The gimbal manufacturer is expanding its lighting options with a different approach.
Compact and powerful is the theme here. We recently talked about the prototypes of the MOLUS G60 and MOLUS X100 that were shown at CP+, but now these lights are production ready.
If you thought that this was just another simple play at the lighting market (just like we did), you might be in for a surprise. Zhiyun’s approach is all about getting your lights out of the way, letting you shoot with your lights instead of around them.
So, how do these production models stack up against the competition?
The Rubik’s Cube
The Zhiyun MOLUS G60 is touted as being as small as a Rubik’s Cube with a weight of just 300g. Even so, it’ll pump out 60W of power at max output, which sets it up to rival the amaran 60D from Aputure. This is one small but mighty light.
As we discussed in our previous article, it’s much smaller than its competition. This opens up a lot of opportunities for stacking the lights in an array for increased output.
It’s also bi-color, with a CCT range of 2700K - 6500K that can be adjusted via the analog controls on the back of the unit. With a CRI of ≥96 and a TLCI of ≥97, the color accuracy should also be pretty solid.
While the unit has no internal battery like Zhiyun’s previous lights, the G60 can be powered via a DC power adapter. This means you can add a V-Mount battery or just use wall power. But the light also includes a PD fast charge method via USB-C that can take a max of 100W. In a pinch, that could be a lifesaver if you have a power brick lying around.
A Rival to Cinema Lights?
Zhiyun claims the MOLUS X100 is the rival to heavier cinematic lights on the market. While we can’t repeat that claim without a certain amount of skepticism, it certainly aims to prove that with its low weight, compact size, and 100W output.
Coming in at 385g, which is just a little heavier than the G60, it looks more like a thick iPad Air than a light. Just like its sibling, the X100 is bi-color with a CCT of 2700K-6500K, However, the color accuracy numbers are hair different, with a CRI of ≥95 and a TLCI of ≥97.
For output, Zhiyun claims the X100 has 3881 lux at 1 meter, which isn’t too shabby for tiny light like this. We are just unsure if this reading was measured with the light reflector.
Much like the G60, the X100 isn’t battery-powered. It does have the same power options. If you do want to go fully battery-powered and compact, the included X100 grip battery is your answer.
The Good and The Bad
To cool both lights, Zhiyun utilizes what it calls DynaVort Cooling System™, which “deploys gyroscope modeling heat sinks and field-oriented control (FOC) fans.”
Marketing jargon aside, the compact fans seem to be designed from the ground up to be as efficient as possible and utilize software to give creatives smooth output without flickering. According to Zhiyun’s claims, both MOLUS lights can be relied on for 100% output. This is a nice claim to hear as some lights on the market have had trouble keeping the output at 100%, especially using battery power.
But these claims still have to be battle-tested. So, you know, take this information with a grain of salt and all that.
Another cool thing about the MOLUS X100 is the inclusion of a music mode. This is a recording function that enables automatic lighting control along with music, which is a nice feature for music video shooters.
But here’s the bad. Both MOLUS lights utilize the ZY Mount for connecting accessories. Creatives can use an optional adapter to get a Bowens mount. While we would have loved to see a native Bowens mount, the light is just too small.
So, it’s a small inconvenience (and another failure point) but also a necessary one it seems.
Is This Light For You?
If you’re already deep into an ecosystem, like with Aputure or Nanlite, moving into a completely different world might be more disruptive than not, which makes us think that the MOLUS series might be a little too late to the party.
However, we are pleasantly surprised by the direction that Zhiyun is taking. Much like the amaran 60D and 100D, these lights offer a solid amount of light for small sets with a reduced footprint. If there was any tool that could give Aputure a run for its money, it feels like Zhiyun is up for the challenge. Especially with how they're priced.
Having small fixtures for mobile projects can save you time on set. And that’s money in your pocket. For small productions like music videos, the MOLUS line is an attractive tool. Even for things like short films or interviews, their size, and output are nothing to scoff at.
But how they perform in high-pressure production scenarios remains to be seen. We’ll circle back when we can get more real-world results. At the very least, the lights look super cool.
What do you think? Are these two fixtures you’d want in your kit? Let us know in the comments!
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