Saturday, January 12, 2008

Could RadioPopper be the future of Wireless Radio Trigger System?

RadioPopper finally released a picture of their so awaited Radio Flash Triggers.

If this radio flash trigger is what they are praying for then I think Pocket Wizard will have to make a twist on their best selling products, or maybe not.

But what are Pocket Wizards and what they can do for you?

PocketWizard Digital radio slaves offer the photographer creative freedom to position electronic flash and/or cameras anywhere you want to without the need for wires. Triggering your camera or strobe is as easy as pushing the shutter release on your camera.

This is what we all Strobist fans been using unless you have opted by some other inexpensive triggers say Gadget Infinity that do "almost" the same.

Now comes in game another product that has raised the bar by the name of RadioPopper.

But what other features has this RadioPopper that could deserve our attention?

So let's take a look what they offer versus the actual Leading Brand (PW):

The Leading Brand

Make no mistake about it - for triggering flashes or studio lights in manual mode, nothing beats the industry standard. If you’re getting paid for your work and the shoot is important - then don’t hesitate for a moment to purchase the current standard product. It’s worth every penny and you’ll never regret it. The leading product works in both directions (“transceiver” operation), you can trigger your camera, and you can program it to do lots of additional special functions, and many studio lighting systems have built in support for these 3rd party products. That’s solid - and if that type of lighting is generating your pay check, then just buy the right tool for the job and don’t look back.

RadioPopper P1 / P8
This product addresses a very prevalent need in the event photography world. As wedding shooters, we’re usually chasing our subjects through questionable lighting conditions. We walk into a hotel lobby and in five minutes, we need to create model cover-shot quality work. We’ve got a pair of 580’s and a vision. We’re flying by the seat of our pants and we need to put light where we need it, and we don’t have time to think about metering. Just toss a flash on a ledge and shoot. But the existing IR technology means that slave flash doesn’t fire reliably. That’s there the P1 and P8 come in. To give people facing this lighting pinch every weekend an option - a better way to work. This opens up all kinds of new possible lighting setups that require zero setup and very little thought other than visualizing the lighting pattern itself. The P1 and P8 are intended for a completely separate niche of the market than the current leading brand devices.

RadioPopper Jr.
This is a standard manual flash slave trigger. It does not include the TTL functions of the P1 or P8. The Jr. is directed to the amateur and pro-sumer market. More people purchased D-SLR’s last year than ever before, and they’re excited to try off camera flash. Someone in this market who isn’t generating much if any income from their photography has to choose between a short range inexpensive product, or the full fledged pro system with lots of features they won’t use. Once again, the Jr. seeks to fill a niche. It won’t have the advanced functions and programming options of the name brand devices. It’ll likely only have 2 “channels” - “A” and “B”, and it’ll just send a trigger instruction one direction. These limited features are perfectly suited for the amateur, but the professional will certainly require and desire the more rich and expanded feature set of products offered by other manufacturers.

Choose the Leading Brand:
* You’re getting paid for your work
* Your lighting and scene are fairly constant
* You require lots of channels, integration with studio gear, etc
* Buy it once and use it for a career

Choose the P1 / P8:
* You’re on the run in fast changing situations
* Weddings, on location portraiture, PJ work
* You already own a pair or more of IR capable ETTL / iTTL flash units
* You require high speed synch functions
* You need to quickly place a light and shoot without first metering manual exposures

P1 Price: $175 per Tx / Rx - $349 complete 'ready to shoot' kit. Proj.
Release Date: February 2008
P8 Approx Price: $225 per Tx / Rx.
Ship Date: Summer 2008

Choose the Jr.:
* You’re short on cash and big on vision
* You’re experimenting with light and any reliable wireless trigger will do
* You won’t shoot in large gatherings with others (press conferences)
* Two channels is probably one more than you actually need
* Going wireless on the cheap may spark a career of growth and inspiration

Price: about $25 each.
Ship Date: Summer 2008

So will this be a subject for a Wireless Radio Trigger revolution or what?

Hope to have my hands on one as soon as they are available in Europe and for sure I will make a full review here about them.

You can follow the news on about their development in the blog and the official site is here.

Follow the discussion of the RadioPopper at Flickr.

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