Variable neutral density filters allow you to choose the amount of light entering your camera. What if it were just as easy to adjust your softbox for portrait lighting? A new “Active Diffusion” technology may soon make that concept a reality.
Back at NAB 2010, a company called Zylight exhibited a new “electronic diffusion technology” that uses electricity to control how diffuse a panel is.
“The filter is instantly adjusted with a handheld controller, so there is no need to change gels to create the desired diffusion effect,” Zylight writes. “Active Diffusion works with any kind of cool light, including LED or fluorescent fixtures.”
Here’s a short demo video from NAB 2010 showing how you can adjust the softness of light on your subjects face simply by turning a knob:
Zylight has partnered with Chimera Lighting to bring the technology to market, with Chimera signing on to produce a soft box with Zylight’s diffusion panel on the front.
“Active Diffusion is very useful to film, video, and photography lighting professionals,” says Chimera President Bob Winters. “Being able to remotely and infinitely adjust your diffusion saves time and labor”
Zylight is aiming to launch the product in April 2017 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. No word on pricing, but the estimate back in 2010 was between $400 and $1,200 depending on the size of the panel.