Zhiyun Fiveray F100 Light Stick Review: Game Changer For Filmmakers

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The Fiveray F100 LED light stick from Zhiyun, a leading manufacturer in the gimbal industry, is a new addition to their product range of lighting equipment. The 50cm long LED light stick can be handheld or mounted on a tripod for effective subject illumination. In addition to adjustable color temperature, the light stick also offers effect colors and continuous luminosity adjustments. Similar to other LED lights, pre-programmed effects or light patterns are also available for video recordings.

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Unboxing

Unboxing the Zhiyun F100 was a seamless experience. The packaging was sleek and compact, making it easy to open and access all of the included items. Inside, I found the FIVERAY F100, Charging Cable, Quick Guide, and a handy carrying bag.

Along with these essentials, I was also pleasantly surprised to find two Leaf Barn Doors, Diffusers, and a Grid. The manual was well written and easy to understand, making it easy to get started with the F100. Overall, I was impressed with the contents of the box and am excited to start using the F100 for my photography and videography projects.

Accessories

Upon receiving my ZHIYUN FIVERAY F100, I was impressed with the included accessories
that came with the package. The 2-leaf barn doors and diffuser were made with high-quality materials and felt durable in my hands. The barn doors, in particular, caught my attention as they had reflective material on them, which I knew would be useful for controlling the light during my shoots. I quickly set up the barn doors and was pleased to see that they stayed put at the angle that I set them to. This was a great feature as it allowed me to easily control the light and achieve the desired look for my shots.

The diffuser was also a nice addition to the package. It helped to soften the light and created a more natural and pleasing look. I found that it worked well for close-up shots and portraits, giving a softer and more natural look to the skin tones. The diffuser was easy to attach and remove, making it convenient to use when needed.

I was very pleased with the included accessories that came with my ZHIYUN FIVERAY F100. The 2-leaf barn doors and diffuser were well-made and provided great functionality for controlling the light during my shoots. I would highly recommend this product to any videographer or photographer looking for a high-quality and versatile stabilizer with great accessories.

Design

The F100 barn doors make the light slightly heavier, coming in at 30g more than the F100C. However, it still weighs less than a kilogram at 950g, making it easy to transport and use on a shoot.

One of the key features of the F100 is the control dial, which allows you to adjust the intensity of the light. This is important because the 100W output can sometimes cause highlights to blow out on a subject. Although the dial is small and can be a bit tricky to use, especially in wet conditions.

On the back of the device, there are 6 fans that are present. These fans are designed to remain off for the majority of the time as the heatsink is able to act passively. However, after 10 minutes of intensive use, these fans will be activated. Despite this, the noise produced by the fans is acceptable and should not cause any disturbance.

Additionally, the handle on the device is positioned away from the part of the bar that heats up. This means that when using the device, you will not feel the heat on your hand. This is a great feature as it allows for a more comfortable and safe experience when using the device.

Control

The control dial also has four buttons that provide additional functionality. Pressing the bottom of the dial (at the downside) will bring up the HSI (Hue, Saturation, and Intensity) menu. This allows you to fine-tune the colors, such as blues, greens, and reds, to achieve a neon-style look for urban photography.

The right-side CCT button allows you to access the color temperature controls. Pressing the dial at the up-side button will trigger the maximum output of the light. The left side button (labeled FX) gives you access to six new special effects presets – SOS, TV, Faulty Bulb, Candle, Flash, and Fire. These preset can be a great starting point for creative video projects, as demonstrated in our accompanying test video.

Features

As I said the upgraded Zhiyun Fiveray F100 offers new and additional features compared to the older F100C model. Although the main body of both light sticks appears and feels identical, the new F100 includes a set of barn doors that allow for control over the spread of light emitted from the columns and rows of LEDs.

The barn doors are designed with a reflective interior to aid in directing light onto the subject with precision and efficiency. The included elasticated diffuser can be placed over the barn doors for a gentler distribution of light. Additionally, the barn doors can be removed and replaced with the supplied canvas light grid, however, this accessory does not greatly alter the pattern of light emitted by the F100’s LEDs.

The F100 has introduced a collection of pre-programmed special effects that control the behavior of the light stick’s multiple LEDs. This new feature allows for more creativity in lighting as the F100 boasts more LED chips (324) than the older model’s 256 chips. These preset effects allow for the creative augmentation of a location’s lighting, similar to the Nanlite PavoTube T8-7X’s creative lighting presets. For instance, you can use the preset to make the F100 flicker like a TV set or emit a distress flash using the SOS setting.

Similar to the F100C, the Fiveray F100 also features a control dial for adjusting its color temperature to suit the lighting conditions. This allows for a more natural and cohesive look in your shots. For example, when shooting outdoors in daylight, the dial can be set to 5600º K to match the cool tones of natural light. Conversely, when shooting indoors, the dial can be rotated to a warmer setting, such as 3000º K, to mimic the tones of a tungsten light source.

Battery

The ZHIYUN FIVERAY F100 is a powerful and versatile lighting option for any photographer or videographer. The built-in Lithium-ion battery allows for extended use, with the ability to go 30 minutes at 100W max power, an hour at 50W, and over 5 hours at 10W working power. This makes it perfect for on-the-go shoots, where power outlets may not be readily available.

One of the standout features of the FIVERAY F100 is its Type-C fast charging capability, as well as the option to charge while using. This means that you can keep your light running without interruption, making it an ideal option for long shoots or events.

The 100W power supply is a great feature, as it allows for easy recharging of the device and simultaneous charging of the battery. However, I did find that the USB-C port, while useful for charging, did not provide a consistent power supply. Overall, I found the Zhiyun F100 to be a reliable and user-friendly device, with a few minor drawbacks.

Verdict

The control dial on the FIVERAY F100 was a major downside for me. While I appreciate the sleek and modern design, the dial itself doesn’t protrude enough from the surface. This can make it challenging to spin from a side angle, even with its textured surface. Additionally, if you’re not paying close attention, you may accidentally push in the dial and change modes instead of adjusting a value.

Despite this drawback, the positives of this unit far outweigh any negative aspects. The technology and brightness have been significantly improved over the previous model, making it a much more powerful and efficient option. Additionally, the unit offers a variety of fun and unique lighting effects, such as candlelight, faulty bulb, and even fire. These added features add a level of versatility and personality to the unit, making it a more enjoyable and dynamic experience.

The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 is a versatile and high-performing solution that is perfect for a wide range of video production needs. Whether you are a professional videographer or a hobbyist, this piece of equipment is sure to make your videos stand out.

One of the best features of the Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 is its ability to perform well in a variety of different video formats. Whether you are creating TikTok videos, live streaming, or doing closeups and interviews, this piece of equipment is sure to deliver the results you are looking for.

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Read Also: Zhiyun FIVERAY FR100C Review – Flagship Stick Light for Filmmakers
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