LensVid Exclusive: Genaray LED-7500T Variable-Color LED Review
Late last year we received a relatively small and compact LED with color control and an inexpensive price tag. The Genaray LED-7500T ticks many of the right boxes but is it good in real life as it is on paper – let’s find out.
The Genaray LED-7500T is the first LED in a list 4 lights that we have received recently from different manufacturers and we shall review here in the next few weeks (we do want to mention here our previous review of the tiny Italian Relio LED Light). What is common to all this series of LEDs is that they are portable – 3 of them can use a battery – and all can be easily carried almost anywhere.
Portable and powerful – the Genaray LED-7500T
Some specs on the Genaray LED-7500T (more specs on the Genaray site):
- Power: 320 LEDs – up to 1500 lux brightness at 3 ft/0.9 meters.
- Color temperature – Adjustable from 2800K to 6500K.
- Dimming from 100-10%.
- Vertically stackable.
- Diffuser: Slide-in diffuser included in the kit.
- Battery: NP-F750 battery, AC adapter (110v-240v), and charger included.
- Extras in the kit: Small ball head included.
- Weight – 0.76 lb (340 g) without the battery.
- Price: $180 (on B&H).
Design and build quality
The Genaray LED-7500T is a budget light and as such it seems that Genaray decided to invest more in the kit (which is really nice including a large NP battery, charger and AC power plus a small ball head) and less in the materials of the light itself which is almost completely made out of plastic.
The light isn’t very big (10 x 4 x 2.25″ or 25.4 x 10.1 x 5.7 cm) and you can take it with you in most mid-large photo or video bags. It is very light on its own but with the battery it becomes a little bit heavier (of course if you have a smaller NP battery you can use it and it will be lighter).
The light has a diffuser which is a plastic part which slides in the front and held by 5 small plastic arms. I can’t really say that I love this design – it would be better if it would be held by a groove on the sides and not by these plastic parts which can break (not that ours did but we would not abuse this light too much).
In the center of the light you have 320 small LEDs – half are white and half are yellow and changing to color of the light is done by controlling the amount of yellow LEDs.
On the back there are two switches – one which is both the on/off switch and the dimmer and one which controls the color temperature. The on/off switch makes a click when it turns on and starts from about 10% power – the switch itself actually feels decent although as we mentioned in the video – we prefer that the on/off part is separate from the dimmer – in this way you can set the power level and turn the light on/off and get back to exactly the power level that you used before (it is simply more professional – but this is a budget light and to be honest even much more expensive LEDs use this trick).
The back of the Genaray LED-7500T
The color temperature switch moves in small clicks (you can’t hear them but you can feel them) – we have to say that the difference between the so called 2800k and the 6500k doesn’t feel that huge (yes you can see it – just watch the demo in the video) but maybe it is just us.
One thing we didn’t really care for is the way the battery is placed in this light. The holder is really annoying and you need to be careful that you firmly attach the battery (apply a bit of force) so it will hold in place and won’t fall. We are currently testing a Yongnuo LED which uses the same battery and has a much better way of holding the battery in place – Genaray should adopt this method.
Using the Genaray LED-7500T
Lets start with the good part – the Genaray LED-7500T is easy to use, light, portable and very powerful – all great things which made us get back to it again and again when we needed lots of power from a small light.
1.5 meter diameter light circle from 1.2 meters
However, there are a few things which we discovered from our extensive use of this light over the past few months. First, as we mentioned – you need to make sure that the battery is placed correctly and held well.
Next, you must have a fully charged battery and we would recommend that for any potentially long shoot (anything above 20 min at full power) you will have another extra battery, maybe even more than one) or of course – AC power – which is the best option ut it isn’t always available.
For a long time we had all sort of strange issues where the light turned off after a while either completely or partially (just the yellow). We didn’t understand what was going on and thought we had a defective unit but apparently the battery – which did function – just had low power (unlike other devices where the battery just dies at once – here it seems that it can last for a very long time but causes strange things in the operation of the light).
Again – our suggestion – use AC or carry several batteries and change the battery whenever you see a continuous red light in the back of the device.
One thing which was indeed a quality control defeat has to do with 5 of the yellow lights in the middle which after a few months stopped working – we are guessing that this is a contact problem inside the light (not that surprising in a budget light like this). Is this a deal breaker – not for me as you still have 315 other LEDs and you can’t really notice any difference in the light quality or power – so it is mostly just that fact that you know that a few other lights are not working but not an actual performance issue.
5 LEDs stopped working out of 320
We do want to add something which we found to very surprising – the Genaray LED-7500T almost never got hot – it became very mildly warm to the touch after some time, but nothing more – very nice considering how much light it emits and the fact that it isn’t that large.
If you are interested in the battery life – it is really hard to say since as we mentioned after some time the battery still works but the light starts to make strange things. Our suggestion again – use AC or get more than one battery and switch often.
The Genaray LED-7500T turns out to be surprisingly powerful, user friendly and provide a very attractive budget option – either as a backup light or as a 2’nd or 3’rd light for a pro shooter or as a portable main light for a beginner.
Of course being a budget light – the Genaray LED-7500T currently cost $180 (on B&H) – there had to be compromises – the body is very plasticy and as we mentioned we did discover some quality control issues with our model and you really need to be mindful of how the battery is connected.
Are there better overall lights out there – yes, however if you are on a budget and need the power and portability – the Genaray LED-7500T is worth taking a look at.
What we liked
- Very powerful for the size.
- Portable and very light.
- Nice kit for the price.
- NP Battery and power brick included (110v and 240v support).
- Dimmer and color temperature control (from 2800k-6500k).
- Almost never gets hot even after long use.
What we think could be improved
- Basic build quality (very plasticy).
- Battery attachment needs improving.
- Might have some minor QC issue (internal LED contacts).
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