Kraken Hydra 8000 WRGBU Underwater Video Light Review

Kraken Hydra 8000 WRGBU Underwater Video Light Review

Kraken Hydra 8000 WRGBU Underwater Video Light Review
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Kraken Hydra 8000 WRGBU Underwater Video Light Review

When the team at Kraken told us that they had a new Kraken 8000 hydra light in the works, we were pretty excited. But it wasn't until we saw the specs sheet that we knew the the light would be a game changer. In fact, for the price point we think the Kraken 8000 just might be the top underwater video light announced this year! The Kraken Sports Hydra 8000 WRGBU video light is Kraken's newest and most powerful light in the hydra line-up. Hydra video lights are known for their quality beams, remote control, and burst mode compatibility, and most importantly, they are always packed with features. For a very affordable price-point (@ only $100 more than the Kraken 5000S+), the Kraken 8000 can output 8000 lumens with a 100 degree underwater beam @ a CRI of 90. The light features multiple color options with a red beam, green beam, blue beam, UV beam, and an adjustable RGB mode. The back of the light has a built-in LCD screen that indicates power level and the burn time left. This is the first Kraken light where the power is fully adjustable via dial control - in increments of 10%. For photographers, the Kraken 8000 can output a burst of 10,000 lumens with fiber optic control.
 
Needless to say, we were very excited when the Kraken 8000 landed on our doorstep and took it diving immediately. The results from our first few weeks of diving have been impressive, and the light performed even better than we expected - with strong RGB beams, a white beam that is powerful enough for photography, and beautiful color accuracy. So be sure to check out our sample underwater video and photos captured with the Kraken 8000 as well as the light's features, and our thoughts on the light's performance. 
 
US Retail Price: $799
 

Order a Kraken 8000 Video Light at Bluewater Photo:

Kraken Hydra 8000 WRGBU Video Light

 


 

 

Key Features:

  • Powerful - 8000 Lumens max output
  • Color temperature: 5000K
  • RGB LED - Red to sneak up on critters, blue for fluoro photo & video,and others for creative shots
  • Burst Mode - Kraken 8000 can be triggered via fiber optic cable to produce a 10,000 lumen burst for photography.
  • Ergonomics - Easy to control knob and button. The control dial can be used to change power incrementally. 
  • LCD Screen - Provides pertinent information. It also auto rotates depending on the orientation of the video light
  • Charging - Ability to charge via USB-C with up to two batteries at a time 
  • Mounts - Includes both YS and ball mount
  • Remote Control - Compatible with Kraken Remote Control
  • CRI - 90
  • Beam Angle - 120° on land, 100°  underwater
  • Burn Time - 58 mins at max power
  • Depth Rating: 330 ft/100 meters
  • Dimension - 74.1mm X 156.5mm
  • Weight including battery - 920g On Land & 425g underwater 

 

Sample Underwater Video:

 

 

Controls, Ergonomics, and Charging

 

The Kraken Hydra 8000 is a step up from other hydra lights when it comes to ergonomics. Instead of using the normal two button system found on other hydra lights, the Kraken 8000 is controlled via a button and a dial. This allows for specific, incremental control of the beam power, and you can adjust the beam 10% at a time. It makes for very easy and precise operation underwater and we enjoyed being able to have full control over the light on our subjects - especially because we shot our video at specific ISOs instead of auto ISO.

 

The light itself has an LCD display on the back of the light. We found this very useful for seeing our exact power level when we were shooting as well as our battery life. The Kraken 8000 will tell you approximately how much time you have left at your current power level. 

 

The Kraken 8000 comes with a USB-C charger that can charge two batteries at once! This made it easy to power our batteries throughout the day as we dove, with multiple batteries attached to our charging station at a time.

 

Wide Angle White Beam Quality

 

The 5000K white beam that is emitted from the Kraken 8000 is nothing short of impressive. It's very impressive that such a powerful beam can be emitted from such a compact light, but indeed the 8000 lumens that come from the light are significantly more powerful than the Kraken 5000s+. The beam is very wide at 100 degrees underwater and has a soft gradation with no hotspots. A dome from the Kraken 8000 can be purchased separately and provides an even wider beam. We found the Kraken 8000 to be powerful enough for wide angle video, even with one light! If you are shooting with a fisheye lens, then you may want to consider purchasing the dome or two lights to light the full area in front of your camera. We shot all of our sample video with just one light as we were shooting in cold, dark water, and one light was plenty of lighting. With a CRI rating of 90, the beam produces very accurate colors underwater, and we think the clips of colorful anemones that we captured match very closely to what you would see in reality.

 

RGB Beam Quality

 

The most exciting feature of the Kraken 8000 is the multiple RGB(U) beams. These are not like other RGB beams you might find on other lights. The RGB beams from the Kraken 8000 are extremely powerful - powerful enough to be used in wide angle video (as you can see in our samples)! This opens up a world to creative videography and photography underwater. Some beams also serve an additional purpose. The red beam can be used for sneaking up on critters that can't see red underwater. The blue and UV beam is great for capturing fluorescence underwater. The green beam is powerful and can be used for creative photography or video. Finally, there are two dedicated RGB modes that alternate between multiple colors - one that you can control with the dial and one that automatically cycles through colors.

 

As you can see in our sample video, we were able to capture interesting creative clips with the RGB mode. We recommend using color as a backlighting tool or on white subjects that reflect the light without mixing colors.

 

Burst Modes and Remote Control 

 

True to the Hydra line of lights, the Kraken 8000 has a fiber optic cable port that can be used to control the light through the Kraken remote control as well as activate the burst mode built into the light. The remote control can be mounted onto your arm or tray system so that you don't need to reach up to the light to control it.

The Kraken 8000 has a burst feature that allows it to output 10,000 lumens of power when triggered by a fiber optic cable and a flash from a camera. This allows the light to sync similarly as a strobe would for underwater photography. Though the Kraken 8000 is not as powerful as a strobe, it is powerful enough to use for wide angle and macro photos.

 

Kraken 8000 for Underwater Video

 

The Kraken 8000 is our favorite Kraken light for underwater video. It is also one of the best value lights when it comes to lumen output and light features. The Kraken 8000 is a very capable light for both wide angle and macro videography - even if you're just using one light. In fact, much of our footage was filmed with just one light. The white beam by itself is a great color temperature for underwater video, and it's not overly warm or cool. The reds and oranges in the video that we captured were very accurate to real life - particularly in our anemone clips. With a wide beam, even though much of our video was captured with a fisheye lens, the beam covered most of the foreground. The RGB lights are interesting additions to the hydra line up for creative video. We think the RGB feature will be particularly useful for backlighting and creative photography. We used the RGB cycle mode when filming a white diroda nudibranch and thought it produced a subtle, fun atmosphere. Overall, we have no doubt in our minds that the Kraken 8000 will continue to be a top light for underwater video for years to come.

 

Kraken 8000 for Underwater Photography

 

The Kraken 8000 is perhaps Kraken's most utilitarian video light for underwater photography. The light is bright enough to take wide angle photos, as we showed in out review video, even with the normal flood beam. While it is not as powerful as a strobe, it can certainly be used for photography in many situations. We thought the colors rendered beautifully, though subjects do sometimes get scared away by the powerful 8000 lumen flood beam. But the Kraken 8000 really shines as a light for creative photography. The RGB color modes are great for creative macro photography - particularly if you use the light for backlighting. The Kraken 8000 can also be fired in burst mode via fiber optic cables in different RGB colors. This means you can fire the light in conjunction with your strobes to mix different colors of light.  Although dedicated photographers should consider using underwater strobes instead of video lights for underwater photography, video shooters that want to take photos on the side will be more than happy with the Kraken 8000.

 

Conclusions

 

The Kraken 8000 just might be the top video light to come out this year. Certainly it is one of the best all-around video lights with an amazing plethora of features for a very affordable price point. During our dives, we captured incredible wide angle and macro video both with and without the RGB feature. The new power control dial made it simple to adjust the power level precisely and the LCD display made it easy to keep track of the battery and power levels throughout the dive. But most importantly, the wide and accurate 5000K flood beam is of the highest quality made by Kraken resulting in incredible, colorful underwater video.

 

Contact Our Sales Department:

Phone: 310-633-5052

 

05/19/21