6 months ago. Hopefully, early adopters of the Orion 300 may get some type of trade-in or discount on the Orion 300 FS.
Below you can see how the price compares to the competition:
|Prolycht Orion 300 FS||$2,150 USD|
|ARRI Orbiter||$6,300 USD|
|HIVE LIGHTING Super Hornet 575-C||$5,999 USD|
|Aputure Light Storm LS300X||$1,199 USD|
|Godox VL300 LED Video Light||$749 USD|
|Nanlite Forza 300 LED Monolight||$829 USD|
Just to reiterate, the Godox, Nanlite, and Aputure don’t have a lot of the same features as the Prolycht Orion 300.
The Orion 300 FS can be used with a ton of affordable accessories due to having a Bowens-S mount. However, Prolycht also makes its own accessories. Below you can see how much they cost:
- Prolycht Orion 300 Fs Fresnel 2X Lens Kit $320 USD
- Prolycht Orion 300 Fs Projection Lens Kit $350 USD
- Prolycht Orion 300 Fs Dome Softbox Kit $190 USD
- Prolycht Orion 300 Fs Lantern Softbox Kit $90 USD
- Prolycht Orion 300 Fs Long Signal Cord (10M) $150 USD
The Orion 300 FS is a very impressive fixture, and Prolycht has certainly made it better than the original. Its versatility and range of lighting modifiers make it a fixture you can use for so many different applications.
The Orion 300 FS is fully featured, extremely versatile, and it produces a really nice quality of light. A lot of thought has gone into this fixture and it offers features that are only found in lights that cost significantly more money. Having the 2x Fresnel and Projection Lens gives it even more of an edge over some of its competition.
The interface and operating system are super easy to use, as is the app. By utilizing a Bowens Mount you can utilize a large array of lighting modifiers without having to spend a ton of money.
Prolycht solved the fan noise issue and they also fixed the locking mechanism and yoke frame. I am also glad o see that they took my feedback and now the light no longer alters the Kelvin color temperature dramatically when it is dimmed down.
In my opinion, the light is priced well given its feature set, output, and capabilities.
If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles that come with a light like this then you may well find that the Aputure, Godox, or Nanlite fixtures are a better option given their lower price. If, however, you are looking for a more affordable option than an ARRI Orbiter or HIVE LIGHTING Super Hornet 575-C, then the Orion 300 FS makes a lot of sense.
The Orion 300 FS is an impressive fixture and it does a lot of things really well, without needing to compromise on any of them. I have reviewed a lot of lights over the years and the Orion 300 FS is right up there with some of the most impressive fixtures I have reviewed or seen.
Like what we do and want to support Newsshooter? Consider becoming a Patreon supporter and help us to continue being the best source of news and reviews for professional tools for the independent filmmaker.