In my opinion the most important facts about an LED light are: Light quality, Power, Durability, Price and especially for this light: expandability.
Compared to my Litepanels MicroPro the Z180 Bi-Color produces a bit more light, even though I could only use half of its LEDs at once, because 90 LEDs are daylight-balanced and the other 90 tungsten-balanced.
F&V also ships a diffusion filter which simply snaps-on using magnets. A really nice system for normale usage, but I don't how it would hold up if you shoot in a shaking truck or so. Other than that these snap-on filters are really easy to use!
This light has 3 power options:
- DV-power using a seperate power adapter.
- Sony NP-F batteries.
- Six normal AA-batteries.
For this review I used a completely charged NP-F90 and it powered the Z180 for little over 3 hours!
The housing of the Z180 is well-made and will definitely sustain several crashes. Compared to the Litepanels MicroPro the plastic is way more durable and makes a more solid impression.
The only negative point is the extremely unstable ball head. Maybe it was just my unit, but I won't trust this little guy for longer productions! It continously moves to one direction (not the band!) and can't be fastened in the hot shoe very good.
You can get a 5600K version with 180 daylight-balanced LEDs for 319€ ($369) or the Bi-Color version, which I used, for 339€ ($389). Both excl. tax. Of course this is quite a decent amount of money, but it's definitely worth it! A MicroPro costs $314 at B&H, but doesn't have 3 power options and Bi-Color.
As you can see in the picture above, the Z180 series has some pins on each side. With those brackets they can be attached to each other. That means you built your own array of lights. In both x and y directions.
In my opionion the Z180 is a way more versatile light than other comparable LED products. It can be used with Sony batteries, has Bi-Color, has the possibility to be extended and most important: produces a lot of light!
Disclaimer: This Bi-Color light was provided by F&V as review unit. Yet the opionion above does represent my position and is not influenced by F&V. The links above are affiliate links which support this blog.