RADIOPOPPER – JR2 – Remote Manual Trigger Released!

Just a few weeks after the impressive Cactus V6 were released, US based Radiopopper have responded with the release of their own new Jr2 remote manual radio triggers.

The Jr2 are a follow up to the popular JrX, and certainly one of the most impressive remote manual triggers available to date. And they are available now for $129.95 each unit (transmitter or receiver).

Radiopopper Jr2

 

The new Radiopopper Jr2 have remarkably similar function and features to the Cactus V6, though for more serious photographers a few significant advantages –

As well as most popular Canon and Nikon compatible TTL speedlites, the Jr2 will remotely control the manual power levels of a number of studio lights. Currently Alien Bees and White Lightning, though more significantly, control of the very popular Einstein and Photogenic lights have also been revealed to follow soon.

And although there is currently little mention of it, the Jr2 receivers can also be fired and controlled by the Radiopopper PX transmitters. This provides a serious solution for wedding and event photographers requiring a TTL flash on camera, while still firing a number of different off camera lights with remote manual power control.

(I should note, the current PX transmitter interface is very poor for controlling manual power levels, though this could currently be done with a Jr2 transmitter held in hand. The Jr2 release provides hope that the PX units may well be updated in time as well.)

And speaking of interfaces, like the recent Cactus V6, its fantastic to see a large part of the Jr2 feature set is simply about providing a great interface. With fast and simple remote manual power control adjustments being the absolute focus and priority.

Like the V6, the Jr2 have 4 groups all displayed on the LCD at once, groups can be toggled On and Off quickly for light meter reading, and there is a Global adjustment feature, allowing for fast Aperture or ISO changes on the camera.

Radipopper’s video explains the Jr2’s features very well –

 

And to top off the system, the Jr2 are also backwards compatible with the current JrX receivers, for basic triggering and remote manual power control. Though power levels must be set to a percentage scale, and will not be stop accurate like the Jr2 receivers provide. This compatibility is still a big advantage for current JrX owners though.

The Jr2 are also compatible with the more economical Nano receivers for basic flash firing only. And the recent Sekonic compatible module allows for convenient integration with a number of Sekonic light meters.

 

Major Features –

 

  • Remote Manual Power Control of – Canon & Nikon Compatible TTL speedlites (now including Nikon SB-910, SB-700 etc)
  • Remote Manual Power Control of – Alien Bees / W.L. Studio Lights – Einstein & Photogenic Coming
  • Fast Simple User Interface
  • 4 Groups, All Displayed Together
  • Fast Adjustment Dial – with Push Set Function
  • Global Adjustment – for Allowing Fast Aperture & ISO Changes
  • Toggle Groups On & Off for Light Meter Reading etc
  • Accurate 1/3rd, 1/10th or Stop Adjustments
  • Percentage Power Scale Option
  • Memory for 4 Lighting Set Ups
  • Interface Lock – Protects Power Settings, & Allows Group Toggle
  • Battery Level Indicators
  • Single Firing Pin – Compatible with Most Cameras with Standard Hotshoe
  • 300+ Meter Range
  • Low Latency (Fast Sync Speeds with Leaf Shutters etc)
  • Remote Shutter Release Function
  • USB Port for Firmware Updates
  • 3.5mm Sync Ports
  • Standard AAA Batteries
  • Compact Low Profile Transmitter Design
  • Compatible with Radiopopper PX, JrX, & Nano

Note – As exciting as the new Jr2 system is looking, its important to note that these are NOT TTL triggers. This is a Remote Manual system only, and being single firing pin triggers there is no TTL, or TTL related functions like HSS or AF assist light on the transmitter.

Being Compatible with the Radiopopper PX TTL triggers does provide options to combine the TTL and Remote Manual systems though. And could possibly provide some expanded options for HSS in the future.

 

Interface

 

EV F/Stop Scale Display –

 

As impressive and well considered as the Jr2 interface appears to be, there is one development that concerns me a little here. Instead of displaying power levels as seen on your speedlight, like 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 etc, the Jr2 use a 9 stop power scale.

Power levels are set between 9.0 at maximum to 0.0 at minimum. The increments are based on an EV f/stop scale. One full increment change on the display of the Jr2 Transmitter is equal to one f/stop change on your camera.

Jr2 Transmitter

Radiopopper are saying ” Some users are confused by the fraction scale used on speedlights. The Jr2 uses a much simpler system”.

This is one area I would have to disagree. As we have already seen in the past how much confusion this adds to basic manual speedlites which do not mark or display simple 1/2, 1/4, etc power levels.

I would think the reason Radiopopper have likely implemented this really just to provide one scale for both speedlites and studio lights, and also simply to provide a clean display with the limited room available on the LCD screen.

This is just something users are going to have to get used to. But for newcomers more familiar with speedlites 1/2 & 1/4 power etc, this is certainly is not an advantage. Experienced users may well have no issue, or even prefer this scale display though.

 

Quick Set Adjustment Dial – 

 

Again similar to the Cactus V6, Radiopopper look to have put a lot of consideration into providing an excellent fast user friendly interface on the Jr2.

A fast main adjustment dial, also acts as a quick set button when pressed inward –

Jr2 Dial

Active Group Selection –

 

Power levels are adjusted by rotating the adjustment dial. The adjustment is made to the highlighted group (or groups) with the frame around it. The button of the highlighted group or groups will illuminate white, so you can easily see from your normal shooting position which group or groups are highlighted for editing.

To index between groups, the dial is clicked inward. The groups will be highlighted in the following repeating order – Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, All Groups, No Groups (Locked)

Or you can simply double click on a group button to highlight and adjust that group.

Jr2 Group Selection

Fast Global Power Adjustment –

 

As shown above, all groups can be selected for adjustment at once as well. This retains the current power ratios, and adjusts all groups up or down the same amount at one time. This fast Global adjustment is very helpful to quickly compensate for camera Aperture or ISO changes.

Again we saw this feature implemented recently with the Cactus V6 as well. And hopefully this positive trend follows on to many triggers in the future now as well.

Jr2

Toggle Groups On and Off –

 

Individual groups can be switched On and Off quickly by single clicking on the group buttons.

The groups switched Off are removed from the display, leaving it as clean and clear as possible.

Jr2 Toggle

 

EV and % Mode –

 

As well as the stop accurate EV scale, there is a % Mode which allows for compatibility with the previous JrX receivers. This percentage scale is not stop accurate like the EV scale, but more of an approximation like adjustment dials on the JrX transmitter.

The important thing for current JrX owners is that there is at least a reasonable degree of compatibility with the new Jr2 system. The % scale must be used for any groups using the JrX receivers.

Jr2 Percentage Scale

 

 

Remote Trigger Mode / Shutter Release –

 

Like many other flash triggers have, the Jr2 transmitter now features a Remote Trigger, or wireless shutter release mode (requires an optional shutter release cord compatible with your camera model).

With the Jr2 transmitter actually being a transceiver (meaning it can send and receiver signals), a minimum of only 3 Radiopopper units are needed to fire both the camera shutter and off camera flash units. Instead of a minimum 4 units required by some non-transceiver based flash triggers.

Any of the Radiopopper transmitter units can then act as the remote shutter release in hand. That release unit is simply set one channel higher than the Jr2 are set for flash triggering (and off camera flashes are triggered as normal).

Jr2 Shutter Release

 

Jr2 Receiver –

 

The new Jr2 receiver comes in Canon and Nikon versions, and provides a hotshoe compatible with Canon or Nikon compatible TTL flashes (as well as manual single pin flashes for simple firing only).

A 3.5mm sync port is also provided for connecting studio lights, and a USB port for firmware updates.

A simple LCD interface allows for fast Channel and Group Selection, as well as a Battery Level Indicator.

Jr2 Receiver

Remote and Local Modes –

 

As well as remote power control from the Jr2 transmitter, the Jr2 receiver provides a Local Mode, which simply allows power levels to be set directly on the flash itself.

Receivers set to Local mode can still have their group toggled On and Off from the Jr2 transmitter.

Jr2 Local Mode

 

NOTE – Some Nikon flashes will also appear to lock-up if settings are made on the flash itself, after being used in Remote Mode. This may even include the flash not being able to be switched off. This is normal, and switching the receiver to Local Mode for a short time will allow these functions on the flash interface again.

 

 

Jr2 Specs

 

Jr2 Transmitter –

Dimensions: 1.75” x 2.25” x 1.25” (45mm x 57mm x 30mm)
Weight: 1.7 ounces / 48 grams (Including battery)
Battery: Two “AAA” Size Batteries
Battery Life: Approx 100 Hours total power-on time per battery.
Radio Frequency: 902-928 Mhz, ISM Band (CE version: 868-868.6 Mhz)
Radio Range: 300 ft to 1750 ft depending on conditions and environment.
Maximum Sync Speed: 1/250 Shutter Speed for cameras having leaf shutters

 

Jr2 Receiver –

Dimensions: 4.0” x 1.75” x 1.2” (100mm x 45mm x 30mm)
Weight: 1.9 ounces / 53 grams (Including battery)
Battery: Two “AAA” Size Batteries
Battery Life: Approx 100 Hours total power-on time per battery.
Radio Frequency: 902-928 Mhz, ISM Band (CE version: 868-868.6 Mhz)
Radio Range: 300 ft to 1750 ft depending on conditions and environment

 

 

Compatibility

 

Camera to Jr2 Transmitter –

The Jr2 Transmitter is compatible with any camera body with a standard hotshoe. It is also compatible with older Sony camera bodies using the FA-HS1AM Hotshoe Adapter. It may be alternately triggered using a PC Sync cord between the 1/8″ trigger jack on the Jr2 Transmitter and your camera body.

The Jr2 Transmitter can remote trigger a camera body with the appropriate remote shutter release cable. Contact RadioPopper Support to determine the appropriate cable.

The Jr2 Transmitter will trigger the following RadioPopper devices:  RP Nano Receiver, PX Receiver (when used on Canon compatible speedlights), JrX Receiver (Note, the group used for controlling JrX Receivers must be changed from EV mode to % mode. You will not have stop accurate control of legacy JrX Receivers, though you will be able to approximate power level control from the % scale which approximates the dial position of legacy JrX Transmitter units).

 

Jr2 Reciever to Flashes –

The Jr2 Receiver is compatible with most all studio strobes and handheld flashes with appropriate sync cable (to simply fire the flash only).  Jr2 Receivers are shipped with 3.5mm cable, 2.5mm and 1/4 inch sync adapters.

The Jr2 Receiver can remotely control power levels of most TTL-capable Canon or Nikon compatible flashes, including the Nikon SB-700 and SB-900 series flashes.

The Jr2 Receiver can remotely control power levels of Alien Bees, White Lightning or Zeus Strobes. PCB Einstein and Photogenic support is also coming soon.

 

 

The Radiopopper Jr2 are looking to be a excellent update to the popular JrX, and an impressive trigger in their own right.

The previous JrX only catering for analogue quench pin flashes were becoming a bit of a dead end, as Nikon has moved to incompatible digital TTL flashes since the SB-900 model was released. The Jr2 now insures a future for remote manual Radiopoppers.

The Cactus V6 released just a few weeks ago share some remarkable similarities, though the 2 systems also have quite significant advantages in different areas.

Having dealt with many wedding /event, and portrait / commercial photographers over the last number or years, who are constantly trying to find serious practical solutions, its pretty clear the ability to control popular portable studio lights like the PCB Einstein, as well as Canon and Nikon speedlites, and with some Sekonic light meter integration, is likely going to be a very desirable combination for many people.

The last important piece to the puzzle though for many wedding and event photographers would be an updated PX transmitter, with the ability to control the Jr2 receivers as conveniently as the Jr2 transmitter provides. This will provide a convenient and reliable option for TTL flash on camera when needed as well. And possibly integrating TTL and remote manual off camera flashes. Possibly even more HSS options with certain lights.

I’m not aware of any mention of an updated PX transmitter at this point, though Radioppoper have shown they are still evolving, and a new PX would then have to be likely at some stage.

 

 

Price and Availability –

 

The Radiopopper JR2 are available now from $129.95 each for transmitter or receiver.

AmazonAdoramaB&H Photo, Radiopopper.

 

Radiopopper – Website

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10 Comments
  1. Peter A 5 years ago

    Looks like an excellent upgrade to the beloved JrX. I really like the small size, layout & button/light & wheel design. Easy to see & on the back rather than the side. The white/active group light is genius.

    The interesting part of a RP setup now is the variety of piggyback options. Odin & Yn622 TTL to Jr2 and/or Nanos. The Nano’s much cheaper (and market competitively priced) simple receiver is a super compliment to the Jr2 in the RP family for strobe or dumb speedlights (or Godox/ V6 triggerer/ controlled).

    RP stresses the reliability of it’s system. If it’s electronics are fast enough to support it’s full distance & flexibility with a piggyback-able integrated feature system it will be amazing! :-).

  2. Robert T. Johnson 5 years ago

    It appears that Radiopopper is no longer carrying he Jrx brand of triggers, just took a look at their website and they are only selling the accessories for the Jrx system, they are pushing the new system called Jr2 which sells for $129 each for the transmitter and receiver that’s $260 for one transmitter and one receiver. I wonder what happen to the Jrx? I purchased the full kit with two extra receivers and the module for my light meter. I feel duped into thinking the system would be around for a while not for just a few months.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Robert,

      I realise its another $129, though wouldn’t you prefer using the new Jr2 transmitter with your JrX receivers, and any new receivers being Jr2 as well?

      There is no mention of compatibility with the new Jr2 receivers and an existing JrX transmitter, so I’m really not sure if that would be possible. That really should be an option though if they have discontinued the JrX system.

  3. Jerri 5 years ago

    Right this is perfect for my Alien Bees and manual speed lights. But if I eventually upgrade or want to use it with a TTL & HSS enabled flash, would I have to upgrade only the JR2 receiver or both?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Jerri,

      You would need to upgrade both transmitter and receivers to the PX system to have TTL and HSS with off camera flashes.

      I would be surprised if Radiopopper are not working on a PX transmitter that will control both systems as nicely as the Jr2 transmitter interface. Though we don’t know that for sure, or when it would be available.

  4. Quppe 5 years ago

    does this unit offer you ability to control the output from lumopro lp180 yet? and will it work with fuji x cameras?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 5 years ago

      Hi Quppe,

      The LP180 are fully manual flashes with no remote functions built in, so its unlikely there will be any radio triggers what will provide any remote function until the flashes are revised in design.

      The JR2 are universal for single firing pin cameras so they should work on the Fuji X.

  5. Jeff Jubert 4 years ago

    Does the jr2 work with Q-flash system, nicer light vs. standard flashes. Please let me know, Thanks Jeff.

  6. Artserj 4 years ago

    I love JRx 1st gen.
    but JRX2 is such a disappointment.

    Pros:
    – 4 channels
    – Can control Alien Bees, Einstein as well as SOME(!!) Nikon and Canon flashes
    – Has illuminated screen and buttons
    – AA batteries

    Cons:
    – Quality. It is made of really cheap plastic (my copy of receiver was even badly assembled ).
    Buttons has a play, so if you will shake it a bit you will hear a noise of them going back and forth (although does not harm performance )
    – Battery dies really fast (on the end of second shoot had to replace batteries, previous gen last me about 10-12 shoots)
    – Does not support old Nikon flashes like Nikon Sb 24, Sb 28 and Sb 80DX (may be more) – and Manual doesn’t mention it.
    Probably will support most of newer flashes but with NO TTL and NO HSS
    – Receiver does not have cold shoe, just a screw hole for light stand (may be annoying or some who has most of umbrella stands with cold shoe)
    – Menu controls is badly designed. MOST ANNOYING part of menu control system is DOUBLE TAP
    The way it is designed: Four Buttons to choose a group (A B C D) single tap it turning group off and double tap is to choose a group to control a power output of this group. It may not sound too bad until you try to use it. Just for clarification – how often photographer on a set turning strobes ON or OF, and how often photographer on a set changing power output of strobes. So you have to double tap to do your most frequently changes, and single tap for something that you may not need to do at all. It is like while you texting you would have to double tap on a keyboard to type a letter and single tap to type a symbol or smiley face. Eventually after 3-4 years you can get to use to it, but does it worth it ??

    I decided to stay with previous gen.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Artserj,

      Thanks for the feedback on these.

      Did you let Radiopopper know about these points, and the double tap issue? They could possibly be able to offer a second option for the double tap through a firmware update.

      I can understand people using a light meter may prefer the current faster option to turn groups on an off.

      The battery consumption sounds like a bit of a concern though.

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