Nitecore CineWind CW30 review

This portable photography fan is ultra-high powered and can create a breeze with ease

Nitecore CineWind CW30 Review
(Image: © Beth Nicholls)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This is the world's First Portable Cord-Free photography fan that doubles as a miniature wind machine and can easily add motion to your portraits whether used in the studio or on location. Impressively powerful, the simple functionality and handheld nature make it great for photographers at all levels to operate from beginners and students to professionals. The ten levels of wind speed can reach as high as 46km/h with an air volume of 400 meters cubed.

Pros

  • +

    Great for in-the-studio and on-location shoots

  • +

    Impressively powerful

  • +

    Very easy to use

  • +

    Long-lasting battery life

Cons

  • -

    Batteries & charger not included

  • -

    Portable but a little heavy (to be expected)

  • -

    No AC power option

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This professional cordless photography fan from Nitecore is designed to sweep your model off their feet with impressive high-power wind speeds that can add creative flair to your portraits. The company has seemingly perfected its range of air blowers now with the Nitecore BlowerBaby cleaning tool, the upgraded BB2 with turbo mode, followed by the BBMini which was shaped like a grenade, and now the beastly CineWind is here to rule them all - just don't use this for cleaning!

Creating the windswept look has never been easier with this new NP-F battery-powered wind machine from Nitecore, which can be used for both indoor and outdoor shoots. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

The fan couldn't be easier to use and operate, with virtually no setup required other than making sure the batteries are charged. No cables, no problem! It also has removable fan covers for cleaning, and two power indicator lights to let you know how much each battery has. 

It's worth noting that the batteries needed to power this fan are sold separately, so if you don't already have NP-F batteries lying around then you'll need to purchase two - plus a charger - for the CineWind to function. 

We had the chance to really put the Nitecore CineWind CW30 to the test at a local sunflower field, and the results can be seen in the performance section of our review where we run through exactly how the process of using this photography fan went (and what went wrong). 

Specifications

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Max wind speed: 46km/h (28.6mp/h)
Air Volume400m3 (400 cubic meters per hour)
Rated Power42W (Max)
Fan blades7 high density
Rotational speed7,200 RPM (Max)
Run time 138 hours (level 1) 3.5 hours (Level 10)
Size:190mm x 105mm x 126mm
Weight700g (24.69 oz) without batteries

Nitecore CineWind: Build and handling

While the CineWind is advertised as a portable photography fan with an ultra mini design, it still weighs a fair bit and would take up substantial room in your rucksack. The cordless design is a great feature for using the fan when out and about, although having to purchase the batteries (plus a charger for these batteries) adds to the cost substantially if you don't already use or own NP-F batteries. 

Even if you don't plan on using the fan for hours at a time, you'll still need to use two batteries with the unit as it will not operate with just one. The base of the CineWind is sturdy once the batteries are in place, and it's equipped with two power indicators to let you know exactly how much charge each battery has, and two release buttons to easily and safely remove them. 

On the rear side of the CineWind is a large, round, and knobly yellow dial which is also clickable and primarily how the device is controlled. This can reach up to ten levels of wind power when rotated, and boasts a maximum wind speed of 46km per hour, which is nearly enough to make your cheeks wobble if you sit close enough to the CineWind, and will definitely transform your hairstyle. 

The company has put a lot of thought into the convenience and ease of use when designing this product, ensuring that the fans can be detached and cleaned safely and that mounting options are present to be able to use accessories with the fan.

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

I know we said this fan was easy to use and operate (it is!) but we did struggle at first with finding out how to turn the blooming thing on - it really isn't immediately obvious. Instead of a traditional on and off button or single click, this portable fan requires a fast click of the yellow knob, then followed swiftly by a long click in order to turn the device on. You can then crank the dial up as high as you want and back down again, but will need to repeat the fast click-and-hold method to power off. 

The top of the fan kind of looks like a flat cheese grater, with multiple holes for connecting screws and various photography accessories. You'll also find a symbol near the top of the fan which shows the safety locking system. This is where you can ensure that each fan cover is secured in place after removing them for cleaning, but the fan will not power on unless both covers are attached as a safety measure. 

Nitecore kindly provided us with a grip for the CineWind which makes it easier to carry around and transport, although this is, again, sold separately. The grip made the CineWind slightly easier to hold when using it handheld, but chances are that you won't always have an assistant to hold the fan for you during a shoot so it'll end up on the floor or mounted to a stand anyway. 

Nitecore CineWind: Performance

Our first impressions of this mini photography fan were positive overall, we really like the design being all black and metallic, but with Nitecore's signature yellow colour peeping through in the front logo and yellow dial button, and the user-friendly features that make it a quick and easy tool to use on the go. 

I took the CineWind out to a local sunflower field to test how this fan would operate on a muggy day without much wind or even a breeze to go around. As you can see from the video below, the fan does make a bit of noise, but it mainly stands out due to the quietness of the area we chose to shoot in. 

As for the functionality of the CineWind, there are no complaints. It lasted for well over an hour on level 7 of wind power, the sound of the fan was quiet enough to not be distracting, and the airflow could be adjusted for the perfect scenario, suitable for anything from a subtle breeze or a powerful gust of wind. 

I attached the CineWind to my light stand, and despite being pretty top-heavy, it balanced well and I didn't have to worry about it potentially falling off of the stand or being unstable. I also attached the grip to the top plate of the fan, and while it helped with carrying the fan and using it handheld, it didn't feel like a necessity to own, especially when the fan is mounted to a stand. 

This is presumably why the grip does not come included with the fan and is sold separately, but it seems silly that Nitecore has not included the NP-F batteries with the CineWind, as this is of course absolutely essential for the device to operate and function (especially as two of them are required!). 

The image gallery below shows the final outcomes we managed to capture using the CineWind combined with my Canon 5DS and Canon 85mm f/1.2mm lens. 

The option to shoot gusts of wind in bursts or a rhythm might have been a cool idea, to create more of a bouncy effect rather than having the air on a continuous flow. Some form of remote or trigger would have also been a nice touch, to allow for exact timings without the need for a photography assistant to operate the fan.

The only concern we had when using the CineWInd was ensuring that our lovely model Jenna was comfortable enough with the high level of wind, and it's worth noting that if she had been wearing false eyelashes or a wig, it would likely have caused some discomfort with the CineWind on too high or for a long duration. 

Nitecore CineWind: Verdict

Overall, this is a great photography tool to have in your Arsenal and is lightweight enough to be carried around handheld and used in a variety of settings, including on location as well as in a studio. The fan is extremely powerful, more so than we expected, also making it excellent for hot summer days working in the studio when you need a quick gust of air to keep yourself cool. 

For the price ($40/£140 approximately), we would definitely recommend investing in a CineWind as a low-cost option for adding some flair to your portraits – and it's more budget-friendly than having to rent a wind machine for the afternoon. It all boils down to whether you would use the CineWind enough to warrant owning one, as for a one-time shoot it may not be worth the purchase. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

Is there room for improvement? Definitely. But for a first attempt at a cordless photography fan, the CineWind does a lot of things right and is priced fairly in our opinion. We just wish it had a more accessible way to charge without needing to purchase separate batteries and a battery charger for it to work - but if you already own NP-F batteries then this isn't a problem.  

Products from Nitecore have proven their quality and reliability over time, and we can confidently recommend them to photographers. The only downside being that Nitecore accessories aren't always the easiest to get a hold of. If you'd like to grab yourself a CineWind then you'll need to purchase one from Amazon, Pergear, or through AliExpress.

• You might also be interested in the best camera filters, plus our guides to the best cameras for street photography, as well as the best cine lens for filmmakers. There's also the best lenses for iPhone and Android phones.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.