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W96 (WANSEN DIGITAL SECOND BATCH VIDEO LIGHT) REVIEW


So here we have as promised by Tony, the creator of the W96 video light a replacement to the first batch of “defaulted” units…

as many of you know the first batch of W96 video lights had the following problems:

ISSUES:

GREEN TINT LED
OVER HEATING ISSUE
HUMMING SOUND
WEAK PLASTIC CASE CONSTRUCTION
WEAK BATTERY DOOR
WEAK SPRING LOADED AA BATTERY CONNECTORS
SONY BATTERY WOULD NOT STAY ATTACHED
WEAK DC POWER PORT
VERY LOOSE PLASTIC BALL HEAD

Well; I have received a 98% completed unit to the second batch of W96. All the mentioned issues have been taken care of with the exception of MY DEMO UNIT still consisting of green LED’S. Tony states that every replacement unit shipped from here on out will contain 100% white LED’S.

The new unit’s in the second batch are now covered in a rubberized material, the humming issue is no longer present as well as the over heating issue.

The ball head is now full metal construction with the exception of plastic knobs, this new ball head is very useful way better than the previous model even surpassing the cheap original Z96 ball head.

The only issue that I have with the new units and I have already address it to Tony and he promises it will be taken care of this week before the mass produced unit’s are shipped out is the following:

As soon as you turn on the new unit on it goes into full power giving you a pure white LED light source…

As you may recall the first batch of W96 when you power the unit up and kept it in the dim settings it would cast a green tint and a hissing sound, and in order for the lights to turn white you would have to bring it on to almost full power, but then you would get a humming sound. The way the new unit handles the green LED issues, is by outputting at semi full power when turned on, their really isn’t a “Dimming” feature ON MY DEMO model, it does get a little brighter, but not dimmer… AGAIN! Tony states he will have these issues 100% corrected before he ships out your units.

It seems to me that batch one with all its issues was outputting more power than my current batch two DEMO, but then again all the humming and overheating has been taken care of, it seems to me as some sort of capacitor issues. As of now MY DEMO basically works as a one setting maybe two medium and high output.


PLEASE WATCH THE 14:00 MINUTE VIDEO FOR A MORE THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IS GOING ON, PLEASE FORGIVE THE COUGHING AND BLABBERING, I HAVE A VERY BAD COLD AND ITS 4:00 AM IN THE MORNING

FINAL THOUGHTS: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SECOND BATCH, TONY HAS BEEN ON TOP OF ALL THE ISSUES AT HAND AND IS VERY QUICK AND COURTEOUS IN HIS RESPONSES, I THINK YOU GUYS WILL BE VERY HAPPY WITH YOUR FULL WORKING VERSION. THE REASON I SAID MY UNIT WAS ONLY 98% COMPLETED IS BECAUSE ITS MISSING 2 THINGS THE DIMMING AND THE NEW WHITE LED’S, OTHER THAN THAT ITS A PERFECT NEW UNIT.

For a detailed conversation on batch one please visit Cheasycam here: Cheesycam Batch 1

-SERGE

(First Timer: Leo On The Camera! 😮 )

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  1. Peter Kent
    May 28, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Hi Serge,

    Sorry to bring back an old “thread” but I’ve been looking to pickup a few more LED lights recently now that prices are back down and learned a bit more about the W96 and I assume all WanSen LED lighting and I thought I’d share here.

    Now I love the Z96 and 312AS like everyone else but notice they all have a different color tint at 5600K and in my opinion the W96 is the best.

    First off everyone should know that true daylight is rated at 5600K (which measures the amount of blue and red in the light) with a CRI rating of 100 (which measures the balance of green and magenta in the light). Kino Flo daylight florescent tubes are generally rated at CRI 95 so it’s about 95% balanced. The LEDs in the Z96 has a CRI rating of 85 and as you can see, up close white objects will have a slight magenta tint but this can be fixed easily with a good slight green Gel filter however it will reduce the light output a bit. As far as I know the best LEDs available today are CRI 80 and anyone claiming higher has just “modified” them with a filter of some sort.

    Some of the W96 sellers on ebay have told me that these are the same LEDs as the Z96. Obviously they are not the exact same and to my eye the W96s are better balanced for daylight (5600K 100CRI). One seller, Darlene, explained to me (i think, bit of a language barrier) that everyone uses the same LEDs with a different internal CRI correction filter and WanSen seems to be one of the best but a filter is a filter no matter where it’s applied and causes some light loss. Which makes sense why with the “WanSen internal filter” people were seeing a green tint in the falloff, heard the 1st batch W96 had a green tint when dimmed. It looks like the W12 tried to fix that by creating a harder falloff edge but you can still see the slight green edges and reduced light output when compared to the z96.

    So, from what I’ve learned the W96 has a higher “color quality” but the light output will be lower than the Z96s rated 800lx at 1m. So what’s more important? A slightly higher output or slightly better quality? It depends on how you use it, if you only use LEDs then I’d go with high output but if you plan on mixing these LEDs with something like a Kino Flo setup or Daylight (which I have not) than the better quality might make things easier in post or in camera white balancing.

    By the way all these modern “large sensor” cameras can get away with low light (400lx) and they can auto correct to 100CRI if you use “custom white balance” (as long as the lighting quality isn’t too mixed).

    • May 28, 2012 at 3:24 AM

      Thanks Peter!

      That was very well written and informative.
      No need to be sorry I highly appreciate the information.

  2. Peter Kent
    May 28, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Thank you, and keep up the good work!

    I’ve also been emailing Tony about this too (Btw his English is way better) and he says he’s actually using different LEDs than the Z96 but uses the same “chip” from the Z96. He claims the LEDs he gets for the W96 to be 83 CRI and questions the validity of the Z96’s CRI urging us to test it ourselves.

    Tony claims his LEDs are actually brighter than 800lx @ 1m but that gets reduced down with the tint filter to correct its color, stating “the LED light lamp is more stronger, the CRI is lower…..when we use the filter, yes, it will reduce the output.” He then goes on to explain his own testing results with the Z96 “…if you test the Z96 carefully, the color temperature is about 6000K.”, and he stated about his W96, “we build the color tint for about 5600K”. Those last two statements threw all my theories out the window, cause that would mean Z96 should be the cooler and dimmer one and W96 the warmer and brighter one but in everyone else’s testing so far the opposite is true… lol

    Either way he did confirm a few things; that he uses different LEDs than the Z96, his LEDs are lower color rated but brighter and then he tints them for 5600K.

    So what does this mean? I don’t know lol. My guess is he gets LEDs below 5600K (remember the lower the Kelvin the higher the Lumens) then applies heavy Blue and Green tint corrections within the unit to get a better balanced 5600K than the Z96 while still keeping the lux around his stated 800 at 1 meter away but all real world tests so far show the W96 to be cooler and dimmer when compared to the Z96… I think we need a proper Z96 vs W96 vs Kino Flo test 🙂 (something 3ft away from a white object with locked camera exposure and white balance settings.)

    • June 9, 2012 at 4:06 AM

      Hi Peter sorry about the late reply, this one flew right by me. Yes, I too have been keeping up with Tony, his communication has improve superbly.

      He has quite a lot of new products being made from dual flash brackets to the new 12 larger brighter LED , that supposedly is brighter that the z96? not sure I have not tried those larger fewer bulbs myself but you seem to know all your light output
      measuring, any input?

  1. September 5, 2011 at 10:19 PM

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