We are going to look at the key differences between two very lightweight, rechargeable and high output LED panels—the Lume Cube Panel and Aputure MC. The Lume Cube is going to be a lot thinner and longer, feeling a lot similar to a phone. The Aputure MC is a little more compact and thicker, so it will feel more like a stack of business cards, than anything else. As far as the light output is concerned, the Lume Cube is about four times brighter at ½ a meter away at 1600 LUX compared to 400 LUX in the Aputure MC.
The Lume Cube has a color temperature between 3200 Kelvin and 5600 Kelvin. The MC, however, has an expanded range of 3200 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin. It also has full RGB capabilities. With the phone app, you can choose any color you want and it will match the hue, saturation and luminosity of that color. Whereas the Lume Cube is strictly limited to Kelvin. In addition to the MC having RGB, it also has multiple built-in effects—fire, cop, static on tv, etc.
When considering battery life, both will be similar. The Aputure MC will last 120 minutes at full power while the Lume Cube will last 90 minutes. They are both rechargeable, however, the Lume Cube can be used as a power bank to charge small devices like phones in the field. The MC does not have that ability, it does, however, have the ability to charge wirelessly with any QI device. If you by the 12 pack, the bottom of the case is one giant QI wireless charging system. If you're only buying one or two, the cables shouldn’t be that big of a problem.
Both have standard quarter-inch threads so you can use them on top of cold shoes or on top of tripods. The MC, however, is magnetic so if you are in a pinch you can throw it up on the side of a pole, or on a shelf, or anything like that.
Both also come with diffusion panels. The MC comes with a bendy silicone diffuser, while the Lume Cube comes with a solid, rigid plastic diffuser. So, at the end of the day, if high output is your goal, you’re probably going to want to stick with the Lume Cube panel, although it is about $50 more than the Aputure MC. If you are looking for color effects or you need some color in your shots, the MC is going to be your choice.