The Godox SZ150R is a Bi-Color and RGB light with 150 watts of power that you can control with the app, remote, dmx, or if you're old school, the controls on the back of the light. What makes this light even more unique is that the beam angle can be adjusted from 20 to 65 degrees to flood or focus the light. The light has a CRI of 97, so it will blend well with other lights without causing any color shifting issues. This is a bright light that can be used for many practical applications, or also used as a creative light to add more color or effects to your shots. Let's go over the features of this light first, then I'll give you my personal thoughts and opinions at the end.
As a disclaimer, I was researching lights when I came across this one. I reached out to Godox and they sent me this light to review, but they let me make my own review without any input from them. They have not seen this article (or video) before I posted it and these words are my own based on my experience using this light.
Starting off with one of the most important metrics, price.
The SZ150R retails for $559 right now.
For a brief comparison of where this light falls in the Godox line of lights:
For another comparison, the 180-watt Aputure 120D Mark 2 is $798 dollars, which is more powerful than the SZ150R, but lacks the RGB functionality and is $239 dollars more.
Moving on to the color outputs of this light, the SZ150R can be used as a bi-color or RGB light. For Bi-color modes, the light can shift from 2800 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin and adjust the green-magenta shift by plus or minus 50. My favorite part of this light is the RGB light. Having access to any color is a great benefit in a studio light, where you can choose to use this more creatively without the need for gels. Using the app to control your light color, intensity and effects really make this light easier to use as well, but more on the app later.
When using the RGB mode, you can choose the specific RGB hue and intensity to dial in the exact color. Using the dimmer from 0 to 100% you can also dial in how bright the color is as well. One thing to mention about dimming RGB values with any light though, the brighter the light, generally the saturated the color. For really saturated colors, using the light below 50% max brightness seems to give you the most saturated colors. This is true for most RGB lights but is still true for this light, so thought it was worth mentioning.
You can use the onboard effects to simulate some unique lighting patterns too. I enjoy the RGB effects more than the effects on bi-color lights, as RGB lights have access to the entire spectrum of light to create more useful effects. Bi-color lighting effects can be useful but only in a very limited number of shots. That being said, I still don't use the effects 99% of the time that I'm using this light. They may be used more by other filmmakers, but I don't use them unless I have a very specific shot in mind.
The app shows you the ability to choose gel filters from Lee or ROSCO. I wasn't able to get these to work, and reached out to Godox about this and they told me this wasn't compatible with the SZ150R. Nowhere in their marketing do they mention gels, but it's one of the options when you select this light in the app - so while it's not intended to be a feature, it seems broken because it's an unresponsive option in their app. Not sure if they're going to change this in the future, but I'd expect they'd remove this option.
Another interesting feature is the ability to choose a custom color from a photo. You can shoot a photo, and use the color picker in the app to choose the specific color you'd like. Pretty cool if you need to match this light to an ambient color, this can be a great starting point.
A feature that I was really excited about was the fan noise or lack of fan noise. The fan is pretty quiet but this light allows you to set the fan on or off. Just know that if you're setting the fan off, the total output will be capped at 35%. For my small studio, using the light in a 32-inch softbox at 5600 kelvin at about 20-25% has been enough to use as a key light for one person, so I've set the fan off. To my ear, the fan noise sounds quieter and lower-pitched than the Godox SL60w that I typically use here. The SL60w's fan is always on, and haven’t had much of an issue with its noise in my videos, so if I had to keep the fan on, it wouldn't be that big of a deal for me. But the fact that you can turn the fan off is a big added bonus, quieter is always better.
One of the things that I didn't even think about was the screen on this light. The screen on this light is big enough to show the entire menu at once, so you're not scrolling through the menu looking for an option, and the dials that you adjust the light with work as ways to navigate the menu quickly. Pressing the dials selects the menu settings and it's really fast. Typically on lights, the screens are pretty basic and if there is a menu, it's difficult to navigate. Godox did a good job with this menu, and there is no lag between selecting an input and the light responding. This is especially important while scrolling through RGB colors, if you're scrolling quickly and find a color you like, there is no lag between inputs so the color, intensity, and dimming are easy to choose.
Another interesting feature of this light is the ability to zoom the LED of the light to flood or focus the light. The flood is more of a traditional LED light where the light fills what’s in front of it, and the focus brings the beam angle down to 20 degrees to brighten the light in a smaller area. This light isn’t able to focus down to a really small diameter to be a spotlight, but if you need more light in a smaller area than typical COD lights offer, this is a great feature. Since I use my lights in a softbox to soften the light as much as I can, I typically leave this wide open to spread the light around as much as possible. To test, I adjusted the zoom of the light while using a larger softbox and I didn't see much of a difference. The softbox is double diffused with a grid, so the softbox is doing it's job here. The total output of this light zoomed all the way out is 19,000 LUX at one meter, while the minimum diffusion zoomed all the way in is 26,000 LUX.
The fact that this light has built-in Bluetooth, means that you'll be able to use this light with the Godox Light app. Using the app you can turn the light on or off, dim the light, adjust color temperature, RGB values, and select scenes. It's one of my favorite ways to use this light, and when I'm using this light for my YouTube videos, it allows me to adjust the values without getting up to adjust the light. Very handy and easy to use if you're solo or a small team.
You can also control the light with the remote, but that's a separate purchase. I've gotten around this by using the app, and it's worked great so far.
The light has DMX in and out, so you can use this light with other DMX lights and a board to control them all. I don't use my lights with a DMX board, so I can't give you any of my first-hand experience using this with a DMX board.
One downside of the app though, is that you're not able to dig into the settings of the light and adjust the fan functions. I'd love if I was able to turn the fan off and on with the app. I haven’t run into an issue needing to turn the fan on and off mid-shoot since in my studio I use the light at under 35% anyways, the fan is always set to off. Not a huge deal, but something to be aware of. Maybe this will be updated in a future firmware update.
Speaking of firmware updates, you're able to upgrade the firmware of the actual light using the USB port on the back. I haven't had to do this yet, but it's nice to know that if the time comes to add more features to this light, that's an option.
The SZ150R has a Bowens S-Mount on the front, which is a common mount for most all softboxes and modifiers out there. If you have other lights, they are probably Bowens-mount lights and it's nice to be able to use all of your other modifiers with this light. This is pretty standard for all lights these days, but still worth mentioning.
The build quality and design of this light are updated over the previous generation of Godox lights, the hard plastic, and aluminum body and yoke feel very well built and sit on a light stand very sturdy. I typically don't like this style of the yoke where only one side clamps down as this light does, but the dial to secure the light onto the yoke is very sturdy. I didn't have to wrench this down while using a 32in softbox on this light, unlike some other lights with the same design.
The design of the light is something I really like as well. The only hint of RGB is around the yoke knob, where there is minimal branding and colors. The rest is solid black and looks pretty sleek. This is subjective, but I like the appearance of this light, especially the circular vent holes.
When it comes to power options, the only way to use this light is with wall power only, no v-mount battery powering options are available right now. This isn't a big deal for me, as I like to use my lights plugged directly into the wall, but if you'll be traveling on locations that don't have power - this is something to be aware of.
The lights come with a nice carrying case that also looks nice and is sturdy. I can definitely see taking this light around with me in this bag, it's a soft-sided case but it's made of sturdy materials that don't flex and can stand on its own. I'd love to see a hard case included, but at this price point and feature set the included case is good.
In the box, there is also a clip to attach the power adapter to anything you can velcro the base to. I love when lights include this so you can attach the power adapter to something so it's not hanging around. It would have been nice to have the power cable from the light to the adapter be a little longer. The cable is about 6 feet to the adapter brick, so if the light is up in the air higher than 6 feet, you'll have to fix the adapter on your light stand using the included mount. This is being pretty picky, but make sure you keep that mount in the bag.
When it comes to video lights, there are more options available now to choose from than ever before but that's a good thing if you understand your needs. For me, the RGB functionality, output levels, mobile app, and price are what lead me to this light. Unlocking the ability to use custom RGB lights in your productions with the same light that you're using already is a huge plus for me. This all comes down to how you'll be using the light and if the RGB functionality is worth it to you. If not, I'd recommend looking into a bi-color or fixed color lights to save some money. For me though, this light strikes the perfect output, color ranges, and remote operation while being able to silence the fan if needed. Since I use my lights in a softbox most of the time, I don't think I'll be using the zooming functionality of this light. It's nice that the zooming functionality is there, but I typically use these lights in a softbox to give me softer light. Overall, this light is so versatile and powerful that I'll be using it for my videos going forward.
I'm a designer from Cleveland, Ohio and love to shoot photos & videos. I made my first website in 2004 to show friends photos & videos (before YouTube/Flickr/Instagram were things) and have been shooting and designing ever since! I have a deep passion for making and helping others create.
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