Small portable fog machines seem to be the new thing at the moment. And Ulanzi’s not one to be left behind on such things. So, they’ve announced the new FM01 FILMOG Ace (buy here) fog machine.
This small handheld device falls into the same sort of category as the recently released SmokeNinja (buy here) and another new one from LensGo (buy here). But what does this one offer that the others do not?
Ulanzi FM01 FILMOG Ace Very low budget
Fog machines, particularly small and easily portable ones fit a growing need. Many creators today are working in very small spaces. Or, they’re working away from power sockets where traditional fog machines won’t work.
This is where small, battery operated fog machines step in. You can see some examples of how such a machine benefits a small studio in our post about the SmokeGenie (buy here). But for anybody who’s ever needed one, the benefits are obvious.
While the other fog machines mentioned above are very capable, they’re not that cheap. The SmokeNinja and SmokeGenie are both excellent machines. But at around $750 and $250 respectively, they’re a bit higher than the budget allows for many small creators. LensGo’s offering is a little cheaper at around $170, but it’s still not quite low enough.
Ulanzi’s new FM01 FILMOG Ace, however, is currently available for less than $90. This is a pre-order price, though. Once pre-orders are over, it’ll go up to $109. This is still very inexpensive compared to what else is on the market.
Is it any good?
The obvious question, given its price, is “Is it any good?”. Usually, lower prices mean compromises have been made. Sometimes that’s build quality and sometimes it’s reduced features or power. I haven’t tried the Ulanzi FM01 FILMLOG Ace, but on paper it looks quite good.
It’s a 40W device boasting 36 different fog effects. Ulanzi hasn’t listed what they are, though. I didn’t even know there were 36 different types of fog and smoke. But I’d be keen to see a list or demonstration of them all.
Internally, it’s powered by a pair of 18650 batteries. These can be swapped out as needed if they go flat. But you can also recharge them in the device using a USB-C cable. It has about a two and a half hour charge time. This gives a run time of up to 30 minutes.
Removable remote control
I would’ve thought a device like this might have Bluetooth control with a smartphone app. Instead, however, it has its own remote control. This attaches to the front of the unit magnetically, keeping it safe when not in use.
You can use it connected to the unit as a handheld device. Removing it, however, gives you full remote control up to a distance of 10 metres. The remote has a built-in battery that charges when docked to the machine.
The remote sports an OLED display, showing settings and status. An array of buttons lets you adjust those settings. A large button in the centre lets you fire out fog at will.
Just another glorified vape?
As with many small, portable fog machines, it’s essentially a glorified vape. But you don’t need to go and buy “vape juice” for it. It just runs on vegetable glycerine and polypropylene glycol. Both of these are readily available at many supermarkets. Or, you can buy them from Amazon.
The atomising chamber has a capacity of 8ml. This is pretty small but should give you about 10 minutes of use at full power. At that point, you’ll need to refill it. With a small machine like this, on a small set, that should last quite a while, though.
Ulanzi sets it should work for photography, outdoor events, parties, stage effects, and weddings. Unless it’s a Barbie and Ken wedding, I wouldn’t rely on it. But for small sets, particularly toy or product photography, it should be ideal
Price and Availability
The Ulanzi FM01 FILMOG Ace is available to pre-order now for $87.20 from the Ulanzi website. Once the preorders are done, it goes up to $109.