Review: LitraTorch Adventure Lighting Paparazzi Bundle
A perfect example of function informing form.
There are a few small-form-factor action lights on the market now, and one that’s getting the spotlight recently is the LitraTorch. The LitraTorch came about from a successful Kickstarter campaign late in 2016 and now is available from over 200 of the leading photography stores.
At its heart, the LitraTorch is a big battery with eight daylight-tuned LEDs attached to it, but what a heart. It’s a perfect example of function informing form, with its rugged 810G Mil-Spec aluminum casing that’s waterproof to 10m/30ft.
The team at Litra had key design criteria for the Torch: ensure that the light could go anywhere, and we mean everywhere, that a GoPro Session 4 (or 5) action camera could go. That meant it needed to keep up with extreme athletes of all kinds, be sturdy enough to survive inevitable falls, and mount on a variety of equipment.
With two standard 1/4-20 photography mounts, a strong magnet to mount on anything available, a removable belt clip and a GoPro swivel mount in the standard equipment set I’d say it’s met that remit. It also comes with a diffuser hood, a small USB cable for charging, two adhesive metal pads to turn non-metal surfaces into a suitable magnetic attachment point, and a cold shoe adapter.
That’s the standard LitraTorch, but Litra also sent over their full Paparazzi Bundle for review. That expands the accessories somewhat, with their Cold Shoe Ball mount, a tabletop tripod that also can be used as a handle and a huge array of filters. This includes 3 sets of Rosco Tungsten 4600k filters, 3 sets of Rosco Tungsten 3200k filters, a white diffuser, and red, yellow, green and blue thicker filters. These are great for adding warmth to your scene, combating the color cast of underwater photography or adding accent lights.
I’ve got a fully repurposed bedroom full of studio lights at home, along with some larger on-camera video lights. That said, they’re cumbersome to set up and totally impractical for outside. This microlight from Litra is amazing for when I don’t want to carry bulky equipment around, and I’ve found that it’s even replacing most of my studio work. With the three lumen settings (up to 800 lumens continuously) and the super bright 2200 lumen strobe mode, flexibility has increased, while still lowering setup time.
It has an ultra wide beam angle that’s perfectly matched to both the GoPro’s field of vision and the human eye, and a 5700k Daylight Temperature with a blended light with no hot spots and no flicker.
I was recently photographing a small drone under a canopy of trees and without the LitraTorch, I would have struggled to get enough light bouncing off the underside of the drone to differentiate it from the light coming through the trees. I’ve been using it to add mood lighting to product photos and even to help me fix a minor plumbing issue under my sink.
It’s great as a fill light in awkward places as it takes up no space and the size makes using it as an on-camera light barely register as extra weight. The only minor issue I found was with the tabletop tripod, the plastic material is fairly smooth so it could benefit from some rubber feet to stop it skating around.
I love how little space it takes in my camera bag, and I think I need a few more of them to fill the space that my old light used to occupy. This light does everything correctly, while staying fairly cool to the touch. It’s no understatement to say it’s pushing my creativity to new heights. The LitraTorch is a triumph of minimalist ideals and function informing form and it has won my heart (and a home in my kit bag).
The company has just launched their newest product, the LitraPro which is a bi-color on-camera light, so expect to see more releases from them going forward. We’ll be getting one to review once available, so in the meantime check it out on Kickstarter.