Published on October 11th, 2014 | by Greg
Knog Qudos Action: A Whole Lotta Light For Your Action Camera
For a product that has come to define an entire category of gear and inspired a legion of competitors, the GoPro line has quite a few surprising limitations. Nikon, Canon and other DSLRs- not to mention micro four thirds systems- have a pretty large ecosystem of accessories, many of them made by the manufacturers themselves. It’s not just cases and straps and protective gear, but audio solutions and especially a wide array of lights. Because with video, sound and optics matter, but lighting is almost as important.
The Knog Qudos Action may sound like a random collection of syllables, but this Australian company makes a wide array of biking solutions, including locks and even computers. But they’ve burst into wider attention thanks to their new powerful, portable, LED light. Designed specifically for use with GoPro 2, Hero3, 3+ and 4 cameras, it’s a go-anywhere, see-at-night add-on that allows you to continue using your action camera after dark. Once dusk comes, even twilight gets hard for most cameras to handle, and without much control, you’re likely to be left with a grainy, ultra-dim video once the sun approaches the horizon. With Knog Action’s adjustable brightness, you can start with just a bit and then boost it as conditions require, from 70 to 400 lumens.
Weighing in at only 150 grams, the unit is IP68 tested and waterproof to 40 meters, so you can even take it caving, snorkeling, swimming, or diving. There are three light modes, depending on what you’re trying to capture- ambient (which uses two bulbs), a narrower-angle single-LED target spot, or an action sports mode which offers the brightest setting. The lithium ion polymer battery life varies, of course, based on output but you can expect from 45 minutes to over 4 hours of constant runtime and a five hour recharge time via USB. Included in the box is the appropriate mounting bracket and hardware for GoPro users, but we were big fans of the cold shoe/tripod adapter, for use with DSLR cameras. Best of all, the build quality is excellent, all brushed aluminum that looks and feels great and is strikingly sturdy and it’s all nicely packaged to boot.
We might have liked other light color options, or the ability to have it flash. In terms of color temperature, the Knog Action’s 5,000 K felt a little cold to us, but pretty similar to daylight. Available in either black or silver versions, it’s a great addition to your gear- for divers especially, many waterproof lights are more expensive. For action and sports camera fans, don’t let darkness get you down- the Qudos Action by Knog runs $120 or so directly.