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Cameo Flash Matrix 250 – test report by bonedo.de

The Cameo LED Strobe Flash Matrix 250 combines strobe, chaser and blinder in a single unit to deliver flexibility and light efficiency. It has a pleasantly large front to easily set the scene, even for larger areas. Its impressive blinder effects and rapid or restrained strobe effects create scenic and dramatic accentuations. Its chases include letters, numbers, special characters and symbols to create a variety of eye-catching effects.

Details
Design and construction
Behind the clear transparent plastic front panel are 25 COB LEDs arranged in a 5 x 5 grid pattern. Each LED is framed by reflective surfaces. Cross-fading of the light beams inside the unit or on the front is not possible.

The steel housing creates a robust impression. The well-thought out screw locations are also well-noted, positioned only at the most important load-bearing points. This facilitates the ease of any hopefully unlikely maintenance. The same applies for the plastic front panel, which, alongside the LEDs, is the only part subject to wear. If it has to be cleaned or replaced, you only need to loosen a few screws. Everything has been designed clearly and pragmatically.

The rear also features a simple and clear layout. It houses the four-digit display together with the control buttons Mode, Enter, Up and Down as well as the microphone for music control. The metal plate slides seamlessly into the bottom section with the fans and vents, and on the other side, slides directly into the top section to create a solid impression.

Situated on the connection panel from left to right are the power input socket, on/off switch and the power output socket, which can power other units. There are also three-pin XLR sockets for DMX input and DMX output. In addition, there is also a security eyelet – important when rigging and trussing – for the necessary securing cable when installing overhead. All connections are housed in an ABS plastic surround. Ventilation slots cover almost the entire width of the unit.

Let us now look at the two sides. First of all, there are warm air outlet slots. The mounting bracket (included) is installed to the left and right. The generously and ergonomically designed screw handles are a welcome feature. They help to minimise handling time during set-up or tear-down. Overtightening is almost impossible. Rubber washers ensure that the double bracket does not touch the housing directly. A quick test proves that the sides are also easily locked.

In use
As soon as you switch it on, you immediately notice that the Flash Matrix 250 makes no compromises as far as light output is concerned. Why I immediately looked directly into the light, despite the warning in the manual, I do not know. With its 25 6-watt LEDs at 3730 lx @  1 m / 9200 lm, the 250 really is as bright as performance data promises.

The display is easy to read and sufficiently sized. The operating buttons below it are pleasing to the touch and navigate easily through the well-structured menu. Pressing the Mode button takes you into the main menu, and the selected parameters are confirmed by pressing the Enter button. Up and Down take you conveniently through the easily understandable menu tree.

Interesting at this point: While some units first require a lot of button-pushing before the light even comes on, the LED Flash Matrix from Cameo fires up almost immediately. Self-checking programmes and resets during the warm-up phase are apparently not necessary.

Controls
The FX LED Flash Matrix 250 can be used in master, slave and stand-alone modes, or quite simply music-controlled. The DMX 512 variants are also worthy of mention. Here you can choose between 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 9-, 25- or 30-channel modes, whereby the 30-channel version naturally allows the most detailed control.

The FX LED Flash Matrix 250 features 11 auto programmes and an auto off mode. The strobe speed is adjustable from 1 to 30 Hz and also has a random speed setting. The flash duration of between 0 and 510 ms enables a wide variety of applications. The intensity can, of course, be pre-selected via the master dimmer.

The alphabetical and numerical mapping is an elegant touch, such as for scenic performances and trade fair presentations. This facilitates interplay between several LEDs, which together create an image. Available for use are capital letters from the English alphabet (so no accents), digits from 0 to 9, and various special characters. The symbols are also fun: Large format arrows can point in different directions, and can be configured as static or set at the required chaser speed. This has an amazing effect on stage when the eyes of the audience are to be steered to a specific location. The LEDs can be configured individually and clustered together. In this way, continually changing graphic shapes can be created and sent across the matrix in ascending or descending order, from right to left or vice versa.

Whisper quiet
The manufacturer says it features quiet fans. And first I find this somewhat exaggerated. When I listen, I hear absolutely nothing to begin with. Only after a short warm-up period is the fan engaged. And in view of the performance of the unit, it is really not detrimental and would not be noticed in the theatre.

Conclusion (5/5)
The Cameo LED Flash Matrix 250 proves itself to be a highly effective and flexible unit. It provides support for light shows with concise, varied and bright blinder, strobe and chase effects. As such, it is suitable for use in a wide variety of events in many locations. The light effect is perfect for rock, metal or pop stages, as well as for a large club space or a four-piece show band. Its various chases, including letter and number mapping as well as symbol combinations, enable the continuous creation of new accentuations. The bottom line is that this is a no-frills unit, a real candidate to meet the demands of professionals. Given its effectiveness and ease of use, its affordable, budget-friendly price is incredible. But please don’t tell that to the manufacturer!

PROS
3 light effects in 1: strobe, chaser and blinder
Extremely bright
Quality construction
Control options
Price-performance ratio

CONS
None

FEATURES
3-in-1 light effect: strobe, chaser and blinder
25 white 6 W LEDs provide ultra-bright 9200 lm
Strobe adjustable from 1 – 30 Hz
25 zone chase effect
Letter and number mapping
7 DMX modes plus master, slave and stand-alone operation
Sound control and automated programmes
4-button LED display
LED strobe
Colour spectrum: white
LED type: COB
Beam angle: (Beam) 50° / (Field) 74°
DMX input an output: 3-pin XLR
DMX modes: 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 10-, 25- and 30-channel
DMX functions: auto programmes, letters, numbers, strobe, symbols
Controls: mode, enter, down, up
Power supply: 100 – 240 V AC / 50 – 60 Hz
Power consumption: 125 W
Power connection: IEC input and output
Housing material: metal, ABS plastic
Housing colour: black
Light intensity: 3730 lx @ 1 m
Lighting power: 9200 lm
Dimensions W/H/D: 305 x 310 x 105 mm
Weight: 4 kg
Adjustable mounting bracket included
RRP: €348

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