At this price, few other compact bi-colour lighting solutions are so complete.

ZHIYUN CINEPEER CM25 back of light

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Our Verdict

When I looked at the M40 last year, I was instantly struck by just how good that compact light was. It had easy control over brightness and colour temperature, and at 40W, it was more than bright enough for most situations. Now, the newly named CINEPEER CM25 has arrived with a similar look and design, with slightly reduced output and a few design tweaks.

Again, the light is fast to switch on and easy to control. Its small size makes it incredibly easy to mount and direct. A standard 1/4-inch thread on the base enables it to be directly mounted on tripods or friction arms, further boosting its use.

Of course, the quality of the illumination is the most important factor. Here, the ability to carefully adjust the brightness with one of the side dials and then utilize the other to tweak the colour temperature makes this light a great solution for blending into existing lighting setups or as a light in its own right.

As with the more powerful and expensive M40, it would have been nice to see this with App control, but still, for videography, this small CM25 lamp is an excellent choice, with the M40 being a step up in power for photography.


  • Compact Plenty of control Fast lighting solution


  • No wireless control

What is the CINEPEER CM25?

ZHIYUN has made a huge impact in photography and video lighting, and following the excellent ZHIYUN FIVERAY M40 comes the ZHIYUN CINEPEER CM25. While the two lights appear similar, a few tweaks have launched them into separate product lines. However, when viewed side by side, they are very similar, with only a few design changes and a slight reduction in power that makes the CM25 more sympathetic to video shoots.

As the new name CINEPEER suggests, the new light is intended to be a friendly assistant for filming. Its small size and lightweight nature make it an ideal solution for hot shoe mounting directly onto the camera or a friction arm. The 1/4-inch thread on the base offers a decent array of mounting options.

So, the CM25 looks very similar to the M40 and features a similar innovative design and quality of lighting output, albeit slightly reduced in power. The best part is that while the M40 is excellent, priced at around £100 / $100, it is quite an expense. The CINEPEER CM25, being a little cheaper with a launch price closer to £70 / $70—and with some offers likely to appear—could be one of the best compact lighting solutions out there, especially if it’s anywhere near as good as the M40 but for a little less money.



  • Light Output: Adjustable, up to 2000 lumens
  • Colour Temperature: 3200K to 5600K
  • Battery Life: Up to 2 hours on full charge
  • Charging: USB-C port
  • Mounting: Cold shoe and 1/4-inch thread
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 70mm x 15mm
  • Weight: Approximately 130 grams
  • Accessories: Diffuser, USB-C cable

CINEPEER CM25: Build and Handling

When you place the CINEPEER CM25 and the M40 side by side, there are obvious comparisons to draw. They look very similar, but as you turn them over and examine the design closely, it’s easy to discern the differences between the two lights.

There are apparent differences visually, such as the CM25’s absence of a mounting arm, which is not necessarily a disadvantage. The colours and graphics on the CM25 are also slightly different. However, the changes that are less visually apparent become clear once you handle the light and start using it.

The first major difference is the build quality; while still good, the CINEPEER CM25 has a cheaper plastic build. The light still feels robust, just not quite on the same level as the excellent M40. Then there are the light chips, with the CM25 having 112 compared to 176 in the FIVERAY M40. In use, especially when shooting video, it isn’t easy to notice the difference in brightness, as it’s rare to push the M40 to its full power. Similarly, when shooting photography, the M40 is rarely cranked up to the max, but in both cases, that additional power provides greater flexibility in bouncing and diffusing the light.

The handling of the CINEPEER CM25 is very similar to that of the M40. Its size and weight make it easy to manoeuvre and position, and the 1/4-inch thread on the base increases the mounting potential. Although this mounting thread is more traditional, I preferred it when the light was in use over the more advanced mount on the M40.

The two side-mounted dials, which give the light a nice analogue feel, manage its control. These dials enable easy adjustment, whether used as a main key light or as a fill.

ZHIYUN CINEPEER CM25 air cooling


The ZHIYUN CINEPEER CM25 delivers up to 25W of illumination power, which translates to an impressive 3360 Lux. This means the light can illuminate subjects well even in less-than-ideal lighting conditions, such as shooting indoors on a kitchen table or in other rooms of your house or office.

In terms of colour accuracy, the CM25 excels with its Pro Color Rendering capabilities, offering a wide colour temperature range from 2700K to 6200K, all adjustable using the dial on the side of the light. A notable feature of the temperature adjustment is that ZHIYUN has marked the colour temperature values on the side of the dial, so you know exactly where you are, aiding in matching this light with others you may be using. This is a more analogue approach compared to most lighting equipment that uses LCDs to display accurate setting options and values, but it works just as well in most situations. The colour temperature output is coupled with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) of over 96 and a Television Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI) of over 97, essentially guaranteeing that colours are represented naturally and accurately, which is crucial for professional-quality visuals.

Despite its powerful output, although less than the M40, the CM25 remains remarkably portable. It is described as pocketable, suitable for a jacket pocket but less so for trousers, and can easily fit into most backpack pockets. At just 232 grams, it adds little weight or bulk to your kit when travelling to and from locations.

ZHIYUN CINEPEER CM25 control dials

The two simple dials on the side of the unit are the primary controls for the light’s brightness and colour temperature. The design is straightforward yet user-friendly, ensuring that even those new to lighting equipment can achieve the desired light effect, from cool to warm.

Powering the CM25 is hassle-free, with a built-in battery that supports PD (Power Delivery) charging. This is incredibly important during shoots where there isn’t time to charge the light, allowing you to plug in a V-Mount or even AC power to provide the energy needed to power the light.

CINEPEER CM25: Performance

One of the first points about the CM25 is its size and shape, which greatly contribute to usability and performance. Unlike larger lighting units, the CM25 easily slips into a bag or jacket pocket, making it incredibly easy to transport, so while other lights might be left at home, the CM25 is the light that you should and can always have with you.

This compact size and weight also translate to how it is handled in use. The small size and the 1/4-inch thread on the base allow it to be easily mounted with an adapter to a hot shoe or directly to a friction arm or standard tripod head, instantly boosting the light’s versatility in all sorts of conditions.

When it comes to usage, the inclusion of a silicon diffusion panel helps to reduce the harsh brightness of the LED lighting dramatically. Even though the light is bright, the lighting throw is nice and soft. Up close to a subject with the light at a lower level of illumination, the effect is apparent. Still, the diffusion panel helps to mitigate the bright harshness that occurs when the diffuser is removed.


At 25W, the light’s illumination is surprisingly bright. With one CM25, this brightness is ideal for illuminating pieces to the camera and is more than sufficient for most solo video work. Adding another quickly increases the complexity of the lighting setup.

The two dials on the side of the light enable easy adjustment, whether the light is used alone or blended with larger lighting rigs. When used with other lights, the values for brightness and color temperature can be seen via the dials’ visual markings rather than the more common LCD readout.

The lack of a digital readout is one of a few features that might be expected from the current crop of lighting. While it feels like a step back, it makes little to no difference in practice, aside from providing a powerful lighting solution at a decent price. Other features, like a digital screen for accurate settings display, App control, RGB, and Special Effects, would significantly increase the price. So, here, simplicity is definitely key.

In use, the light not only provides the illumination needed for most on-camera pieces but also offers plenty of adjustment over the settings, keeping things simple and highly effective.

CINEPEER CM25: Final Thoughts

Since the launch of the FIVERAY M40, it has been the light I have consistently recommended to anyone looking for a small lighting solution for video or photography. The power, size, and overall versatility make it an excellent choice. As the skills of the photographer increase, additional lights can be added as needed to build up some impressively complex lighting rigs.

Now, with the CM25, the cheaper solution makes these units much more affordable, and the addition of the silicon diffuser improves the quality of the light throw from this small light. Okay, the 25W might not have the clout of the 40W M40, but for most people, that will make very little difference.

If you’re a videographer or photographer looking for illumination, the CM25 is a great solution at an exceptionally good price and will give you plenty of flexibility. Also, the savings you make over the M40 will enable you to save more quickly for a second unit.