We recently got our hands on the new Qudos Action light and couldn’t wait to put it to use. The Qudos is a GoPro accessory light made by Australia lighting manufacturer Knog designed with action sports enthusiast in mind.
The light is fully submersible up to 40m (131 feet) and offers an adjustable 70 to 400 lumens of light. The Qudos light comes packages in a nice metal box with two separate layers of foam to hold in the light and all the accessories that go with. We had our Qudos delivered to us in Bali and the box was a little bent up from the shipping, but the solid metal light was perfectly protected inside the custom made case.
The complete Qudos set comes with a mounting bar to attached the GoPro flush with the camera and two screws to attach them all together, and a cold shoe mount accessory which fits nicely onto any camera. We first tested the Qudos using a Canon DSLR and the adapter fit perfectly.
The Qudos action light comes with a rechargeable battery which can be removed from the back of the light and USB cable for charging. The light comes fully charged right out of the box and lasts between 1-4hours depending on which settings you use.
Qudos has 3 lights modes, Actions, Spot and Wide angle and each mode has a high and low setting. The light settings are indicated with colored LEDs. You will see a blue light for the high setting and green for the low, when the battery itself is running low a red light will come on at the side of the light.
The light is turned on with a button on the top of the light and each time you click the button the settings change. To turn of the light you have to hold down the button, but instead of just turning off after a few seconds the light stays on until you remove your finger. Once you turn the light back on it will go right back to the last setting you were using.
With a fully charged battery we were able to use the light for a dive and a half, both dives were over 60 minutes, and we were constantly switching back and forth between the high power action setting, and the wide angle high and low setting. For anyone doing two dives around 45 minutes each this light should last you both dives no problem.
We really like the USB charging cable, you can easily bring a spare power bank with you on the boat to charge the battery on your surface interval. This is especially useful if you plan on doing more that two dives, we were able to charge up the battery during our 1.5 hour surface interval with enough juice to last us the entire third dive.
The Qudos light comes to us from an Australian company called Knog, which is best known for their biking accessories, not diving. We set up the Qudos light with the kit accessories mounting bar, but didn’t like how flush the light was with the GoPro.
We could see this being useful if you are cruising around and need the light to stay steady next to the camera, but underwater the design didn’t translate all that well. It didn’t give us the flexibility we wanted when positioning the light and didn’t illuminate our subject right in front of the camera rather just off to the side. Most of all it didn’t allow us to use our other underwater GoPro accessories.
We didn’t let their design stop us, after all we really like the light, and on the first dive (with the standard setup) we were getting some great results, we just wanted to make it better. We had some extra GoPro accessories in our kit and rigged up an extension for the light so it would sit right overtop of the camera and give us more room next to the lens. Already this articulation gave us more control in determining what was being lit up.
Next we added the Polarpro macro lens kit with red filter, which fit perfectly under the Qudos light. Having the red filter underwater even with the light just brings back so much color into the image that it is hard not have when filming underwater. The only draw back to our set up was the macro lens could no longer ‘snap back’ and hold steady in place but we could also opt to removed the macro lens and just keep the red filter .
We would recommend the Qudos as a powerful GoPro accessory light that is versatile for taking pictures above water and below. And if you are willing to invest more time and money into getting more from your GoPro, we suggest buying a some GoPro mounting extensions and a lens kits that comes with a red filter to take your underwater GoPro videos to the next level.
The small form factor makes the Knog Qudos light especially pocketable, and the heatsink designed for both dry and underwater use makes it a nice multipurpose light for around the tank, and pointing it anywhere that might be especially dark around the aquarium. Although the Qudos is designed primarily to be used with a GoPro, it can also help to brighten up and balance out overly blue lighting of reef aquariums as an always-on for photographing corals as well.
We were able to produce a video from our dive at the Padang Bai Pier using the Qudos light and red filter, and you can really see the difference in the close us shots, especially at 0:41 with the pufferfish inside the Octocorals. The colors really pop with the Qudos, and we found the best underwater setting to be the wide angle low power setting for macro and close up shots. Check out the video posted below for a peek at the clips we put together using the GoPro and accompanying Qudos light from Knog.
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