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Author Topic: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?  (Read 13348 times)

7enderbender

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Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« on: February 20, 2012, 05:04:40 PM »
I've been thinking about adding a professional trigger system to my bag at some point. PW is one of the obvious choices. Also, the Phottix Odin looks pretty good. At the moment I'm ok with my cheap ebay triggers and (even more so) with a long ETTL cable and the Canon IR remote system.

Notwithstanding, I'm tempted to add something easier in the future. So the new PW Plus III caught my attention - especially at that price. However, a closer look shows that this "feature laden" gizmo really doesn't even cover the basics. ETTL? I don't think so. High Speed Sync? Doesn't look like it. Manual control over the settings of the 4 groups? Didn't see that either. So it's a bit like a fancy version of my ebay triggers. Or what am I missing here? Sure, for those who need long distance range, repeaters and a remote for the camera this might be it. I think I'm more looking still at the Phottix...
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Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« on: February 20, 2012, 05:04:40 PM »

7enderbender

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 05:14:10 PM »
Come to think of it: I've been saying all along that I don't think Canon (or Nikon) will incorporate true non-optical wireless into their flash system due to the legal limitations in parts of their worldwide markets. Maybe I'm wrong about this. Could the "new feature laded" PW be an indicator that such companies really have to look for new features and markets because the camera manufacturers are looking to offer alternatives now themselves?

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DavidRiesenberg

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 05:42:48 PM »
That's exactly the market they desperately want to get into - the manual only transceivers. Sure, they are still expensive compared to the chinese stuff on eBay but the price is now much more palatable than 400$ a pop for their full feature models. They offer some non-standard features such as camera triggering, compatibility to their TTL models, better potential reliability and servicing possibility at a price bracket that was vacant so far. If it will actually work well, my bet is it will be a hit.

wickidwombat

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 06:19:49 PM »
I got the phottix odins
and I have to say they are really awesome, the screen on the back of the transmitter makes it so eay to control your groups, ballance your flash ratios etc definately worth a look

check out the new video from joe mcnally with the new pocket wizards though
http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/

cant see when i would ever use that feature. personally i think the PW are way overpriced
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 06:24:35 PM by wickidwombat »
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V8Beast

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 06:21:29 PM »
It's basically Pocket Wizard's way of saying "We got caught with our d***s in our hands, and need a sleeker, more affordable model to compete with the cheap ebay models, even if the feature set isn't that much improved over our prior units. " At least that's my take on it. Gotta love competition. 

smirkypants

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 06:24:29 PM »
I have Flex TT5s and 430EX IIs. The TTL is very useful at times and the AC3 controller is magical and expensive.

The Plus IIIs are just very nice manual triggers. Yawn.

Viggo

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 07:05:56 PM »
Here I go again, but +1 for the Phottix Odin, I've been using it very much lately and it just doesn't miss one single shot, ever, period!



Shot at half and full power of my 580 II flash, power control from camera, at ANY distance, it just works. I cannot believe how Pocket Wizard screwed up so extremely bad with the Flex and Phottix just got it right.

The only thing that annoyed me was how I needed to press "SEL" button much too many times, but the new firmware just released fixed that problem, so now it's just an extension of my thoughts

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 07:05:56 PM »

SPG

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 10:37:46 PM »
The PW III's do look nice, and the range/reliability is supposed to be improved, but the PWs are still basic triggers. It looks like improved basic triggers, but still basic.
I got the Odin setup a couple weeks ago and have been just loving it. The ease of use when making adjustments is incredible. I shot on snow with rapidly changing ambient light and was able to dial up and down the flash as needed without having to slog through the snow every time. I'm going to be trying out some HSS shots with a pair of flashes soon and I'm really looking forward to that. I tried the same shoot a year ago using Canon's built in IR system and it didn't work at all. Using the Odin, I'm not worried at all about pulling off this shot.

ed-m

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 11:28:29 PM »
I don't see what the appeal of PWs are to a Canon user until they fix the interference problem (580EX II ). The Phottix solution does not have this problem, and has the added ability to adjust the flash power from the control unit on the camera. PW can't do this.

I sold my PWs once the Phottix Odin came out.

Viggo

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 03:57:46 AM »
I don't see what the appeal of PWs are to a Canon user until they fix the interference problem (580EX II ). The Phottix solution does not have this problem, and has the added ability to adjust the flash power from the control unit on the camera. PW can't do this.

I sold my PWs once the Phottix Odin came out.

While I'm not a fan of Pocket Wizard (anymore) they do have the ability to change power from camera with the Flex system, you only need the AC3 Zone Controller on top, but that's yet another 150 usd for a small piece of plastic, and another fragile part on top with a plastic foot.
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briansquibb

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 06:49:22 AM »
I know that it is fashionable to knock PW - but I wont jump ship until they start failing, and I haven't missed a shot yet. Am happy with my miniTT1 and TT5 - results have been excellent. Have been using them with 580EXII as master and 580EX as slaves

Was out in the snow last week with flash hiding in trees and gravestones - no problems

I am going to the show in 2 weeks and will reserve judgement on the usefulness of the Plus III until I have got my hands on one.

Picsfor

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 08:17:50 AM »
Realistically, how many shoot with multiple flashes using ETTL?

Many who have mastered the world of multiple lights have done so using them all in manual mode.

With that in mind, do you really need full ETTL? Or just the ability to select a light and adjust its power up or down?

I've only ever used ETTL with my 30D and 40D using the on board flash...

I'm not saying these are a bargain, but the OP mentioned ETTL and i wondered if that was really necessary?
High Speed Sync is always a want, i agree - and the ability to select and control a light or group of lights, definitely, but ETTL?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 08:20:04 AM by Picsfor »

mrmarks

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 08:19:14 AM »
Odin is a nice system but hopefully there will be manual control @ 1/3 stop increments not 1 stop as it is currently. I don't think this is difficult for the Phottix engineers to implement in the upgrade model.

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 08:19:14 AM »

briansquibb

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 08:49:54 AM »
Realistically, how many shoot with multiple flashes using ETTL?

Many who have mastered the world of multiple lights have done so using them all in manual mode.

With that in mind, do you really need full ETTL? Or just the ability to select a light and adjust its power up or down?

I've only ever used ETTL with my 30D and 40D using the on board flash...

I'm not saying these are a bargain, but the OP mentioned ETTL and i wondered if that was really necessary?
High Speed Sync is always a want, i agree - and the ability to select and control a light or group of lights, definitely, but ETTL?

I use eTTL2 because:

- It is faster to adjust
- it takes care of changing light (outdoors)
- it is more accurate than me when adjusting 3 or more speedlights
- occasionally use a manual backlight/rimlight

Have yet to find a reason why I shouldn't use eTTL


drummstikk

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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 10:10:04 PM »
Realistically, how many shoot with multiple flashes using ETTL?

Many who have mastered the world of multiple lights have done so using them all in manual mode.

Thanks for allowing me to not be the only curmudgeon in the room.

Agree 100% - For multi-light work, I use Vivitar 283's when I need to be quick, and White Lighting/AlienBee units when I need power. Either way, I can just tell these units what I want and I get it. With Canon or Metz units I've tried, I feel like I'm tricking the flash into giving me what I want. Plus, the amount of money I have in 5 283's is about half what single Canon 580Whatever costs.

I am impressed with consistent results in outdoor fill flash with a Canon TTL flash in a single light on-camera or near camera situation, but I don't want or need a radio for that. The Plus III will get a good hard look from me. I've only skimmed the literature, but I assume that since they called it "Plus III" and not "Max II" that it lacks the most sophisticated features of the Multi-Max (delay triggering to sync multiple remote cameras with a single set of lights, "simulated second curtain", etc.), but the compactness and more than 4 channels, plus the price being cut in half, makes it a giant leap ahead of the Plus II.
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Re: Pocket Wizards Plus III - what am I missing here?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 10:10:04 PM »