Sirui Dragon Series Bendable B25R RGB Panel Light Review Rating
The potential with this LED panel is infinite, and you are only limited by your imagination. This device is designed to work within a group, so you would probably need two to get the most out of it.
Overall - 90%
As the name suggests, Sirui has cooked up a storm with the world’s first bendable LED Panel. The sleek design, quick releases on either end, and Bluetooth connectivity make this light incredibly versatile.
At first glance, you’ll notice the panel’s segmented design, made up of nine sections. Each section can rotate slightly, totalling a maximum bend of up to 90deg forward and just under 45deg backward.
A fundamental part of the B25R’s design is its seamless connectivity with other B25R panels. At each end are quick-release connectors allowing users to chain these panels together. Judging by one of Sirui’s promotional photos, it would take five panels to create a complete loop, though it resembles a rounded pentagon more than a circle.
Additionally, to control all your panels together, users can activate the Bluetooth feature and link them together in the Sirui Light app.
In front of the LEDs are translucent diffuser panels fixed to the body of each segment. This is the only diffusion available; and obviously, there are no barn doors. So cutting the light will require flags, bounces and other equipment to sculpt the light to your requirements. But as I cover a little later, I don’t believe this limited diffusion is inadequate by any means, as it suits its intended use very well.
Moreover, to get the B25R in the ideal location for a shot, users can attach it to a standard ¼” thread, the typical thread size for tripods and cameras. This connector is located on the centre segment at the back, and an additional threaded connector is on either end within the quick-release connector.
Adding to this panel’s versatility is the ability to change the power source between a wired and battery supply. Though batteries aren’t included, the B25R accepts NP-F790 batteries, a commonplace battery originally from Sony, which multiple brands have now adopted into their products. This integration is excellent because it means batteries are interchangeable with other products; nothing is worse than going somewhere and forgetting the correct charger for that one thing.
Having a bendy light is cool and all, but it needs to be able to illuminate things as well as looking pretty. The B25R has a luminosity of 2000 LUX at 0.5m, which is pretty good in my books. The product is designed around adding extra detail and highlighting features of articles, so it doesn’t need to be kicking out too much light anyway.
At first, I thought the FX feature was a little novelty compared to the advanced RGB, HSL, or CCT modes. But I believe they’re equally or more useful in a filmmaking setting. Because of its slender, light, portable design, this panel can go almost anywhere, allowing users to be incredibly creative when lighting a scene.
Within the app, users can control their panels individually or as a group. The app provides all the same functions as the control panel on the back of the B25R and a few extras. For example, users can use their mobile device’s camera to select a colour with the colour picker tool, and the B25R will display this colour, utilising its full RGB scope. This feature is handy when trying to match natural light in a scene.
After using the B25R to light product photographs for the Ender-5 S1 review, I have a good understanding of how to make the most of this panel.
Only being 32.3mm (to be precise) thick and 75mm wide means this thin bright panel can go almost anywhere. It works excellently as a detail or eye light for photography or videography, emphasising certain aspects of your work and expanding possibilities. It can also be used as a practical light in studio photography sets/shoots, as most promotional images suggest.
I don’t think it should be used as a key light, but as a back, edge, or fill light is an absolutely perfect job for this LED panel. The flexibility allows users to carve the light around important features creating a full-bodied, dynamic lighting setup.
Price, Availability and Alternative Options
A single B25R has an RRP of $199 or $399 for a two-light kit. There is currently an early bird sale, with it available for $159 and $319, respectively.
Sirui claim this is the world’s first bendable LED Panel, and a quick Google search indicates this is accurate.
Honestly, the potential with this LED panel is infinite, and you are only limited by your imagination. This device is designed to work within a group, so you would probably need two to get the most out of it. Conveniently though, Sirui provides a stand clamp when you purchase the double pack of lights. I’m pretty happy with just one at the minute, and I’m thoroughly excited to use this on set.