Aputure 300D LS – 5 years proven longevity in film industry

First and foremost, you’re rent-proven longevity in the marketplace. Aputure 300D isn’t a light that I’ve seen fail on a film set, ever. It just works and works even after taking a bit of a beating. Having confidence in my gear is one of the most important intangibles as a working lighting technician.

If you’re not sure where you’re going to find power on your next shoot, this light can run off battery power. You do need two of them to run the light at full power, but it’s a really inexpensive way to have a powerful light on the go compared to 5 years ago. A cool feature is the light gives you an estimation of how long it can run at the current power level off battery power.

The box it comes in is a great piece of kit. And if you do some re-arranging it can hold all of the accessories that I’d normally put in with this light for a rental. Little efficiencies like this means the less boxes I need to bring with me on set, the less trips I have to take, and the faster I’m able to set everything up. While I’m sure it wasn’t their original intention, I’m glad I can carry all this inside this carrying case.

Aputure’s most anticipated unit finally started shipping last fall, the Light Storm C300d, a 300-watt LED unit that is being marketed as a 2K equivalent. We’ll discuss that 2K figure below, but however you name it, the power of the 300-watt figure is what has excited potential users. No matter which unit it replaces, that is a lot of power out of a lightweight (2.6lb) LED unit, which addresses one of the primary frustrations many users have had with their LEDs. If a lack of power is your dilemma, the 300d has got you covered. We got our hands on a unit and have played with it on a few shoots, walking away very impressed not just with the light itself, but also with what it tells us about how we’re going to be lighting our movies soon.

Aputure unveiled the Aputure 300D LED, a big brother to their first fresnel light, the LS C120D. Apart from a few details, the major significance of the Aputure 300D was its brightness. Like, three times as bright as the 120D. Sun-defeating bright. And yet, still powerable with common professional batteries.

 Aputure 300D took home multiple Best of Show awards from broadcast and video news outlets. Imagine, at NAB, where pretty much all the major manufacturers in this industry announce their most anticipated products, the most talked about piece of gear was Aputure’s second fresnel light ever.

Heads were turned, and the video world got excited. Really, really excited.

Aputure 300d has a bombproof build construction. Aputure’s attention to detail is obvious in every little thing, even though this unit came out before their pro line started. My only hiccup with the build of this unit is that the 5-pin connector between the head and ballast isn’t as strong as what they use on their pro models.

Otherwise, their design inclusions like a separate head and ballast make this unit super easy to use on set. I love being able to place this light somewhere I can’t reach it, like on a boom or a menace arm, and still be able to control it. With little feet on the back of the ballast, I can even set this on the ground or a nearby table if necessary.

We can’t fault Aputure specifically for this; everyone compares LEDs and even HMIs to the tungsten heads they replace because for 60 years, everyone on a film set measured their light power based on the tungsten units that were the workhorses of the industry. However, we honestly can’t remember the last time we put a 2K junior on a stand. 2012? 2008? HMIs and now LEDs have rapidly taken over the market, and the old reference just doesn’t matter much anymore.

Aputure gave it the right official name (the 300d is 300-watts, and daylight balanced), but of course, power efficiency is hard to measure and its 300-watt unit might be brighter than a competitor’s 300-watt unit. LEDs are less consistent than tungsten, where 300 watts was the same unit to unit to unit. Since Aputure gave it the right name, we guess it’s actually a criticism of the industry in general for the way units are marketed. Hopefully in the near future, LEDs will be marketed without talking about the past, but instead focusing on what they can do for you now and in the near future. 

Tech Specs:

  • 300-watt power draw
  • Light with Controller & Power Supply
  • Wireless Remote with 492′ Range
  • 5500K Color Temperature
  • Bowens Front Mount, Quiet Fan
  • V-Mount Battery Plate
  • Built-In Handle


The battery functionality is a huge benefit as well. Most LED lights will run off batteries (mostly V-mounts), with the exciting part here being that such a powerful unit can also run off batteries, though it requires two batteries where other units require one. Using this unit off batteries opens up a whole host of amazing options for filmmakers, though we did find it frustrating on set having to use the battery block even when using wall power.

As opposed to units like the Hive where you only have one power brick in line (and a relatively small one), getting power to the 300d required both the ballast and the battery adapter in line together, which made for some awkward rigging situations when mounting it on stands or in complicated setups. Not by any means a dealbreaker, but it would be nice if there were at least a bracket for mounting the two bricks together that perhaps you could clip to a stand for easy rigging.

In addition, while the head unit is 4-pin, you have to use the cable that comes with the unit and you can’t run an extension, which sometimes means mounting the converter in awkward places where a longer power cable would have been nice.

Set usability

Occasionally in our tests, we run into units that are designed by people who have never been on a film set, but the Aputure team has clearly shot projects itself or interviewed people who do. The controls are usable and intuitive, but most importantly repeatable, with power readouts on the controller that make the possibility of a dynamic lighting ramp mid-shot a realistic option, despite the infinite spin wheel.

One worry we have is the plastic knuckles on the knobs. The unit is available with either a large or a small softbox, and when we tested it with the large box (which you’ll mostly use for stage work, it’s too big for tight locations), we really had to crank down on the knuckle to keep it firm. Of course, a knuckle is an easy replacement part if it breaks and not structural, but it is an area we will watch out for when we see these on set in the coming months to see if they are holding up.

Aputure rental in Thailand

Rent with us today! Aputure lighting models: Aputure 300d, Aputure 600D, Aputure 600X, Aputure 600c, Aputure 1200D Pro, Aputure Amaran F22C, Aputure T4C Tube, Aputure T2C Tube, ARRI Alexa Mini 4K, Sony FX6, Sony FX3, Red Dragon 6K rental deals, gimbal stabilizers like MOVI, Ronin L, RS2, RS3, Rent on-camera equipment like Teradek 300, SmallHD Monitor, Rode Microphones, ARRIFLEX SuperSpeed Zeiss lenses, Zeiss Ultraprime, Zeiss MasterPrime, Laowa Anamorphic lenses, drones DJI Inspire, DJI Mavic, DJI Mavic Mini and others. Film Service (Thailand) – professional camera and lighting rental with main office in Bangkok and branches in Phuket, Samui and Chiang Mai for both Hollywood-level video productions and media content creators in Thailand.

How much for rent Aputure light in Bangkok?

Aputure LED light rates for rent in Bangkok, but also lighting equipment can be delivered to our branch offices in Phuket, Chiangmai or Samui dry-hire with courier service or with lighting van and crew.

PositionDaily rentWeekly rent
Aputure 300C1200 THB 6000 THB
Aputure 300X1200 THB 6000 THB
Aputure 300D 1000 THB 4000 THB
Aputure 600C2500 THB12000 THB
Aputure 600D 2500 THB 12000 THB
Aputure 600X 2500 THB 12000 THB
Aputure 1200D 3500 THB

One more benefit

Another pro is that unless you’re trying to balance against the sun or use really dense diffusion, this unit has plenty of punch for 99% of the scenarios that you’re going to find yourself in when you’re starting out as a filmmaker.

Aputure has also released a bunch of accessories that give this light so much versatility. Being able to turn the light into a spotlight, or 10x the output with the 2x fresnel makes the light usable in so many scenarios. It’ll start as your key light and as you acquire equipment it can easily become an accessory light to give your image a little something extra.

Who is the Aputure 300d for?

We’ve covered the pros, the cons, and what else is on the market. So with all this being said, who do I think the Aputure 300dis for?

Frankly, even 5 years later this light is easily a step above in quality compared to what is available by other manufacturers at the 300W output range, except for you prolycht. If a 300W light is what you’re looking for and you want pro-quality without dropping thousands of dollars, then you really need to look no further.

Some other people this light I would recommend to: Run and gun professionals who travel frequently or who like to go battery powered. This is an incredibly packable light, and operating off commonly found V-mount batteries means you can affordably power this using batteries.

DP / Camera operators who are getting consistent work

As long as you’re not trying to balance against the sun, this light is more than powerful enough to get a flattering look in most scenarios.

Creators who are looking to upgrade their studio. I wouldn’t recommend a light at this price level to someone just starting out, but if you have some following and you know that it’s time for an upgrade then this is a light that’s going to be worth it.

Finally, people who feel its valuable to enter the ecosystem of Aputure. You may be eyeing a career in gaffing like me, or you just appreciate being in an ecosystem where everything works together well. Either way, you’re investing in quality gear that has proven itself on demanding sets time and time again.

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