There has been a lot of great innovation in the continuous lighting space recently. I recently got the opportunity to check out two of Zhiyun’s newest lights: the G60 (a 60-watt capable cube) and the slightly larger X100. Are these lights worth adding to your kit? In this short review, I’ll break down my experiences with these lights after using them on a number of shoots.
The G60 is a tiny light, easily fitting into the palm of your hand and weighing in at just 300 grams (0.66 pounds). Despite the small size, it’s capable of a continuous 60 watt output. Thanks to advanced LED tech, that’s shockingly bright – enough for livestreams, interviews, smaller scale product photography, and events. The numbers show it’s putting out 2300+ lux at 1m. For $250, that’s an impressive value.
The integrated cooling system lets you run the light at full tilt with little fan noise. I shot multiple video clips operating in very close proximity to the light, and I didn’t pick up any unwanted noises on my mic setup. Furthermore, at just 60 watts, this isn’t going to cook you or the subject.
Being 60 watts with 1-100 ramping capability lets you dial in the right level for each application. While the light does support app control, I preferred to just use the dials. There are separate controls for brightness and color range.
Speaking of color, the light has a great rating of CRI 96+ and TLCI 97+, meaning it’ll faithfully reproduce colors in camera, something cheap LED lights often suffer with.
The app support does come in handy if you have the light rigged somewhere less accessible. Both the small size and versatile power input (the light supports DC power or USB-C PD) enable you to get this light in some interesting places – it could even go on-camera with some careful rigging, allowing you to light dynamic subjects with ease.
Around the front of the light is the only sticking point: a less common modifier mount. The ZY mount does have a number of modifiers available for it, with even the basic light kit coming with a mini reflector and dome diffuser. Available separately are mini softboxes and dome diffusers.
While the mini modifiers are good, you’d probably want the ZY to Bowens adapter to better integrate this into your existing lighting gear. This modifier is available as part of the combo or separately, but is a bit expensive either way.
Overall, the Zhiyun G60 is a really good option for compact lighting in the smaller studio or in the field. Having a 60 watt capable light that supports USB-C can allow for some really interesting setups, like the previously mentioned “on camera” rig or a more powerful and color-accurate replacement for practical lights.
Sharing some of the same design mentality, but with a very different exterior, the X100 offers 100 watts of power in nearly as compact of a package as the G60. At just 85g heavier, for a total of 385g, the X100 offers nearly twice the output, thanks to a larger flowthrough cooling system. It’s also the same price at $250, although some highly recommended accessories make it a bit more expensive as a full package.
In any case, the jump in output from 60W to 100W is really noticeable. While the G60 is no slouch, the X100 fills larger modifiers better, and it can put up more of a fight against ambient light.
Apart from the visual differences, these lights operate very similarly. Two knobs and a power switch control all the features, while the X100 also offers app support. The same CRI 95+ and TLCI 97+ scores are present, along with the 2700K to 6500K range.
The X100 also adds support for an integrated battery grip. You can still power the light via DC adapter or 100W USB-C PD, but this grip is my favorite way to use the light. The form factor feels like a camera, with a grip on the right side and light coming from the “lens” area. It’s surprisingly comfortable, as the grip and batteries constitute much of the weight, making for a well-balanced package. While being so easily hand-holdable, it can put out an absolute wall of light.
All the same caveats for modifiers also apply to the X100, and arguably are even more significant. 100 watts is really good territory for larger softbox style modifiers, so a ZY to Bowens adapter is arguably a necessity with this light.
Which Should You Buy?
It’s natural to compare these two lights. From the same brand, around the same price point, and with the same emphasis on portability, they’re both good options. The X100 is going to be a bit more expensive once you get the combo that includes the battery and mount adapter. It’s also somewhat bigger.
Overall, the X100 would be my choice for most use. The extra 40 watts of headroom really helps with heavier modifiers. Also, the unconventional form factor may take some time to get used to, but it’s more flexible than the G60 on balance.
That said, the G60 is a great pick for users who need the smallest high-quality light possible. For small-scale interviews or for tabletop product photography, it’s a very useful option. Plus, in any of these scenarios, the “mini” ZY mount modifiers would still be fine, helping you keep the rig even smaller and less expensive.
The G60 is available as a standalone light, or as a kit that adds a bag, softbox, mount adapter, and handheld tripod.
The X100 is also available as a standalone light, or as part of a kit. The Combo Set strikes me as the best value, adding the crucial adapter and very useful integrated battery, while the pro set also adds a softbox.
Zhiyun X100 and G60
- Build Quality
- Size and Weight
- Ease of Use
- Speed and Performance
Photography Life Overall Rating