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Mountdog 1350W Softbox Lighting Kit
The Mountdog kit provides enough light for a YouTube video or small group photo. The Mountdog 1350W Soft box Lighting Kit is one of the cheapest soft box 3-point lighting kits that also includes super bright 135W CFL bulbs. If you’re starting to make videos or shoot portrait shots on a tight budget this might be the soft box lighting kit for you. If you are after the best lighting for webcasting the Mountdog kit will certainly fit the bill.
What’s in the box
- 3x 20″x28″ soft box
- 4x 135W CFL Daylight Bulbs
- 3x 80″ Tall Studio High Light Stand
- 3x Soft box Diffuser
- 1x Stand with Boom Arm
- 1x Sandbag
- 1x Carry bag
DIY Video Studio review
A soft box is a step up from using photography umbrellas. With a soft box, you have better control over where you direct the light. Whereas shoot-through umbrella lights will spill light all around your video or photography studio (for most of us that a spare bedroom or living room).
So, what do I think of the Mountdog lighting kit?
The biggest takeaway is that this 3-point soft box lighting kit is cheap. Even so, it produces a bright soft light that will improve your YouTube videos or product photography, thanks to the included 135W CFL 5500K daylight bulbs (which are large).
But as they say, in terms of build quality, you get what you pay for. You will get good service out of the kit provided you take care when using the gear. Adding some weights, or sandbags, to the light stand legs would probably be a good idea.
Don’t expect the quality and durability you would expect from professional lights. Having said that, you are still getting a good beginner deal with the Mountdog kit. You can expect to pay more than double its price to get the next quality level of lights. And if you really aspire to professional lights, be prepared to spend many hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
So, this kit really is a bargain. If a low price on reasonable quality starter gear if your priority, then the Mountdog kit will be the best lighting for webcasting or YouTube vlogging.
Considering the price of the kit it’s surprising that a spare 135W CFL bulb is included. That’s a bonus I’ve not seen with most other video lighting kits, especially with such a large bulb.
This kit is right for you if you’re a beginner who needs controllable bright soft lighting while on a tight budget.
The kit doesn’t come with instructions, but it should be obvious what to do. If you’re unsure, search YouTube for “Three-point lighting soft box lighting setup and tutorial“. Once you know what you’re doing you should be able to set up the Mountdog soft box lighting kit in under 10 minutes.
The soft boxes are OK and easy to set up. They have four umbrella-like rods at each corner that open by turning a ring where the bulb is later screwed in. Once you screw in the bulb, cover the open face of the soft box with the translucent nylon diffuser. It attaches around the edges with Velcro. The bulb lights this up so it effectively becomes your soft light source.
There’s a simple on-off rocker switch on each light’s power cord but the cord isn’t long so you will need some extension cords.
Returning to the CFL light bulbs, Mountdog says the bulbs have a CRI of more than 95. That means the lights will render colors, such as skin tones, naturally. Considering the price of the kit, having four such bulbs is impressive.
- Inexpensive. Includes bright 135W bulbs.
- The kit’s easy to set up.
- Produces a nice soft light.
- A spare bulb is included.
- Not dimmable.
- The power cord is short.
- The light-weight stands can topple over.
- Short electric cords.
The bottom line
Would I buy this kit?
If I were an enthusiastic beginner, a YouTuber beginner, or an online business that needs good quality product shots the answer would be YES!
What’s not to love? The Mountdog kit would be a good video lighting choice for a home or office video/photography studio, provided you have a reasonable amount of space.
In truth, I got a near-identical light kit when I started out. The brand name was different but it still pretty much the same kit. A few years on I still have the kit but now use it together with other lights and accessories.
Here are some of my favorite content creation tools
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, you found it helpful in creating your own content for your social media and YouTube channels. I have listed some of the gear I use as a YouTuber and online course creator and hope you’ll also find it useful. I have recommended this equipment to my readers and my own family and friends.
Audio Recorder: I use Zoom digital recorders to capture good quality audio for videos, podcasts, and radio/TV advertising. Unlike SLRs the Zoom Handy recorders can record from multiple sources simultaneously, ideal if you have two or more people speaking. I’ve used the H4n, H5, and H6 and would recommend them to anyone.
Camera: You can use your smartphone when starting out, but I’d recommend getting a Mirrorless Camera. I use both the Canon EOS R and EOS R6. Both can shoot Full HD or 4K, and the Eye AutoFocus will keep you sharply in focus even if you move around. If your budget is smaller, I would recommend the Canon M50 MkII.
Video microphone: Arguably, sound quality is more important than video quality, that’s why I use a Deity V-Mic D3 Pro super-cardioid shotgun microphone on my mirrorless cameras. It automatically powers on when I turn on my camera and powers down when I switch off the camera. But I also like the versatility of the mic. It automatically senses what device it is connected to ensuring it works with SLRs, camcorders, smartphones, Handy recorders, laptops, and bodypack transmitters.
Video Lighting: Although daylight is my favorite lighting, I use LED lighting for all the videos I shoot indoors because good lighting can make a tremendous difference to the visual appeal of a video. For video calls on Zoom or Teams, I use the Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting Kit. For YouTube videos and creating video tutorials for online courses, I love the Lume Cube 18″ Cordless Ring Light Kit. Both these lights are excellent, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.
Teleprompter software: I use the iCue teleprompter app on my iPad when using it with a traditional beam-splitter teleprompter and control it remotely with the iCue Remote app on my iPhone. On my PC I use Teleprompter Pro from the Microsoft Store.
Teleprompter hardware: Teleprompters help you present to the camera without needing to learn your script. When I need more screen space and the durability of an all-metal build, I like the Glide Gear TMP100 beam-splitter teleprompter. It works with my mirrorless cameras and uses an iPad or tablet to run the teleprompter software.
Tosh Lubek runs an audio and video production business in the UK and has been using the Canon EOS R since it was released in the Autumn of 2018 and the Canon EOS R6 in 2020. He has used both cameras to shoot TV commercials broadcast on Sky TV, promotional business videos, videos of events and functions, and YouTube creator content. He has also won several international awards for his advertising and promotional work. You can meet him by visiting his “video booth” at HashTag Business Events across the country.
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