On a recent visit to Dan Patrick Studios, I was lucky enough to land the opportunity to get my hands on the new Litepanels Gemini 1x1 Soft Panel. To say how impressed I was would be a big understatement. Lightweight and super easy to set up, the 1x1 was a winner coming right out of the case. Let’s take a look.
I love design that makes sense, and the 1x1 is full of great design elements. The controls and functions on this unit are in the same place as where they are on the Gemini 2x1.
New users will find the control panel and settings are easy to read and understand. If you have a basic understanding of color temperatures, or if you just want to get some quick lighting underway, it can be accomplished in a very short amount of time. The unit is very sturdy and can be used on a C stand, on the floor, on a tabletop or even just holding the unit.
We started out using the 1x1 as a key light and then later as a small fill. Later, I was using the 1x1 to punch up some backgrounds and it worked quickly and with minimal effort. They do say that time is money. From a practical perspective, the 1x1 worked as I needed it to and, once again, the presets made it incredibly easy. With just two of us on the shoot, we needed to make adjustments quickly and the 1x1 didn't hold us back.
From a creative standpoint, I just couldn’t get enough of the 1x1. There were more than enough choices to go around. Actually, at one point I had to stop and just decide on a couple in order to get the shoot done! One of my own favorite features was the built-in gels. Setting up "mood" shots was a breeze.
A Few Standard Effects
Independent shooters rejoice! Now you can add in some really nice lighting effects with the 1x1 without killing the budget that you don’t have. An added bonus is that you get these in real-time and you control the intensity. Here are a few of my favorites.
Emergency/Police Lights Red and Blue
This one was great. I had my neighbors coming out just to see why the police were at my house. They were that good. No, the real police don’t usually show up at the house. Remember: one instrument can produce big results.
This spot on effect the produced a funky glow that had the right color temp and that little flicker that mimicked a real television. It's perfect for those 70’s flashbacks.
If I was shooting a psychological thriller or a sci-fi film, this might be the perfect choice. One can use the variable settings to speed up or slow down the terror. It's spooky, to say the least.
Built For "Normal" Production People
Weighing in at a mere 11 pounds, the 1x1 is easy to cart around. You don't have to be a bodybuilder to schlep it around. My favorite secret weapon? Snap on an Anton Bauer and you are free and clear to maneuver about with no power cables limiting your mobility. This flex set up gives users lots of choices. Hold it by the handles, or even put it on the end of a stand arm, the 1 x 1 just became an even more powerful tool.
Because the 1x1 is versatile, you can gain a lot of lighting freedom. For example, I recently wanted to shoot during Magic Hour, but it just wasn't working. We grabbed the 1x1 and set it to a nice dark red and orange wash. In less than 30 seconds, I was able to set the Magic Hour "glow" exactly to my liking without having to wait for the sun. The 1x1 allows you to save settings, so I can revisit that effect at any time in just a few seconds.
Litepanels Gemini 1x1 Technical Specifications
Voltage Range: 100-240VAC, 13-28VDC Power Consumption: 200W (nominal) LED Technology: RGBWW Color Temperature: 2700-10000K
Lighting Intensity: 3.2k @ 10ft / 3m = 557 LUX, 5.6k @ 10ft / 3m = 614 LUX
CRI / TLCI: Daylight: 97, Tungsten: 94 Beam and Field Angle: 95° / 157°
Control: Built-in WIFI, DMX (5 PIN & RJ45), Optional Wireless DMX, Bluetooth, SmartLite Director App
Color Controls: Kelvin Temperature, plus/minus green, Hue, Saturation, Intensity, Gel Presets
Low End Dimming: From 0.1%
Battery Powered: Optional plates available, runs at 90% output on single 14.4V battery, or 100% on 26V or dual 14.4V batteries
Cooling: Fan, at 50% output when disabled. Fan delayed start option
Mount: 1-1/8” (28mm) pin, Standard Yoke, stackable as 2 & 4 units
Fixture Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 4.6” / 320 x 320 x 119mm
Weight: 11.7lbs / 5.31kg
The Litepanels Gemini 1x1 might be one of the best values in the lighting market today. It's easy to quickly set up and use. I can see this unit becoming a trusted piece of gear for independent shooters and studios alike, even with other solid products in this market segment. As with most if not all gear selections, I think you need to test drive before you spend your money.