The original Aputure 300D was an extremely popular light, and for good reason; it's versatile, compact and powerful, very powerful. The C300D MKII is just hands down better in every single way.
Aputure C300D MKII full spec
The biggest overall improvement is the ballast. On the original, the ballast and control box were two separate units and were awkward and a little cumbersome, especially when it came to moving the light, not to mention the fan was rather noisy. On the MKII the ballast and control box are one unit, there is a heatsink design so no fan, which means the 300D MKII is completely silent, which is fantastic. Mounting this control box is also so much easier, there are now built-in feet, so you can set the unit down by the base of your light stand (which is also possible because of the 3m 5-pin XLR cable that's included). The paracord handle is another great way to mount the light, especially if you just need to slap the light together and get shooting, and it's strong enough to hang the ballast with two large v-locks powering the light. By far my favourite way to mount the ballast is Aputures new speed clamp, which attaches to any light stand or truss, and features a quick-release system for attaching the ballast quickly and securely.
The light itself is 20% brighter than the original, measuring just under 12,000 lux at 1m, without any included modifiers, with a TLCI of 98. Now, Aputure has redesigned the Bowens mount reflector that they include with their lights which dramatically increases the brightness (by around 3x). We measured the 300D MKII with both the old and new design of reflector. The old design measured 15,000 lux at 1m, while the new version boosted the light all the way up to 45,000 lux! So if you plan of using this light to punch through diffusion, or bounce and light a large area, this new reflector will make all the difference.
There have also been a bunch of software improvements too. The light will now gradually get brighter when turned on, rather than turning on at where it was last set. Just like in the 120D MKII there are also now a range of different effect presets for different lighting effects. The effects are Paparazzi, Lightning, Strobe, Falt Bulb, Fireworks, TV, Pulsing and Explosions. There are also different dimming curves to change how the brightness dial behaves.
Not only do you still get the wifi control through the included controller, but the 300D MKII is also the first of Aputures lights to take advantage of the Sidus Link App. This app allows you to control multiple lights all from a smartphone or tablet and even update the firmware of the light.
One improvement that I think may be overlooked by some isn't an improvement to the light itself, but rather the carry case it comes in. Aputure's carry cases have always been of high quality, but this one is much better, its much more rugged, and can take 100kg of weight. So, you can stand on this bag to reach the light if you've rigged it just out of your reach, or use it as a seat on set.
One other nice little touch is that the light can now be powered off of just 1 battery up to 50%. Now, these batteries are going to have to be quite beefy as the light is very powerful, but having the option to run off of 1 battery is great.
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