Action cameras such as the GoPro have changed how people shoot and share footage.
Whether you are taking one for a dive, exploring a cave, climbing a mountain, strapping it to a bike or just messing about with friends; the applications for the GoPro appear to be near-limitless. That is until it comes to rapidly changing light conditions, especially low light or night levels.
Enter stage left Australian company Knog. A name not that well known (yet) in Scuba circles. These chaps come from the bike world and are respected for their bike locks and high-powered bike lights. After spotting a gap in the market, Knog has used their knowledge and developed the world’s first ever hi-powered action video light for the GoPro, and unveiled it at 2014 Boot Dusseldorf. It is called the [qudos] and pronounced Kudos.
Ardent underwater photography fans will probably be underwhelmed by the [qudos] because of the inevitable potential for backscatter, especially when diving through bloom or in silty conditions. The standard compact mount format, ideal for virtually all other uses, is not immune to backscatter, meaning the light, like all other dive lights, would need to be mounted on an arm away from the lens. However we can see that divers that just use their GoPro to capture fun footage, or are seeking a compact backup light for more complex rigs, will probably find this light useful.
The [qudos] pairs with the GoPro 2, GoPro Hero3, Hero3+ Hero 3+ and Hero 4. Should you use the GoPro conversion mounts, you can also attach this light to other action cameras that work with these mounts, including the Sony action camera.
The [qudos] has three high-powered CREE LED lights that deliver 400 lumens of light and the user is able to control the beam. There are three different modes that affect light spread and brightness. The Action Sports setting delivers a wide-angle beam at either 400 lumens on high or 225 lumens on low. The Target Spot mode delivers a more narrow angle beam at 155 lumens on high and 100 lumens on low. Finally, the Ambient mode produces a softer, ultra wide-angle beam at 270 lumens on high and 70 on low.
Weighting in at 150 grams, the [qudos] is manufactured from marine grade aluminium that acts as a heat sink. We have not been able to find the depth rating. Knog state the [qudos] is tested to pressures greater than 5 bar and can be dived to 40 metres. This makes it compatible with the current GoPro depth rating. The long-lasting 1000mAh lithium-polymer replaceable, rechargeable battery can be charged via a micro-USB and you can also buy spare batteries for longer adventures. The battery itself has a burn time of up to 4 hours, depending on mode and lumen level, and there is a handy battery level indicator that alerts you as to how much battery life remains.
All in all this seems to be a natty, sleek compact GoPro companion light. Has Light and Motion missed the boat with their version? (This company recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the research, development and production of their 'Sidekick'.) Only time will tell. The Knog [qudos] GoPro Light is available to purchase now.