Since I moved to the Fuji X system, I find myself using more and more Speedlight then I did before. Especially for street photography but also for quick and dirty shooting. When I sold my DSLR gear, I kept my Nikon SB-900 and I’ve been using them mostly without issues since.
TTL for me has never been a requirement for flashes. I find that I get a much better and more consistent result using my Speedlight in manual (M) mode.
Before receiving my FlashQ kit a few weeks ago, I tried using PocketWizard but I found them to be too big and heavy combined with the weight of the SB-900. I could use a smaller flash but I like to have power at my disposal. On some occasion, I use an SC-29 cable or a Wein Infra Red Trigger. It’s not a perfect solution but it works 80% of the time.
The FlashQ seemed very promising when they were announced and that’s why I personally backed their project. It’s a very small 2.4GHz wireless trigger that works with any camera and any flash. It doesn’t support TTL or any fancy feature like HyperSync.
So once I received my kit from LightPix Labs, I ran a few control test and a few real life scenarios. Let me just say that it isn’t perfect… But it’s very close! I shot almost 1000 images with this unit before writing this review.
Here a quick summary of the specifications according to the manufacturer:
- Operating range of 10 meters (32 feet)
- Sync speed up to 1/250th
- Battery life of 100 000 fires (using CR2032 coin battery)
- 6 months standby time
- Comes in Blue, Black, White(+3$) or Pink(+3$)
- Price for a basic kit (transmitter / receiver / sync cable): 39$US
After my testing I find these specs to be exact. I wasn’t able to test the battery life but according to my math, 100K triggers are plausible. In some instance I was able to sync up to 1/320th but the result were not consistent. At 1/250th sync was always dead on.
The pairing of the transmitter and receiver worked every time. Simply turn on the transmitter and receiver and you are ready to go. It’s very easy to use. The build quality is good but the little clip on the receiver’s cradle will probably break easily. At 20$ a replacement, compare to pocket wizards, I don’t really care.
To be honest, I only had one issue with this product. According to the supplied documentation, the units are supposed to Auto Power Off after 15 minutes. For some strange reason, when the receiver is used with the sync cable, it seems to loose connection with the transmitter after 5 or 10 minutes. Other than that, this is a great product.
This will not replace your PocketWizard on commercial shoot and it’s not what the company is going for. If you want to trigger your small flashes or studio strobes with any camera without hassles, these little cubes are what you need. They are very low cost (50% cheaper than Nikon sync cable), super lightweight and produce a consistent result.
They should be in any photographer’s bag! Even on occasion when I’m using my PocketWizard, I will bring my FlashQ along as a backup.
Get yours at: lightpixlabs.com
Note: The manufacturer did not sponsor this review in any way.