Reviews |ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 review


ZHIYUN M20 Review: Unleashing Creative Lighting Possibilities in a Compact, User-Friendly Package


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Our Verdict

The ZHIYUN M20 is the more affordable sibling of the M20C; however, even with paired back features, it’s still an incredible fill light.

Its small form factor makes it an ideal lighting solution that you can quickly pop into your camera’s hotshoe, instantly providing a fully controllable bicolour fill light for video. Alternatively, you can place it within a scene and select the FX modes to enhance the ambience.

The M20 is also suitable for close-up photo stills. With options to hotshoe mount, bolt onto any 1/4″ support, or use the magnetic backing to attach to any ferromagnetic metal, it’s incredibly versatile.

The accessories include a diffuser, honeycomb, and barn doors if you buy the combo set. With everything attached, it looks like a big set of lighting, just in a very compact form.

In essence, for what’s on offer, the M20 is incredibly good value. However, there’s the M20C to consider, which is even more impressive, albeit with a considerable increase in cost.


  • Compact Versatility
  • Adjustable Lighting Control
  • Durable Design


  • Not BlueTooth or app-enabled
  • Not RGB
Click here to buy the ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20

What is the ZHIYUN M20?

The ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 is ostensibly a simple bicolour 20W LED light, but in reality, it is much more than that. Its industrial, futuristic design sets it apart from almost any other 20W bicolour LED on the market.

For starters, the 20W output comes from a small form factor, but it’s not one of those ultra-slim units that only last about ten minutes on full power. With the M20, you get a respectable run time of at least 40 minutes. Additionally, the colour temperature is adjustable to match the environmental lighting, ranging from warm to cool.

In terms of mounting options, the M20 features three cold shoe mounts, so accessories or additional M20 units can be attached. There’s also a cold shoe mount on the bottom edge that easily slips into your camera’s hot shoe. And that’s not all – with a magnetic strip on the back, the light can be attached without fastenings to any ferromagnetic metal surface, such as a fridge, radiator, or car door.


Lastly, the M20 is modular, equipped with a set of magnetic attachments that can be clipped onto the front, resembling a professional lamp but smaller and more affordable.


  • Power: 20W
  • Battery Capacity: 4500mAh
  • Charging Time: 2 Hours
  • Colour Temperature Range: 2700K-6500K
  • Dimming Range: 0~100%
  • High CRI & Illuminance: CRI ≥95, TLCI ≥97
  • Weight: 200g
  • Size: 7.8 x 7.8 x 3.6 cm

Build and Handling

The ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 stands out from other compact LED lights due to its superb overall quality. The modular plastic casing houses the main light unit in a skeleton cage; this cage is integral to the unit but can be removed if you need to. However, there’s little point as it features all the mounting options and has no doubt been designed in this way so that the lamp unit can be integrated into larger lighting rigs.

The cage features a mount on all four sides with a cold shoe mount on the base that will slip into any standard camera hotshoe. It also features a 1/4″ thread on the base of the mount to bolt onto any standard tripod base plate. The other three options are cold shoes, which enable further M20s to be attached or accessories.

The build of the M20 is robust, employing high-quality materials that lend both durability and an appealing aesthetic. The mix of black, grey, and misted transparent plastics and metals gives the M20 a slightly futuristic, industrial look while ensuring it doesn’t feel cheap or fragile.


An integral aspect of this design is the rear magnet, allowing the light to attach to any ferromagnetic metal surface. This magnetic theme extends to the range of accessories – including a diffuser, honeycomb, and barn doors – each easily mounted onto the front of the light to adjust the lighting effect.

The M20’s powering on and operating aspect, however, initially presents a slight learning curve. It’s not a light that can be switched on and adjusted instantly; getting used to the interface and navigating using the two control dials takes a bit of practice. The power button, located on the left, needs a quick and then long press to start, and the right-hand dial controls the brightness, offering quick shifts between 0%, 50%, and 100% brightness levels, with fine-tuning available. It’s not difficult; you just need to know what you’re doing.


The ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 is a compact fill-in light weighing in at just 200 grams and measuring a mere 78 x 78 x 36 mm; it’s essentially pocket-sized, making it perfect for photographers and videographers on the move.

At the heart of the M20’s appeal is its high-power output. Capable of delivering up to 20W of lighting power, it adjusts seamlessly between 5W and 20W, catering to a range of lighting needs. The 4500mAh battery enables up to 40 minutes of use on full power.

Light quality from the M20 has been carefully balanced with a colour temperature range stretching from a warm 2700K to a cool 6500K and a 0 to 100% dimming range. The CRI (≥95) and TLCI (≥97) indices mean colours are rendered accurately, so good for both enthusiasts and professionals.


In terms of usability, the M20 is generally user-friendly once you learn the process. The dual dial control system enables you to adjust brightness, colour temperature, and even special effects. These effects include 10 FX light modes, like lightning and candle, alongside a music mode that syncs light to the beat.

Mounting the M20 is where the light shows its versatility with the magnetic strip, allowing the light to be attached effortlessly to any ferromagnetic surface. For more traditional setups, there’s a cold shoe mount with a 1/4″ thread, compatible with standard camera hot shoe and tripod base plates.

Constructed with high-quality plastics and metals, it feels premium and robust, ready to withstand the rigours of on-location shooting. The range of magnetic accessories, including a diffuser, honeycomb, and barn doors, are not only durable but also significantly enhance the light’s versatility.


Charging the M20 takes roughly two hours for a full charge, and in operation, it can run for up to 40 minutes at full power. This runtime can be extended with compatible PD protocol power banks and charging adapters.


In terms of performance, the ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 excels with its range of functionality. Adjusting the colour temperature is straightforward using the left dial, and a quick click of the power button brings up various light modes, including standard Bi-Colour LED, Special FX, Music, and Language options. The FX mode offers creative lighting effects such as lightning, bad bulb, candle, and TV. The effect of these works well when filming scenes, and you just need to add a bit of ambience with light.

The user experience is excellent once the initial learning curve is overcome. The light’s intuitive design becomes apparent with a bit of practice. Its mounting flexibility is one of its key features; it can be easily mounted on a camera, tripod, or metal surface thanks to its magnetic design.

Performance-wise, the core of the M20 – its 20W LED lights – is fully adjustable, ensuring a high level of control over the lighting. The ability to fine-tune brightness and colour temperature is a significant advantage, especially for bicolour lights. Despite its small size, the M20 performs impressively in various environments.


It’s portable enough to fit in a backpack pocket, making it ideal for travel. At full power, the light lasts for around 40 minutes, although I found this to be closer to 35. However, it is often used at lower settings for a softer light, which extends the use through a full three-hour workshop without issue. The magnetic diffuser, honeycomb, and barn door accessories further enhance its functionality, allowing for more directed and manipulated lighting effects.

A couple of additional points are well worth noting. Firstly, with the light on full whack for 40 minutes, the fans do kick in. These bright orange internal fans are relatively large and, consequently, relatively quiet, which means that even when filming over a long duration, the lights are still usable. The hum of the fans is audible but quiet enough not to affect most audio recordings, and the fans also step up in speed the longer the lights are in use.

The other point is about PD Power. At 20W at full power, this means that you can plug them into most photo power banks, such as those from Tether Tools or a SmallRig VB55 battery, and extend the running time by simply connecting a USB Type-C cable. This increases the running time from 40 minutes at full power to over three hours.

Final Thoughts

From using the ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 for a few weeks, it’s clear that this compact, feature-packed lighting device is more than just an accessory; despite its small size it has a huge impact on lighting and effects that will benefit any photographer and videographer. Its blend of portability, power, and versatility makes it an indispensable tool for modern content creators.

The M20’s small form factor shadows its powerful capabilities. As a fill light, it easily fits into any standard camera setup, offering fully controllable bicolour lighting that can enhance video or still photography. The variety of mounting options – from hotshoe to magnetic attachment – adds to its convenience, making it a flexible choice for creative lighting in any setting.

The inclusion of accessories like the diffuser, honeycomb, and barn doors transforms the M20 from a simple light source into a miniaturised professional lighting kit. These features enable users to shape and control light in ways typically associated with larger, more cumbersome equipment, all while maintaining the M20’s lightweight and compact form.


The adjustable colour temperature and brightness, combined with special FX and music modes, provide a level of creative control that’s hard to find in other lights of this size. For prolonged use, the quiet operation of its fans and the option to extend battery life via PD Power PD-compatible power banks are welcome additions that make it suitable for professional use.

For photographers and videographers, the M20 is a compact portable lighting solution that impresses in almost every aspect. The feature that you would normally list out, and if only it had a list, are all on the FIVERAY M20C, so if you want a decent, relatively cheap light, then the ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20 is an incredible choice.

Click here to buy the ZHIYUN FIVERAY M20