Ok so with that stuff out the way, lets get on with it. If you're not familiar with Orca Torch, then you should be as they have been making a splash (ho-ho!) in the diving community with their high quality, relatively inexpensive (compared to a lot of other brands out there) dive and video lights. I've used Orca dive lights before after borrowing them from other people and have been suitably impressed when comparing them to the usual suspects such as Underwater Kinetics, Princeton, Greenforce, Sealife and Kowalski, all of which I've used over the years, so I was keen to see how the this unit would perform.
Bearing in mind this a test unit for the D820V video light, so box branding, and possibly contents are yet to be finalised.
|Unassuming on the outside......|
|Full of light emitting goodness on the inside|
Now you're probably wondering "where's the battery charger?". Never fear my aquatic chums, for Orca Torch have a nice surprise for you. If you're like me and hate having to carry around multiple chargers, cables, etc, etc, when travelling around the globe, then you'll love this. Unscrewing the tail of the unit gives you access to the USB socket. Unscrewing the USB socket in turn gives you access to the battery compartment. Battery in, USB socket back in place and "Voila!", all you need to do for charging is unscrew the tail, plug in the USB cable and you're all set. No heavy, clunky proprietary chargers to carry around. Awesome.
|USB cap unscrewed, battery cavity at the ready|
|USB cap in place and ready to charge.|
|Red for charging, green for "set lights to stun, Mr Sulu!"|
Initial impressions of the unit are excellent, with high quality machine milled aircraft grade aluminium parts, clean threading and all sections come apart and go together easily with no sticking or grinding. Weight wise it comes in at 243 grams without the battery and 341 grams with the battery. For comparison, you're looking at 178 grams for a fully loaded UK mini Q40 LED. Length comes in at just under 15.5cm and the head unit being the widest part at 4.5cm and fits nice and snugly in the hand should you choose to carry it.
Just to give you an idea of size, I compared it to the aforementioned UK mini Q40 LED and an L&M Sola video 3000, just so you've got an idea of the size as you can see below. So it's not the smallest video light but it certainly isn't a porker either and will easily fit into a BC pocket if required.
|D820V, UK mini Q40 LED and SOLA 3000|
|Ready for super macro action|
|Can you see it?|
The single switch on top of the head unit controls everything with a press turning the unit on at full power, a second press switching to low power, a third press for off. Holding the switch brings on the UV and a second press the red. Simple and easy to use.
|Press here to start........|
You can get some idea from the shots I took with the light against the wall. A nice, even consistent spread in every case.
|Let there be light!|
I left the light on full power for the duration of the dive which was just over 2 hours, and it lasted just fine. This is more than enough juice for the average user and something that would last over a couple or three of average dives before recharging would be necessary. The only thing I would liked to have seen is a wet connect for charging, negating the need to open up the unit but that's just a very minor niggle on my part. Maybe I'm just lazy or old or both.
In summary, this is a really nice video light, with the additional benefit of having the red and UV LED built in to a compact, very well made chassis with convenient to use USB charging capabilities. You can easily use this as a regular dive light at a pinch if you don't want to go nuts and buy multiple lights, this one would pretty much do it all for you. This is definitely recommended for photographers and videographer/action cam users out there, and if the price at release is in line with the rest of the Orca range, then this light would be very competitive against the "established" names out there.
It easily earns itself a well deserved 8.5 out of 10 rating.
On a final note, if you're looking for a light, give the Orca Torch website a look as they have quite a varied selection and I don't think you'll be disappointed if you got one. Or two.