Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 Photography Light Stick Review
When shooting, you often encounter the problem of insufficient light in the scene, such as in the evening and night, or in the indoor scene with poor light. Under this light condition, it is impossible to blur the background well, highlight the still life of the portrait, etc. The subject may even appear out of focus. For example, when shooting against the light, the subject will be shrouded in shadows and causing the details of the subject to be lost. The simple and effective way to solve this problem is to use fill light to increase the brightness of the subject, but it is not too high. Brightness fill lights are bulky and inconvenient to carry and require an external power supply, which limits the freedom of movement to a certain extent.
ZHIYUN, a leading gimbal brand for filmmakers, has launched its second portable lighting product called the FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick. This product follows the success of the FiveRay FR100C. Lighting is a crucial element in the filmmaking process, and ZHIYUN aims to provide a comprehensive range of photography and filmmaking products that includes everything needed for a scene, such as imaging, lighting, and audio. The FIVERAY F100 is the result of ZHIYUN’s own research and development efforts, resulting in a portable LED light stick that is 5 times brighter than other similar products.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick is a versatile and portable lighting solution for content creators and bloggers. With its built-in lithium battery, it can be used as a hand-held supplementary light on the go. It has dual color temperatures and RGB full-color modes, allowing for a range of lighting options to suit different shooting scenarios. The peak power of the light is up to 100W, making it a powerful tool for illuminating your videos and photos. Next, I will share the actual user experience of this Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick.
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The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 comes packaged in a khaki box, the front of the box is marked with the product name, FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick (COMBO), indicating that this is a combo package. The back side of the box provides additional information about the product’s features and specifications.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick comes with a convenient storage bag included. The bag is designed with a simple and stylish look, featuring the Zhiyun logo on the front and a handle on the side for easy carrying. The bag has a side zipper and is lined with cushioning sponge to separate the placement area of the light stick and power adapter, making it easy to store and retrieve the items.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 LED Light Stick is available in two versions: the Standard version and the COMBO version. The COMBO version includes the Fiveray F100 LED light stick, a charging cable, a storage bag, a Quick Start Guide, and a Power Adapter. The Standard version only includes the Fiveray F100 LED light stick and does not come with a power adapter.
The power adapter is specifically designed for the stick light and has an output voltage and current of 24V/5.0A, with a rated output power of 120W. This allows the stick light to operate and charge simultaneously at full power. However, the power adapter is large and heavy, making it difficult to use on the go and not very portable. It can also be replaced with a charger or power bank that supports 100W PD fast charging for more convenience and portability.
The dimensions of the Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 are 502mm in length, 46mm in width, and 47mm in height. It weighs 950 grams. It comes in two color options, black and white. I got the black color, which has a sleek and understated design. The body shell is made of plastic, and the surface is treated with a matte spraying process. There is no extra decoration, which is quite harmonious visually, and the edges of the body are softened by chamfering and rounding.
The backside of the stick light features a display and control area located at the bottom. The stick light is equipped with a monochrome OLED screen, which displays information such as the current light mode, brightness, battery power, and other parameters. The dial, located nearby, allows for adjustments to various parameters. The power switch button, located at the center of the dial, can be used to turn the stick light on or off by holding it down for a prolonged period.
Switch between different lighting modes by pressing the up, down, left, and right keys of the turntable, and turn the turntable to adjust parameters such as light brightness, color, or color temperature. The operation logic of the stick light is relatively simple and intuitive. The light itself is heavy and difficult to operate with one hand. For the sake of safety, you still need to hold the stick light with one hand and adjust the parameters with the other hand.
It is evident that the stick light generates a significant amount of internal heat when operating in full power brightness mode, making heat dissipation a crucial aspect of its design. To improve heat dissipation, the device is equipped with aluminum alloy heat dissipation fins and six cooling fans. The fans have an input voltage and current of 12V/0.1A and a rated power of 1.2W. Once the internal temperature reaches a certain threshold, the cooling fans will automatically activate.
The stick-light body is equipped with cooling holes of varying sizes on both sides. During low brightness settings, it utilizes passive heat dissipation to cool down. However, when it is used for prolonged periods of high-load shooting, the LED generates a significant amount of heat. The cooling holes ensure that the internal heat is dissipated quickly to ensure safe operation. Without proper heat dissipation, the concentrated heat can negatively impact the stability of the lamp beads or components.
The right side of the fuselage features two charging interfaces, the USB-C and the DC circular interface. Both interfaces have a dust cover and can support fast charging protocols. The DC charging mode supports a maximum power of 28W, while the USB-C interface supports PD and QC protocols. PD fast charging has a maximum power of 25W and QC fast charging has a maximum power of 18W.
The fuselage houses six 2600mAh lithium batteries that are built-in. The duration of battery life primarily depends on the lighting mode and level of brightness. At full power of 100W, it can run for approximately 31 minutes, while at 50W, it can last for an hour. If the RGB lighting mode is used, the battery life is extended. Additionally, it can be powered through a power adapter or mobile power supply, eliminating any concerns about inadequate battery life.
The model of the Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light is printed on the left side of the fuselage. The front of the handle has a covering layer to enhance the surface friction. Although it appears to be made of leather, it is actually made of rubber. The surface features leather-like textures and the Zhiyun logo. The touch feel is pleasant as only one side has a silicone layer, while the other three sides are plastic surfaces. To hold the stick light more comfortably and stably, you can also wrap it in non-slip rubber tape.
A label paper containing information such as the product model and certification is affixed to the bottom of the fuselage. A label with the serial number is placed on the top of the fuselage. Additionally, a 1/4 inch universal screw hole is designed on the bottom of the fuselage, allowing for the stick light to be mounted on various equipment such as tripods, slide rails, and monopods. It is important to ensure that the equipment is securely fastened when installing the stick light due to its heavy weight.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light may not be suitable for long-term handheld use due to its weight and slender design. However, it can be mounted on a variety of equipment, such as a tripod or slide rail, through its 1/4-inch universal screw. While various accessories can help secure the light, it is important to consider the stability of the equipment being used. A universal bracket or mini tripod may not provide enough support.
The front of the stick light is covered with a white matte soft light board. The soft light board is made of plastic material. The hard material can protect the LED lamp beads inside the stick light. The actual light-softening effect of the soft light board is relatively general. The exclusive light control component is used. The light control component includes a soft light cloth! and the light-softening effect will be greatly improved, making the light transition smooth and natural.
From the front, we can see the layout of the LED SMD lamp beads within the stick lamp is visible. The stick lamp is equipped with six rows of LED lamp beads! with four of them dedicated to cold light and warm light beads. Each row contains 88 LED lamp beads, resulting in a total of 176 LED lamp beads arranged at intervals. This allows for color temperature adjustment within the range of 2700K~6500K. The peak power of the dual-color temperature lamp beads can reach 50W! and according to the official statement, the CRI (color rendering index) is >96. At a distance of one meter, the illuminance under the CCT mode 6200K color temperature and 100% brightness can reach 1200Lux.
The stick light features 148 full-color RGB lamp beads, with both the second and fifth columns containing these beads. It also supports HSI full-color mode, allowing for the adjustment of parameters such as hue, saturation, and brightness. Additionally, it can create automatic RGB color gradients for display. These colorful RGB light effects are useful for photography, particularly for capturing light painting or creating unique shooting atmospheres.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light offers support for both CCT color temperature mode and HSI color mode. The CCT mode is a widely used function for adjusting color temperature and brightness! and it features six built-in scene light effects and a variety of ambient light effects. This allows for the creation of special effects lighting, such as lightsabers, flowing gradients, and dual-track meteor effects. Additionally, the stick light has the capability for firmware upgrades! which can be utilized to add more lighting effects and functions in the future.
The color temperature of the light can be changed by adjusting the brightness of the cold and warm lamp beads. Each of the cold and warm color temperature lamp beads has a peak power of 50W. The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light has a full power mode that allows the stick light to run at its maximum brightness. In this mode, both the cold and warm lights are at their highest brightness! resulting in a color temperature of 4000K. The operating power of the stick light also increases to 100W in this mode.
Shooting at night can add more texture to your photos, but lighting assistance is essential. The camera’s built-in flash is not very effective, so I don’t use it for daily shooting. An external flash can provide a decent fill light effect, but it takes time to set up and can be difficult to keep up with during the continuous shooting. It can only satisfy the needs of still photography; video shooting requires additional fill lighting.
Finding a location without street lighting proved to be a challenge. The image attached was captured using a mobile phone. When the stick light is set to MAX full power mode, the light irradiation angle reaches almost 180 degrees! and the brightness is sufficient for general video recording. If more precise control over light exposure is required, accessories such as light baffles or control grids can be used.
When comparing the effect of the stick light in CCT mode with a color temperature of 4000K and 100% brightness to the full power mode, the original image shot with an F2.0 aperture value, ISO-800 exposure! and 1/200 second is unedited. The light in full power mode is warmer, making it suitable for portrait photography! but the white balance can be adjusted for a more natural color. However, in practice, the full power mode is typically not used as frequently.
If you find the fill light effect of a single color temperature and fixed angle to be insufficient, the Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light offers a solution. By switching to the HSI full-color mode, which can be activated by pressing the down-direction key on the dial, you can adjust the light color with more precision. Additionally, it is hoped that a future firmware upgrade will introduce a color cycle gradient lighting effect to make the background atmosphere more dynamic during video shoots.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light offers a range of lighting modes that can be easily adjusted for daily portraits, travel, and still-life photography. I will showcase the auxiliary light effect using locally sourced materials to create light painting images in this demonstration. I will set the lamp to the color of the front and rear lights and then move the stick light quickly to capture the desired effect, which can be further adjusted in post-processing.
Light painting is a technique where long exposure is used to capture light and shadow trails. To achieve longer trails, the exposure time must be properly extended. When creating multiple lines or longer lines, multiple shots may be needed, and the composition can be adjusted later. The image below is an example of a light painting created using a combination stick with a flowing gradient light effect. It is important to note that the light from the stick should not be too bright to avoid overexposure in the final image. Contrary to popular belief, light painting is not complicated, and any desired pattern can be created by quickly waving the stick light.
I frequently photograph digital products and need to properly illuminate the subject to achieve a more natural and comprehensive shot. While using ordinary umbrella-shaped fill lights can fill in the light, it can be difficult to get the desired effect when shooting smaller objects as they are not easy to move due to their size and may experience certain angles of obstruction.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light offers greater control over brightness and color. It can be tailored to the specific needs of the subject, such as adding targeted colors for an e-sports game mouse. The stick light can be adjusted for various shooting styles to enhance the atmosphere of the scene! resulting in better effects than a warm white two-color fill light, particularly when shooting short videos.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light is able to produce a high level of brightness in a small form factor! however, when capturing larger scenes or illuminating larger objects, it is often necessary to use additional lights. For example, in the photo below, a single stick light would not be able to effectively light both the left and right sides of the desktop! so the Zhiyun FIVERAY M40 pocket light was used as supplementary lighting.
The test chart above illustrates that the lighting angle range of the stick light is almost 180°. The high light brightness of the Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light can cause increased glare or reduced contrast in the video image if it shines directly on the lens. Therefore, it is essential to use light control components for macro still-life photography to achieve a softer and more uniform light effect.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light is versatile and can be paired with various accessories. Personally, I prefer to use the exclusive light control component, which includes a diffuser, a light baffle, and a light control grid. These accessories are lightweight and compact, making them easy to fold and store when not in use. They can also be conveniently placed in the storage bag of the stick light.
To manage the range of light exposure in the stick light, a light baffle will be utilized during daily shooting. The light baffle is easy to install; simply buckle it onto the back of the light stick. The light baffle is made of plastic with an inner side of high-reflectivity aluminum foil. The angle can be adjusted on both sides, allowing for effective control of the lighting range.
The image above illustrates the lighting effect of the Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 sticks light with a light barrier. The stick light is positioned above the computer desktop! and the light coverage is adjusted to only shine on the designated area of the desktop. This ensures that the wall behind the display is not affected by the light, and the display screen will not reflect the light when shooting at a low angle.
The white frosted soft light board that comes with the stick light provides a general soft light effect. To achieve a softer shadow effect when shooting macro characters! it is recommended to use it in conjunction with a soft light cloth. To use the soft light cloth, it should be placed directly on the light baffle after unfolding it. However, it is not recommended to use a soft light cloth in HSI full-color mode as it greatly reduces the brightness of the light.
When shooting on a daily basis, you can enhance your lighting by attaching a light control grid to your stick light as needed. The grid attaches using Velcro and has a honeycomb-like shape and layout. Compared to using a light baffle, the grid allows for better control of the range of light exposure! allowing you to focus the light on the subject being photographed or illuminate a specific area. It can even create the effect of sunlight shining through a window slit.
Battery and Charging
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 supports both PD fast charging and DC charging modes! with a nominal charging power of 25W in PD mode and 28W when using a DC power adapter. However, testing shows that the actual charging power is 22W, and it takes around three hours to fully charge.
All of the power consumption measurements were conducted with the stick light fully charged. At a color temperature of 6200K and 100% brightness, the power consumption in the CCT power mode is 50W. When the cooling fan is activated, the power usage increases to 52W. The built-in lithium battery can provide power for approximately one hour. When used while charging, the input power measured can exceed 73W.
At its maximum power and brightness setting, the stick light consumes 100W of power! reaching the maximum output limit of PD3.0 fast charging. In the HSI full-color mode, the highest power consumption is approximately 24W. The power consumption varies depending on the selected light color, with blue light consuming 10W and yellow light consuming 24W.
The stick light has a battery life of approximately 30 minutes when in full power mode, which is considered satisfactory. However, if you plan on shooting outdoors for extended periods of time! it is recommended to use an external power supply to prevent interruptions in your shooting. There are many mobile power supplies available on the market with a 100W output, such as the one currently in your possession. These power supplies can easily supply power to the stick light for an hour without any issues. Outdoor power supplies typically have a larger capacity and can provide power for longer periods of time.
The Zhiyun FIVERAY F100 stick light is a portable and versatile light source that features a slender design! Making it easy to carry and use. It can be mounted on a tripod or other equipment for a fixed light position! or it can be hand-held for fill light or creative effects like light painting. The light is bright and offers a range of color temperatures and color modes! with a high CRI (color rendering index) of 96. It also has built-in creative light effects and an active cooling fan for stable operation at full load. The stick light is suitable for a variety of shooting subjects and scenarios! such as portraits, still life, and light painting. It eliminates the need for laborious light set-ups and allows for easy on-the-go lighting adjustments.
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