Z96 vs W12 LED Video Lights
December 21, 2011
Sorry it took me a while to run these little tests, but i’m in between some big projects right now. Here’s an update on testing the W12 LED video light with High Power LED bulbs, compared to the Z96. If you’re not up to speed, we are comparing the two because they share basically the exact same form factor and feature set (batteries used, dimmer knob, magnetic snap filters, etc.)
Here’s a comparison of coverage. As on-camera LED Video lights, this is a general distance to subject you might be using when the LED lights are mounted on camera. On the Top is the W12 and on the Bottom is the Z96. Camera settings were 1/50th F/2.8 ISO 640 for this spotlight test.
The W12 has a sharper and more defined edge at the end of it’s coverage, while the Z96 feathers out gradually. The W12 seems a little more evenly flat across the spread, while The Z96 has more of a hotspot towards the center. The coverage is almost similar between the two lights spreading 9 feet across with the lights just 5 feet away from the wall.
Below I have the camera set to a manual 5600K color temp with the lights at 5 feet away from target. In my eyes the W12 seems closer to that temperature, but there still lies a greenish color cast. Take note that the Z96 shutter speed settings were a few stops better than the W12, proving that the Z96 has more overall light output. At least in the middle area.
Next up is the camera set to a Manual 3200K color temp, and adding on the Tungsten filters. I never use these things, since they cut down a good amount of light, and aren’t very close to tungsten. For kicks, here’s what to expect when using these filters. Again, the Z96 with it’s own filter is several stops better than the W12 LED light. Even though it’s not perfect, of the two, I think the Z96 performed better with the 3200K filter test.
There’s some interesting differences here. Pros and Cons for each light. As you can see there’s a bit of a color shift between lights from a greenish cast to a more magenta color cast. The Z96 also has more of a hotspot towards the center, while the W12 seems a little more flat across. The W12 has a sharper and more defined edge at the end of it’s coverage, while the Z96 feathers out gradually. Overall, the Z96 has more light output and fairs better in the 3200K test, but the W12 was not too shabby at the 5600K test. Even though these lights fail to be perfect all around, the Z96 especially has been around for more than a year and has been one of the most recommended entry level LED lights. The W12 may be considered mainly because it’s slightly cheaper in price.
These W12 high power LED lights are found at (click here).
12 High Power LED Video Light
The Z96 LED video lights can be found on eBay (click here)
Z96 LED Video Light.
Other lights you might be interested in is the 240 Bi-Color or 312 Bi-Color LED video lights. A bit larger than the 96 version, and a bit more expensive, but they give you more control with adjustable color temperature (without the use of colored filters).
240 LED video light (click here)
240 Dimmable Color Changing LED Video Light without Barndoors
312 LED video light (click here)
312 LED Bi-Color Changing Dimmable LED Video light
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