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LIT is a wireless xenon flash for your smartphone

Those who want to experiment with external light sources in their smartphone photography have a fairly wide range of LED-powered lights to choose from. Things look a lot different though if it is a good old-fashioned xenon flash you are after.

The same people who brought us the Lumu light meter are now planning to change this, by launching a crowdfunding project for the LIT smartphone flash on Kickstarter. The LIT is a xenon flash with 40W power output and a built-in 2800 mAh Li-Ion battery that is good for 200 full-power flashes. It is capable of High Speed Sync (HSS) and works with smartphone shutter speeds from a few seconds to 1/10,000 of a second.

The flash communicates wirelesslessly with your device via Bluetooth and up to four flashes can be controlled separately via a dedicated mobile app. You can also trigger the camera shutter remotely by pressing a button on the flash. The unit comes with a 1/4” tripod thread and a bayonet accessory mount. It's compatible with newer iPhones and Android devices.

"By adopting good mobile app design principles, we will empower people with no previous flash photography experience just as much as more proficient photographers”, says Marko Pirc, LIT Vision co-founder and Head of Product.

If you would like to see what kind of results are possible with a LIT flash you should check out the LIT gallery on Flicker. Pledges on Kickstarter start at $179 and shipping to backers is scheduled for January 2020. The expected MSRP in regular retail is $329. For more information and detailed pricing head over to Kickstarter.


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there's always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

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Terrano

The end of the world as we know it.

2 days ago
KesterWong
KesterWong

Great idea, but pricing is too "greedy". It'll only be time before someone else like Xiaomi beat this by offering similar solution/product at one tenth of your MSRRP. Even at the Kickstarterpricing, I do not see how it is enticing let alone the risk of this project folding.
You're not an apple yet, but already are commanding the apple price.
Good luck LIT!

6 days ago
Melchiorum

I kind of fail to see the point of having a separate flash for my phone, especially when they want over 300 bucks for one. Why not design a flash trigger (like a transmitter/receiver kit) for the phone instead so one can use any standard speedlight with it?

1 week ago*
MarkoPirc1

Hi , it's Marko from LIT here.

Standard speedlights wouldn't work with your smartphone at exposure times shorter than approx. 1/60 second.
Which means if you shoot pictures anywhere outside of dim to averagely-lit rooms, your photos would be only overexposed.

In case of any other questions, I'm here. Thanks, Marko.

1 week ago
bazzk

II size is almost as big as mirrorless camera like Nikon 1 or Sony RX100 series in which will give much better image quality, much better control than any smartphones.

1 week ago
mxx
mxx

This looks like quite professional quality. Wish somebody would design something similar but much cheaper for the common guy/girl.

1 week ago
cdembrey

I can buy 6.5 LIT for the cost of 1 Broncolor L https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1250562-REG/broncolor_b_31_710_07_siros_l_400ws_battery.html The way I work 2 will be enough—looks like a bargain to me.

1 week ago
black pearl

Retail price will be $330.....and you can link four of them.

Are they completely out of their minds?

Who the hell is going to spend that much on ONE never mind drop over thirteen hundred dollars on four slightly odd looking flashes for a phone. :-)

1 week ago
cdembrey

Me! But I only need 2.

1 week ago
keeponkeepingon

So for $329 my iphone can catch up with my 7 year old nokia that had a xenon flash built in.

Gotta love progress.....

1 week ago
psartman
psartman

I'm interested in this, and yes I have a "real" camera and decades of pro experience. I consider the iPhone a serious camera. I have both versions of the Godox flash, they are hampered by a max sync speed of 1/45 second and mediocre apps. If this company has figured out how to sync at hight speeds, I'm in.

1 week ago
MarkoPirc1

Hi psartman, it's Marko from LIT here.
We did figure it out. :)

1 week ago
sh10453
sh10453

The late Ansel Adams photographed former president Carter using a huge Polaroid camera, for his official portrait.
LIT must be hoping that Trump's official portrait will be taken with a mobile phone!!!
They know that no one will pay $329 for this crap except the Pentagon and the White House! :-)

1 week ago
Reactive

"The unit comes with a 1/4” tripod thread...". So somebody who goes to the trouble of mounting it on a stand/tripod, then takes the precious photo with a mobile? The design reminds me of 1980s front bicycle light, and that was crap too.

1 week ago
cdembrey

I used to bicycle commute. A front light saved my life several times.

1 week ago
wasTF

Things 99,9% of people dont need and 75% of them have it lying around within a week or two.

1 week ago
Oleg Ivanovskiy

Nice looking and powerfull, but I believe there's Godox A1 / Ami for a fraction of the cost. Much less power, but still enough to trigger other lights or for single-flash portrait / product photography.

1 week ago
Johan Borg

The bigger question is the camera app, because the Godox app didn't exactly impress with image quality on my Note 8.

1 week ago
MarkoPirc1

Hi Oleg, Johan, it's Marko here from LIT.

Comparison between LIT Flash and Godox A1:
- it’s way more powerful (40 Ws vs. 8 Ws)
- you can use it with shutter times down to 1/10,000s (compared to approx. 1/60s with A1)
- has true TTL (A1 doesn’t have it) which means it has proper Auto Exposure mode
- has faster tap-to-capture time (50 milliseconds vs. approx. 500 milliseconds, according to measurements)
- has better light output (cone shaped even distribution with no hot-spots)
- it enables the use of accessories mounted on bayonet
- app experience is on a completely different level (it’s hard to explain until you haven’t tried both of them)

Please let me know in case you have any other questions!

Thanks, Marko.

1 week ago
LensBeginner
1 week ago
MarkoPirc1

Hi LensBeginner,
it's Marko here from LIT.

LIT Flash power is 40 Ws which is equivalent to Guide No. ~32.
Mobile phones have fixed Aperture at 1.7-2.2 (depending on the manufacturer and models) so this is plenty of power even for using it with 5 x 5 feet softboxes...

In case of any additional questions, I'm here,
Thanks, Marko.

1 week ago
supersteelman

"The expected MSRP in regular retail is $329"

hahaha you so crazy!

1 week ago
khunpapa
khunpapa

IF Acer was wiser and further develops its Zen Flash, there'd be no joking news like this.

For $300, one could buy good 1" compact camera. It may be somewhat out-of-date, but smaller than this flash and less clumsy.

We badly need flash that can illuminate buyer's eyes.

1 week ago
cosinaphile

anyone willing to part with 329 usd for this "gadget" has rocks in their head

color corrected led lights cost a fraction and wile they offer continuous light they are cheaper and guaranteed to be delivered , instead of gambling with kickstarter and ending up robbed

this excellent little flood light [LED] does 10 to 100 % dimming and can be taped and snooted with black tape for directional spotting it has integrated battery
its tiny well built and oh it cost 29 dollars for goodness sake 4.5 stars of 5 with 21 reviews a full 300 usd bucks less ...what?

now its not a flash but a flash and a continuous light do the same thing , continuous can have video use , further your modeling light is your light source simplifying your setup and time

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1147458-REG/ikan_iled_ma_micro_flood_light.html

1 week ago*
MarkoPirc1

Hi cosinaphile,
it's Marko here from LIT.

I agree with you. But, If you take photos at 1/100s exposure time (pretty standard duration), LIT Flash will produce slightly more than 100-times more light than 2000 Lumen LED (the one form your link doesn't have this info stated).
So, while any kind of additional external LED light source is a major upgrade from what’s on a smartphone, is still a very tiny small source of light, especially for anything more serious...

Please let me know in case you have any other questions!
Thanks,
Marko.

1 week ago
SlickShot

I always forget to carry mobile add-ons and I'd rather use a continuous light anyway, such as the Aputure Amaran M9/MX. Or just use the phone's light with an app like Lit Cam. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lit-cam/id1452017241?mt=8

1 week ago*
Mr Bolton

For $329 I can get a really nice pro-grade flash for one of my real cameras, use it to take a good picture, then Bluetooth transfer said good picture to my phone.

1 week ago
SantaFeBill

Add-on lenses, grips, cases, external lights - Wonder when someone will make a gadget bag for cellphones and all the accessories - or have they already?

1 week ago
morepix
morepix

Yes, you beat me to it. And don't forget a Polaroid filter, an ND filter, a lens shade, a gimbal for video, tripod. Then the light stand, umbrella, soft box (all these for selfies) ... . It's all downhill from here, the end of the smartphonecamera madness.

1 week ago*
cosinaphile

yes because a bag full of stuff for a phone is better than a bag with an actual camera https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4085647

1 week ago
GoodKnight
GoodKnight

The HSS is very interesting

1 week ago
sibuzaru

I found a product called Tric that tries to do that but with standard flash compatibility for $58. But I liked this idea of taking the picture directly from the flash unit

1 week ago
MarkoPirc1

Hi sibuzaru, it's Marko here from LIT, the main differences are:
- HSS capability for mobile phones, you won't get that from Tric or any other flash. Since doing HSS for mobile requires a couple of completely new engineering solutions (patented)
- true TTL

And of course user experience part: ease of use, enabled by tight software and hardware integration.

1 week ago
PaloAltoMark
PaloAltoMark

Yup, I just looked at the Tric video/web site listed above and the Tric is not a TTL solution. That means you need to manually adjust the flash output. OK, so now you have to take flash pictures via trial and error or bring a light meter with you. The latter is a ludicrous proposition, so it means trial and error to make this work. Tric is a much less expensive option, but it's also much less convenient. Not my cup of tea.

1 week ago
winkalman

"The expected MSRP in regular retail is $329."

Ouch. You could get a decent used camera (or a new YI M1) and a Godox flash gun for that kind of money.

1 week ago
Roland Karlsson

Looks very uncomfortable to hold one in each hand.

But almost all add on mobile phone camera gadgets are awkward. So why not this one.

1 week ago
kelstertx

Actually, that's how I use my Godox 36 LED light with my cell phone, and it's VERY convenient. You set the dial to the level you think is about right and then move your arm back and forth closer/further from subject to get the exact light level you want. Makes fantastic fill in low light (ie, club) environments -- way better than fill flash, and way better than ambient only. Because it's constant light, you can preview and get the shot perfect before taking one. Can't recommend enough. (Put a 1/4 CTO gel over it for proper warmth tho)

However, the Godox 36 is only about $19, so I see no need for this flash in my life. I'm sure it's brighter, but I don't need any brighter than my little Godox LED light. If I do, now there's a $29 version that has more LEDs and light output. No offense to those who do, but just not for me.

1 week ago*
Garug

I hope they would stick to the facts. I fail to see how the first photo is taken, certainly not with the flash on the table. So maybe with an other similar unit out of the picture?

I do not think they can synch the flash with BT, no way. So likely it stays on for 1 second or so, i.e is more bluetooth controlled light. That is cool, but why the need to make it look like something else than it is.

1 week ago
MarkoPirc1

Hi Garug, it's Marko here from LIT, check our prototype overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny1i0MPlJrE

1 week ago
samfan

Bluetooth flash? Most of the time I can't even sync my BT keyboard with my tablet without something messing up, how do they intend to to sync a flash over BT?

1 week ago
MarkoPirc1

Hi samfan, it's Marko here from LIT, check our prototype overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny1i0MPlJrE

1 week ago
cdembrey

I use a Sennheiser HD1 In-Ear Wireless Headphones, Bluetooth 4.1 with my iPhone XS. NO big deal.

1 week ago
Johan Borg

Been waiting for this from a company that has both made wireless flashes and phones (Sony, Samsung). Such an obvious improvement for a small sensor high-resolution camera.

1 week ago
otto k

Unfortunately, it faces the same convenience issue as standalone cameras. Phone is always with you. This thing - you have to remember to take.

It's also quite expensive - almost as expensive as an 1" camera with xenon flash (Canon G9x). Tough sell.

1 week ago
Giklab

>Iskra

1 week ago
landscaper1
landscaper1

I'm having a hard time imagining the person who uses a smart phone to take his/her pictures also being willing to cart around even fairly compact attachments (lenses, etc.) much less something every bit as bulky as their smart phone.

But hey, maybe I just have too limited an imagination.

1 week ago
samfan

It's weird but some people are totally willing to completely encase their phone with camera accessories in order to get an image that will be crappy anyway, with the kind of effort that makes proper photography look trivial, costing more than a decent ILC (just look at this $330 flash), weighting more, with ridiculously horrid controls.

But hey at least they need to use an external battery pack in order to be able to use the franken-camera for more than half an hour so that's a win I guess?

1 week ago
cdembrey

I have no problem imaging using 2 LIT for product shots. BTW the output of an iPhone XS is good enough to publish in a glossy magazine.

1 week ago
Horshack

Doing a google search I found a company named Tric with a solution already shipping for $58+shipping that you can can pair with an existing flash unit you own, or you can buy a cheap generic flash like a Yongnuo for a total solution cost of around $100. Not as clean/portable as what LIT is proposing but an alternative nonetheless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vDVuMD4nv8
http://www.tricflash.com/

1 week ago*
MarkoPirc1

Hi, it's Marko here from LIT, the main differences are:
- HSS capability for mobile phones, you won't get that from Tric or any other flash. Since doing HSS for mobile requires a couple of completely new engineering solutions (patented)
- true TTL

And of course user experience part: ease of use, enabled by tight software and hardware integration.

1 week ago
cosinaphile

this aint hss not over bluetooth at 1\10,000

im guessing it gives a 1\10 sec burst to cover virtually any exposure while masquerading as some super precision device

1 week ago
Will Sukmiof

If someone cares enough about a photo that he wants to use an extra light I would say he wouldn't use a smartphone in the first place.

1 week ago
camerosity

BUT more and more young people are using a phone as their primary camera. Full stop. So this flash is something that may be useful to them.

1 week ago
Roland Karlsson

Young people seldom knows their own good :)

A mobile phone might be a perfect camera to bring with you in many cases. But ... as soon as you want auxiliary stuff, you know you are on the wrong track.

1 week ago