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LIT Flash for Smartphone Photographers News & Insight

LIT Flash – A New Off-Camera Flash for Smartphone Photographers

By David J. Crewe on April 18th 2019

Marko Pirc, creator of Lumu Light Meters, has introduced an effortless light-shaping experience for mobile photographers with bluetooth connectivity and high-speed sync (HSS). The LIT Flash is an innovative new handheld wireless Xenon Flash that’s designed to meet your mobile photography needs while attempting to change how smartphones are used in photography.LIT Flash Handheld with Smartphone

 

Watch the Kickstarter video for the new light below.

“As a photographer myself, I sometimes struggle with either getting the best shot possible with available ambient light or having enough control over the light and mood of the final photo.

So our team decided to bring a powerful Xenon flash into the hands of mobile photographers. It turns complex photography setups into seamless playful experiences for the mobile-first era.

Leveraging all the smartphone technology traditional cameras lack enables it to be the first intelligent wireless Xenon flash ever made. Our ultimate goal is to bring light mastery within the reach of any mobile photographer.

All the photographs you ever see coming from us are made with mobile phones and LIT Flash.” – Marko Pirc

LIT Flash in hand and pocket for scale

Flash Power & Remote Triggering

With exposure times ranging from a few seconds to 1/10s, the LIT flash boasts being incredibly simple to use and very powerful. The system states it eliminates the hassle of complex setups by giving you an intuitive & powerful tool for fast creative production turnarounds. You can even trigger your phone’s capture remotely with a button located on the flash unit itself , allowing you to “light paint” a series of images (see GIF below for an example).

LIT Flash Prototype at full power. Triggered with built-in remote capture button. Distance - 130 feet (40 meters). Settings - 1/30s, ISO 300, shot on iPhone 8 Plus + LIT Flash

Cost & Shipping Dates

The LIT flash is expected to ship to backers of the project by January, 2020 (if they make good with their promise), with an expected MSRP of $329; early pledges, however, can get the system at a very large discount for just $179!

Technical Specifications

  • Flash Power output: 40Ws at full power (equivalent to Guide No. ~32)
  • Flash Power settings: 1/1 to 1/256 (100-0.4%)
  • Flash Duration: 1/350 to 1/30,000 Second
  • Modes: Classical, HSS
  • Recycle time: 0.1-2.5 Seconds
  • Flash-Ready Indicator: Yes
  • Light beam angle and shape: 90°, cone shape, even light distribution (no hot spots)
  • Battery: Built-in Li-Ion, 2800 mAh, 3.7V
    • Charging: USB-C
  • Battery life on a single charge: 200 full-power flashes, 400 flashes in real life usage (as tested)
  • Photo capture triggering: with app or with Flash (remote capture button)

LIT Flash Button view

  • Exposure control: Auto (TTL), Creative modes, Manual
  • Mounting options: 1/4” tripod thread and bayonet accessories mount
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.4 x 1.5″ / 105.0 x 65.0 x 38.0 mm
  • Weight: Approx. 8.8 oz / 250 g
  • Compatibility: iPhone (7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max); Android (full range of compatible phones to be announced)
  • Wireless Sync: Bluetooth 5.0 (works with lower versions as well)
  • Wireless Range: approx. 130 feet (40 meters)
  • Multi-flash Sync: Yes, up to 4 units, controlled separately from the app
  • My precious: With this (optional) setting, LIT Camera app notifies you (even if closed) if your LIT Flash gets out of reach + shows you the “last seen” location of it. Alternatively, triple pressing the LIT Flash button will make your misplaced phone ring even if it’s on silent.

Some Comparison & sample images below;

Normal Smart-Phone Flash (left) vs LIT Flash (right)

Normal Smart-Phone Flash (left) vs LIT Flash (right)

 

Smart-Phone Flash (Left) vs LIT Flash (Right)

Smart-Phone Flash (Left) vs LIT Flash (Right)

 

No Flash (Left) vs With Lit Flash (Right)

No Flash (Left) vs With Lit Flash (Right)

 

Special Feature

An interesting feature listed above in the technical specifications is the “My Precious” tool. It will alert you if your flash gets out of range of your phone and will show you it’s last known location before it lost connection to your device. Conversely, triple tapping the LIT Flash’s button will make your phone ring (even in silent mode), allowing you to find your phone if the opposite happens. You can also sync up to 4 units together (controlled by the app), which gives you the ability to set up some pretty complex lighting scenarios for a mobile device.

The LIT Flash has really only just launched through its Kickstarter campaign and is already well past 1/2 of its goal with nearly a month left to go. Even with the early-bird pledges qualifying you for a very large discount on the MSRP, the price point still seems a bit high for a device that you can technically only use with your mobile phone. Granted, I’m not much of a mobile shooter, so I’d love to hear from those of you who do a lot of work with your smart phones.

What do you think? Does this seem worth it? Does the price point seem fair given the features you get? Can you see yourself using this on your photowalks? Let us know in the comments!

 

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David J. Crewe is a full-time commercial photographer and Senior Editor with SLR Lounge. Based out of both Southern California & Las Vegas, Nevada.

View his work and blog: DavidJCrewe.com

Follow his Instagram: @DavidJCrewe

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Steve SLR Russell

    One of the main drawbacks to cell phone photography has been lighting. Once good off camera lighting is available, cell phone photography will increase.

    Some of the cell phone cameras have great capabilities – except lighting. Whether many people will be willing to pay the price for these devices remain to be seen.

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    • David J. Crewe

      Very true, and functionality of those devices is key, how much manual control do we get, or even need?  Again, kinda pumped to see what you can pull off with these new bluetooth lights for mobile phones. 

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  2. Calvin Pennick JR

    I have been waiting on something like this. I like using my phone to quick portraits of people. I have experimented with trying to get my phone to trigger a flash with photocell unsuccessfully. I will definitely be getting one of these.

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    • David J. Crewe

      Be sure to let us know how it goes when you do! We’d love to hear your thoughts and see some sample shots

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