Home CAMERAS, LENSES AND ACCESSORIES The Smoke Ninja – A Pocket-Sized Fog Machine

The Smoke Ninja – A Pocket-Sized Fog Machine

The Smoke Ninja – A Pocket-Sized Fog Machine

It’s amazing what a little fog or haze can do to spice up an image or video clip. But you don’t have to rely on the bulky machines that need to be plugged into a wall.

One of my favorite photography accessories in the past year or so has been the Smoke Genie. And every single time I share images from it, people instantly ask about the fogger and where they can get it. But the Smoke Genie is a pro-level high-end piece of kit that comes with a high-end price tag. It’s something a lot of creators want, but can’t justify the cost of. Thankfully, the people over at PMI Gear have been listening.

Smoke Ninja

As a whole, this little fog machine is smaller, lighter, and much less expensive. But it still performs like most users want. You see, the Smoke Genie has a ton of control, with 10 levels of adjustability for both the smoke output and then fan speed. So, you can have high smoke output with a low fan speed, low smoke and high fan, or any level in between. But I know for myself and a lot of users, I usually just want the highest output when I use the machine. So, with the Smoke Ninja, you have fewer customizations, but you still get some element of control. 

Smoke Ninja

On the front of the device, there is a button for power, fog, dry ice, and steam. The fog button gets you full output, and with the Ninja, you can have a constant full output for one minute. Then, the dry ice button gets you a middle-of-the-road output and pairs nicely with the tube/sponge attachment in order to lay down a layer of fog on a surface similar to dry ice. Lastly, the steam button gets you the lowest output in order to fake something like a steaming cup of coffee. 

Another difference is that the Ninja does not have a digital screen like the Genie. Instead, there are some vertical strips of LEDs. These not only light up a different color depending on the setting, but also give you an indication of how long you can hold the trigger before the machine times out. So, as you hold the trigger, you see the light on the strip get smaller and smaller. Similarly, as the machine cools, the LED strip will fill up to let you know when it’s ready for use again.

Smoke Ninja

From here, another key difference is that this machine only runs off a single battery. This gives you a smaller and lighter package, but at the cost of having less battery life. Thankfully, you can simply swap out the battery when needed or charge the device via the USB-C port. The battery door also opens with a nice sliding-style mechanism that holds itself closed with magnets.

Smoke Ninja

Another feature worth mentioning is that the Smoke Ninja uses the newly designed fluid tank that comes on the Smoke Genie. This clear vial lets you see how much fluid you have, so you can easily tell if you need to refill or not. You also won’t have to worry about breaking this vial because it is designed to withstand being hit by a hammer. So, simple bumps and drops shouldn’t cause an issue. Lastly, the vial has a useful rubber seal to close the refill port. This rubber changes color as it gets hot, so you know not to touch it until it’s safe to do so. There is also an easy way to make these lights brighter, or you can turn the lights off altogether if needed. 

The last bit of detail to cover is the price and what you get for it. While the Smoke Genie Pro kit runs around $750, the Smoke Ninja will kit will retail for around $250. This Ninka kit will come with the machine, a fluid tank, a case, a dry ice attachment, a battery, a remote, and two detachable mounting plates. One mounting plate gets you access to a 1/4-20 thread, while the other plate gets you a set of strong magnets to attach the machine to any magnetic surfaces. 

What I Like

  • Small and compact
  • Much less expensive than the Smoke Genie
  • Still gives a strong output that is close to equal to the Smoke Genie

What I Don’t Like

  • Less battery life
  • Less customization

While this device has less customization and battery life than its bigger brother, it makes up for it with a smaller and lighter exterior with a similar high fog output. It’s also much more reasonably priced for people who want that pro-level haze look without the pro-level cost.  


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