Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #1 · My thoughts on Phottix Strato II triggers for Canon |
I have been looking for a decent set of radio triggers to do some off camera flash work, but that didn't break the bank. After reading many mixed reviews of the Cactus models, and other eBay type offerings, I was resigned to waiting until I could swing a set of Pocket Wizards.
One day I was in our local camera shop, talking to one of the guys about the light modifiers they had. The discussion turned to triggers, and he confirmed internet feedback on the cheapo triggers with his experience with similar models they carry. He mentioned having gotten to try new triggers from Phottix, which had performed well, and were middle ground on price. They were going to get a few sets to sell in a few weeks. I searched for more info on the net, but didn't find much apart from the Phottix website. They are also mainly only sold through Phottix's own online store, and there were no user reviews there.
After a few weeks, the local shop had a set in stock, so i picked them up. The basic kit was $99 and came with one trigger and one receiver. An additional receiver was $65. These were the same price as the online prices. They are manual only, no ETTL. They come with a variety of cords for connecting to PC and sync ports, etc, and the receivers will also mount to a speedlight hot shoe. They have an on/off switch, a channel selection switch (1-4), and a group selection switch (A-D). There is also a test button.
The transmitter can connect to the camera via PC port or the hot shoe. It has a cool feature, in that it has a hot shoe on top of it so that when mounted on the camera, you can still mount a flash there. This port allows TTL pass through, so you can use your TTL enabled flash to control any other TTL flashes it can see, and use your triggers to fire manual only flashes. This is a great feature allowing some flexibility in the lighting set up you use. The transmmitter also has all the same controls as the receivers (channel, group, test,on/off), as well as four additional buttons on the back, which select which groups to fire. So from the camera postion you can choose to fire any combination of the 4 groups. It does not allow for remote power control, but it is neat feature allowing you to try some different things without having to go to your lights.
I tried them with my 580EXII and 430 EXII flashes on both my canon 5D and my 40D. They worked great on both cameras. The 5D would sync reliably at 125, and most of the time at 160. The max sync of 200 was not usable. The 40D has a listed max sync of 250, and it would sync reliably there. The lack of ability to sync at the max speed on fthe 5D is a limitation in the camera, not these remotes.
As far as distance goes, i had my wife take a flash and receiver down the block, and I could fire it until she was unwilling to go any farther. That was around 100yards. It did not seem to worry about orientation of the transmitter or obstacles (as some of the cheaper ones seem to be finicky with).
All together, for the price these seem to be a great value. They have good reliability and a few very handy features. They don't provide full ETTl capability but do allow it to be part of your set up. And though not as functional as a Pocket Wizard system, the set I got put me in action with two flashes off camera, and cost me less than a single PW transmitter.