This Ring Light Is so Cheap and Versatile That Everyone Should Buy It

This Ring Light Is so Cheap and Versatile That Everyone Should Buy It

It's rare that any piece of photographic equipment is versatile and affordable enough that I recommend it to everyone, but the GVM-600S Ring Light is one of those rare products. If you shoot photos or videos, you should buy this light. 

What Is a Ring Light?

A "ring light" usually consists of a circularly shaped light that allows a photographer/videographer to shoot through the middle of it. There are ring "flashes" that can be used with photography, and there are constant ring lights like the 600S that can be used for both stills or video. Ring lights produce a flat, "shadowless" light that can't easily be replicated by any other type of light. A decade ago, ring lights were incredibly expensive (thousands of dollars for some ring flashes), but today, they have become extremely affordable. 

What Makes the GVM-600S Ring Light Special?

Not only is the 600S the most versatile ring light I've ever used, it's also the cheapest at just $150. The 600S comes as a standard "ring" but has six removable "wands" that extend the size and shape of the light. With the included power cables, the "ring" with added "wands" can be used in conjunction with up to two wands that plug in separately. This means that the light can technically be a three-light setup. Shockingly, this light also has the ability to both dim and color shift from 3,200 K to 5,600 K.

Obviously, for just $150, the light is made of cheap plastic, but it's surprisingly bright. I personally have trouble staring into it if it's set above 50% power. Even with it's lower build quality, I would have expected a light like this to cost around $600. 

Using the GVM-600S

In the video below, I work through a quick self-portrait session using the 600S on and off-axis.

My wife told me that she hated my self-portrait, so I created another video with a slightly more attractive model, and I went a little more in-depth with lighting variations. 

Editing With Luminar 4

For both of these shoots, I quickly edited my shots in Luminar 4. Check it out here 100% for free, and if you decide to buy it, use the code "FSTOPPERS" at checkout to save some money. 

Warning, the 600S is sold out everywhere, even Amazon. I've been waiting to write this post on Fstoppers because after releasing the two YouTube videos above, the lights sold out. GVM reached out to me and let me know that sales spiked, but they are expecting a new shipment soon. B&H currently says they will be back in stock on August 21st. I suggest requesting a "stock alert" so that you will be emailed as soon as they become available. 

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9 Comments

Teresa Oldenbourg's picture

Timing is everything

Joel Manes's picture

The catchlight in her pupils is bizarre. I would try to edit those out or at least really darken her pupils to reduce the reflection.

Steve Meredith's picture

I was waffling on buying this light, then I see your review. Must have, but out of stock.... aaaah!
Thanks!

Brad Smith's picture

Do you want a ring light to actually look like a ring light? Or at least something that gives you better catchlights that actually look like rings? Well, then you need something with a ring that's a bigger diameter. It's no wonder this one is cheap. Also, can't we at least have a disclaimer saying the links are making you money with such a blatant ad?

Jay Jay's picture

Give up that dream, Disclosure is a very dirty word on here

Felix Valeri's picture

I own this light and it works great for video, I recently did a photoshoot with it and found I had to bump the ISO up really high even though I had the light at 100 percent, it's bright to the eyes but not to the camera.

Jonatan Augusto's picture

I had to buy it. Awesome!!!

Paul Sokal's picture

To me, especially on the model, the quality of the light seemed very harsh. Not surprising in ring light mode but would never use it as a softbox for that reason. On you Lee, being an ugly guy, it was fine but a disservice to a beautiful model, IMO. And BTW I liked your self portrait.

Jonathan Brady's picture

Would be better if the bottom half of the ring light (and wands) could be dimmed separately and used as a fill light for shadows. This might help with the completely bizarre, alien-like catchlights, too.