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Posts Tagged ‘wireless’

Godox XPro-N wireless flash trigger for Nikon boasts TTL, HSS and more for just $70

18 Oct

Godox has launched a Nikon version of the XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger it announced for Canon last month. The new model—aptly titled the XPro-N—is equipped to control Godox’s X1 system, and is currently listed by online retailers as available for pre-order with shipping planned to start on October 31st.

This Nikon version will be joined by models for Sony, Fujifilm, and MFT throughout the remainder of the year.

As with the Canon version, the new XPro-N model sports a large dot-matrix LCD alongside five physical buttons. The display shows five groups, one group per physical button, as well as data pertaining to each group. The trigger supports HSS (up to 1/8000), TTL, and manual (1/1 – 1/256) control. There’s also support for TTL-Convert-Manual (TCM) functionality, which allows you to meter flashes in TTL, then switching to manual mode with the settings automatically adjusting to keep an equivalent output.

The XPro-N is listed for pre-order at $ 70 on Amazon.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Godox announces affordable XPRO-C wireless flash trigger for Canon users

15 Sep

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Godox has unveiled the new XPRO-C, an affordable wireless flash trigger compatible with all of the company’s X1-series 2.4GH lamps and flashes, and built specifically for Canon cameras. The new trigger seems to be competing with both Canon and Nissin, whose Air 10s trigger features some similar features at a steeper price.

The XPRO-C supports manual, high-speed sync, and TTL control alongside TTL-Convert-Manual (TCM) functionality. The TCM function enables users to meter flashes in TTL and then switch to manual mode; the settings are auto-adjusted to maintain an equivalent output.

User control is simplified via a large dot matrix LCD able to display five groups alongside five physical group buttons. Selecting a specific group pulls up additional information on the LCD, according to Godox, and there’s support for multiple custom functions. High-speed sync ranges up to 1/8000, manual flash power from 1/1 – 1/256, and there’s support for X1/R2 receiver flashes in up to 16 groups.

The XPRO-C (also called Flashpoint R2 Pro in the US) has a retail price of $ 80 and is already available for pre-order online.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Western Digital unveils My Cloud Home wireless drives with up to 16TB of storage

31 Aug

Western Digital has taken the wraps off a set of new wireless backup drives called My Cloud Home at IFA 2017. Building upon its previous My Cloud wireless drive, the new Home product combines an updated design with a better app experience that promises to make it easy to manage content from anywhere with an Internet connection.

WD is also offering a My Cloud Home Duo option that automatically duplicates content onto a secondary backup drive.

As the product’s name suggests, the Western Digital My Cloud Home is designed to function similar to traditional cloud backup services, though the consumer owns and controls the physical drive onto which their data is stored. Data can be synced to the My Cloud Home drive from a variety of sources—including phones, USB drives, and social media accounts—and the companion mobile app lets you remotely access and share the stuff you’ve stored.

From an aesthetic perspective, the updated wireless drives shed the previous models’ rounded, somewhat clinical look and replace it with an angular, more artistically inclined design that’s more “art deco” than “ar[n’]t you going to hide this somewhere?” With the aforementioned Home Duo option, a pair of drives are configured in Mirror Mode RAID 1 for duplication, ensuring there is a copy of the data should one of the drives fail.

The My Cloud Home is available now in capacities ranging from 2TB to 8TB, and the My Cloud Home Duo in capacities from 4TB to 16TB. Prices are listed below.

My Cloud Home

  • 2TB: $ 160
  • 3TB: $ 180
  • 4TB: $ 200
  • 6TB: $ 260
  • 8TB: $ 320

My Cloud Home Duo

  • 4TB: $ 310
  • 8TB: $ 400
  • 12TB: $ 550
  • 16TB: $ 700

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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LG launches G6+ with wireless charging and improved G6 software

20 Jun

If you liked the performance of the LG G6 dual-camera in our review but still weren’t quite convinced by LG’s 2017 flagship, maybe the G6+ – announced today – will win you over.

The G6+ retains most of the original G6 specification including the 13MP dual-camera with super-wide-angle lens, but doubles the internal storage to 128GB and brings Qi wireless charging to the feature set. In addition, it will come with premium B&O headphones included in the box. The Plus model will also offer a few new color options, including Optical Marine Blue, Optical Terra Gold and Optical Black. A special coating will make the back panel change hue with the angle of reflected light. No information on the G6+ pricing and availability has been released yet.

In addition to launching the Plus model, the original G6 is also getting a boost: a new software version brings face recognition functionality for unlocking the device. The new feature allows you to unlock by just lifting the G6 up and pointing the front camera towards your face.

The Low Power Consumption feature is also new and makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset’s ability to improve battery usage. It collects data from sensors and optimizes power usage, depending on your location and movement. Other new features include fine volume control of the Hi-Fi Quad audio and automatic call recording for pre-defined numbers.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Flash review: the Godox Ving V860 II is a great-value wireless solution

19 Jun
  • Godox Ving V860 ll flash – $ 199/£161
  • Godox Ving V860 ll flash kit with X1 transmitter – $ 245/£199
  • X1 transmitter – $ 40/£37
  • www.godox.com

I’ve been a big fan of independent flash brands since I was a teenager. Marquee brands’ hotshoe units were always disproportionately expensive, and for a young photographer on a stacking-shelves budget the appeal of cheaper and more powerful models from secondary manufacturers was obvious.

In those days of course flash unit controls were much less complicated, but working with flash was generally much harder than it is today – all we expected back then was a cable socket and a manually variable burst of illumination.

The Godox V860 ll is a very well made flash unit that comes equipped with an AF assist light on the front, a sync socket for cabled triggering and a USB port for firmware updates.

The head offers full tilt and swivel movements, manual and automatic zoom, a diffuser and a white card reflector for catchlights

Flash changed with the advent of aperture priority options, the coming of full TTL metering, optical off-camera communications and then, eventually, radio controls. While in the distant past the independent flash brands were very much following in the footsteps of the big names, now we often see the resourcefulness of some companies putting the sluggish progress of the main brands to shame.

While Nikon and Canon have held on to their intermittently effective optical flash control systems for far too long, innovative brands such as Godox, Phottix and others have been making real progress in the field of 2.4GHz radio controls. The big names have been catching up of course, but for those looking for something that doesn’t come with a significant premium for having radio wireless TTL control these companies offer an interesting set of alternatives.

Specification

Godox V860 ll
Compatible Canon, Nikon, Sony
Guide No 60m/190ft @ ISO 100
Flash coverage 20-200mm (14mm with diffuse)
Zoom control Auto and manual
Tilt/Swivel -7-90 degrees/180 degrees both L and R
Flash duration 1/300-1/20000sec
Exposure TTL and manual

Flash exp comp

+/- 3 stops
Sync mode

High speed (up to 1/8000sec)
First curtain and second curtain

Strobe-flash Up to 90 bursts at 100Hz
Wireless functions Master, Slave, Off
Slave groups

3 (A, B, C)

Transmission range

Optical indoors: 39-49ft
Optical outdoors: 26-33ft
2.4G Radio: 100m/328ft

Channels

Optical: 4
Radio: 32

Modelling flash Yes, via camera’s depth of field button
AF assist beam Yes. Range – Centre: 33ft, Edge: 16ft
Power 11.1V/2000mAh Li-ion polymer battery
Recycle time <1.5 seconds
Battery life Approx 650 full power flashes
Sync triggering Hotshoe, 2.5mm port, wireless
Color Temperature 5600 +/-200k
W x H x D 64x76x190mm/2.5x3x7.5in
Weight without battery 430g/15.2oz
Weight with battery 540g/19oz

In case you aren’t aware, the attraction of radio over optical controls in flash-to-flash communications is that the signal is more reliable outside on a sunny day and it can pass through walls and other physical barriers. Units don’t have to be the same room or very close together, and we don’t have problems of modifiers covering sensors if the flash unit needs to sit inside a softbox or similar. And that is what makes me excited about using these Godox Ving V860 ll units.

Features

The V860 II is the latest Godox offering for Canon, Nikon and Sony users, and it provides TTL metering and off-camera control via a wireless 2.4GHz radio system, as well as the usual optical control system. The unit can operate on the camera’s hotshoe as a commander unit for both other Godox flashguns and the marque brand’s own radio units, or it can join a network controlled by an ‘official’ flash unit – or indeed by a radio transmitter plugged into the camera.

The output is healthy enough, with an official guide number of 60m/190ft @ ISO 100 at 200mm, and we are offered full manual control from full to 1/128th power in 1/3rd EV increments. Flash duration figures range from 1/300sec at the more powerful settings to 1/20,000sec for the lighter bursts.

High speed sync allowed me to shoot with shutter speeds well above the standard sync speeds of the Nikon D810. The shot on the left was taken at 1/640sec and that on the right at 1/1000sec. Despite the short shutter speed and the reduced opportunity for the flash to get its illumination out, the V860 ll was easily able to compete with the bright sunlight – even when hindered by a mini softbox

The flash provides rear curtain sync even if your camera doesn’t, and high speed sync allows the flash units to be used on or off-camera at shutter speeds of up to 1/8000sec. The head has zoom positions to cover the angle of view of lenses from 20mm to 200mm, while a wide angle diffuser provides for focal lengths as short as 14mm. Comprehensive swivel and tilt positions help us direct that coverage in practically every direction except directly downwards.

Strobing can be arranged at a range of frequencies, intensities and over fixed periods, though the over-heating protection asks that we limit ourselves to 10 sequences before resting. To give you an idea of what the unit is capable of at ¼ power it is possible to choose options between 1 flash per second for 7 seconds and 2 flashes at a rate of 100 flashes per second. At minimum power that changes to 90 bursts at 1 per second, and 40 bursts at 100 per second. In normal shooting though Godox says 30 full power or 100 ¼ power flashes can be fired in quick succession before the over-heating protection kicks in and demands a 10 minute break.

One of the interesting elements of the flashgun is its power source. The V860 II is powered by the sort of rechargeable lithium ion block battery we might expect to see in a large camera. With a 2000mAh capacity the battery is claimed to be good for 650 full-power bursts and can be recharged in about two and a half hours. I’m not sure this constitutes a revolution, but it feels like one and is a good deal more convenient and civilized than carrying and burning endless AA cells.

What can be controlled wirelessly?

The V860 II is very flexible. It’s happy to to be used to command a group of connected flash units or to be controlled by another. As a commander it can fire to influence the exposure itself or be used as a pure trigger, with no flash output. Godox offers a separate commander/receiver called the X1 that makes a more cost-effective hotshoe commander when no light is required from the camera position.

The system allows three groups of flashes to be controlled at the same time, and users can pick between 32 channels to steer clear of other radio systems in the vicinity. The V860 II can still be controlled optically across four channels, but when in radio mode it has a range of 100m and works outside even in bright light, as well as when positioned in a different room with a wall between the flash and the controller.

This scene was lit with a pair of V860 ll units – one inside and one outside the house. The main flash unit was fitted into a Godox S-Type Speedlite Bracket with a SFUV softbox, and was positioned in the garden to fire through the window on the left of the frame. A second V860 ll was placed camera-right, to light the back of the subject’s head through a Rogue snoot. The camera’s metering was set to matrix, while both heads were set to +1EV via the X1 transmitter on the camera.

I found the flash’s color consistent, well balanced and in no need of correction. The cool-day/warm-day effects here were created in post-production.

Wireless control extends to manual and TTL control, as well as high speed working and strobotic operation, and a modelling burst is still possible with a press of the camera’s depth-of-field preview button.

Handling

The V860 II has a clear enough screen and lays out its wares in a pretty logical way. Once we are familiar with the mostly standard type icons it is easy to see what settings are prevailing at any one time. Changing the settings though is less straightforward so a good and thorough read of the instruction manual is recommended. The controls are really not intuitive enough that they can be used with a hazy memory or no previous experience.

With familiarity we can take advantage of a good range of control in the master and slave units. Exposure compensation runs only to +/-3EV for in-unit controls and for slaves across the three channels, which some may consider a little short for complex set-ups. On a similar note it isn’t possible to control the zoom position on slave units from the master control panel. To be fair this is not a standard feature on this sort of flash unit, but it would be useful.

A nice touch – when in commander mode the rear screen of the V860 ll turns green and when being used as a slave it turns orange. The button arrangement is simple enough – at least once you’re used to it and know what the icons mean.

Buttons and dials on the rear of the flash are nicely designed and make operation deliberate once you’ve worked out what each one does, but the controls on the X1 transceiver are a little more fiddly than they need to be and require quite small fingers. The display screen is adequate but a bit small, and on every occasion I used the rear wheel I turned it the wrong way.

The controls on the X1 are small and quite fiddly. They are fine in a relaxed studio environment, but less easy to operate on the go or with gloves on

Changing batteries in mid-shoot is fantastically easy and can be achieved in much less than a quarter of the time it takes to change four AA cells – which makes for much more relaxing weddings. And when fumbled these batteries don’t clatter and roll all the way down the church either. I am rather taken with this idea and wonder why we haven’t been using lithium blocks in our flash units for years. I’m told it makes export more difficult, but I’m not sure how much I believe that’s the whole reason.

Cheap flashguns are all very well but we need something well made and built to last, and these Godox units seem to satisfy both requirements. They feel nice to use and have a reassuring solidity about them without being too weighty. They are actually really well made and I can personally vouch for the fact that they can withstand being dropped from about waist height on to pretty hard ground.

Performance

I used a pair of these V860 ll units with the X1 transceiver on a Nikon D810, and across a couple of weddings and a few portrait shoots they did very well indeed. Nikon I suppose must be given credit for the accuracy of the metering, but the Godox units worked with the camera seamlessly.

Godox’s operating range claims seem well-founded and the radio communication does in fact work well through walls and around corners, though in a couple of instances at very close range I managed to find a blind spot when using the X1 hotshoe transmitter. I was quite surprised to encounter this on a number of occasions when holding the gun in my hand while shooting, and also while the gun was mounted on a bracket next to the camera. The blind spot seems to be at 45 degrees forward of the transmitter when the flash is placed directly alongside.

At greater distances, more normal perhaps for off-camera work, the system performed really very well, but the short range reliability became a bit of an issue for me until I got used to it – I often hold a unit in one hand and the camera in the other when working on my own at events.

Here is an overhead view of the set-up, with flash A in the softbox and flash B bouncing into the reflector. The Godox bag is being used to create a shadow around the base of the bowl. I used an X-Rite Color Checker Passport to white balance the rear flash, and found the shift in color from the camera’s flash white balance setting was hardly noticeable .
For this shot I used a single flash (A) in a softbox, set to 0EV compensation, positioned behind the subject. Here the only light is coming from flash B, positioned forward to the side and bouncing into a gold reflector.
This shot shows the effect of both flashes lighting the scene, with both set to 0EV compensation To create a little more of a three-dimensional feel I increased the power of flash A in the rear to +2EV, and reduced flash B at the front to -1.3EV

At one stage I found the X1 wouldn’t trigger the guns at all, and no matter what I tried I couldn’t make it work. This was extremely frustrating for a long time. I solved the issue by accident when I triggered one V860 ll from the other and then found that suddenly the X1 wanted to work again. I’m not entirely sure what the problem was, but suspect some sort of communication issue that was somehow unblocked when the second flash unit kicked in.

The limitations of the over-heating system will prohibit a few users from being able to make use of these units, but for the vast majority of photographers requiring more than 30 full blast bursts in quick succession is something of a rarity. I certainly can’t complain about recycle times as even at full power the lithium ion battery feeds the flash quickly enough that we can expect a burst every second.

With one flash in another room off the corridor and aimed towards the groom, and another in my hand positioned to bounce from the ceiling, I was able to create some nice lighting effects quickly with this system. The bounced flash was set to -1.3EV so it would just fill the shadows.
The robust metal threads on the supplied feet make the V860 ll units easy to mount on tripods or lighting stands. I used a pair of softboxes to light this shot, one either side of the couple. The small size of the softboxes and the flash heads contributes to the cut-out feeling and illustrates a limitation of hotshoe flashes.

I found the coverage to be even enough at most focal length settings and the output of manual burst to be consistent from shot to shot. The color shifts somewhat between the brightest and the weakest bursts, but not so much that it will be an issue for most non-technical applications.

The flash duration quoted by Godox seems to be the total flash duration rather than the effective duration (the time the maximum intensity drops by half) . Using a Sekonic L-858D meter I measured the total duration at full power to be approx. 1/450sec, and the effective duration to be more like 1/1600sec. The difference will probably not be noticed by most.

Shot in bright sunshine at f/5.6 and 1/400sec at ISO 100, and the zoom in the 70mm position. The flash was in the hotshoe and was more than powerful enough to reach the subjects in an effective way. I was glad of the long-lasting lithium ion batteries on such a day of full power bursts. The main light here is daylight from a window to camera-right. The walls behind the bride though were rather too dull and shaded, so I placed a single V860 ll behind her to light them up a bit. I left it at 0EV and it did the job nicely.

Translating the guide number into real world situations, I found that full power gave me a meter reading of f/8@ISO 100 with the flash 10 feet away and the zoom head set to 50mm. Changing the zoom position to 200mm increased the reading to f/11 ½ in the same situation.

Add-ons and accessories

Included in the two-flash kit I received were feet/stands with a brass tripod thread in the base, a pair of strap-on diffusers, a set of colored gels and a pouch for each flash.

Like many other flash brands, Godox offers a range of accessories that help to modify the light from their units. My favorite accessory though is the S-mount adapter that allows the flash to be clamped within an adapter ring for S-Mount (Bowens) accessories. I tried the V860 ll flashes with big and small softboxes and dishes, as well as the good-sized pop-up softbox that comes with the adapter. As you will know, some speedlight accessories are too big, floppy and cumbersome to use easily, but with its own clamp the S-adapter is excellent and the softbox genuinely useful.

The company also sells an external battery pack for these flash units. The ProPac Lithium Power Pack PB960 can deliver 1800 full power bursts after a three-hour charge, and can accommodate two flash units at the same time. Via adapter cables it can run Godox, Canon, Nikon and/or Sony guns.

It is worth noting too that the radio system of the V860 ll flash units is the same as that which controls some of the company’s studio flash heads, so you can use a mixture of speedlite and studio style sources together.

Conclusion

I have been really very impressed with this system. Firstly because these V860 II units make excellent hotshoe flashguns on their own, and secondly as they provide a comprehensive amount of control and a mostly-reliable wireless radio connection. They perform well when paired with other Godox flashes and are equally well behaved within a group of Nikon radio units, as well as within a collection of optically controlled flashguns.

I really appreciate the reliability and range of radio controlled flash units, not just in these flashes, and that they can be used in a much wider set of circumstances. I got thoroughly sick of trying to use optical systems outside some years ago, and was frustrated at the chances I was missing out on.

The light in this room was nice and even, but being able to balance a flash unit on a basin in the adjoining bathroom allowed me to quickly add an extra dimension to the bride’s face and body with a bit of a broad keyline. Knocking 0.7EV off the brightness of a single V860 ll placed wide camera-left was enough to get the balance right for this early evening shot. The flexibility of the system allowed me to work quickly to get a nice result without having to dash to the flash unit to change the power

I really enjoyed having a block battery and not carrying and disposing of AA cells – it just makes life that much more relaxing and enjoyable. And with the 650-burst capacity it makes me wonder why other brands don’t adopt the same idea.

The most surprising thing about these flashguns though is their price, and that when they turn up they don’t feel like or perform like low cost alternatives. They make an astonishingly good purchase, and I highly recommend them.

Pros

  • Good wireless connection at normal distances
  • Very well made
  • Great block battery with good life
  • Plenty of control on and off the camera
  • Powerful enough for most users
  • Really good price

Cons

  • X1 transceiver could be easier to use
  • Radio signal not so reliable when the flash is close to the X1
  • Needs more than +/-3EV range of compensation

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Cactus announces flash transceiver firmware upgrade to support wireless cross-brand TTL

25 Mar

Cactus has announced a series of brand-specific firmware updates for its V6 II and V6 IIs triggers that will add TTL functions alongside their cross-brand HSS support.

The triggers are already capable of high speed sync across systems, as well as remote control over flash power and zoom. The upcoming firmware updates will add the ability to support automatic TTL exposure across brands as well. The first firmware releases will support Sigma, Fujifilm and Sony, with support for Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax following one-by-one.

For more information on the Cactus V6 II triggers and compatible flashes check out the company’s website, and for more information on the upcoming firmware releases, see the press release below.


Press Release:

X-TTL TTL without Boundaries! Cactus launches FREE firmware upgrades on the V6 II and V6 IIs to support wireless cross-brand TTL.

Hong Kong, March 24, 24, 2017 – Just nine months since the release of the Cactus V6 II and Cactus V6 IIs, Cactus is now launching a series of brand-specific firmware upgrades to transform the cross-brand HSS flash triggers to one that also supports crosscross-brand wireless TTL. The new X-TTL firmware versions, apart from supporting cross-brand high-speed sync (HSS/FP), remote power and zoom control of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Sigma flashes all at the same time1, NOW support automatic TTL exposure in the same cross-brand environment, both on-camera and off-camera.2

The first wave of firmware releases will be for Sigma Sony and Fujifilm. Other camera systems, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax, will follow one by one as we complete system integration on the V6 II. All these X-TTL firmware versions are free of charge for V6 II / V6 IIs users. The new firmware is system-specific so users simply choose the corresponding system when updating with the Cactus Firmware Updater. Once installed, the V6 II / V6 IIs is transformed into a cross-brand wireless TTL flash trigger.

This unique function gives photographers an unprecedented flexibility. The need for matching flashes with the same camera system for on and off-camera TTL flash photography is over – TTL without boundaries.

Cross-brand TTL

The X-TTL firmware allows users to have wireless TTL automatic exposure with camera and flash that runs on the same system, such as a Canon camera triggering a Canon flash, and one that runs on different systems, such as a Sigma camera triggering a Nikon system flash.

Similar to the cross-brand HSS firmware on the V6 II, the supported flash systems for wireless cross-brand TTL include Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, and flash that runs on the same camera system.

Two unique Exposure Locks

Cactus is unveiling a brand new approach in using TTL metering. Over the past, professionals who love the convenience from TTL metering often have to suffer inconsistency in lighting outputs, making post processing a pain. In view of this Cactus devised two types of Exposure Locks.

1. Flash Compensate: Store a desired flash exposure that will automatically adjust according to changes in camera settings. Gone is the ever-changing flash exposures between each TTL metering.

2. Flash Power Lock: Lock flash power output after a desired TTL exposure is achieved. Perfect for consistency in repeat shooting. Wireless TTL functions

The X-TTL firmware will also support advanced TTL functions on the Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs, such as first and second (rear) curtain sync, on-camera TTL, group TTL metering and TTL lighting ratios3.

New support for Sigma

We are delighted to offer firmware support for Sigma cameras and flashes. This includes remote power control, remote zoom control, wireless High-speed Sync, and wireless TTL with Sigma’s SA-TTL flashes. The same cross-brand support is also available on the Sigma X-TTL firmware. Cactus expresses appreciation to SIGMA CORPORATION for their immense support in our development for Sigma system firmware.

Fujifilm TTL and HSS

With the introduction of Fujifilm new flash system launched on the EF-X500, Highspeed Sync (HSS/FP) is finally available. Besides adopting the new HSS platform, the upcoming Fujifilm X-TTL firmware also extends support for wireless TTL to Fujifilm flashes as well as Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic flashes. Fujifilm X-TTL Firmware release date will be announced on our website.

V6 IIs with Sony TTL

Existing Sony V6 IIs users already has a system-specific transceiver unit, and the upcoming Sony X-TTL firmware adds wireless TTL support for Sony flashes and other system flashes when paired with the Cactus V6 II. Sony X-TTL Firmware release date will be announced on our website.

Features at a glance

1. Cross-brand wireless manual power and zoom control with HSS/FP support of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Sony flashes;2

2. Cross-brand wireless TTL of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma and Sony flashes;2

3. Cross-brand group TTL metering is extended to use in a cross-brand setup;3

4. TTL Ratios output adjustments can be done directly on the V6 II (TX);3

5. Two Exposure Locks offer consistency with the convenience of wireless TTL.

6. Works seamlessly with Cactus RF60X to support HSS, TTL, remote power and zoom control.

Price and Availability

System-specific X-TTL firmware versions are free of charge. Download the Cactus Firmware Updater4 and select the corresponding system firmware to install the X-TTL firmware on the Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs.

After launching the initial three systems, i.e., Sigma, Fujifilm and Sony, Cactus will continue to launch X-TTL firmware for the remaining camera systems. Stay up to date for the latest releases on X-TTL’s microsite: https://www.cactusimage.com/special/X-TTL/

1 With the exception of Pentax and Sony system flashes due to special timing requirements so they must be paired with a Pentax and Sony camera respectively in order to support HSS.

2 Only Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic system flashes support cross-brand TTL.

3 This function may not be supported on all the camera systems.

4 Cactus Firmware Updater version 3.01 or later will better facilitate firmware selection. To be released soon!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Why Wireless Tethering Will Improve Your Photography

20 Mar

As a photographer, shooting tethered is one of the best ways to improve your photography skills. Tethering helps you zoom into the details of your shots on a big screen so you can make adjustments as you go. It also encourages collaboration by keeping your photo subject or client engaged if they’re on location with you. In this article, I’ll explain what tethered shooting is and why wireless tethering with an app like CamRanger is the best choice.

What is tethering?

By definition, tethering is when a mobile device shares its internet connection with another device. This can be done through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a physical connection cable (e.g. USB). Many mobile phones can tether to share their Wi-Fi with laptops or tablets. Similarly, cameras can tether as well. But in the case of tethered shooting with a camera, the purpose is to transmit images from the camera directly to another device such as a laptop computer or tablet.

CamRanger Wireless Tethering 11

The cheapest and most efficient way to shoot tethered is to use a wired connection. All you need is a standard USB cable that connects to your camera and tethering software such as Capture One, Adobe Lightroom, or DSLR Controller. Wired tethering is very cheap, and it’s extremely quick. There’s practically no delay between pressing the shutter on your camera and seeing the resulting image pop up on your screen. Get more info and a detailed step-by-step guide to wired tethering here.

What is wireless tethering?

However, the main disadvantage with wired tethering is the cable. It can easily get unplugged from your camera or laptop and mess up the tethered connection. The cable can also be a hazard on set, causing you or your photo subject to trip over it. This is where wireless tethering can come in handy. If you shoot on location and can’t be bothered with a cable limiting your movement, wireless tethering is an option you may want to explore.

When you tether wirelessly, you plug a device such as CamRanger into your camera and use it to create a wireless network. Any device such as a laptop or tablet can join that wireless network and your images are transmitted wirelessly every time you press the shutter button. You can even remotely control the camera from your tethered computer or tablet.

CamRanger Wireless Tethering 10

Why CamRanger is the Best Wireless Tethering Device

There are several wireless tethering devices available, and I tried many of them out in search of the one that would work best. My devices requiring connectivity included a Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 6D cameras, Android smartphone, and Apple laptop computer. Although it’s the most expensive, CamRanger is my wireless tethering device of choice. Here’s why:

1. Minimal stuff in the box

The contents in the CamRanger box are very minimal, consisting of just a few cables, a case, simple instructions, and the unit itself. I really loved the zippered case with a carabiner that easily fit all of the items. One thing that would be nice to have is the CamRanger hot shoe mounting device, which has to be purchased separately.

CamRanger Wireless Tethering

2. Intuitive setup

After unboxing CamRanger, setup is pretty simple. Begin by downloading the CamRanger app to your tethering device of choice. Currently, you can download the CamRanger app for iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android devices, Kindle Fire, and both Mac and Windows computers.

Next, switch on the CamRanger device so that it broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal. This might take a minute or two. Then connect your tethering device, with the app installed, to the CamRanger Wi-Fi network using the CamRanger’s serial number as the Wi-Fi password. Boom! You’re ready to shoot!

CamRanger Wireless Tethering 01

CamRanger desktop app allows for wireless tethering and remote camera control.

3. Compatible with Canon and Nikon

CamRanger will work with both Canon and Nikon DSLRs. For a full list of compatible cameras, check out their website.

How CamRanger actually works

Whenever you shoot tethered with CamRanger, the device stores image previews in a cache on your device. The actual files are still written to your camera’s CF or SD memory card like usual. While the wireless transfer of images can definitely be slow, this process can be sped up if you change your camera preferences to shoot in JPG only, or RAW + JPG. Transferring JPG images goes much faster than RAW images.

Another huge benefit of CamRanger is the option to switch the app into Client Mode. This allows you to hand your tethered device over to your client to preview images created in real time, without allowing them to remotely control your camera so you can keep shooting. It’s a clever feature that really adds value.

CamRanger Wireless Tethering 11

In practice, there are a few limitations of CamRanger to be aware of. First, note that wireless tethering still has a limited range of about 100-150 feet. If your camera and connected device drift outside of this range, you risk losing connectivity. Second, CamRanger does have a decent battery life of 5-6 hours by itself, but using it in conjunction with Live View on your camera can drain your camera batteries quickly.

CamRanger Positive Features

  • Very easy to setup and start using immediately
  • Built-in features include focus stacking, bracketing, and intervalometer
  • Minimal pieces, so it is easy to travel with
  • Lets clients easily see my images and give feedback
  • Reduces time in post-processing by making real-time adjustments when shooting
  • Eliminates the long, hazardous USB cable needed for wired tethering



What about built-in Wi-Fi?

If you have a camera with built-in Wi-Fi, you can probably remote control your camera and perform some tethering functions. As an example, I have the Canon 6D DSLR which has Wi-Fi connectivity. This is great for wirelessly transmitting images to my mobile phone and for doing some remote camera control via the Canon Camera Connect mobile phone app. However, no such app exists for my laptop, so I cannot wirelessly connect to my computer without using another device and USB cable. This is why I still use CamRanger to shoot tethered from my laptop, even with my Wi-Fi enabled camera.

CamRanger Alternatives

There are a couple of other popular CamRanger alternatives that also permit you to do wirelessly tethering. I tried both of these options out and found they weren’t nearly as comprehensive or reliable as CamRanger.

  • CamFi
  • Tether Tools Case Air

In Conclusion

Do you shoot tethered? What do you think about the pros and cons of wireless tethered shooting? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Why Wireless Tethering Will Improve Your Photography by Suzi Pratt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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CamFi wireless camera controller now supports Sony digital cameras

28 Feb

Wireless camera controller CamFi now supports Sony digital cameras, the company announced recently. With CamFi 3.0, the latest version of the app, Sony camera owners can attach the CamFi wireless controller to their camera via a USB cable, then access and control the camera remotely using a laptop or tablet over Wi-Fi.

CamFi supports live view from Sony digital cameras, as well as Nikon and Canon cameras, and also enables photographers to change camera settings and capture shots using a laptop or tablet. The controller supports multi-camera setups, and also adds support for the latest DNP wireless printer server. The company says CamFi 3.0 also supports both Raw and JPEG image formats.

According to the CamFi Sony support page, the product presently supports the Sony a7R, a7R II, a7S, a7 II, a7, a6300, a6000, and a5100 models. Both MTP and PC Remote modes are supported; users can select their preferred mode in the camera’s ‘USB Connection’ menu. Check out the support page for full details on how to set up and use CamFi with Sony cameras.

Press release:

CamFi 3.0 Adds Wireless Tether Support for Sony Cameras

GUANGDONG, CHINA. – February 23, 2017 – CamFi Limited, maker of wireless controllers for digital cameras, announced today that the new version of its app, CamFi 3.0, adds wireless tether support for Sony cameras. This feature allows the photographer to transmit photos from a Sony camera to a laptop or tablet via Wi-Fi automatically during a photo shoot. 

“CamFi is the only wireless camera controller which can support Canon, Nikon and Sony currently. The support for other camera brands will be added in the future,” Said Mark Ma, CEO of CamFi, “We hope we can bring something new for the photography industry.” 

CamFi 3.0 supports both raw and jpeg image file formats. It also supports live view for Sony cameras. That way, a photographer can see the live view of the camera, change the ISO, shutter speed and aperture and shoot remotely. Furthermore, the new version added support for the newest DNP wireless printer server. This allows the user to print the photo via Wi-Fi immediately after shooting. CamFi supports multiple camera control, which can be used to create a bullet time effect. 

There are many advantages to using wireless remote capture. For one thing, the technology enables the photographer to see the preview image on a large screen, such as that of a tablet, versus the small viewfinder of the camera. The tether also makes it possible for the camera to be in a position that gets the right shot, but which is not necessary comfortable or safe for the photographer. For instance, the camera can be mounted on a high railing while the photographer can see the preview while standing on the floor below. Wireless tethers are helpful for time-lapse photography and self-portraits as well. 

For more information and the full list of product specifications, please visit
http://cam-fi.com

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Electroads: Wireless Vehicle-Charging Roads Rolling Out in Tel Aviv

11 Jan

[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

electroads

A series of roads and public buses in Israel are being retrofitted to test an electromagnetic induction system designed to recharge vehicles on the go, eliminating the cost, time, emissions and waste associated with conventional fuel and refueling stops.

smart-inverter

Electroad, an Israeli startup, boasts a relatively straightforward and fast-deploying system compared to competitors. Their copper and rubber chargers can be rolled out at a rate of a close to a half a mile per day into shallow trenches just a few inches deep. The ease of retrofitting is one of the striking advantages of the system — more involved variants can require ripping up substantial sections of pavement, taking longer and costing more to implement.

air-gap

Their technology has already been tested in controlled settings (small sections of test track outside Electroad’s lab) but will now be demonstrated at scale under real-world conditions along public transit routes. Like other induction technologies, no connection is needed between the vehicle and the road — a radiation-shielded coil simply picks up energy from the lines below, tied into the grid at intervals along the way.

eletric-bus-wireless-charging

To deploy the system, an asphalt scraper digs a trench while a second vehicle unrolls the the rubber-and-plastic strips. Electric buses following the revamped route will be able to store a charge for any jumps off the invisible grid. That may not sound like much, but the reduced storage capacity means the bus can travel lighter, using less energy and requiring a cheaper battery. Ultimately, the cost and power saved upfront will help pay back for the system installation more rapidly.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

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Metz mecablitz M400 compact wireless flash unit now available

06 Dec

German flash manufacturer Metz has launched a new compact sized flash unit that offers wireless TTL control and coverage to match 24-105mm lenses. First announced at Photokina, the Metz mecablitz M400 has a guide number of 40m/131ft at ISO 100 at the 105mm zoom setting, along with a tilt and swivel head for bouncing the light. The gun is compatible with Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Micro Four Thirds, Pentax and Sony multi-interface cameras and offers TTL metering with each. All but the Fujifilm model will support wireless TTL flash as well, with the M400 being used either as a slave or commander in a group. A USB socket is provided for future firmware updates.

High speed sync mode is available, as is the choice of first and second curtain triggering, and 25 steps of manual control. The unit also has a 100 Lux/1m video light built-in that provides six stages of illumination.

The Metz mecablitz M400 is available now and costs $ 280/£122. For more information visit the Metz website.

Press Release

M400 launched by Metz

Compact and powerful flashgun

Metz has launched the mecablitz M400, a compact system flash suited to mirrorless system cameras and is ideal for any photographer or film-maker looking for a convenient, compact flash unit. It is available in Canon, Nikon, Micro FourThirds, Pentax, Sony and Fuji fittings.

Powered by four AAA sized NiMH, alkaline-magnesium or lithium batteries, the Metz mecablitz M400 has a zoom-swivel head covering a FOV range matching that of a full-frame 24-105mm lens, with a guide number of 40 (in metres at ISO 100/21°) at the 105mm position. Depending on your camera, the mecablitz M400 with master and slave mode also offers wireless TTL flash functionality. The M400 comes with an adjustable LED video/modelling light, bounce card and integrated wide-angle diffuser. Other highlights include high-speed flash synchronisation, second-curtain sync and red-eye reduction plus it can always be kept up-to-date via the USB interface for receiving firmware updates.

Features / Tech Spec:
High max. guide number 40m (131feet) for ISO100 and 105mm
Vertical (+90°) and horizontal (360°) bounce/swivel head
Clear OLED display
Integrated high-performance LED video light (100 Lux @ 1m)
Motorised zoom for 24–105mm illumination
Integrated wide-angle diffuser (12mm) & flip-out reflector card
Flash readiness indicator, correct exposure display on unit and on camera (camera dependent)
Flash range shown in OLED display
Automatic unit shut-off
Dimensions: (W x H x D) 65 x 92 x 87mm
Fittings available: Canon / Nikon / Fuji / Sony / Pentax / Olympus – Panasonic

Prices & Availability
Metz M400 Flashgun – all fittings. £121.99 inc VAT
Available immediately

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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