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remote flash for cameras

see also:

TTL radio wave wireless triggering:

Godox X1 radio TTL flash system

Cactus v6 II X-TTL system

  • cross-platform radio wireless TTL flash, another great game changing option similar to the Godox system but no TTL studio flashes, but you can combine the two systems if desired, just mount the brand specific Godox transceiver on top of the Cactus V6II transceiver in the camera hot shoe

Phottix Odin Z system

  • announced Sept 2018
  • automatically detects TTL system for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax but not MFTs or Fuji at this stage
  • Juno TTL flash is compatible with the Elincrom Skyport system and can command or be commanded, by the Odin studio flashes, and triggered by non-TTL Ares products by radio
  • Optical systems can also be controlled or used to control the Juno TTL
  • Odin Lite transmitter is non-TTL radio remote trigger that can be used on any camera hotshoe system
  • Juno Li60 flash is non-TTL Li ion powered flash

older radio remote TTL flash systems

Aokatec AK-TTL Radio Wireless Flash Trigger

  • announced in 2012
  • similar to the RadioPopper concept but works with remote optical TTL flash modes of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Pentax cameras and flashes
  • converts optical signal at the camera to 2.4GHz radio wave signal (16 channels to choose from) which is then received at the remote flash and converted back into an optical signal which is sent to the flash unit
  • allows radio wireless TTL flash at up to 110m
  • allows High Speed Flash mode to 1/8000th sec
  • sync to 1/320th sec in manual mode (although cameras with leaf shutters and higher sync speeds appear to work at those speeds eg. Panasonic LX-5 at 1/2000th sec with a Nikon flash!1))
  • allows remote setting of manual flash output in the 3 groups and can still use optical remote TTL at same time
  • uses 2xAAA batteries in each unit
  • transmitter unit can just sit on the flash on the camera and point in same direction as that flash
  • receiver unit's optical connection is taped to the flash optical sensor
  • although design is a little clunky requiring taping to flash, it has an enormous advantage of being usable on multiple systems, requires no configuration as it just uses the usual camera/flash controls, and should not need updating unless major changes occur in camera RC protocols which is unlikely

RadioPopper PX series:

Pocket Wizard TTL remote flash system

Canon RT radio remote system

  • announced March 2012 making it the 1st camera manufacturer to add remote radio wireless TTL flash to their system
  • but unlike the PocketWizard solution, it ONLY works with RT specified speedlights and there is no hypersync functionality, so with the Canon 5D Mark III dSLR and Canon 1D Mark III digital SLR you are confined to fastest flash sync of only 1/200th sec without resorting to HSS mode which reduces flash GN substantially.

Speedlite ST-E3-RT transmitter

  • can trigger up to 15 Speedlites at up to 30 meters
  • can be used to remotely trigger the camera shutter as well
  • weathersealed

Speedlite 600EX-RT

  • GN 60m at ISO 100 at 200mm focal length zoom
  • radio triggering at up to 30m range
  • can use up to 15 speedlights
  • also has traditional infrared wireless TTL remote capability
  • remote camera triggering capability
  • bounce and swivel head with zoom control
  • white balance correction filters

Phottix Odin radio TTL Flash Trigger for Canon or Nikon

  • introduced in Sept 2012
  • 2.4GHz radio frequency with range to 100m in 3 groups of flashes in 4 channels
  • separate Canon or Nikon versions but no Olympus version … yet..although perhaps a Sony version will be first
  • USB port for firmware upgrades
  • AA batteries in each unit
  • no shutter trigger
  • no hypersync as with PocketWizards but does support HSS/FP mode to 1/8000th sec
  • provides TTL HSS to Phottix Indra 500 TTL studio strobes as well
  • $329 for transmitter unit and $129 for receiver unit
  • transmitter unit (TCU):
    • large LCD screen displays TTL exposure compensation or manual flash output for each flash group and whether TTL or Manual
    • backlit for night use
    • user friendly menu to ontrol flash head zoom, test light, modelling light, 2nd curtain sync, A:B ratio

Profoto Air Remote TTL

  • versions available for the latest Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras
  • TTL remote control of the Profoto Air-compatible studio lights only

TTL infrared/visible light wireless remote flash

  • most camera manufacturers have their own proprietary infrared/visible light wireless TTL remote flash capability including Canon, Nikon, Olympus but significantly, older Panasonic cameras do NOT support remote TTL flash.
  • Olympus and Panasonic use visible light, most others use infrared
  • infrared or visible light TTL flash is restricted to line of sight use over relatively short distances (up to 10m indoors although bounce off walls can assist) and can be unreliable in bright sunlight situations.
  • the old Metz Remote Cordless TTL mode is unfortunately incompatible with dSLRs, but was an option for some earlier model cameras, most current Metz flash units now support the camera manufacturer's proprietary infrared/visible light system.

Non-TTL radio wave wireless triggering:

Pocket Wizard non-TTL models

  • professional reliability but expensive
  • long range
  • make sure all components are same frequency (eg. 433MHz for Australia and Europe)
  • compatible with PocketWizard TTL models but obviously no TTL metering support available

Yongnuo YN560-TX flash trigger

  • 2.4ghz radio wireless remote trigger and set manual output and zoom of up to 6 groups of flashes to around 200m
  • works on any camera system with a standard hot shoe
  • without any receiver under the flash, the TX can trigger both the YN560III and the YN560IV flashes
  • other flashes will need a receiver under them in order to fire wirelessly
  • can use it as a remote shutter release for your camera
  • LCD screen breaks easily from drops

Lightpix Labs FlashQ

  • 2.4ghz radio wireless remote trigger for only 1 group of flashes up to 10m although may work to 30m in ideal conditions
  • very compact 2016 models with only 2 controls: on/off and test flash (buttons are reversed on the receiver module!)
  • receiver requires use of flimsy cold shoe if you want to mount the flash using the FlashQ
  • no channel options and they pair automatically but may be an issue if other photographers nearby are using the same system
  • can sync to 1/1000th sec when using electronic shutters and to 1/400th sec on some Micro Four Thirds cameras in normal shutter mode with only slight loss of flash coverage
  • LED indicator lights
  • CR2032 watch battery
  • strangely, uses a microUSB port as the sync port but they do come with a PC sync adapter cable

Elinchrom EL-Skyport HS

  • designed for Elinchrom studio lights, Olympus version announced Sept 2016
  • transmitter allows:
    • manual power output control of up to 10 Elinchrom studio lights and the modelling light
    • 20 channels in 4 groups with range to 200m outdoors and 60m indoors
    • Elinchrom Hi-Sync technology allows shutter speeds up to 1/8000th sec
    • OverDrive Sync (ODS) allows up to 2 stops more light at higher shutter speeds above the x-sync
    • AF illuminator
    • USB port firmware upgradeable
  • $US249

Paul C Buff's CyberSync system for studio flashes

  • a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio remote system with multiple capabilities from simple remote firing of flash units to complete control, metering and display of complex 16-light studio systems
  • whilst it does not have TTL metering, and does not support hand held camera flash units it does have a built-in flash meter and remotely controls certain studio flashes.

Cyber Commander™


  • master transmitter unit mounts on hotshoe of camera
  • complete control of up to 16 lights on 16 frequencies
  • designed to control Paul C. Buff™ studio flash units with CSR+ or CSRB+ receivers or Einstein™ studio flash units with CSXCV transceivers
  • adjusts flashpower and modeling in 1/10 f-stop increments
  • stores and retrieves complex lighting setups
  • built-in flashmeter measures single lights, groups or setup

Cactus v6

  • introduced July 2014
  • 2.4Ghz radio transmitter, receiver
  • 16 channels, 4 groups
  • 2 AA batteries
  • hotshoe lock lever
  • optical slave - off/first flash, main flash
  • PC sync plug
  • transmitter has TTL pass-through hotshoe to enable a compatible branded TTL flash to be mounted on almost any brand camera and used in TTL mode (if used on Micro Four Thirds, then need a Micro Four Thirds TTL flash for TTL capability, but can use Canon flashes in remote radio manual flash)
  • transceiver itself works in manual flash mode but in addition to basic flash trigger mode, it can set flash output level of a range of flashes (mainly Canon, Nikon and Pentax - these must be set to TTL mode even though it won't actually be TTL flash) with potential to provide 1/2, 1/3 or even 1/10th EV fine control over flash and down to 1/250th output
  • firmware update adds support for Olympus FL-50R, FL-36R, Pan FL-500R, FL-360R, Metz 58AF-2, 52AF-1, and 44 AF-1 but seems the V6 will not be able to be updated for the FL-600R, FL-300R, FL-580L, FL-360L as the V6 hardware cannot support these models 2)
  • can learn flash profiles for flashes that support analogue TTL flash (but these will still only be used in manual mode) - can save up to 15 named profiles
  • not compatible with earlier Cactus models apart from v5 although group control not compatible
  • optional camera shutter release cable to allow remote camera firing
  • $US55 each

Phottix Strat II Multi

  • 2.4Ghz radio transmitter, receiver
  • 4 channels
  • 4 groups
  • sync 1/250th sec
  • AAA batteries
  • 150m range
  • PC sync plug
  • transmitter has TTL pass-through hotshoe to enable a TTL flash to be mounted on the camera (Canon, Nikon or Sony mounts) - very handy!

older cheap Chinese wireless triggers:

  • whilst the older models were plagued with inconsistent firing and poor distance coverage (often < 10m) which made them only suitable for hobbyists who do not need 100% reliability, the newer versions are reported to be much more reliable with better distance coverage, as long as you do not use rechargeable batteries (full strength 1.5V AAA batteries recommended) and do not use with older flashes with high trigger voltage.
  • each version appears not to be compatible with other versions, although using same radio wavelength (433MHz for Europe and Australia).
  • PT-04 series are marketed by YongNuo (YN), Phottix
  • newer circuits (2008-2009):
    • max. working distance outdoors said to be 30m
    • PT-04 CN:
      • new lower profile design which allows either:
        • mounting hotshoe of flash onto receiver and then receiver onto a 1/4“ tripod screw thread 
        • PC sync connection connection between flash and receiver
      • use 2x alkaline AAA batteries in each receiver and 1x 23A 12V battery in transmitter
      • said to sync to 1/320th sec
      • 4 channel
      • optional PL-04C receiver for studio flash with 6.5mm sync plug (can be plugged into the 6.35mm or 3.5mm (via adapter) studio sync jack without cables)
  • PT-04 TM CTR-301:
    • low profile version of the PT-04 TM
    • 1/4” tripod screw thread on receiver
    • new function - receiver by itself can control trigger of the flash (via optical slave - “L” mode)
    • not compatible with PT-04 TM
    • receiver has 3V CR2 battery instead of AAA
    • said to tigger to 1/250th sec
    • 4 channel
    • Locking pinhole on receiver shoe for SB flashes
    • Sync speed up to around 1/500 sec
  • PT-04 TM:
    • similar profile and design as older model but new circuit and now has channel selector on outside of receiver.
    • use 2x alkaline AAA batteries in each receiver and 1x 23A 12V battery in transmitter
    • 4 channel
    • range up to 50m (?30m)
    • with modification by adding an external antenna to the transmitter:
      • with a 115mm Vertical ant it will trigger at 406 feet, 456 feet with the ant Horizontal (polarisation coming into play here) with a 170mm ant Horizontal out to 516 feet, extending the antenna further had no effect.
      • in the horizontal position the antenna was broadside to the receiver.
  • Cactus V4:
    • 16 channel
    • sync up to 1/500th sec
    • up to 30m
    • low profile - similar to PT-04 CN profile
    • transmitter has external antenna
    • use 2x alkaline AAA batteries in each receiver and 1x 23A 12V battery in transmitter
    • transmitter has a connection port: 3.5 mm (1/8“) mono mini-phone
    • receiver sync connector is changed (from V2) to a 3.5 mm mono jack 
    • receiver can handle up to 300V flashes
    • some issues connecting certain flashes onto the receiver due to pins on bottom of flash (eg. Nikon SB-600)
    • may cope with 7fps, and seems to be able to do 5fps at 40m outdoors
    • not compatible with V2
  • older less reliable circuits (2007 and earlier):
  • PT-04:
  • Cactus V2:
    • sync to 1/250th sec
    • no external antenna
    • 3V CR2 battery in receiver
FeaturePW FlexTT5PW MultimaxPW Plus IIRadioPopper PXRadioPopper JRX
Transmitter/ReceiverT/R (Mini is T only)T/RT/RT and R modelsT and R models
Non-TTL channels3232?41616
TTL channels200040
camera triggerY (Mini = No)YNN?N
zones / disable on unit3 / N4 / Y1 / Nmanual flash zones onlymanual flash zones only
RF noise meterNYNNN
repeater functionNYNNN
HSSY YY with PX transmitter
burst rate8fps12fps?12fps?
remote camera wakeupNYNN?N
configure w/o laptopNYYYY
kiss of light testYNNNN
squelch pre-flashYNNNN
on-camera flash needed for TTLNN/AN/AYN/A
Canon and Nikon TTLN - specific modelN/AN/AYN/A
photo/flash_remote.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/30 09:33 by gary1

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