The Adaptalux Pod Mini is the latest generation of Adaptalux Pod. It brings you its fully customizable lighting system in an ultra-portable, miniature and robust package. I reviewed the main Adaptalux Control Pod last year and really enjoyed using it for macro and product photography. So when the good folks at Adaptalux asked if I wanted to try the brand new Pod Mini, it was a simple “Yes please!” mine.
The Pod Mini is the little brother of the Adaptalux Control Pod and acts as the heart of the Adaptalux studio lighting system. It provides power and control to a lighting arm that magnetically connects to the single port. The modular and magnetic design makes adjusting your lighting quick and easy.
- Quick and easy installation and configuration; click and connect
- Soft and diffused, yet powerful lighting
- Small and lightweight
- Ultra portable and rugged (even fits in your pocket)
- Great battery life – up to 8 hours
- Various mounting options, hot shot, tripod and clamp
- Uses the same lighting arms as the control unit
- Appears to be a solid construction
- Fantastic website that explains all the features well
- Not supplied with clamps or adapters for hot shoe mounting etc – all optional extras but really required
- Didn’t come with light arms or diffusers (but I already had some)
- Doesn’t work with the Control Pod app for remote use (but if it’s directly on the camera you don’t need that)
All technical specifications are taken from the Adaptalux website.
Adaptalux Pod Mini — Technical Specifications
- Weight: 0.2kg
- Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 6 cm
- Face plate: Color Black, Red, Blue, Green
- Light arm port: 1
- Charging via USB C (cable included)
- Light Arms and Diffusers all attach magnetically
Lighting arms (not included)
- 200 lumens per light arm. Up to 3W per arm
- Adjustable beam angle <1150 to 200
- Available are 200-lumen white LED arm (5700K) and a 400-lumen Super white LED arm (5700K)
- Also available with blue, green and red light for drama, amber and UV (all optional extras)
Adaptalux Pod Mini — Ergonomics and build quality
Small but well built and robust, it literally fits in your hand (or even pocket). My hands often hurt and I find small clumsy things difficult to handle. But I had no problem at all with the Pod Mini. Even the accessories (optional extra) have great ergonomics and handles that make adjustments easy.
Adaptalux Pod Mini — In the field
I used the Adaptulx Mini-Pod on the (optional) hot shoe adapter on my Sony A7RIII And Sony 90mm macro lens. I went out into the backyard in the darkest part of the yard on a cold, gray, wet winter’s day to test the light. It is quite easy to use the Mini-Pod as it is very small and light. Not as much power as you’d get with, say, a flash, but it makes capturing low-light photos much easier. Shutter speed 1/125 second, f/5.0, ISO between 200 and 500.
Quality of light
Depending on the light arm used, the light emitted is between 200 and 400 lumens at 5700K. The beam can be widened or narrowed by turning the end of the light arm. The filter or diffuser pod clip to the end of the light arm to further soften the emitted light.
Operation, menus and display
It’s really very basic. The on/off buttons on the top make the light extremely easy to use in the field. The Lighting Arms click and rotate and you’re good to go. You can adjust the light beam by turning the end of the light arm.
Recycle times and battery life
Because it’s a constant LED light, there are no annoying recycle times, just constant soft light. Battery life up to eight hours. The images below were shot without light at the minimum shutter speed of 1/50 second, ISO 320, f/5.0.
Adaptalux Pod Mini — Final Thoughts
If you’re a macro photographer, I think you’ll love what these little light pods can do for you. It was everything I wanted in the Pod Mini after reviewing the Pod Controller. It’s small, lightweight, fits in your pocket and easily attaches to your hot shoe when you’re on the move. In addition, it is well built and easy to use. The technology is quite simple; you can switch cameras or even share with a friend, and the shoe mount connects to any camera.
It’s not exactly cheap, but good lighting rarely is. While the Pod Mini itself costs less than $100, you need more than just the pod. I suggest purchasing a bundle pack: 2x Pod Minis, 2x Super Bright White Light Arms, 2x 30% Diffusers and 1x Camera Mount. This will cost you around AU$400 or US$268.