This review was sponsored by GoPro who provided the GoPro Zeus Mini. A huge thank you to GoPro for supporting ADVrider.

GoPro’s trying new things these days. The company originally broke into the video market with action cameras aimed at capturing adrenaline-packed moments from sports like snowboarding, heli-skiing, that sort of thing. As time went by, a second generation of users found the cameras worked well in other roles. Vloggers, lifestyle influencers, and other cool kids started using GoPro cameras, and started a demand for other accessories. Now, GoPro’s got an extensive line of gadgets that make it easier to use their cameras. That’s where the https://bit.ly/3oD1z7G“>Zeus Mini light comes in.

Launched earlier in 2020, GoPro says the Zeus Mini is “Compact, versatile LED illumination for projects, camping, outdoor adventures, safety and more.” That’s where the Zeus Mini shines; it’s reasonably compact, and it’s very versatile.

As GoPro’s handout photo shows, that magnetic base comes in pretty handy if you need emergency illumination in a pinch. You might not want to carry a full-on trouble light everywhere, but the Zeus Mini easily packs in a tank bag.

At its core, the https://bit.ly/3oD1z7G“>Zeus Mini is a flashlight on a GoPro-style mount. That doesn’t sound too exciting at first, until you realize that GoPro has been making a wide range of mounts for several years now. Suction cups, stick-on helmet mounts chest straps, floating handle, handlebar mount—GoPro has a mount for every situation.

The magnetic clip swivel light that ships with the Zeus Mini could be the most versatile mount of them all (probably why it’s bundled with the light). Need an auxiliary light for late-night motorcycle wrenching? The magnetic base will attach to your bike’s frame or gas tank. Need a headlamp? The clip-on mount clamps down to your ballcap brim, or to your shirt collar. Or you can attach it to a backpack strap, or to the side of your tent, or your workbench, or your bedside table, your car’s engine bay, a gun safe, the top of your toolbox, the bottom of your kitchen sink, the top of your computer screen, or whatever. The clip swivel light transforms the Zeus Mini from a simple high-quality flashlight (which it is—this isn’t chintzy throwaway stuff) into a great EDC option, if only you can figure out how to store it in your pocket efficiently.

Want to read in your tent, but your 600-lumen headlamp turns your book’s pages into a searing reflector? Here’s another use for the GoPro Hero Zeus, in its 20-lumen mode.

GoPro sent me a test unit, and I’ve been using the Zeus Mini regularly over the past weeks. I’ve found it useful in a wide range of roles due to its unusual configuration. Most recently, the remote-starter module in my Subaru decided to self-eject from the dashboard and get tangled up with the clutch pedal. Unable to see to re-attach the electronics in the under-dash darkness, I grabbed the Zeus Mini from the backpack and clipped it in place. Bam, instant light in a tricky location. If you’ve got one of these lights within grabbing distance during projects, you’ll constantly find similar uses.

As a regular flashlight, the Zeus Mini is versatile enough to command a premium price, but on that strength alone, the $49 MSRP is still overly high. It’s the integration with GoPro’s “system” that really makes it an attractive buy. To be sure, it’s expensive, but if you’re an existing GoPro user, especially if you’re a super-user, you’re going to find new ways to integrate this into your filming. The biggest role is its function as a light for a GoPro camera. If you need a camera light that works with the GoPro system, you know the Zeus Mini has a 5000K color temperature, specifically tuned for GoPro cameras. That’s going to help you film better low-light colors. It’s even waterproof to 33 feet, if you need to film underwater for some reason. Good luck doing that with your Wal-Mart headlamp.

Crude, but effective: The Zeus Mini’s clamp mount allows you to jury-rig a light to many GoPro accessories, even if you don’t have the Media Mod housing. If you have the Media Mod housing (available for the Hero 8), you can actually fit the Zeus Mini directly to the cold shoe mount. That’s very convenient!

The Zeus Mini also attaches handily to GoPro’s Media Mod via the cold-shoe mount. That’s especially hander for vloggers, journalists or filmmakers who want a convenient, tidy package put together with GoPro parts. If you’re using a different GoPro handle or mount, the clip can attach to the handle, using the magnet to keep a battery pack in place … the more you use it, the more outside-the-box options you’ll come up with. The Zeus Mini even has a strobe function (Brake light burned out, and you must keep on riding to the next town after dark? Attach that light to the back of your bike in strobe function, and maybe you won’t be rear-ended!).

GoPro says the Zeus Mini can put out up to 200 lumens for a 30-second burst. Otherwise, there’s 20 lumens at Level 1, 60 lumens at level 2, 125 lumens at Level 3. Battery life is one hour at Level 1, two hours at Level 2, six hours at Level 1.  With all that in mind, you can see the Zeus Mini doesn’t have the output to replace a really powerful headlamp or flashlight, if you need all that candlepower.

However, there’s lots of times you don’t need 600 lumens on the road, or around the campground outhouse, or wherever, and there’s lots of times you do need a trouble light, a light for reading in your tent, and so on. That’s where the Zeus Mini proves its value; filling a wide variety of roles, while only taking up minimal space in your tank bag or backpack or whatever. Any experienced ADVer knows that versatile equipment allows for a smaller load on the road.

Should you buy one?

The Zeus Mini’s current $49 price is much easier to swallow than its original $69 sticker. If you already bought into the GoPro system and you have a camera and some proprietary mounts, you probably have the $49 to spare, and you should enjoy using the Zeus Mini. For fussy videographers, it allows easier dark-light filming. For travelers, it’s a versatile light you can stick anywhere. For motorcyclists, it’s a handy multi-function accessory that can provide much-needed illumination in an emergency. It won’t replace a proper full-power flashlight, but you should find it useful in many ways if you fit into those categories.

The GoPro Zeus Mini is available through GoPro’s website, or through other retailers. It uses a built-in rechargeable battery, via USB-C Cable. For an initial peak at the camera’s functions, see ADVrider’s first story here.

 

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