TTL & REMOTE MANUAL RADIO TRIGGERS
TTL and Remote Manual radio triggers have come a long way in the last few years, with reliable options now available in every price range. They can offer a lot of convenience and features over basic manual triggers. Compatibility is the key word here though, as camera brands, models, and lights used, will often effect the options and functions available.
See also – MANUAL RADIO TRIGGER GUIDE HERE
REMOTE MANUAL ONLY – NO TTL
Remote Manual Power Control Only, NO TTL (TTL flash on camera may be supported)
Radiopopper JrX Studio
Around – $170 a set – Tx & Rx + $20 – $30 for speedlight hotshoe / cord.
Universal – Single Firing Pin
Radiopopper JrX are great system for Remote Manual Power Control if you have access to inexpensive older Nikon TTL speedlights like the SB-24, 25, 26 28, 80dx etc or SB-600 & SB-800, any of the Canon EX speedlites, and Paul C Buff Alien Bees monolights. The JrX have fast simple dials on the transmitter to change power levels for 3 groups of flashes. The main limitation is Nikon Flashes from the SB-900 onwards are no longer compatible with the JrX remote manual power control, and HSS is not supported with any speedlights.
Compatible with Radiopopper PX TTL triggers
Allow Flash on Camera – YES, if Tx is connected via PC sync cord to camera
Radiopopper JrX are the only Manual triggers offering Remote Manual Power Control via the simple quench pin system. This is a brilliant system if you have access to inexpensive older Nikon film camera TTL flashes like the SB-24, SB-26, SB-28 SB-80dx, etc at reasonable prices. They will also work with the SB-600 & SB-800, any of the Canon EX ETTL flashes, and Paul C Buff Alien Bees monolights as well. (They will still fire SB-900 etc and most other lights, just not control their power level remotely).
- Remote manual power control with many TTL capable speedlights & Alienbees monolights
- Universaly compatible with most cameras
- 3 groups with simple control dial on the Tx
- Great range and reliability – 100 – 500m
- Fast sync speed – full x-sync (1/250th etc). Electronic shutters aprox 1/1200th +
- 200V trigger voltage
- Compatible with Radiopopper PX transmitter
- Standard 3.5mm headphone sync sockets
- Light Meter use possible
- Great service from Radiopopper
- No HSS available with speedlights
- No locking ring on the transmitter
- No hotshoe on receivers
- Non standard CR123A batteries
- No lanyard strap or hole for a strap to hang or mount the receiver
- Shutter release is not a standard feature (works but requires a cord)
- No flash wake up feature
- Separate USA and European versions
The JrX are also good solid manual triggers with fast sync speeds and high safe trigger voltage. Unlike some of the TTL triggers available, the power changes are separate to the flash fire signal, so fast sync speeds are possible and there are no pre-flashes at all, which means no issues using light meters either.
The JrX transmitter also use a simple single firing pin on the foot which means they can be used on any camera, or even held off camera to change power levels and take a meter reading with the test fire button.
Older Nikon flashes are becoming in limited supply though and the SB-900 are no longer compatible (SB-800 and SB-600 are compatible). Current Canon EX flashes are compatible as well, it’s just that you’re paying for the extra ETTL and High Speed Sync (HSS) features with those, which may be better exploited with the many inexpensive TTL triggers now becoming available.
The JrX studio receivers also require an extra cord or hotshoe to connect to your flash unit, which is at least $20 from flashzebra.com, and $30 for the Radioppoper “cube” hotshoe.
Backward / Forward Compatibility – The JrX are also compatible with the Radiopopper PX TTL system and can be used with the JrX or PX transmitter to control Alien Bees monolights (but not the later Einstein).
The Radiopopper JrX and Px also have separate USA (FCC) and European (CE) aproved versions so you will need the correct version for your location.
INEXPENSIVE TTL & REMOTE MANUAL
Around – $110 a set – Tx & Rx
Canon – Nikon – Sony – Pentax – Olympus – via the same units
AK-TTL are a relatively new simple optic to radio converter, working on a similar principle to the well established Radiopopper PX. They convert the optic based wireless flash system already in many cameras to a much less limited and more reliable radio communication. The Major advantage here is the AK-TTL offer a solution for Pentax and Olympus users who currently have no other radio based alternatives available. The same units can also be used across a number of Camera brands, as long as they have an existing optic wirelss flash control system available. The other advantage is for solid flash on camera mounting avoiding possible weak Pass Through Hotshoes.
Allow Flash on Camera – YES
YongNuo YN-622C & YN-622N
Around – $80 a set – 2 Transceivers – FULL REVIEW Canon
Canon – Nikon versions available
YN-622 are really a turning point with inexpensive TTL triggers. They follow the similar Pixel Kings (shown bellow) but offer significant refinements in general function and features. Most notably adding TTL ratios and a Pass Through Hotshoe for TTL flash on camera use. And all at a significantly lower price. The Canon version YN-622C now offer the full functions available through the Canon Flash Control Menu, ETTL ratios, Remote Manual Power Setting in 3 groups, HSS to 1/8000th, and Second Curtain Sync. The one step backward though is a lack of USB port for firmware updates for future camera models. Also as good as the 622C are they are still limited by the Canon Flash Control menu, where higher priced options offer more control and convenience with their own interface directly on the transmitter units. Functionality can depend on camera and flashes used. The Nikon version does not have control through the camera menu, but it does allow a master flash or SU-800 controller to be mounted on top of the transmitter and used as the interface for adjustments.
Not currently compatible with any other YongNuo Triggers.
Allow Flash on Camera – YES
Canon YN-622C full review HERE
Nikon YN-622N 0verview HERE
CAMERA COMPATIBILITY – CANON
The functions available with the 662C do depend on camera and flash models used, and they are basically split into Type A & B Cameras (and Mark I & II style flashes).
TYPE A CAMERAS – with Camera Flash Control Menu
Manual – Full Remote Manual Power Control in 3 groups from the camera menu
ETTL – Full ETT Ratio Control and FEC in 3 groups from the camera menu
1Ds III, 1D IV, 1D III,
5D III, 5D II,
7D, 60D, 50D, 40D,
650D T4i, 600D T3i, 550D T2i, 500D T1i, 450D XSi,
1100D T3, 1000D XS.
Powershot G12 – So far we have user confirmation the G12 will work in both ETTL (with FEC from the camera) and Manual Power Level controlled via the camera Flash Control Menu. (ETTL ratios or multiple Manual groups are yet to be confirmed).
TYPE B CAMERAS – without external flash control menu
Manual – You must set the manual power level directly on the flash
ETTL – Global FEC control is available from the camera, but not ratios. Individual FEC can be set directly on each flash to achieve a ratio though.
1D II, 1D
30D, 20D, 10D,
350D XT, 400D XTi, 300D D-Rebel,
FLASH COMPATIBILITY – CANON
FULL REMOTE CONTROL
Flashes that will support remote flash control through the camera menu.
Manual – Full Remote Manual Power Control in 3 groups from the camera menu.
ETTL – Full ETT Ratio Control and FEC in 3 groups from the camera menu.
Canon – 600EX(RT), 580EX II, 430EX II, 320EX, 270EX II
YongNuo (with HSS) – YN568EX
YongNuo (without HSS) – YN565EX C, YN565 II C, YN468 II C, YN467 II C, YN465 C
Nissin (with HSS) – Di866 II – may require a factory settings reset to function correctly (and in manual etc) with the 622c.
Nissin (without HSS) – Di622 II
Metz – 58 AF-2, 48 AF-1 (possibly AF-56 and AF-50 yet to be confirmed)
Flashes that do not support remote flash control through the camera menu.
Manual – You must set the manual power level directly on the flash.
ETTL – Global FEC control is available from the camera. Ratios may be available, though individual FEC can also be set directly on each flash to achieve a ratio if needed.
Canon – 580EX, 550EX, 430EX
Metz – 54mz4
Nissin (with HSS) – Di866
Sigma – 500 DG Super, 530 DG Super
Sunpak – PZ42X – Confirmed ETTL and FEC from the camera – No HSS
Pixel King Pro & King X
Around – $140 a set – Tx & Rx
Canon – Nikon Canon – FULL REVIEW
Pixel King Pro Transceiver, and King X receiver are Pixel’s third generation TTL triggers. No longer relying on the limited Canon Flash Control Menu, the new built in interface provides significant improvements with mixed TTL or Remote Manual Power selectable in any of 3 groups, Auto or Manual flash Zoom, and fast direct access to adjustments. HSS to 1/8000th and Second Curtain Sync as before. Now combined with a TTL Pass Through Hotshoe for flash on camera use. The King Pro case is also now reinforced with a steel frame inside for added strength. But most significantly the King Pro now have double the range of most other hotshoe TTL triggers. See More Detail below.
Compatible with Pixel King MK I receivers in ETTL only.
Allow Flash on Camera – YES
Pixel King Pro & King X for Canon Full Review HERE
|Model||King Pro – King X|
|Wireless System||Digital FSK 2.4GHz|
|Range||Up to 300m|
|Channels||15 fixed channels and 1 auto channel|
|Receiver Output||TTL hot shoe, cable sync port|
|Power||Transmitter: 2 AA batteries (100 hrs) (continuous work)|
|Receiver: 2 AA batteries (120 hrs) (continuous work)|
|Flash Mode||E-TTL, TTL, M (for Canon)|
|Mixed Mode||Support Mixed Mode (Such as, TTL in Group A, Manual in Group B)|
|EV||Support different EV addition/subtraction of each TTL group setting|
|Ratios||Supports output light ratios|
|Sync Mode||1st curtain, 2nd curtain, High Speed Sync, Red-eye reduction|
|Group Control||3 groups (7 different combinations)|
|Function||Supports flash zooming, focal length, Iso, shutter speed, FV lock and FP|
|Sync Speed||1/8000 second|
|Compatible Flash||Flashgun, Studio light and outdoor light|
|Firmware Support||Upgrade the device by downloading new firmware online|
MID PRICED – TTL & REMOTE MANUAL
Around – $330 a set – Tx & Rx – FULL REVIEW
Canon – Nikon – Sony – versions available
Phottix Odin are a powerful system, and at the same time incredibly simple, reliable, and hassle free to use. The convenience and solid performance over the cheaper (and even higher priced) options has gained the Odin quite a following as an ideal mid priced solution. The Odin are powerful because they allow mixing ETTL and Remote Manual Power setting in any of 3 groups, all shown together clearly on the LCD screen, and easily accessed for quick adjustments. The Odin control everything through their own clear and simple interface, so they work exactly the same on any compatible camera whether they have exisiting flash control menus or not. The Odin have HSS to 1/8000th, Second Curtain Sync, combined FEC up to 6 stops, and Remote Manual Power setting in 1/3rd stops. Manual flashes and studio lights can also be triggered with Odin, Strato II, or Atlas receivers. UPDATE – Now compatible with the Mitros + flash unit with Odin transceiver built-in.
Compatible with – Mitros +, Phottix Strato II, Strato, and Atlas II manual triggers
Allow Flash on Camera – Mitros + – TX works on a bracket & extra Rx
Please also see the Phottix Odin review for full flash and camera compatibility HERE
UPDATE – Now compatible with the Mitros + flash unit with Odin transceiver built-in.
Great Features (Canon version shown – Nikon and Sony versions have similar functionality) –
- Everything is controlled through the one simple Odin transmitter, this is really the standout feature of the Odins.
- Most importantly they work flawlessly with plenty of range and no misfires or radio interference issues.
- Manual and ETTL can be used and combined together at the same time, in 3 different groups.
- Compatible with most Canon EX flash units 420ex, 550ex, 430ex, 430exII, 580ex, 580exII. (& some Nissin flashes)
- Compatible with all Canon ETTL II camera bodies from the 20D onwards, no special flash control menus required.
- Up to 6 stops of FEC Flash Exposure Compensation in TTL (that is in combination with the cameras FEC)
- Backward compatible with the Phottix Strato II and Strato. (Strato/II Transmitter will NOT fire the Odin Receivers though)
- HSS (high speed sync, up to 1/8000th), Second Curtain Sync, and FEL (Flash exposure lock) works.
- Remote Control of the Flash Zoom Head, in Manual or Auto (auto follows the lense zoom length).
- Hypersync, high speed sync with monolights. (Not an official feature but this does works in many cases)
- Firmware updates via built-in USB ports.
- 1/3rd stop manual power adjustment, even for Canon 550ex, 430ex & 420ex flashes which usually do not support this.
- No Flash directly On Camera – this is possible though using an on-camera flash bracket and extra receiver.
- No AF (auto focus) Assist Light. – As above still possible with a bracket and flash or ST-E2 mounted above camera.
- Light meter use is limited, even in remote manual use.
- TTL compatibility currently only with Canon, Phottix and some Nissin flash units. Not YongNuo or Sigma etc.
Phottix (Canon version) –
Photographers can wirelessly trigger TTL flashes, retaining full TTL functions, as well as remotely control power and flash zoom settings. Shooting with off-camera TTL flash has been made incredibly easy.
Say goodbye to manual mode, proprietary flash-based triggering, or setting values on your camera LCD – reliable wireless radio-based TTL triggering and remote power control is here.
- Wireless 2.4GHz. TTL and Manual Flash Triggering
- Remote power control of groups in TTL with +/- EV adjustments (3 stops in 1/3 stop increments – 18 different levels.)
- Mix TTL and Manual flash – fire some groups in TTL, others as manual.
- Remote power control in A:B ratio modes with +/- EV adjustments
- High speed sync – shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec.
- Second curtain sync functions
- Remote manual mode flash power control
- Remote flash head zoom adjustments – auto or manual
- Compatible with Phottix Strato 4-in1 and Phottix Strato II Multi 5-in-1 Wireless Triggers.
- Upgradeable via built-in USB ports.
What does the Odin offer?
The Phottix Odin TTL Trigger consists of an on-camera transmitter and control unit (TCU) and receiver units for compatible hot shoe flashes.
The Odin offers photographers four wireless channels and three flash control group designations. Flashes can be controlled in traditional Canon TTL ratio modes A:B with EV +/- adjustments of three stops.
What makes the Phottix Odin unique is the ability to designate groups in TTL/Mixed mode. Individual groups, A, B, C, can also be controlled in TTL mode with EV +/- adjustments. Groups can also be set to Manual mode, adjusting power levels remotely, or turned off.
Flash head zoom can be set to be dynamically adjusted as photographers adjust their lenses. Flash zoom can also be easily adjusted manually and set statically from 24 to 105 mm. The Phottix Odin system will also trigger compatible non-TTL flashes and studio strobes.
Compatible with the Phottix Strato series
The Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger for Canon is compatible with with Phottix Strato 4-in1 and Phottix Strato II Multi 5-in-1 Wireless Triggers. Current Phottix users will have no problem adding the Odin to their current triggering systems. As the world of cameras and flashes is always changing the Photix Odin system can be upgraded when needed using the built-in USB ports.
The four-channel, 2.4 GHz, transmitter and receiver units work at ranges of more than 100 meters and accept AA batteries. Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger sets with a TCU and Receiver will be available, as will as individual receivers.
Phottix Odin TCU Transmitter
Phottix Odin Receiver
4x AA Batteries
3.5mm to PC Sync Cable
3.5mm to 3.5mm cable
Frequency: 2.4 GHz
Channels: 4 channels
Groups: 3 groups – A, B, C
Batteries: 2 x AA batteries (TCU and Receiver), 5V DC on receiver (external power port)
Max sync speed: 1/8000 sec*
Output: Hot shoe, 3.5 mm port (receiver)
Input: USB port (transmitter and receiver)
Attachment: 1/4 tripod lug, cold shoe (Receiver)
Flash port voltage handling: 6V (transmitter) ≤300V(receiver)
Body dimensions: 94(L) x 66(W) x 35(H) mm, (transmitter), 90(L) x 45(W) x 40(H) mm (receiver)
Weight: 105g (transmitter), 66g (receiver) – without batteries
Operating temperature: -15—65 C
Storage temperature: -30—85 C
Compatible: Canon EOS Digital Cameras and Flashes. Some third party TTL flashes may function with the Phottix Odin. Due to the vast number of third party alternative Phottix will not test, support or troubleshoot third party flashes.
HIGH END – TTL & REMOTE MANUAL
Around – $380 a set – Tx & Rx
Canon – Nikon – via the same unit
Radiopopper PX are an optic to radio bridge. They simply convert the optic based wireless flash system already in many Canon and Nikon cameras, to a radio based communication, with no line of sight, sunlight, or short range restrictions. The PX functionality is basically the same as your cameras existing wireless optic system – TTL, Ratios, HSS to 1/8000th, and Remote Manual Power Setting. Manual flashes can be triggered with JrX receivers, or remotely control the power levels of Alien Bees monolights (not Einsteins) with JrX Studio receivers (though the JrX transmitter is actually more convenient for this). Mounting receivers to the flashes can be a bit more awkward than regular hotshoe based triggers, though the PX transmitter has the advantage of solid direct flash on camera mounting rather than some flimsy pass through hotshoes. Since the release of Canon’s own radio flash system the PX price has dropped from $249 to $189 for each unit. US and European versions are required.
Compatible with Radiopopper JrX remote manual triggers
Allow Flash on Camera – YES
The PX transmitter can be used with the following master flashes or commanders:
- Canon Master Flashes: 550EX, 580EX, & 580EXII
- Canon Commander: ST-E2
- Nikon Master Flashes: SB-700, SB-800, SB-900 & SB910
- Nikon Commander: SU-800
- Nikon Cameras with built-in Commanders: D80, D90, D200, D300 & D700
The PX receiver can be used with the following off-camera flashes:
- Canon: 420EX*, 430EX, 430EXII, 550EX, 580EX, 580EXII & 600EX**
- Nikon: SB-600, SB-700*, SB-800, SB-900 & SB-910***
- Quantum: Qflash T5D-R (with Qnexus Attachment)
* The PX receiver bracket will not fit onto the Nikon SB-700 flash, Canon 420EX flash or the Qflash.
** The 600EX can be used only as a slave flash in optical mode (the Canon radio is not compatible with the RadioPopper radio system). Mount the 600EX in the 580EXII slot on the PX Receiver bracket.
*** Use the SB900 slot on the PX Receiver bracket.
Both PX Transmitter and PX Receiver have similar specifications as follows.
Dimensions : 2.0” x 2.0” x 0.8” (50mm x 50mm x 20mm)
Weight: 2.0 ounces / 60 grams (Including battery and antenna during normal operation)
Battery: Two “AAA” Sized Standard Batteries / Alkaline, NiCad, or NiMH / 0.9 volt to 1.6 volt
Battery Life: Approx 25 Hours continual active transmit time for Std Alkaline battery.
Radio Frequency: 902-928 Mhz, ISM Band
Radio Range: 300 ft to 1750 ft depending on conditions and environment
Website – Radiopopper
Canon 600EX-RT & ST-E3
600EX-RT – $550 ST-E3-RT – $300
Canon – version only available
In march 2012 Canon became the first camera manufacturer to introduce a radio based wireless flash system with transmiter and receiver built into the new 600EX-RT Speedlites. As well as the new low profile ST-E3-RT transmitter unit with matching interface. The RT offer up to 5 groups, ETTL, Remote Manual, and HSS to 1/8000th. With 2012 cameras onward you have access to a Nikon style interface which allows mixed ETTL and Manual in any group, while adjusting FEC or manual power in 1/3rd stops for each group. For many wedding and event photographers the big advantage over third party radio options is the solid direct flash on camera mounting, avoiding flimsy pass through hotshoes or additional transmitter units on the camera. No extra transmitters, receivers, cords or batteries to manage. Limitations include a lack of separate receiver option to trigger other manual flashes or studio lights, (let alone remote control them). No AF focus assist light on the ST-E3-RT, and no Second Curtain Sync available off camera, (which many cheaper 3rd party options already provide). The large clear LCD is nice, though the interface its still more fiddly than the instant access to basic adjustments many photographers would really prefer. The convenience of a reliable integrated system though makes the RT one of the most convenient options for many wedding and event photographers.
Allow Flash on Camera – YES
PocketWizard TT5 – TT1 – AC3
Around $510 a set – Tx & Rx & AC3 – TT5 $230 – TT1 $200 – AC3 $80
Canon – Nikon – versions available
PocketWizard ControlTL are the most comprehensive system available for controlling both speedlites and studio lights, with full Sekonic light meter integration and remote camera triggering. Combined with the new Sekonic L-478DR touchscreen light meter, manual power levels can even be adjusted directly on the meter while taking readings. Canon and Nikon TT1 and TT5 versions are available for ETTL and ITTL, and they can control both Canon and Nikon flashes at the same time, as well as remotely control the manual power levels of Elinchrom RX, PCB Einstein, AlienBees, and White Lightning monolights, (with the appropriate receiver modules). The AC3 Zone controller is one of the fastest interfaces available providing instant access to 3 groups with 1/3rd stop adjustments in TTL or Manual. HSS to 1/8000th and Second Curtain Sync are supported. Hypersync with automatic and manual timing adjustment allows sync speeds up to 1/8000th with studio lights (results vary with lights and cameras). PocketWizard ControlTL have had considerable radio noise interference issues with the popular Canon 580exII flash, though the later 600EX-RT are very lower noise, so those issues are mostly be behind them now. 600EX-RT can be controlled like other Canon flashes on a TT5 receiver, though Integration directly with Canon’s own RT radio system is not possible at this point. PocketWizards require separate US and European versions.
Compatible with all PocketWizard triggers (separate FCC & CE versions)
Allow Flash on Camera – YES
It should also be noted, although not widely publicised, when using the AC3 Zone Controller there is actually a 4th Zone (or group) D available as a basic manual (fire signal only) Zone, so there are 3 Control Zones plus the 4th fire signal only Zone.
For extensive details on the Control TL system please see the PocketWizard webstite – PocketWizard
See also – MANUAL RADIO TRIGGER GUIDE HERE