Fix Neo 3000 Review
I had been using the Sunray 2000 lights for the last several years and did see a reason to change. I finally flooded the battery compartment on one and so started looking around at my options for new video lights. After chatting with the guys at Reef Photo and Video I decided to give the Fix Neo 3000’s a try.
From the moment the tiny packages arrived I was blown away by the size and weight on the lights. Just picking them out of the small box it was unbelievable that these tiny units could produce 3000 lumen of light! Because I travel extensively, weight and size are huge considerations for me. These small packages have knocked 10’s of pounds off my gear load. The lights came complete with several mounting options including a mountable handgrip, no need to buy expensive adapters. Also included were a charger, spare o-ring and small pot of silicone grease.
After unpacking I threw the lights into my carry-on bag and headed to Mexico without even turning them on, frankly not knowing what to expect. On arrival I unpacked and started paying a bit more attention to my purchase. First impressions were of a well-made product with a well thought out, easy to understand display and easy to use controls. Once the o-ring surrounding the head seal have been prepared and the battery inserted, the units where ready for charging. Charging takes place via two brass inserts on the back of the lights. There is an index pin on the charger connection to make sure polarity is correct. I have since done several dives and recharged the lights several times without opening the lights themselves. No more removing batteries to charge. The display is clear with options to see power settings or time remaining in minutes. Output can be controlled in 25% increments with a single push of a button or by 1% increments by using the arrow switches.
Have I mentioned how small these lights are? First dive I used them on was a night dive. The quality and quantity of light was fantastic, way passed anything I could have expected from these “little guys”. Between the 2 lights there was more than enough coverage for my Tokina 10-17mm on a Metabones speed booster with my Sony FS700’s Super 35 sensor. The light was constant through out the wide bean with no hot or cold spots and no modifier or reflector shapes. There was more than enough output at 3000 lumen to shoot the lens stopped down to where I wanted it at the ISO I wanted. Although shooting in the dark was a great way to see the details of the lights shape and quality, the real WOW didn’t happen until shooting them in bright sunlight the next day.
The shot list called for shots of shallow coral heads inside the fringing reef. We were free diving the heads shooting between 10’ and the surface in crystal clear water under full sun. I was shooting 4K at 120fps (shutter at 125) recording to a Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q recorder. My lens was stopped down to around f16 and I was alternating between a ¼ and 1/16th ND filter shooting up into the sun. On a pass of some glassy sweepers hanging around a hole in the reef, I switched on the lights hoping for a little extra foreground color and shadow fill but not expecting much shooting up against the sun so closed down. The results were amazing, the lights bought the scene to life popping the color, balanced well against daylight and filling in the dark holes and shadows perfectly. I couldn’t be happier with the performance of the Neo 3000’s, add that to their reasonable price and great feature and I’m really happy with my purchase. Have I mentioned how small they are?
Marc's work can be seen on his website here: www.marcmontocchio.com