Radio Popper vs Pocket Wizard

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by LarissaPhotography, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. sinjans

    sinjans TPF Noob!

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    I really like this thread. I am right in the middle of making this decision so keep the comments coming.


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, that was the gist of the new PocketWizard TT5 setup,announced last year, using Canon equipment. Thnis was not the type of flash Big Mike was talking about, which is FP Sync in Nikon-speak, which is commonly known as High-SPeed Synchronization, or Focal Plane Synchronization, or what Canon calls HSS or High Speed Sync--the new TT5 units allow actual SINGLE-burst flash syunchronization at much higher-than-default sycnhronization with a number of different external flash systems, like DynaLite arena systems, or Speedotron arena systems, as well as ALien Bees, and other normal "studio flash" type systems. The key is that the camera and the flash system are "tuned" to one another to get the maximal amount of flash to coincide with the shutter's exposure of the sensor. UNFORTUNATELY, there were a number of wrinkles (problems) that developed with the new PW system.

    Rob Galbraith DPI: Casting light on the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5

    Rob Galbraith DPI: FlexTT5 overview and HyperSync, part 1

    Regarding the TT5 trigger/receiver system and the new "HyperSync" capacity that it brings, Galbraith wrote, "The EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS-1D Mark II are the only camera models capable of a nearly-clean 1/500 using the first HyperSync mode, but all Canon cameras will see a one or two step increase in usable shutter sync speed compared to previous PocketWizard transmitters. The bump is greater still when compared to certain other wireless triggering devices.

    "In Canon's lineup, the EOS 5D and 5D Mark II bring up the rear. While the first method of HyperSync still allows for a one or two shutter speed step wireless bump with these models, their maximum standard sync speeds are relatively slow to begin with. Therefore, a clean 1/250 is all we've been able to achieve with our Dyna-Lite sports strobe configuration. Other Canon models fall in-between 1/250 and 1/500; the 40D and 50D, for example, can manage a fairly clean 1/400."

    "Your mileage will vary slightly, even with the same cameras, because the strobe's characteristics play a major role. One of the by-products of using fast flash duration strobes, as we do for sports and for all HyperSync pictures in this article, is that the light's tail is comparatively short."

    Rob Galbraith DPI: HyperSync, part 2: the EOS-1D Mark III

    EDIT:It needs to be made clear that the Hyper Sync technology Rob Galbraith wrote about is NOT AT ALL the same thing as Canon's HSS or Nikon's FP Sync mode; Canon and Nikon's high speed synch is done with their own brand of speedlight flashes and is a continuous series of small, low-powered flashes, which greatly reduces the effective flash power, but which allows very high shutter speeds like 1/6000 second, to act as shadow fill-in flash; that same "High Speed" flash will cause blurring of very fast movements, like bird wings, or water drop effects, etc, because the image is actually made up of dozens of tiny little bursts of weak light. The PocketWizard Hyper Synch does what DScience was asking about--allowing ONE flash burst to be sycnhronized at higher-than-default synch speeds, and with traditional flash units, and not just the camera makers' own branded speedlight flashes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for chiming in Mike.
     
  4. Mike Fulton

    Mike Fulton TPF Noob!

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    No worries - glad someone emailed me - this is a very confusing and there are lots of options to consider.

    What one might think is not important to their shooting style (ie: TriCoast and HyperSync) another might feel it is the Holy Grail of Photography.

    Each varable needs to be looked at and balanced with your own shooting needs.

    For us due to the horrible issues PocketWizard has they simply were not a choice we could rely on, while others who do not use TTL or the PW's ControlTL it would not be that much of an issue.

    RadioPopper at this time also has the most advanced system with the most advanced radiowave and secure mode of communication and that played a big role into the decision for us as well. While PW has come a long way since we tested out the units early on they still do not have the complete control that RP does. With the Shield (or as many call it the Flash Condom) it finally gets their product to where RP is in firing at greater distances but then you do not have control over your Slave flash for Zoom features or other aspects which must be done only on the slave unit since the Shield covers up the flash controls. Again little things like this really mess up our style of shooting. With the strong company of PW I am sure one day they will stop playing catch up to RP, and I know it is a position they are not used to being in after 30 years of leading the industry with a simply radio triggering unit, but the fact is it is the position they are in. Their new units are pretty and work GREAT for just triggering units and many issues are now solved but for my style of shooting (almost all TTL metering) they have a long way to go still.

    All these factors went into why we choose RP over PW and dropped the serious $$$ with them, but again my decision should not make your decision up for you alone. Figure out what you need in a wireless triggering family of products, your style, your budget, etc. Then look at all the options with clearly the PW and RP leading the way. Then make the choice you feel is best for you.

    Again if anyone has any questions please let me know I will help out anyway I can. While it might not be the right answer it will be our honest answer no matter who sponsors us or what product we use. While I shoot Canon - Nikon flash units are better - I teach that cause it is truly what I feel to be the truth, I take that attitude in everything we teach, at least I try real hard to.

    Hope to see some of you at WPPI this year in Las Vegas and our platform class on Monday night where we will be spending time sharing information on the nuts and bolts of TTL metering when it comes to Flash Photography and why many times you get messed up results when you do not understand what the metering is doing. Should be a fun and exciting few hours.

    Thanks again for allowing me to answer the question and sending me the email so I could give my 2 cents. I hope to stay around and check out the forum more, heck I have been a member since 2007 I should right :)
     
  5. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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  6. Swissphotoart

    Swissphotoart TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I am completely unhappy with my -3- FlexTT5 (CE, Canon)... The distance where they work reliable is only about 5 Meters and this only with the Soft RF Shields on the 580EX Flashes... From 5 to 7 Meters they work maybe 3 out of 10 times - for professional use this is absolutely unusable. So for Canon Users with 580Ex Flashes better try before you buy ;-) I have sold them on ebay and am waiting for the RPs, I really hope they are more reliable...
     
  7. angelaboone

    angelaboone TPF Noob!

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    So I am relatively new to OCF except in a studio setting. Right now I have a Canon 7D along with a couple Alien Bees and the older PW to fire them.

    I'm looking to get into using OCF outdoors. I have a 580EX but I don't really understand how to reliably fire it. From all I read, it just isn't reliable to depend on the infrared method, so I'm wondering if I can use the PW I have, or should I look at RP?

    I've been reading and reading and my head is just swimming. I'm not good with the manual, technical side of my 580EX so I'm looking toward TTL and the easiest way to just plug it all in and get it to work. Any insight??

    HELP!
     
  8. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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    Never tried radio poppers. I enjoy my pocketwizards.

    I have the tiny TT1 triggering the "TTL" TT5, and also I trigger 2 PWIIs with manual vivitar 285 flashes.

    They have never failed to flash and during "the how far can i walk and flash test" they flashed further than i ever cared to walk without missing a beat.
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There were some really good in-depth discussions on this thread almost a year ago now... have opinions changed? I'd love a "refresh" as I'm considering buying these. Well... something. :)
     
  10. jake337

    jake337 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    +1
     
  11. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've no experience with the PWs, but I hear they've worked out the bugs with the new system being limited by the Canon flashes' interference. Would like to hear from PW owners on that.

    I went with the RPs because of that interference issue, and they've worked reliably for me without a hitch so far. I've been using them for about a year.
     
  12. joealcantar

    joealcantar TPF Noob!

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    I have them and still learning as one tries new things. Kind of a pain in the butt really. KISS was not discussed in the room when they were doing Research and Development. Need a laptop to program them a certain way, and only have two channel options (manual switches) they should have put a third to default automatically as regular PW and let you program the channel with the learn button in case you had to change it to a different channel amounst other photographers. You do have a learning mode , but instructions do not tell you what it will learn.
    I did send the TT1 back due to the battery it has, forget to turn it off and you are out of luck. Not like you can find that battery at local store. So opted for the TT5 as it uses a double A battery that can be found anywhere internationally. It is a little bit bigger in size but if it does more than the TT1 for about the same price I opted to go that route.
    -
    Pocket wizard help desk , I've used a few times and got better help from the U.S. forums or other users overseas (thanks England), would be nice to send you an email once you register that an update to the software is available in case you are looking for certain options available.
    -
    Shoot well, Joe
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011

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