Steelevisions Blog Rotating Header Image

Camera Equipment

Phottix Odin—The Ultimate Flash Trigger?

Phottix Odin Transmitter

Phottix Odin Transmitter

My Phottix Odin flash triggers just arrived, and oh, man, it’s like Christmas came early at my house.

Finally a gear-maker has delivered all the features I’ve been wanting in a flash trigger for years!

  • TTL Metering? – Check
  • High Speed Sync? – Check
  • Second Curtain Sync? – Check
  • Manual Power Settings? – Check
  • Multiple Groups? – Check
  • Backward Compatibility with cheaper triggers? – Check
  • Super Low Price? – Well, um… six out of seven ain’t bad

Seriously, I can’t think of anything that is missing from these triggers. Technology has finally caught up to my fantasy wish list.

So, why is this trigger a big deal? (more…)

Canon 320EX — Do You Need It?

Canon’s new 320EX flash is the first to feature a continuous LED light for shooting video.

Sounds great, but will it still meet your needs up as a dedicated flash?

Watch the video to learn why I have serious doubts about the 320EX as a flash for still photography.

Phottix Strato Flash Trigger – Now Even Better!

Phottix Strato II Multi

Phottix Strato II Multi

If you follow my product reviews at my photography training website, you probably know that the Phottix Strato has long been my favorite radio trigger for off-camera flash photography.

(If you want to learn why, you can watch my video review of the Strato.)

Well, the geniuses at Phottix have just improved on perfection by creating the new STRATO II MULTI flash trigger. (more…)

Product Review: Gorillapod Takes Manhattan

My Gorillapod with SLIK Tripod Head

Gorillapod with SLIK Tripod Head

As an early Christmas present for myself last year, I bought a Gorillapod Flexible Tripod before traveling to Manhattan.  I knew I didn’t want to carry a full-size tripod on the crowded subway, where I might accidentally probe someone and get into trouble.  The Gorillapod, which fits in my camera bag (or even a big coat pocket if I don’t mind it hanging out a bit like a high-tech squid) seemed like a great, portable solution.

To mount my Canon 40D on it with some flexibility, I bought a SLIK SBH-120 Tripod Head, a basic but solidly-constructed ball head model. (more…)

First Look: Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Trigger

Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Trigger

Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Trigger Set

I recently had the privilege of Beta testing the new Cactus V5 Duo Wireless Flash Trigger during its development phase. Now that the veil of secrecy has been lifted, I’m happy to report that this new trigger is a big leap forward over its predecessor, the V4, and it gives a good run for the money to any other flash triggers on the market.


Review: Phottix Strato Wireless Flash Trigger with TTL Pass-Through

Phottix sent me a pre-release set of these new triggers to test, and now that the product is on the market I can finally talk about it.

I love this trigger. It’s got all the 2.4 GHz reliability of the Yongnuo RF-602 (previously my favorite in the low-budget trigger market), but with the added advantage of a TTL-pass-through hot shoe.

If you don’t know what the heck that means, or why it might be useful, then watch the video!

And if you buy a Strato from the link below you’ll help keep me fueled with beer (which leads directly to an increase in the quantity, if not always quality, of my photography and tutorial production).

Phottix Online Store Strato Page

Flash Photography Tips (video)

Gotta love YouTube for always coming up with a splash screen where I have a funny expression on my face. They must have a special filter that searches for those frames.

If you’re interested, here is my course on Off-Camera Flash Photography.

You can also view this Flash Photography Tips video on YouTube.

Gearing up for Burning Man

Just some of the gear I'm packing

Preparing for Burning Man is only slightly less daunting than packing for a polar expedition — or perhaps a mission to Mars is a better analogy.

Each year my packing list grows longer and more complex (it now spans 8 pages of closely-spaced typing), and each year I nevertheless forget several important items and end up cursing myself out there in the Nevada desert when I discover that I forgot to bring, say, the superglue that I need to re-attach the sole of my shoe so that I don’t have to walk 3 miles back to camp barefoot on the blistering, 120-degree surface of the alkaline lakebed.  Or the charger for my camera battery. Or my can opener. Or, even worse, the beer. Or any one of the hundreds of other things that make life bearable in the extreme environment of Burning Man. (more…)

Canon Flash Blinking Display: Mystery Solved

Every wonder why the display on your Canon Speedlite 580EX or 430EX flash is blinking at you?  Ever want to throw it against the wall because you can’t get it to stop?  Here’s the solution.

Warning: It’s a bit of a rant.

Wireless Flash Triggers Compared

Here’s my breathless 10-minute rundown of all the current contenders for radio-triggering your off-camera flashes.

This is an update of the information contained in my course, “How to Shoot Professional-Looking Headshots and Portraits on a Budget with Small Flashes.”

This technology is changing fast, practically daily, so I’ll make periodic updates available as things evolve.

I hope you find it helpful, and I welcome your feedback or stories of your own experience with any of this gear.

Google Profile