Phottix ARES Manual Trigger Overview

Ares are the new inexpensive base model Manual radio triggers from Phottix, but don’t let that base model tag put you off as the Ares are really a solid option with some unique features.

Instead of trying to squeeze a lot of features into a compromised package, Phottix have simply taken the most commonly used functions and boosted those into a solid, high performance package, at an affordable entry level price.

The Ares also have a couple of unique new features, the main one being a transmitter unit which folds flat on the camera hotshoe providing a low profile on the camera when needed, as well as a quick channel selection, and “Fire All” channels button, acting as a clever type of grouping function.

Phottix Ares

Ares Features –

  • 200 Metre Range
  • Standard AA Batteries
  • Standard 3.5mm Rx Sync Port
  • Universal for most cameras – due to simple Single Firing Pin
  • Fast – “Fire All” & pseudo channel/grouping function
  • 8 Channels
  • Fast Sync Speed – 1/250th +
  • Low Profile Folding Transmitter
  • Large Solid Locking Rings 
  • 1/4″ 20 threaded mounting hole in Rx foot

 

Ares Limitations –

  • No shutter release or remote camera triggering option
  • No flash wake up feature
  • No Tx Sync Port (a hotshoe with cord would resolve this if needed though).
  • Not compatible with other Phottix Triggers

 

Compatibility –

 

Cameras –

Because the Ares are simple single firing pin triggers they are universal for most cameras, so there are no Canon – Nikon or Sony etc dedicated versions. This means you can switch from one camera to the next without any compatibility issues. Pentax cameras for example often prefer single firing pin triggers to the Canon/Nikon dedicated trigger options as well.

Flashes –

Again single firing pin means there are few compatibility issues. That only leaves safe sync voltage as a possible issue. Although it isn’t stated in the specs most Phottix triggers have a 300volt safe sync voltage which covers most hotshoe flashes, even the older ones, and most studio lights (300v to be confirmed).

Studio lights can be attached via the receivers 3.5mm sync port, and sync cords are supplied.

 

Folding Tx

Phottix Ares Folded

 

As shown above and below the Ares have a unique tilting Transmitter that can quickly fold flat for a low profile on the camera. The Ares like PocketWizard Plus II/III, and Phottix Atlas II, use full size regular AA batteries, which means they have a reasonable size to them, and quite a high profile on the camera when mounted vertically.

With the Ares you can have the best of both worlds, with ease of access to controls, and likely greater range in the vertical position, as well as a nice low profile when preferred.

Phottix Ares Upright

 

Channel Feature –

 

The Ares also have a very clever and useful pseudo Grouping feature which allows the 8 Channels to act as a type of group function.

This means that each light, or group of lights, can quickly be turned on one at a time for setting up with a light meter, or the camera LCD. The ALL button then quickly turns on all lights for the final image or exposure.

This is also handy for wedding and events etc, where you can set up a number of lighting arrangements in different groups, and then switch between those groups remotely from the camera as needed. 

Normally scrolling group combinations or menu options is something to avoid, but in this application its actually quite clever. Even a simple manual switch would take more time and concentration to select the desired channel position. This way you simply click the channel up and down, and easily see when you have selected the channel you’re after.

You can only select a single channel, or all channels though. If more detailed grouping is required the Strato II would be a better option.

 

Receiver –

 

The receiver has a similar quick channel selection, and a standard 3.5mm mono socket sync port.

 

Phottix Ares RX Left

The other side of the receiver has a simple and easily accessible ON-OFF switch, and a 5v external power port.

 

Phottix Ares RX Right

Whats Included –

 

  • Transmitter and Receiver
  • Carry Case
  • All the Sync Cords required

 

Specs –
 

Frequency: 2.4
GHzRange: 200m +
Channel: 8 channels and Fire All Function
Power: 2 x AA batteries (Transmitter and Receiver), 5V DC (Receiver)
Max sync speed: 1/250 sec* (On compatible cameras/flashes)
Antenna: internal antenna
Working Temperature: 0+40C
Working Humidity: 35-95 RH 
Input Voltage: 2.2-3.2V
Current: Maximum Working Current: 45mA, Standby Current: 7mA (single channel), 27mA (all channels),
Off Current Info: 0mA
Dimensions: 104mmx50mmx35mm
Weight: With batteries: 108g, Without batteries: 61g

 

Receiver
Input Voltage: 2.2-3.2V (DC Input Voltage :5V)
Current: Maximum Working Current _26mA, Standby Current_15mA, O Current Info: 0mA
Ports: 3.5mm sync port, hot shoe output
Dimensions: 88mmx50mmx40mm
Weight: With batteries: 108g, Without batteries: 61g

 

Summary –

 

Phottix have put together a solid manual trigger option with the Ares, covering the most commonly used functions at a very affordable price. We already know Phottix produce great build quality, fast sync speeds, and reliable range and performance.

Disregarding remote shutter and camera release, the Ares are really doing the most part of what two hundred dollar PocketWizards would just a couple of years ago, now for around just $30 a unit. And with the added convenience of built in hotshoe for speedlights, fast pseudo group function, and folding low profile Transmitter option.

The Ares cover the most used basic trigger functions without compromise, fast sync speeds, solid build quality, large locking rings, standard AA batteries and 3.5mm sync port. Its a pity they are not compatible with other Phottix triggers to expand and upgrade the system later, but for basic manual triggers the Ares may do all you need anyway. If you do need more features or intend to upgrade possibly to TTL triggers in the near future the Phottix Strato II, or Atlas II may be a better option as they are forward/backward compatible. But for simple solid manual triggering the Ares are a good option available now.

Ares are available for around $60 a set from your local retailer or Phottix Store – Ares Set  – ReceiverAmazon

10 Comments
  1. A reader from Italy 4 years ago

    Phottix has just confirmed (via ticket request) the 5V -> 300V support for the Ares receiver. Great blog.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Ok great, thanks for that!

  2. wendy manser 4 years ago

    Please advise a website where we can download the user guide / manual for the Phottix Ares as we have lost the disc.
    Many thanks
    Wendy

  3. SHERWIN 4 years ago

    I LOVE THE PHOTTIX STRATO II ,BUT I HAVE ONE MAJOR PROBLEM.I SHOOT WITH A SONY A200 CAMERA .ONTHE HOTSHOE BUT THE TRANSMITTER SLIDES OFF.IT IS NOT SECURE.I ALSO USING A BRACKET WITH A SUNPAK J120 BAREBULB AND A ADAPTER ON THE HOT SHOE.I WAS HOPING IF PHOTTIX MADE A SCREW DOWN LOCKING TRANSMITTER FOR THE SONY A200 CAMERAS WITH THE CRAZY HOTSHOE.THANKS

  4. Ferry 4 years ago

    Hi havoc, can u tell me if this trigger will allow 1/1000 or higher sync on fujifilm x100? if not what other trigger will? perhaps from pixel or yongnuo since the option are limited here in Indonesia.

    cheers from Bali

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Ferry,

      Sorry I haven’t tested the Ares yet for maximum sync speed. With the Fuji your safest bet other than single firing pin triggers like the Ares or Cactus V5, would be the recent YongNuo RF-603 II, as the sync speeds are looking pretty good on those now.

      The Pixel Soldiers are fast sync speed, but I’m not sure how they go with non Canon/Nikon cameras. The RF-603 II are now designed more to work with most cameras. Thanks.

  5. bahamot 4 years ago

    Ferry, I tested the Ares’ sync speed with Panasonic GX7. I got 1/320 as the fastest shutter it can handle before out of sync.

  6. bahamot 4 years ago

    oh, one more thing. electronic shutter won’t trigger it.

  7. John 2 years ago

    Not compatible with other phottix triggers. What a clever little trick! Remind me never to buy another phottix product….

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