Back in 2014, we were one of the first websites in the world to review the original Relio cube light. Back at the time, there was very little competition when it came to small, portable quality LEDs. Since then many things changed and there is now an ample amount of different shapes, sizes, prices, and types of compact LEDs for photographers and videographers. This is why Relio had to reinvent itself. The new Relio 2 – currently on Kickstarter might look fairly similar to the original version on the outside but inside it is a very different light with a very high-end target audience and a whole range of interesting accessories.
We recently had a talk with Marco Bozzola, the founder of Relio, and learned many interesting things about the product and how it came to be as well as the companies plan for the future.
Relio 2 for specialized fine art uses
Relio came to the development of its second-generation product realizing that the consumer/prosumer part is already taken by many other companies. This leads to the development of a product that is in its core a professional product (think of it as a relatively affordable scientific tool with applications that can include photography and videography among other things).
Nonphotographic uses of the Relio
We wanted to know who might need such a highly accurate small LED and the answer we got was very interesting. Apparently, there have already been quite a few costumers in different fields for the light (these have been early samples we are guessing) including some very interesting ones doing art reproduction (including on Leonardo da Vinci works), in stop motion studios (using a special DMX – more on that below), with super high-speed photoshoots (with BOLT robots and Phantom cameras), as well as commercial nature and food photography (using a unique cross polarizer also discussed below).
Art reproduction with Relio
The Relio 2 comes in 5 versions at different color temperatures – 2700K, 3200K, 4000K, 5600K, and a special UV (395nm) variant (there are other options on special order). Depending on the specific variant the Relio 2 can go up to CRI 98 and TLCI of 96 – one of the highest numbers in the industry.
Unlike the original Relio, the new version is fully controllable from an app using BT and users will be able to program it and could also use it with a future DMX for advanced work with software like DragonFrame for stop motion.
Future DMX that can control the unit
The Relio 2 has a magnetic micro-USB plug-end insert and it comes with USB cables (1.5m/3m) which are used to power the light (Relio’s philosophy has always been that the battery should be separated from the light – that is since Li-Ion batteries tend to fail after a few years while the Light itself can work for a much longer time and USBs are not going anywhere.
The studio edition of the Relio 2
The Relio 2 will have a whole range of accessories including several magnetic attachments such as Gels holder, Snoot 10mm, Snoot 20mm, Bulb simulator, Diffuser and Cross-Polarizer. That last one we find particularly interesting, using the Cross-Polarizer and a polarizer set correctly on your lens you can almost completely eliminate glare/reflections caused by light on glass and other reflective or semi-reflective surfaces (we can’t wait to test this one actually).
Another innovation currently developed alongside the Relio 2 is a USB 6 port hub (just for the Relio 2 cables at the moment) that can take Sony style NP-F batteries and has a magnetic back and 1/4″ and 3/8″ threads on the back – super useful if you want to power several Relios at the same time anywhere.
The Relio 2 6 port hub
There is much more to say about the Relio 2, and we hope to review it as soon as a review sample will become available in 2020.
In the meantime, if you want to order your own or get more information you can do that on the project Kickstarter webpage.
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