Cameo UVO – Test report from bonedo.de
Cameo UVO combines a whole host of LED effects in one unit: It is a combined wash light, flower effect, strobe and UV light, and is also equipped with a 3R laser. Each effect has the potential to be the leading light of the show. The wash light LEDs, for example, have an RGBA colour spectrum, and also cover the UV range. The flower effect combines red, green and amber-coloured LEDs. The laser has one red and one green LED. All present and correct. Ahoy, Captain Lightshow! Sounds like a load of functionality for very little money. Can the unit deliver what it promises in the sub-300 euro price bracket?
Design and Construction
Right out of the box, the Cameo UVO creates a good impression. The interesting thing: On the one hand, there are several lighting options built into this 5-in-1 device, but on the other hand, it is very compact and lightweight. The housing is a hexagonal metal design, and is impressively practical and robust. The device is screwed together well, and as such is easy to service.
Three sides of the Cameo UVO catch your eye at first glance: Firstly, the front, of course, where the radiating light components are located. And these are all around – in the truest sense of the word. In the centre is the two-coloured laser. Around it in a circular arrangement are the 12 LEDs for the strobe. Six slightly angled surfaces are arranged in a hexagonal design, upon which the LEDs for the wash lights and flower effect are located alternately. It is impressive to see the amount of functionality that can be built into the smallest of spaces nowadays.
Please turn round!
Located on the back are the connector panel, display and operating components: Here we find the four-digit display, which is easy to read thanks to its red digits or letters.
Operation LEDs are integrated to the left and right of the display, which indicate which mode is currently active – DMX, Sound, Auto or Slave. The control buttons are situated underneath in the typical Cameo order: Mode, Enter, Up and Down. To the right of these is the microphone for sound-to-light operation, whose sensitivity can be simply adjusted via a rotary knob. Here we also find the connections for the power supply input and output, three-pin XLR DMX in- and output, the socket for the emergency laser-off switch and the lock to protect the laser against unauthorised or unintentional operation. A further regulation safety component is the eyelet for the safety cable when mounting, which is referred to here as the Safety Eye.
On the sides we can see the outlet vents for the built-in ventilation fans. When mounting and positioning, it is of course important to ensure that they are not obstructed so as not to impair the cooling function during live operation. Nor should any other heat-generating components be positioned too closely together on the lighting truss.
An adjustable mounting bracket is included and this description is to be taken literally, because it is not a scissor bracket. Cameo UVO is not intended to be placed on a DJ console, the floor or anywhere else. Nor is it possible, due to regulations and for operation- and public safety reasons, because it is equipped with a 3R laser, which absolutely must not be aimed directly into guests’ eyes. Therefore, it is cleverly installed in a fixed position on a traverse, lighting bar or truss. There is no central tripod socket, so the truss bracket must be used in every case.
What makes the difference in the case of the Cameo UVO is its diversity. As multi-functionality generally means a compromise with regard to individual components, let us look first of all at each individual part. The obvious question: Are they all effective on their own, or are they scaled-down versions which really only deliver when used in combination? First the good news: The effects can be used individually and independently of one another as well as individually combined or altogether.
Wash light – RGB and UV in one
The light output of the wash light section is provided by a total of 9 x 4-watt RGB UV LEDs, which are distributed in groups of three over three surfaces. Upon testing, they deliver a varied and rich range of colours and colour combinations. It is interesting to note the effect: Because the base planes are angled, a wide-reaching beam angle is created – the same also applies for the flower spots. The end result is pleasant and wide beam of light that fills the room – as long as the room is not too large. The wash light spots provide a wide range of colours, including UV. This lighting effect alone even delivers accurate illumination.
Flower effects – balanced colour spectrum
The flower spots also function perfectly. 84 beams deliver balanced and consistent lighting. And the colours can be mixed perfectly, even yellow and white. These are RGBA LEDs, which, due to the colour “A” (amber), enable excellent colour mixing in the otherwise difficult LED areas, and emit a sensuous warm light.
Colour selection and colour combination pose absolutely no problems, especially if you control the system via DMX. With other control modes, the options are, of course, initially restricted, nevertheless quite considerable. In Static, Auto and Sound-to-Light modes, colours, dimmer functions, rate and other parameters can be easily selected and edited.
Strobe with infinitely adjustable flash rate
The strobe LEDs are built into the central strobe section in a circular pattern. It is interesting to note at this point that there are a total of 12 x 0.5-watt white LEDs, which can be effortlessly programmed into strobe intervals. The light-efficient effect is further reinforced by the fact that the LEDs can be controlled individually, in pairs, all together or as required, according to the selected programme.
Running light effects are also possible at any time. Looking at the specification, the strobes do not have the potential to be used as blinders. But this is not their purpose. They do what they are supposed to and enhance the range of effects with a rich brightness.
Diverse laser patterns
The laser is a DPSS category 3R laser. The dual design features two different LEDs: one red and one green. Behind the scenes it delivers (sorry for the fashionable IT term) magnificent graphics programmes and lovely patterns, which, in Auto mode for example, blend harmoniously and beautifully into each other.
This of course enables the widest variety of songs to be musically synchronised. It really comes into its own when the DJ plays romantic ballads, for example. There is no denying that it can provide the light show with enormous emotional effects. Together with the other effect components, the lighting effect is noticeably full and consistent. The DPSS laser is protected against unauthorised or unintentional operation by a lock on the connection panel. Only when the key is inserted and turned does the laser display its talents.
Into the menu to see what’s on offer
Access to the menu with all of its configuration options from dimmer to colour choice, intervals, auto programmes and more is via the control buttons underneath the display. The automatic display lock is released by pressing and holding for a few seconds. The “wait” is quickly over for the usually impatient user, and is hardly a deal-breaker. In contrast to some other manufacturers, Cameo arranges the functions of the control buttons from right to left in the order: Mode, Enter, Up and Down.
Using the buttons it is quite straightforward to navigate through the menu tree, which opens in the usual manner like a drawer from the main menu and branches further into the sub-menus. The DMX mode is configured here, as it is used, and we move on merrily from there. To avoid getting lost in a menu maze and not knowing which way to turn, small LEDs to the left and to the right of the display indicate which mode is currently active. This makes sense.
DMX & Co.
The UVO from Cameo can be controlled via music-control with the built-in auto programmes, and run in master or slave modes. Of course, optimal functionality is integrated into the DMX512 system. For this purpose, 3-, 5-, 12-, 27 and 32-channel modes are available. Any standard DMX software can configure the entire sub-functions including colour parameters, effect combinations, scene changes, chases etc.
Simply press the Mode button repeatedly until DMX appears, and the necessary attributes such as DMX address, DMX channel mode etc. are immediately on hand. On the connection side are the DMX-In for connection to the controller, and DMX-Out for sending to other devices.
Simpler than the TV remote control
If you like things to be particularly simple and logical, you can just use the supplied IR remote to control things. Small, handy and effective. Since the IR remote can control almost all of the features that can shine in the show, we want to take a closer look at our new business card-sized buddy. The reason for looking at the IR remote: It logically shows the functions that you would use in live operation – realistically and without bells and whistles. Take a moment to recognise which functions are assigned to each button, then you can operate it really quickly and intuitively by hand.
At the top is the “On/Off button with blackout function”. On the same row of buttons, the auto-programmes can be selected, in this case a mixed sequence of all effects. Music control is activated just as simply. A mere touch of a button and off it goes.
The row underneath comprises buttons to select colours of the PAR spotlights, flower effects, and the pause facility. Hold tight – not you, but the remote control – there’s more: The buttons A, B and C activate the PAR spots, the flower LEDs and laser respectively, all with access to the submenu at all times. All that remain are the digit buttons to adjust the speed, an additional button for music control and the button to activate the strobe programmes. And that’s all. For normal lighting designs, nothing else is required.
It would be nice to be able select the auto-programmes directly from here. But no matter, this would probably be too much to ask for, so they have to be implemented via DMX as required. Whether you choose DMX configuration or IR remote is thus simply a matter of personal preference and the complexity of the setup. Any DJ, entertainer or solo-performer wanting to provide sound and lighting for small to medium-sized events will probably prefer the IR variant. It is so straightforward. The distance to the unit could be problematic. It should not exceed approximately 4.5 metres; otherwise there is a risk that the unit may not recognise the control signals.
What is striking is that the auto-programmes and their effects are fit for purpose and gig-friendly. The factory settings have nothing to do with deceptive, flashy marketing. The scenes and auto-programmes are entertaining and extremely usable. I find it equally impressive that compatible programmes seem to have an almost composed sequence. This enhances the dynamics of the show, without drifting into the unusable. A light will only have an effect on the audience if it provokes an emotional reaction and the effects combine to make a cohesive whole. This one works. I like it a lot.
The manufacturer advertises this unit as having “low-noise fans”. This is partly true. It just depends upon what you perceive as quiet. The fact is that a constant background noise emanates from the Cameo UVO, even in blackout mode. This would hardly bother travelling DJs and bands, as it would disappear unnoticed under the music and voices. However, should the unit be used for goods presentations or sensitive shows in small art theatres etc. the noise could be slightly annoying.
Conclusion (4.5 / 5)
The Cameo UVO, with its diverse range of effects and colours, tasteful default auto-programmes and efficient LEDs and diodes, is a truly handy and extremely usable multi-effect. Once you familiarise yourself with the options available from its individual components, you immediately come to the conclusion that there are no significant flaws. Anyone using the Cameo UVO is fully capable of running a light show independently. Wash lights, strobe, laser – everything is on hand and can be used both individually and in combination. This makes the UVO especially suitable for DJs and musicians “on the road”, who require access to as many functions as possible in the same device. And especially because of the amazingly low price of just 278 euros (MSRP), it is certainly worthwhile investing in this unit. Highly recommended for the mobile event sector.
Variety of effects
Simple operation via IR remote or DMX
All effects can be used independently
Colour spectrum includes UV (wash light)
Colour spectrum, includes amber (flower)
5-in-1 LED effects spotlight with IR remote control
Wash light and black light with 9 x 4 W RGB+UV LEDs
Flower effect with 24 red, 18 green, 18 blue and 24 amber-coloured LEDs
Laser with red 100-mW and green 30-mW LEDs (DPSS laser)
Strobe with 12 ultra-bright white 0.5-watt LEDs
All effects can be used individually
DMX-, sound and automatic control
Master and slave modes
Robust metal housing with low-noise fan
Universal mounting bracket supplied
Product type: LED Lighting Effects
Type: LED / Strobe / Laser Effects
Colour spectrum wash light: RGB+UV
Number of LEDs wash light: 9
LED type wash light: 4 W
Colour spectrum flower effect: RGBA
Number of LEDs flower effect: 84
Colour spectrum laser effect: red LED (650 nm), green LED (532 nm)
Number of LEDs laser effect: 1 x red, 1 x green
Laser class laser effect: 3R
Laser shutdown (safety function): Connection for external emergency stop switch, lock switch
Colour spectrum strobe: white
Number of LEDs strobe: 12
LED type strobe: 0.5 W
DMX input: 3-pin male XLR
DMX mode: 32-channel, 5-channel, 3-channel, 27-channel, 12-channel
DMX functions: Wash, Flower, Auto-Programmes, Laser, Sound-Programmes, Strobe
DMX output: 3-pin female XLR
Stand-alone modes: Sound-Programmes, Slave Mode, Auto-Programmes
Operating controls: Up, Enter, Mode, Down
Display elements: 4-digit LED display
Power connection: IEC input and output
Operating voltage: 100–240 V AC / 50–60 Hz
Power consumption: 70 W
Fuse: T 1.6 AL / 250 V
Temperature range: 0 – 40°C
Housing material: Metal
Housing colour: Black
Housing cooling: Low-noise fan
Dimensions: (W/H/D): 280 x 230 x 170 mm
Weight: 2.6 kg
Additional details: Key switch with 2 keys, connection for external emergency stop switch
RRP: 278 euros