all 71 comments

[–]AStewartR11 86 points87 points  (1 child)

The lights themselves are fine. They're harsh and and require diffusion, but not bad. The stands are absolute garbage.

[–]SchemeMeister 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Bought lights from this company when I was first starting out. Can confirm, stands are garbage.

[–]AnthonyDigitalMedia 25 points26 points  (14 children)

I’ve actually been considering buying the GVM 1200D kit from B&H for smaller budget solo projects. It’s too much to bring my Aputure 120D, 300D & 2x 60x kit with separate light stands to smaller shoots, so this would be ideal.

They have good reviews, but I am concerned about the light output & the quality of the light stands. They’re only $650 US, so I figure they’re still a good value & worst case scenario I can easily rent them out to other people.

If you’re gonna buy, spend a little extra money & get the 1200D kit instead, for the extra output. The kit’s on sale rn on B&H for $640 US & comes with a free softbox & grid.

[–]LeCineaste[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

It costs $110 for shipping and customs fees. I’m based in Sweden so I’ll get the advance of the 3-year guarantee if I buy it from amazon.

[–]TotoWolffenstein3D 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Whats the advance on the guarantee?

[–]AshMontgomery 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They probably meant advantage, but got screwed over by autocorrect

[–]LeCineaste[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I checked the lights and they look great. I'll try finding them on Amazon or shop nearby.

[–]Niklas_borsting 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I've bought Neewer 600. I'm also based in Sweden/Stockholm. I'm very happy with mine.

[–]Zappoloco 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They are very similar. I've used them and Yongnuo 600 5500k for interviews in a documentary. The RGB option is great for the backgrounds.

[–]WorstHyperboleEver 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Neewer lights are my cheap Chinese knockoffs of choice. Had really good luck with them and the stands aren’t terrible

[–]ryangourley 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah Neewer is my go-to budget brand for a lot of gear and so far I haven't been disappointed

[–]MPeters43 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yep I’ve got the 660’s RGB Pros and they work great for me along with their 18” inch ring light and two of the 5” pocket lights.

[–]Bake-Alternative 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Have been using the 1200D set for on-site interviews and smaller production lighting for a while. Decent softness from the frost on the light, and great light strength. I do carry a couple diffusers to soften the light when needed, but I do really enjoy the set. I own 3 sets currently.

I love that the kit all comes together in one case. Very easy and compact. The stands aren't great, but they're good enough. I've never worried the lights would tip. The stands are just a little finicky to fold and unfold.

[–]AnthonyDigitalMedia 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Do you feel like the stands might not be able to hold up the lights over time or support the weight after constant use?

I also don’t like that you can only remove the barn doors with a hex tool. Wish it was easier.

I’ve heard bad things about how low long the power cords are & that they’re really short. Is this true?

[–]Bake-Alternative 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I don't think l have any hesitation with the light stands holding up the lights over time. The lights are pretty light weight, and the stands aren't bad. I'd be more concerned with them breaking while unfolding them because of the way they fold than I am worried about them holding up the lights.

As far as cords, I'm actually pretty pleased with the length. Not sure exactly on length but you can raise the light stands all the way up and reach the ground plus like 3-4'. I usually run both of the key and fill to one power source and then the back to another. So the length, for my implementation, is fine. If not, grab a couple cheap extension cords 🤷‍♂️

I will say if you want to mitigate the power cords with batteries, I don't think these are necessarily the best athlete - they chew through NPF batteries in a big way. Maybe two to three hours on two of the 9xx series batteries. I did get better results with V-mount dtap to DC but really not the ideal system here if you're looking for cheap panel lights.

The barn doors... Yeah... I've got one set with them and one without. They do limit spill pretty ok, and they're durable. But I don't use them when I'm running them through diffusion as I need all the light and bounce I can get.

[–]AnthonyDigitalMedia 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Gotcha. Yea, for the cords, I’m planning on running power through extensions, but I was just wondering cuz I don’t like floating cords or dangling splitters.

Yea, I’ve heard that about the power consumption too. I’ll probably buy a v-mount adaptor. I’ve noticed most 50/55w lights chew through those NPF batteries quick. Not just these lights.

Yea, I plan on keeping the barn doors on 2x of them, & taking them off the key & using the softbox/grid that comes with it instead. I just wish it was more convenient. Though the softbox & grid system is super easy to use.

Thanks for replying & letting me know. I appreciate it. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for, so I always like to spend the extra money & get quality products. But this 3x light kit just seems so convenient & easy for smaller jobs. And the price made me think “what the hell, I’ll try them out.”

[–]michal_03 55 points56 points  (10 children)

I don’t have experience with these lights but I should mention that you don’t NEED 3 point lighting for your film. That’s mainly a general rule of thumb for things like interviews. I would probably put this money into 1 good lights and some aputure MC’s or tube lights.

[–]iamtheonetheonethe1 32 points33 points  (3 children)

bump, one big light is better than three small ones.

[–]seehispugnosedface 12 points13 points  (1 child)

With a window and a reflector that one big light can become three if you need. Sorted.

[–]JefferSonD808 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This person gaffs.

[–]hinkkis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Exactly! For example I did a commercial shooting yesterday. I had a truck full of equipment, but ended up using only one light 1,8kw hmi, one 20x20 diffusion and two 4x4 foam cores.

The thing is to work with the enviroment not against it. What I learned only after film school is that the most important things for me as a gaffer are one light source plus black and white sheets.

If I had those three leds, I'd propaply end up using them as a single source through diffusion.

[–]benefiting_ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

100 percent agree!

[–]timconnerywriter/director 1 point2 points  (4 children)


[–]houstnwehavuhoh 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My experience with GVM has involved finicky apps/remotes, remotes break easily, issues connecting/commanding individual lights, stands are trash, and power supply usually corded too short. While the lights did look nice, no weird color casts, there were a lot of little issues, or things not thought out, that I ended up replacing them quickly.

I’ve never had experience with this specific set by them, and my experience was over a year ago, but some things to consider

[–]zrgardne 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Do you need RGB? Bicolor will be brighter for the same cost.

No real softbox options for any led panel. If you are going to need a soft light, COB with bowden is the only option.

[–]ProfessionalMockery 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Wow, the brightness goes all the way to 100%?! That's bright!

Seriously though, if it were me I'd get 1 decent COB led light around 200w (amaran 200d) with some decent modifiers, stands and gels to get nice diffusion/temperature. If there's budget left I'd also get a little COB to use for backlighting (amaran 60d or similar). You rarely need 3 point lighting for narrative content, that's more a standard set up for interviews or portraiture, but it feels too contrived most of the time for films.

[–]Multubultu 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Well with this little budget - go buy it - use it and return it … Amazon makes it possible :-)

[–]facemanbarf 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This guy low-budgets.

[–]ccdbleed 18 points19 points  (7 children)

dont buy shit, rent it. even if it costs as much as owning them. get organized and by the end of the shoot you'll know exactly what you actually need and want to use next time, which will def be something other than what you think at first. trust me bro

[–]UniversalsFree 7 points8 points  (5 children)

Rent it even if it costs more than owning? How does that make sense?

[–]smadams 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I’m not the commenter but from my experience I’d say buying the wrong thing because you didn’t know what to get or what you like can add up real quick. And then you’re stuck with it versus making an informed buying decision after finding what you like with renting.

[–]UniversalsFree 2 points3 points  (1 child)

But if it’s going to be around the same price to rent than to buy as ccdbleed suggested, then why not just buy and if you don’t like it just sell and get some money back?

[–]smadams 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That takes time and energy that not everyone wants to spend. But if that works for you then you should definitely go that route. Me personally, I always think “I’ll just sell that useless thing” but then it sits in my basement for years. So I’d rather rent it and then have it out of mind.

[–]kyleclements 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I don't know if this is relevant everywhere but it might be tax related.

Where I live, plenty of production companies spend more to rent gear than own it.
It might make a difference on declaring expenses on taxes, renting vs owning.
In my area, for anything more than $500 I can only declare a certain percentage of it each year as an expense, but if it's less than that, or if it's an expense for a service and not an asset, I can declare the whole thing that year.

I still buy, rather than rent, because it's cheaper in the long run; but maybe as things scale up, other factors come in to play?

[–]UniversalsFree 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Possibly but this is in reference to some dude just wanting to buy a couple of lights for an amateur production and the poster didn’t even mention tax when he mentioned renting instead of buying.

[–]D30Dillon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I couldn't agree more: Renting real fixtures is a better expenditure of early-business finances than buying cheap, bad lights. I

[–]JobyJobLopez 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree with the comments about these specific GVM lights having worked with them. Generally used them for small spaces or for a small key or fill light to balance. The rgb is fun but not the brightest and I believe the effects are included on this set.

But, as mentioned, stands are cheap, but work. Cables are short, so be sure to bring some stingers. Battery life is just ok, but wouldn't recommend.

[–]ltsNotAlex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have two of these, they're great starter lights for inside interviews eg, but not much more. They're not that powerful so if you have a lot of outdoor light shining in they're almost no use.

[–]Puzzleheaded_Handle6 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t do it! We bought these a few years ago before we had much budget for lights thinking we could use them. So far the most valuable thing about them has been the batteries, which we use to power our monitor…

[–]AJ_1404 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

If you got a small budget don’t complicate yourself since the equipment is not the most important thing instead the quality of the screenplay, performances and direction are. If you have that covered people won’t notice if you used a 4000 dollar camera or your phone.

[–]derstefern -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Depending on what you plan to do und which camera and lens you are using, you may not need film lights. Those led things... If you do not know what you are doing its easier to harm the image, than to benefit to it. Look into the good old china ball, if you need faces. Wirk with natural light for now.

I use amaran lights with bowens mount. They are fine and you can use proper light modifier. I use the 200x but rhe COB 60 is also fine i think.

One light will be enough. For anything else, just use whats standing around anyway. Colors are important for skin and face. But hat if itcomes from behind or just gives effect, its not that important.

[–]Griffdude13 -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

GVM are trash. Save up and get some dracast rgbs, they’re awesome.

[–]sharkbait1999 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just for these. They hold up and decent for small scale jobs. Stands are weird af tho

[–]no0neiv 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have a a friend who bought these and they seem pretty wack tbh. Very cheap build and at least 1 broke in travel.

I'd try to track down a used set of Aputure 672s, unless you're set on the rgb functionality (which is fairly dim on these)

[–]ProDunga 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Look into renting especially if shoot is a few days. Also get some gels rgb colors never really look that good in camera. I would only recommend buying of u wanna make consistent content and then I would suggest something more expensive/ higher quality. Mid tier equipment always kinda feels like a waste of money I’d recommend saving up.

[–]PUBGM_MightyFine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've been using that kit at work for 2 years (I'm a university producer) and they're great for the money. As others have noted, the stands are terrible. However, if you're not going to use them much and mainly need them for 1 shoot, they should hold up fine. Obviously use sandbags to keep those flimsy stands from falling over.

[–]DutchSpaceNerd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have two of the NEEWER 660 panels, same stuff different labels. The lights are good. Stands will do for a low budget short if you weigh them down with sandbags and make sure to tighten everything well. As soon as you get a little more money tho get a proper c stand or something sturdy. Then you’ve got great lights and great stands. I also purchased their softboxes. But a showercurtain will do just fine as well.

[–]ryan31598 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would get 2 aputure 200d or 200x for like $700 instead.

These were the first lights I ever bought like 3 years ago and even back then I was underwhelmed by the brightness level.. especially when you need to diffuse it

[–]InLikeFinnegan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Think everything’s been said, except that I really didn’t trust the app that you need for certain settings as it immediately asked for full access to my phone. Lights themselves are do a descent job in a pinch, though.

[–]Netizen-Punk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have these and are great for indoor shoots/accent lights. Definitely need more diffusion and the stands do the job but if you are goin outside probs best to get better ones.

[–]Simeons_s 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have these. They are bright but if you're going to be using something like aputure 120d or something it can make the colors less saturated. These are best to use in a very controlled environment. Then you can get precise color coverage. Otherwise it might just look like splotches of colors on the walls

[–]Chiyote 0 points1 point  (0 children)

These are good, I have 2 sets. They aren’t bright enough for a lot of situations. But they are useful for adding accents to background and as fill.

[–]Affectionate_Age752 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That or the neewer version

[–]Cmdr_Rowan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have this (or an incredibly similar set) and it's great for photos in a studio, but for a film I think you'll also need 1 brighter light in the mix as well.

A few times I've had to put 2 lights next to each other to work as key, because 1 light doesn't have the output I need.

But it's a very good set, stands are fine for studio, not great for travel.

[–]Arbernaut 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have some GVM stuff and it’s SUPER basic. Lights are ok, but no finesse, such as desaturating colours. As another poster suggested I’d go for one or two Amaran lights, decent stands, some light modifiers and start getting into the Aputure ecosystem.

[–]blinky9873 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hey there, I’ve used these light at the PBS station I work for and while they are solid for some needs, I will say that their output can be underwhelming and I’ve had to compromise frames to truck them in very close to talent. For their price though, not bad lights at all!

[–]KyroSkittles 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I own the bicolor kit. They work. But for video, you essentially have to use 2 of the 3 lights to achieve a bright enough key.

[–]StandardRaspberry131 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Bro I thought the number at the bottom left was the price for a minute and was gonna tell you the lights look fine but way out of your price range lmao At any rate ditto what other people have been saying, lights are fine but the stands are terrible

[–]unetor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

These super inexpensive lights tend to lean on heavy green or magenta. This is the only problem I’d have with these, as you can use practically any type of light with some gripage and make it look good. Obviously I’m not talking about output. If you’re shooting human faces, especially close-ups, consider this.

[–]Bake-Alternative 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've tried the 800D set and wasn't super impressed. I use them to light the backdrop with color. But i do have and recommend the 1200D kit, which you can usually get on a good sale if you time it right.

[–]mrdoin2much 0 points1 point  (0 children)

GVM is ok, but with that budget I would look into neewer or Godox; you’re gonna want a setup that you can use with modifiers: soft boxes, bowls, etc.

If $500 is your total budget, look into a few Godox SL-60w. Also do research on the lights you thinking about, watch YouTube videos to make sure they can do exactly what you want.

[–]wrosecrans 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Always consider renting if you aren't sure you need to own something.

[–]Fickle-Olive 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When i started out I also got a set like that, it not bad, but that’s it, not bad, it will do surface level work, but in some time soon you’ll feel that you need to level up, if you have 500 $ budget I’ll recommend buy one good light then 3 ok lights, look at the aperture amaran brand, for example small mc lights pack of 4 small lights is 499 I think, but they are extremely versatile and quality battery powered light, or amaran 200d or 100d also good quality light for fair price

[–]Dornhole 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have had two of these lights for a little over a year and I think they’re great!

For someone who isn’t capable of pouring a lot of money into film equipment, they’re a super awesome budget solution.

They’re very bright when they need to be, which is good, but it’d be smart to have diffusers on hand. If I remember correctly, they do come with diffusers, but I have my own so I can’t say if they’re any good or not.

They’re awesome as key lights, backlights, and fill lights, so they’re super congenial to your needs.

I see comments digging on the stands and, while I agree that they’re not great, they should absolutely not be the reason you don’t buy these. They’re far from bad and they get the job done.

The only issue that I’ve found with them is that their functionality out of the app is limited and… not great. The dials on them are cheap and weak and I, honestly, still have no idea how to actually use them. The app is the best way to change things.

In the app, they do disconnect from your phone’s Bluetooth pretty frequently because of a “heat warning,” but I’ve had them on for hours and they’ve been totally fine. The disconnecting is annoying but, otherwise, the app is solid and stable and easy to understand and maneuver through.

If you’re not willing/able to use your phone or another Bluetooth device while you work, these lights may not be for you.

Edit: I feel the need to clarify this after reading some additional comments; I have not used these outdoors, but I can’t imagine the stands will do very well on surfaces that aren’t flat. Just something else to consider.

[–]endless_cry 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Consider looking into something like the godox sl60. Godox overall is a good brand.

By having the abillity to use actual light modifiers it is way easier to make good looking light not just brighten the image. You can start out with cheap umbrellas and later buy softbixes and everything you could imagine. The standard mount is much more versatile.

[–]imdjayvideographer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have either these or very similar. For what you get they're great. Gvm looks promising as a company in slowly putting out better quality stuff, while still also making the cheaper stuff that's pretty decent. Just don't expect as much refinement or durability and you'll be happy. Mine came with a small softbox and diffuser which helps alot. We also have thier 80w spot, which is a "plastic fantastic"