New Chinese TTL Remotes Surfacing for Nikon and Canon

Info is sketchy at this point. But the Strobist Flickr group is pretty much at DEFCON 1, of course. On a discussion thread, Flickr user "Cotswald," who is apparently involved with the company, says:

• We WILL be selling these in Europe. I won't discuss exact prices, but will say that prices will be lower than those quoted above. (DH note: Less than $200/ set + shipping.)

• The PC socket is screwlock.

• They do support i-TTL, TTL and Manual.

• As said above, the Canon version will ship in the New Year, or just before XMAS.

• I am just checking trigger voltage safe limits. Range for me is about the same as the RF-602, ie. over 100m line of sight (I ran out of room at 200m).

• (DH here) Frequency is 2,4GHz, which is in the Wi-Fi/cordless phone neighborhood.

Well, there you go. The discussion thread, with links, is here. Things are getting interesting.

FWIW, I wrote the company, trying to buy a set to test. (I try to stay away from the "review set" graft thing.) But so far, no response.



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Blogger Spencer said...

Re: the 2.4 GHz thing.

This band is amazingly clean. I have the Yongnuo RF-602 radio triggers (the current darling of cheapie triggers) and I have used them in a a 2.4 GHz crap storm (a.k.a. my house) without problems. Phones, Wi-Fi, you name it. I'm guessing that there is enough spectral resolution and modulation techniques in use at those frequencies to allow plenty of room for 2.4 GHz devices.

The RF-602s aren't your father's Cactus V2 eBay specials... The Chinese appear to have raised their bar on affordable trigges. The question is, will Pocket Wizard et al respond or will they ignore the encroachment?

November 21, 2009 1:37 AM  
Blogger Stormin said...

"Have energy of the life, it is more permanent to let bright"

Translation FAIL

The new tag line for Strobist? Because it really 'is more permanent to let bright', as long as it is ratio'ed

November 21, 2009 2:43 AM  
Blogger Ady said...

I wonder if these will be any good with the 5D unlike other chinese versions that cause banding on the sensor.

November 21, 2009 3:13 AM  
Blogger Bart said...

When I first joined Strobist many moons ago the choice was Pocket Wizard or some cheap radio thing that would work 50% of the time if you're lucky.

Today we are spoilt for choice (and my cheap ebay remotes are near 100% reliability within 15m radius) and now the wave of wireless TTL remotes.

One man, one site, one phenomenon.

November 21, 2009 4:07 AM  
Blogger Cornelius said...

Looks pretty interessting. But what about Master/Slave function and control ? Using the FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 from PW. They have a hotshoe on the top to attach a flash also on the camera that you can a master on the camera and slaves which are radio controlled ..

November 21, 2009 6:06 AM  
Blogger Pedro said...

Wake me up when one of these is available for P-TTL...

November 21, 2009 6:39 AM  
Blogger Stefan said...


November 21, 2009 7:19 AM  
Blogger Chris Biele said...

Interesting. It would be cool to see something like this at an easy-to-swallow price point. Although, you usually get what you pay for. I was checking out my Cactus V2s performance today and found that one of them has given up the ghost. Not too worried about it at $25 a pop, but still.

I'm saving up for the Nikon flavor of the mini and flex.

November 21, 2009 7:23 AM  
Blogger Elmer Escobar Photography said...

Out of principle alone I would get these. PW have had a stronghold on radio slaves for forever, and have been charging an arm and a leg for them. If these work AS well, I'm going with these when they come out.

November 21, 2009 8:27 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I just bought a "big light". Damn you Strobist!! Just kidding of course.

I dunno about these poppers. But what was the final verdict on Pocket Wizards vs the new RadioPopper system?

November 21, 2009 9:18 AM  
Blogger Ramesh Yadav said...

How reliable will these be and what kind of after sales support will be offered? I don't have PW's or Radio Poppers but if I was in the market for TTL triggers then reliability and support would be my main decision factors, not price.

November 21, 2009 1:16 PM  
Blogger Dennis Dixson said...

It's nice to have choices and it is even better when the time comes that you can actually purchase the product and use it.

The newer 2.4GHz units seem to be getting the job done for a lot of people at an affordable price point and that's good for photographers in general.

Ramesh hit the nail on the head with his comment about reliability and support. I am still waiting on a replacement for an RF-602 transmitter that was defective out of the box. I don't know how you calculate the reliability factor on that but luckily, I bought two of them just so I would have a spare. I just didn't think I would need it quite so soon.

We live in exciting times where our desire and anticipation often get ahead of actual products coming into the market. Speculation is good, hard information is much better.

November 21, 2009 5:28 PM  
Blogger Wink of an eye Digital said...

Well... as we all know the strobist market has become quite the business for newer products and companies entering to offer products.

PW and JRx had their chance to develop this off cam power control and own a good part of the market each.

But here comes somebody to eat their lunch with price.....and if quality reliability prove out

Check please!

November 21, 2009 9:05 PM  
Blogger sperio said...

I have been hooking up with the manufacturers for the past several months with regards to retailing these babies... will send in a pair for STROBIST to test next week or so if you are keen ;) let me know

November 21, 2009 9:08 PM  
Blogger theotherme said...

...then there is the whole patent infringement issue. Did Canon/Nikon license their respective TTL technologies to this company? Given China's record on intellectual property issues, I'm guessing not. If that is the case, can they be imported legally?

November 21, 2009 10:51 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

.then there is the whole patent infringement issue. Did Canon/Nikon license their respective TTL technologies to this company? Given China's record on intellectual property issues, I'm guessing not. If that is the case, can they be imported legally?

well did PW licence anything from Canikon for their latest radio triggers? how about Sigma lenses, they're not licensed either.

November 22, 2009 5:20 AM  
Blogger Howard said...

I see the starting bid price on ebay has jumped by $50. Now he's asking $188 per set. Maybe it's a typo...

November 22, 2009 8:39 PM  
Blogger Brian Hursey said...

I saw the might be 200$ sorta acording to the strobist forum. Might as well buy radio poppers with the cube. TTL makes you lazy as a strobist in my option. Im going to get radio poppers this year I have cactus v4's

November 22, 2009 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Histed said...

Patents once granted, give a license to "exclude" others from the market for 20 years (for these kinds of patents), from using specifically what is covered by the patent. So often when people presume that patents might be infringed: you have to check from when... if they have timed out; you can use the contents of them for free. Also: what patents ?
Often things that people think have been patented may not have been: fro all sorts of reasons: often because commercial products use non patentable ideas: esp. if they have been used before...

Designing kit that "listens" to a proprietory sequence of flashes, and then reconstructs them "over there" I don't believe would infringe anything.

My guess is, that the territory is wide open for people to make products like these, assuming they comply with all the regulatory stuff to do with rf emmisions. But that is not a patent issue. And also assuming they don't rip of registered designs, which obvioulsy no one is doing, as each company has its own unique product.

Didn't Radio popper time their intial introduction with an old patent timing out... ? If so that patent timed out for everyone not just radio popper.

Fascinating seeing what is happening.
Can the market really be large enough to support all of these suppliers ? Seems quite scary for them, to me !

November 22, 2009 9:28 PM  
Blogger flashfunk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 22, 2009 11:13 PM  
Blogger Ranger 9 said...

Call me skeptical, but LPA Design (PocketWizard) has been working on their ControlTL system since February 2009 and still is in the beta-software stage for Canon, while Nikon units have not yet made it out the door.

Even with all the talented engineers the Chinese educational system produces, it seems a stretch to believe that someone could come into this field out of nowhere and "eat LPA's lunch" so quickly, especially at a price point that seems to preclude much in the way of R&D expenditure.

November 23, 2009 12:49 AM  
Blogger eddy said...

I think we have all lost the plot. We don't want I-TTL remotes - we want power up and power down remotes. Remember - we want to shoot manual flash , not i-ttl. We want a remote that we can, from the camera, power up or power down the flash. If we go for i-ttl remotes we again, leave our brains at home and rely on the camera brain. Mind you, the ol' Nikon camera flash brain is pretty good, but as has been said so often - manual gives us consistent exposures, shot by shot, while i-ttl gives us the camera's version of exposure, each and every shot."Strobist - shoot manual flash". Just thinking out loud on the keyboard...

November 23, 2009 3:37 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Eddy, if what you're looking for is manual control from the transmitter, try the RadioPopper JRx

3 volume-control like knobs on the transmitter! No menu crap, no re-guessing the computer,etc works with AlienBees/White Lighting and (with below adapter) most TTL Nikon mount strobes (not sb900) Note that it doesn't use the TTL in its intended way, but does tell the strobe when to stop the flash (and thus change intensity) via the quench pin otherwise used for TTL.

Nikon Strobe Adapter:
If you have an old Nikon mount TTL flash, you can make an adapter shoe to cable like this:

Searching the strobist archives for rpcube jrx may lead to alot of reading but the idea is you get an as-9 flash shoe for $10 and a stereo mini 3.5mm cable from RadioShack and do some hacking around....

Ideally you could simply buy this adapter from RadioPopper or FlashZebra, but neither seem to have one done yet....

November 23, 2009 10:26 AM  
Blogger Spencer said...

eddy: these appear to do what "we" want: remote power control. Actually, many of us (okay, me, at least) wants both remote manual power control *and* e-ttl. Why? Using off camera flash at events is easier with E-TTL with ratios controlled at the camera. Everyone has at least slightly, if not dramatically different needs when it comes to off camera flash.

November 23, 2009 11:25 AM  
Blogger seri_art said...

I assume these E-TTL remotes require E-TTL flash units for the correct brand type in order to do E-TTL. Correct?

November 24, 2009 12:37 AM  
Blogger Stuart Mackenzie said...

Its a shame the JRx is not yet available in the UK or they would have already had my money...

November 27, 2009 11:27 AM  
Blogger paulcoxphotography said...

These look very interesting and worth a trial with my SB800s I think.

November 29, 2009 11:55 AM  
Blogger Bjorn said...

Re: Pixel E-TTL Poppers,
I was in Hong Kong last week, and wanted to pick these up directly from the Company/Manufacturer.
However, they don't provide any phone numbers, don't (seem) to answer e-mails, and their office was just of (their?) accountant... Was fishy to me.
I would not hold my breath, unless you have plenty of time...

December 06, 2009 1:18 PM  
Blogger Mustea Mihai Dan said...

Last year I bought a pair of radio triggers (a Chinese brand). I dind't have money for PocketWizard so I said to try them. Due to the poor design, the structural integrity of one trigger failed (cheap plastic) Also, in in crowded zones, in cities, the triggers failed to respond even from a distance of 1 m.
So, I had enough with cheap accesories in photography. I take very serioulsy my work and it was very frustating being with a team of 7 people and having problems with the triggers. And even more, the instruction manual sais that the minimum sincro speed is 1/200, which of course isn't true. I couldn't syncronize above 1/125 and in some situation I had to go down to 1/60.
That's my experience with cheap triggers.
Have a nice day!

December 09, 2009 5:43 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

Any idea where the Pixel units can be purchased for Canon?

January 15, 2010 6:19 PM  
Blogger Killjoy said...

Any update on these?

May 09, 2010 8:53 AM  

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