Nocturnal Lights M700i Video Lights

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"I had the pleasure of taking the new Nocturnal M700i mini video lights for a test dive on my trip to Crystal Blue, Philippines.  These are a new product from NocturnalLights.com.  The little lights are rated at 700 lumens, with an 80 degree beam, and a burn time of 1.5 hours.  I was a bit skeptical on these little lights, especially when teaming them up with my Keldan Luna 4’s.  But I discovered that though my Luna’s sometimes provided too much light, the M700i’s can provide just enough light on a macro subject.  The video grabs are straight from the camera, no color correcting.  I did crop some a bit.  They were shot with my Canon HF S10 in a Light & Motion Bluefin Housing, and a bunch of diopters.

On a bright reef, I’m always battling the big light in the sky.  When I turn up the Lunas I tend to get harsh shadows, as is shown with the first nudibranch video grab.  When I add the light of the M700i’s low on a subject, it softened the shadows.  In the second nudibranch grab, the belly becomes more defined.

Night dives bring out a different group of critters.  Many are spooked by bright video lights.  With the M700i’s I was able to capture many of these.  Mandarin Fish and Bobit Worm are very shy, but with only the M700i’s I was able to get close to a few of them.

The M700i’s really excel at close focus macro shots.  The first Skeleton Shrimp grab is with the Luna’s, everything is bright, and a bit blown out.  The second Skeleton Shrimp grab, is with only the M700i’s.  Colors are better, the backscatter is less.  Just enough light!  These are sequential shots; the shrimp are about 3/8” tall and 3” from my port.

With most of the new still cameras having a video option, the M700i’s would be a great addition to any camera system.  They could perform a dual function as a focusing light and a video light.   At about $200 each, it’s a great lighting value."

-Walter Marti

Harsh shadows and less definitionSofter shadows with more definitionShrimp is bright and blown out
Better color and less backscatter