Smoke Ninja review: elevate your creativity with safe smoke effects

Can PMI Gear's portable Smoke Ninja smoke machine live up to our vape expectations?

The Smoke Ninja fog setting
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

You can pay less for devices with similar capabilities, but it’s PMI’s safety-first approach that makes the Smoke Ninja stand out. The company’s Coil Protection System seems worth the price of admission alone, and that’s before you consider that the Smoke Ninja is simple to set up and dispenses even plumes of photogenic smoke. If the PMI Smoke Genie is overkill and you’re looking for a smoke machine that’s both portable and versatile, the Smoke Ninja is definitely worth checking out.


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    Easy to use

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    Kicks out plenty of smoke

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    Emphasis on safety

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    Compatible with a range of existing PMI Smoke Genie accessories


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    Dry ice can leave a greasy residue

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    Mounts can only be fixed on two sides of the Smoke Ninja

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    No way to color the smoke

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If you’re a portrait, food or product photographer, chances are you’ve used your fair share of smoke machines. But if you’re looking for a safe, portable solution that you can chuck into your camera bag and take on a flight, then PMI’s Smoke Ninja will certainly be of interest. 

This pint-sized smoke machine is barely the size of a bottle of shampoo and yet its tiny reservoir manages to kick out sizable plumes of smoke for extended periods of time. But it’s much more than a simple smoke machine, three smoke settings provide a wealth of creative options, making this a versatile piece of creative kit for a variety of photography and videography applications. 

Mike Harris
Technique Editor

Mike is Deputy Editor for N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, and brings with him over 10 years experience writing both freelance and for some of the biggest specialist publications. Prior to joining N-Photo Mike was the production editor for the content marketing team of Wex Photo Video, the UK’s largest online specialist photographic retailer, where he sharpened his skills in both the stills and videography spheres.  

While he’s an avid motorsport photographer, his skills extend to every genre of photography – making him one of Digital Camera World’s top tutors for techniques on cameras, lenses, tripods, filters and other imaging equipment, as well as sharing his expertise on shooting everything from portraits and landscapes to abstracts and architecture to wildlife and, yes, fast things going around race tracks.