Cameo Luke 700 RGB
I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about laser effects that excites my inner geek! And I know I’m not alone, as a laser at the centre of their rig is the ‘holy grail’ for many mobile DJs. Lasers create a unique kind of energy, that can’t really be achieved with any other effect, so I was very excited to be given the opportunity to try out Cameo’s Luke 700 RGB.
Laser effects have long been used by mobile DJs for adding energy to events for younger crowds, such as school and college proms as well as 18th and 21st birthday parties. However, as many of today’s brides and grooms grew up in the clubbing heyday of the 90s and early 00s, wedding DJs are now often required to include a set of dance classics for which a laser effect can really help to create the right sort of atmosphere. It wasn’t so long ago that the laser effects on the market either didn’t offer enough power to create real wow-factor or were prohibitively expensive. These days, advances in technology and decreases in cost mean that a professional standard, high output, laser is within the realms of affordability for mobile DJs, and one such unit is the Cameo Luke 700 RGB.
Cameo is the lighting brand of equipment distributor Adam Hall, which is also the company behind the LD Systems audio range. Cameo has been making waves recently on the DJ lighting scene, with a host of interesting new products, at the forefront of which is an expansive line-up of laser effects. The Luke series sits in the middle of this range, with the less professional and lower priced Wookie series below and the top-of-the-range Ioda series above.
With a good balance of features vs. power vs. price, the Luke series appears to be the best choice for professional mobile DJs. Within this series there are three models: the 400 RGY, the 700 RGB and the 1000 RGB. So this review is of the middle model, of the middle series, in the Cameo laser range, which I think is a good place to start.
The Luke 700 RGB is a professional multi-colour laser effects projector powered by a 300mW red (650 nm) diode laser, an 80mW green (532 nm) DPSS laser and a 300mW blue (447 nm) diode laser. It features high-speed 30 Kpps (kilo points per second) galvo scanners which enable the beam(s) to be positioned accurately, and moved quickly, anywhere within a 60-degree scan angle.
The unit itself has a very robust aluminium casing, which is powder-coated in matt black. The extremely sturdy hanging bracket, which locks into place accurately using plastic thumbscrews on each side, is then finished in silver to give the fixture a distinctive look. Weighing in at 5.5kg, and measuring 215 x 157 x 225mm, the unit is compact and manageable, while having a reassuring feel of substance when you handle it.
This is a professional-standard fixture with locking Powercon power input, and output, sockets. There are two fans positioned on the side of the unit to keep it running cool and a Perspex panel over the aperture that protects the scanning mirrors. Safety features include a key switch and emergency stop switch socket, as well as a Scan Fail Safety system.
When I first switched on the Luke 700 RGB I have to say that I was very impressed by its brightness. The beams are vivid and the projected patterns are sharp. The fixture is more than capable of filling average-sized function rooms with impressive laser effects. However, if you want to be sure that your laser beams will cut through other lighting effects in particularly large rooms, opting for the more powerful Luke 1000 RGB version may be worthwhile.
The balance of power between the three laser sources is good, with each primary colour holding its own when compared to the others. This is contrary to some RGB laser effects that I’ve seen where the green laser significantly outshines the red and blue diodes. The colour alignment is also very good; I’d say better than any I’ve seen in this price bracket. When looking at projected patterns closely, sometimes the overlapped beams are visible, with a thin line of red above, and green bellow, yellow projections, for example. However, overall, the combined colours are well mixed and uniform. The unit offers a vibrant yellow, electric cyan, hot pink (magenta) and bright white, in addition to the red, green and blue primary colours.
The speed and precision of the scanning mirrors is also impressive. This allows for detailed patterns and animations to be created that are very effective, both for generating mid-air beam effects in a hazy atmosphere and for projecting onto the walls or ceiling of a venue. A total of 128 patterns are pre-programmed into the Luke 700 RGB’s internal memory, which include a combination of shapes intended to create mid-air effects and pictures designed for projection onto a surface.
The collection of beam effect patterns is expansive. There are simple lines, circles, squares and triangles, along with more complex shapes like spirals, hearts and stars. There are also patterns made up of multiple separate shapes, such as a line of circles and a circular arrangement of triangles, which look incredible mid-air in a dark and hazy room.
The full reviewed can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 78, Pages 80 - 82.