A Z96 Clone or Z96 Upgrade? W96 LED Light


Thanks to a tip from Dave here's something of interest. Still all new to me, but apparently it's advertising as an 'upgrade' to the uber popular Z96 LED Video light. There has been rumor for sometime that there was an upgrade due to a few minor bugs. Mainly flickering at low battery levels and a poor ball head mount. Sure the original Z96 had F&V pasted on it, but was that just brand stamping on a no name LED light? In any case, here's an introduction to the 'W96' LED video light. [Thanks Dave]

BTW, here's a fun bit showing use of the Z96 among other LED lights. http://cheesycam.com/cheap-500-led-1000-led-and-z96-lights-in-use/

Almost dead on specs from weight to power draw and power output. Now coming in black (instead of grey) the W96 has basically the same form factor, magnetic snap on filters, uses similar battery types, and of course stackable. The big questions are, is this a real upgrade? If not, how does it match up to the real thing? One advantage that it does have is much lower pricing (right now). Then again, that's exactly where the original Z96 price started too before inflation. Check it out following the link (click here).

find-price-button Z96 Upgrade Dimmable LED Video Light W96

[Update on this Particular LED Video Light]

36 thoughts on “A Z96 Clone or Z96 Upgrade? W96 LED Light

  1. Jay

    This seller sucks, I ordered mine two weeks ago then he goes on vacation without saying anything.. I'm gonna return this light when I get it or sell it off for what I paid for if I can...

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  3. Verm

    I wrote to the seller about the increased price and got the following reply (HK seller):

    "there are so many orders for this LED light, so there is no inventory for little sell on ebay, so I uprised the price here.
    please wait another week for it, we had extended the produce capacity, we will have more on next week, then I will reduce the price to prevous price.....is that ok for you?
    sorry for it...."

    So hold your horses until the price drops down!

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  5. blackroom

    I'm just wondering if there would be an issue with mixing these new lights with the old Z96's. Thanks!

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @sfbay.jon - Considering they are also 'dimmable' you don't need to have them all on full power. You can use three and adjust the power output differently for each. Having multiple won't necessarily have more 'power' but it will have a broader area of coverage, making it appear more diffused and softer. You could always start with 3-4 and then add on later as needed. You could also power them with these batteries: http://cheesycam.com/12v-dc-battery-with-5v-usb-port/

  7. sfbay.jon

    How many of these 96-LED units would be needed to do 3-point lighting? I imagine that the key light would require multiple units...

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @sfbay.jon - There is no reviews on the W96, but it looks exactly like the Z96 which is a very popular light.

  9. blackroom

    has anyone tested these new ones compared to the old Z96's?
    with shipping included the old Z96 is not much more.
    but if they're improved i'd go for the new ones.
    thanks everyone!

  10. I look forward to a recent purchasers review of the W96 v Z96. Hopefully the the plastic ball mount as been upgraded to something more durable, mine lasted a 2 days!

  11. Oh wow I was just writing you on these I purchased 2 a last night since I just lost my Z96 this weekend on a video shoot in a bar that got rowdy.

    I was going to see if you had any of these for self yet. I like the battery meter "upgrade" lets see whats up when they arrive.

    I purchased 2 for $88 not bad which is around what 1 z96 would go for after the greed kicked in.

    The seller also dropped the shipping charges from $23 to $12

    never hurts to ask for a discount as long as it goes through paypal.

  12. HD-tography

    @Giulio Sciorio

    Nice Job, Very Creative Story! (Yeah Lego!)

    @ Sheldon

    Hmmm As I Recall I Paid Some $90 For Each Of My Z96's And Was Happy With That... These New Ones Are Totally Worth The Inexpensive Price Tag!

    Just Go For It!

  13. I LOVE my four Z96 lights. They are built much better then the Litepanels and are much less expensive. I shoot for a living and beat the crap out of these lights and they still look like they are brand new.

    Earlier this year I was commissioned to shoot a short film comprised of six short music videos. I shot the whole job with the Z96s. We released the short film plus three short music videos with performance pieces.

    I didn't know about the flickering issue until after I shot the video but I found a way around it in post. I used a FCP plugin called Neat Video which is made for noise reduction but it worked with the flickering in the video too.

    If you want to see the final project heres a link - http://giuliosciorio.com/9298/177977/galleries/slave-to-the-city

    BTW I also used a DIY fig rig from Cheesycam to shoot some critical scenes. If Cheesy Cam would like I'd be happy to do a write up of how everything was done.

    Giulio Sciorio

  14. Sheldon

    Screw this... I am getting this one.. every time I wait, price goes up or sold out...

  15. @ Nicholas
    Just order a W96. I have a z96. (got rid of the cn160 bc I hated the green color) and I have a socoland 270. The smaller z96 or w96 are great for event stuff or putting the light in a very tight spot. The 270 and the 312s are a little bigger and, in my opinion, are a little too much for on camera use. If you are an indi filmmaker like me... I say get the 312 AND the 96...this way you can have options and if all else...your key and fill shouldn't be equally powerful anyway (or set to an equal power level) or the image shall be flat. Can't wait till this W96 gets in. :)

  16. Nicholas

    So do you guys think the W96 are better than the 312 BI-Color/SIngle Color Dimmable lights? About ready to pull the trigger on on lights.

    Also where a good place to stock up on batteries for the 96? The 312's come with batteries.

  17. Arnaud

    "... Almost dead on specs from weight to power draw and power output...."

    Well, I went to Ebay, trying to find some differences between both, and according to the descriptions, here they are:

    Color temp 5600k (3200k w/filter)
    Dimensions: 127mm x 75mm x 45mm
    Weight 188g (without battery)

    Colour Temperature: 6000K/3500K (with Amber filter)
    Dimensions: 126 x 78 x 44 mm
    Weight: approx. 185g

    Power draw and output seem to be the same:
    Power: 7W
    Voltage: 5.8-16.8V

    My 2 cents...

  18. saw these yesterday... wasn't sure about them. BUT now that you got a lead on 'em I'm gunna pounce before price goes up.
    PS!!!!! do the math. its cheaper to buy two individually then a set of two... this guys math sucks.
    I'm going to order two and see if they are worth anything.

  19. I was going to try and win this LED the other day on an auction but it ended at like 5am and I didn't wake up in time. Winner got it for $35 I believe. Still debating if I want to be the guinea pig and try it out at this price when you can get the z96 for $10 more.

  20. Habez

    oh my goodness.. i just put in an order for a Z96.. Lol.

    I really wonder if this guy is an upgrade too.. Almost feel like egging my buddy to get the W96 instead now just to get it at its current low price. HMM..

    Think its a worthy gamble?

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