SmallRig RC60B Light | A Compact & Powerful Lighting For Content Creators
SmallRig is known for its cinema-oriented camera equipment, especially its namesake, the “rig”, AKA cage-style accessory mount system for your mirrorless video camera. In addition, SmallRig makes innumerable accessories, including focusing aides, matte boxes, tripods, power supplies/batteries, and lighting. Today, we are checking out the newly announced portable light, the SmallRig RC60B.
The SmallRig RC60B is a wireless, battery-powered constant light. Compared to the existing RC-series studio-quality LED video lights, the RC60B is impressively portable; both lightweight and compact. Its built-in battery allows for full-power illumination for up to 40 minutes, and there is USB-PD charging to allow the use of affordable external power via battery banks.
In this article, we are going to dive into the details of the RC60B, and why we think it’s a great new option for our videography teams here in our own studio!
SmallRig RC60B Specifications
Brightness: 2500 Lux (bare bulb), 13000 Lux (w/ Dish)
Color: 2700-6500 Kelvin
Charging: USB-PD, high-speed charging
Size: 11.5cm x 11.5cm (4.5×4.5 in.)
Mount: 1/4-20 w/ angle adjustment
Attachments: Softbox, (mini Bowens) umbrella, external battery holding clamp
Weight: 750g (26.5oz)
SmallRig RC60B Key Features
At our studio, we combine wedding photography and wedding videography almost every weekend. Working together as a team is usually very easy, however, our lighting setups can often differ greatly! Videographers don’t appreciate strobe flashes, and photographers don’t appreciate the bright, daylight-color constant video lights.
This is why our teams have learned to really appreciate lights such as the SmallRig RC60B, for various reasons. First and foremost, being able to dial the color temperature to match the ambient light makes a world of difference. Secondly, being able to control the video light, either softening it with a softbox or spreading it out across a whole room, allows both video and photo shooters to work together very seamlessly.
Last but not least, of course, our video teams rely heavily on cordless lighting; especially around a crowded wedding reception dance floor where an extension or power cord is just never a good idea. For this reason, we love lights that have a built-in battery system, and it’s even better when that light also accepts external, portable power that doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall.
For all of these reasons, we’re very interested in lights such as the SmallRig RC60B.
As any filmmaker will tell you, one of the most annoying things about growing the size of your production is, of course, power, and more specifically, the power cables. The SmallRig RC60B addresses this problem with its built-in battery that can last up to 40 mins at full brightness, which is quite respectable. (We will update this article if we can learn the time of the battery life at lower power settings!)
Additionally, the RC60B accepts direct USB-PD power, making it effectively not just hot-swappable, but relatively infinite. We already have a lot of USB-PD power banks to power our cameras, so, as long as you’ve got USB battery banks, your production won’t ever have to stop!
For those who work on-location, and anyone who works in crowded areas, portability and simplicity are incredibly underrated features. Whether you are doing a photo shoot on-location, or an all-day wedding in a packed venue, or any sort of event, convention, etc, being portable and cord-free is a godsend.
This is why we always opt for cable-free operation whenever possible. Of course, if necessary, we like our power sources to be portable as well!
For this reason, built-in battery systems, and portable battery packs, have become ubiquitous for us. The SmallRig RC60B fits that description very well, as we’ve mentioned. The impressively lightweight and compact size are major bonuses, too.
Silent Cooling Fan
Since LED style lighting can indeed get hot when using full power for extended periods, cooling is important. The SmallRig RC60B has built-in cooling, and the fan is virtually silent, according to SmallRig. If you’re working in any real-world environment such as a wedding, fan sound will undoubtedly be a non-issue, and on a totally silent sound stage, the right audio equipment (such as a directional shotgun mic) should allow you to work exactly as you normally would.
Bright & Color-True
Despite its compact size, the RC60B offers quite a lot of light. To be precise, the bare LED light alone offers 2500 Lux at 1m and 5600K, (color temperature) and up to 13000 Lux with the standard reflector dish.
The color of the light itself can vary from 2700K to 6500K, which is perfect for matching both indoor artificial light as well as outdoor natural light, including “blue” overcast conditions. As we mentioned, this is incredibly useful and we now consider it to be an absolute necessity for our high-production filmmaking needs.
Both brightness and color temperature are controlled via the RC60B’s elegant, simple knobs, on a color LCD panel.
SmallRig V-Mount 99 Pro Series Battery
Along with the SmallRig RC60B light, the V-Mount VB99 Pro battery has also been announced. This major update to their popular battery includes a handful of changes, including physical durability (it now has a metal housing) and a color LCD.
Most importantly is the impressive level of power output the new 99Wh battery is capable of: In addition to the D-Tap output and barrel-type 8V and 12V outputs, there are also two USB-C ports, (one can do both charging and powering) as well as one standard USB-A type port.
The thing we noticed was that, unlike many other batteries, this new SmallRig Pro series battery is capable of putting out the full power to all USB ports at once, instead of diminishing/dividing power output among all the ports.This is especially important for devices that require adequate USB-PD power, such as the latest mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon, and Sony, as well as lights such as the RC60B.
Price for the V-Mount VB99 Pro battery will run around $279.
Conclusion | SmallRig RC60B
At our wedding photo & video studio, we are always interested in the newest lighting technology, and the improvements we’ve seen over the last 10+ years have been impressive. This is definitely another exciting new light that we will look forward to giving a try very soon! It’s compact, it’s wireless, it’s bright, and it offers the color spectrum control we have come to demand.
A light such as this will allow our photographers and videographers to work easily together, with synchronized color temperatures between a constant video light and a strobe flash that might sometimes be gelled to match the ~3000K ambient light.
Of course, for the longer work days and the more challenging types of conditions, the built-in cooling fan will come in handy, as well as the ability to power the RC60B with any USB-PD power bank, including the new 99 Pro-series battery.
Stay tuned for more information and hopefully an in-depth review sometime in the near future!