PocketWizard Plus X Remotes Break the $100 Barrier
This is what I have wanted from PocketWizard for a long time: a sub-$100 remote.
Basically, the new Plus X transceiver has everything you really need—and nothing you don't. Full details below.
UPDATE: Adds PocketWizard's feature set video:
Reader's Digest Version
Plus-III chassis, AA's, switch-hitter, physically robust, protected antenna, 10 channels, channel-hopping, full PocketWizard range, interoperability with past and present models.
The Plus X is modeled after the recently released Plus-III. It has the same style of case and is very tough. The (previously) exposed antenna, which could cause trouble with Plus-II and earlier models if packed roughly, is armored as with the Plus-III.
Not much to say here; it's a simple unit. You have a power switch, a rotary channel selector and a big test button. That's pretty much your whole quick-start guide right there.
Interesting note: The rotary dial is a nod to the original deck-of-cards shaped PocketWizard from over twenty years ago. Except this is not a pure physical-contact rotary switch, as today's rotary selectors are much more reliable. But as a long-time PW user, that was the first thing I noticed.
And the 10 channels correspond with the same numbered channels of any other PW remote, providing you are using units from the same region. (US and CE units are different due to spectrum licensing legalities. So always make sure you are not mixing units from different regions.)
Triple aces: 1,600 feet. But it's radio, so as always your mileage may vary. I found them to be equal to the Plus-III in normal mode. Which is to say, gold standard. (Makes sense; same guts.) Like the Plus-III, the antenna is more omnidirectional than with previous generation models.
The Plus X runs on two AA batteries. Another improvement over the Plus-II generations is that you don't have to do that "cigarette pack tamping" move to remove batts.
I do not think it has a sleep mode, what with the physical switch. So turn them off when you are done.
It Goes Both Ways
The Plus X sync terminal (hot shoe or mini-jack) senses sync voltage and can thus determine whether it is attached to a camera or a flash. In doing so, it auto-sets as a receiver or transmitter just like a Plus-III. Speaking of which, it comes with surprisingly high-quality sync cords.
If a Plus X receives a signal on one channel, you can configure it to second-trigger on the next channel. This is useful for PW-triggering a remote camera, which in turn uses the same receiving PocketWizard to sync fire a remote flash. (And this would fire on the next channel higher.) This wraps around from channel 10 to channel 1. With channel hopping, you can do with three units what would otherwise require four.
With it's robust build, significant range, non-obsolescence and 2-digit price tag, I think the Plus X will quickly prove to be PocketWizard's most popular remote.
Be honest and ask yourself if you really need the additional features of the more expensive models. For the vast majority of photographers who simply need a rock-solid, manual radio remote, the Plus X will fill the bill.
PocketWizard PlusX: $99.99
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