Pixel HK have released specifications and images of their new 3rd generation ETTL and HSS enabled King PRO transceiver and King X receiver, now boasting an impressive 300 meter range!
Final images of the new interface reveal a back-lit dot matrix LCD display, which may not be quite as pretty as the previous regular LCD graphic indicated, though the dot matrix allows the possibility to make infinite changes to the display. This may become very handy down the track considering the King PRO have a USB port for firmware updates, and possible function changes and upgrades.
As previously indicated there are 3 groups which can now be adjusted very quickly directly on the transmitter interface, instead of digging through the camera flash control menus like the current Kings (for Canon). And most importantly any group can be set to ETTL or Manual, and they can be mixed together at the same time.
The new King PRO transmitter unit is actually a transceiver, meaning it can operate as both a transmitter and receiver, though it looks as though the King PRO will be made available once again as a conventional transmitter and receiver set.
The new receiver is named the King X, and Pixel have confirmed that it will have the same function as the current King receivers, only the range will be reduced to some degree (down from the huge 300m quoted for the Pro and X combination). As discussed recently Pixel’s intention has been to have the current King receivers be directly compatible with the new Pro X transmitter, and Pixel have confirmed this is something they are actually still currently working hard to accomplish.
Without the added interface the Pro X receiver is a slightly thinner and lower profile unit than the PRO transmitter. Another update over the current King is the new individual group selection buttons, which are a much better concept than the current “scrolling through group combinations” method. Its nice to see Pixel have listened regarding the dislike of scrolling groups and channels etc.
Although not mentioned in the specs, the Pass through hotshoe on top of King Pro transmitter is now enabled, which is another big advantage over the current Canon Kings. This allows a full ETTL flash to be used in ETTL (or manual) on camera, while other slave flashes are also controlled off camera.
It may not be all good news with the new King PRO though. Pixel still insist on retaining the outdated PC sync port (when just about every other radio trigger has moved on to more reliable mini phone ports), and also the small locking rings remain. So attaching and removing the transmitter is likely not going to be any more enjoyable than it currently is.
That’s all fairly minor though, compared to what appears to be the complete omission of any focus assist light on the transmitter unit at all this time. Instead of refining the current focus assist light, Pixel appear to have abandoned it altogether. Which really is a shame, as for some people the AF light is a necessity. You can pretty much blame Canon for setting the example there, dropping the AF assist light from the ST-E2 to the current ST-E3 controller.
Apart from the added range, the specs remain similar to those previously see. Though power is stated as continuous work time now, which may indicate battery life has been improved. As that is another thing that has been an issue with the current Kings.
|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)|
|i-TTL, TTL, M, Multi flash (for Nikon)|
|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|
There’s no question the King PRO are a major upgrade from the current Kings. The inbuilt user interface should be one of the fastest, while simplifying operation considerably, and bringing the Kings closer in line with the current alternatives. It should be interesting to see how the new King Pro now operates. Provided all goes well the King Pro and King X should be available within the next month. Pricing is not yet available.
The main currently available alternatives are the Phottix Odin, PocketWizard AC3 with TT1/5, and the Canon ST-e3 & 600EX-RT flash. Though the inexpensive YongNuo YN-622C without an inbuilt interface are also very popular.
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