One Way to Wirelessly Trigger Canon Speedlights

I am not a “Master of the Speedlight” but there is no doubt that the use of speedlights for on-location portrait lighting is becoming the overwhelming choice for many photographers and that was the purpose of writing my ongoing five part series on Assembling a Location Lighting Kit. While that kit includes lots of the big pieces there are also smaller must-have accessories that belong in it starting with wireless flash triggers. So in the spirit of “What’ in Your Camera Bag” Wednesday, here’s look at something that belongs in your on-location lighting kit.

When shooting with Canon speedlites, some shooter like to use Radio Poppers and let you shoot using full TTL exposure mode. They are also compatible with  Nikon speedlights and are available as a transmitter and how ever many receiver—one for each speedlight—you need. When shooting with his QFlash Trio system he uses their Pilot transmitter but doesn’t receivers because they are built into the flash.

Lately, I’ve been testing Phottix’s Odin TTL Flash Trigger for Canon EOS cameras that let you wirelessly trigger Canon speedlites while retaining  TTL functions as well as remotely controlling the flash’s power and zoom settings. The basic Phottix Odin TTL Trigger system consists of an on-camera transmitter and control unit (TCU) and receiver units for compatible hot shoe flashes.

Additional separate receivers are available for multiple speedlite set-ups. With four wireless channels and three control group designations, the speedlites can be controlled in Canon’s TTL ratio modes A:B with plus and minus EV adjustments of three stops. Phottix Odin can also designate groups in TTL/Mixed mode and individual groups, A, B, C, can be controlled in TTL mode with plus and minus EV adjustments. Groups can also be set to Manual mode, with you adjusting power levels remotely or turning them off. Flash head zoom can automatically be changed while adjusting your lens or manually set from 24 to 105 mm. The Phottix Odin system also triggers compatible non-TTL flashes and even studio flash units. Both Odin TCU and Receivers can be upgraded via their USB port and downloadable software. A Nikon-compatible Phottix Odin system is expected to be available “real soon now.”

Factoid: And while most manufacturers call shoe-mount flashes “Speedlights,” Canon calls’em “speedlites.”

Author: Joe Farace

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