PocketWizard ‘drop all support tasks’ to test 5D Mark III compatibility

The American wireless trigger maker PocketWizard have announced that they are suspending all customer support tasks in order to complete beta testing of new firmware for their MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 remote controllers, which offer wireless TTL and high speed sync for off-camera speedlights.

The move is an effort to speed up development of an update that will make the devices compatible with Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark III digital camera.

“To complete our testing as quickly as possible we have dropped all other tasks in our support office to get this testing done. This means we’re not answering the phone, not responding to emails and not answering questions on Facebook for a few days. Although we are hopeful to have a release within the next couple of weeks, we cannot give any definite date on when this firmware will be available.”

Do you think that PocketWizard have made a wise decision to help 5D Mark III users, or should they be focussing on a wider range of cameras, such as Sony, Four Thirds and Pentax? Let us know in the comments.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

You shall be integrated…

  • http://www.shlomic.com Shlomi Cohen

    Very weird announcement, considering the prices of their product… I’d expect them to have a little more manpower than to have to make the service department do some QA\dev. Very very weird.

  • IJG_DR

    Dear Pocket Wizard:

    Don’t waste your time!! If you have not been able to make the TT1 and TT5 realiable with current Canon systems, I have no hopes on it working on the 5d MkIII. Besides, Canon’s new 600 ex-rt Speedlite system, and patents to incorporate radio triggering in-camera, are clear signs of the demise of third party radio triggers, unless they provide additional functionality: ex., Phottix Odin’s ability to control zoom and better range. Why not focus on a multi-brand version that can trigger say both Canon and Nikon flashes combined in ETTL mode? Or price? For new users, a 600 ex beats a 580+PW system (and maybe existing users can sell their old systems and trade up without much sacrifice). Better rethink your product strategy or perish.

  • Wally in Austin

    PW left Nikon users in the dark for a year while they “fixed” the problems with Flex for Canon. Now its Canon users term to wait. Poetic Justice? Only problem is Phottix and others makers are coming on line with similar functionality.

  • cc

    Dumb idea.

  • http://www.olamb.fr Olivier Lambert

    Agree with IJG_DR : incorporate radio triggering in-camera is the next step. Focusing on Canon users seems odd to me as a nikon guy and anyway why buying expensive PW today when you can buy trigger like Phottix Odin.

  • http://www.stark-arts.blogspot.com jc stark-arts

    the issue with the in camera solutions is that they don’t incorporate support for either traditional strobes or for the 100’s of thousands of flashes that already exist…

    Aside from that I agree – simple solution is for Canon to create a simple manual receiver for strobes and a ttl receiver to incorporate the older flashes into the system…

  • http://visxphoto.com VisX

    Phottix Odin does not allow you to easily attach a flash on camera. I think the PW TTL system is faster to adjust the remote flash power with the AC3 ZoneController compare to Odin because physical dials and switch is faster than going through a menu.
    From my location, the PW TTL system does not cost much more than Phottix Odin system.
    And so far, I don’t have much problem with my PW TTL Nikon version.

  • Mark

    A little perspective is needed here.

    Pocket Wizard is a very tiny company. Most of the companies that make photo accessories are. As such they have a very small technical team that can be deployed to the tasks at hand. Thus I understand their need to drop everything to ensure compatibility with a key camera. Sony , Pentax, Olympus and Panasonic do not represent much of the market and even less of their customer base. Moreover, this product is of greatest interest to advanced amateurs and pros who tend to favor Canon and Nikon.

  • catfish252

    I wouldn’t be a very happy customer if I had bought their product and I couldn’t get support on it. This sounds like a very poorly run organization that must be running with a very limited staff. I think I would be looking elsewhere for my triggers. I can buy the Chinese knock-offs on eBay and get no support cheaper than waiting on their product development to play catch up. See you later PW.

  • starship

    pocket wizard is dead. they the missed 2.4ghz standard. altough expensive, their designs were always far from rock solid. time is over. companys like yongnuo or phottix have taken the lead. their produkt are (by far) cheaper and even better.

    • VisX

      In Canada, Phottix is just a bit cheaper ($360) than PW (~$400) for 1 transmitter and 1 receiver.
      PW can attach a on camera flash.
      Phottix can do remote zoom.
      PW TTL system is available earlier (1 to 2 years).

      I need on camera flash for quick outdoor fill light. So Phottix’s system is a no for me. In my case, Phottix is just slightly cheaper (but less support) and not better.

  • JerryPH

    I don’t think it a big thing in the grand scheme of things. As mentioned, PW is not a huge company (I’ve been there personally and saw the Burlington VT location and spoken to the people there).

    First off it is not suspending support forever, but for a short while. The relaity is that 90% or more of all calls are user issues related to lack of experience or knowledge and those can be EASILY addressed if the customer takes 15 minutes and uses available resources like the PW tutorials, videos, WIKI, Flickr WP group, the FaceBook pages and of course Google is *always* never further than typing in 10 letters in your browser, so it’s NOT like every PW owner in the world is suddenly without resources.

    I am a Nikon user and had to wait 6 months for PW to stabilize the Canon units and an additional 6 months as PW again worked on nothing other than functionality of the 5DmkII camera. Focusing all their energies on one single task is nothing new for PW. It is a winning tactic. I survived and in fact, the experience PW gained was reflected in the released Nikon product that had way fewer and less serious issues than the Canon units did on their initial release.

    Don’t forget, Canon is NOT helping PW out, PW has to reverse engineer all the tiniest communications between camera and flash and with the 5DmkIII all by themselves, there were a LOT of changes and no one is out there telling them how and what. Addressing these issues takes time.

    As far as making triggers for other brands… IMHO, why would they need to invest all that time and money on a product that would entail less than 10% of their total sales? That would not be a wise business move under any condition.

    People, don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=630558496 Christian Van Hanja

    If you are looking for cheap basic trigger to impress the girls you are trying to get laid with as an “Artist” just buy any Chinese crap that will cut your sync speed to 1/100 to get pictures without banding…

    now if you are a pro making a living from taking photo and specially action sport, in large sport arena, all over the world, with 2-300 other guys doing the same thing… you need a rock-steady all-arround system…
    from intervalvometer to hyper sync and speed cycling with 8 einstein, or use a 5D MKIII in hyper-sync AND an Hasselblad 553ELX in regular sync at the same time with the same light setup… no other system can do that…
    are they reliable : dam yes if you KNOW HOW TO USE THEM ! = 99% of the people that I have met who told me “it doesn’t work” think they are too smart to read the manual. and in 100% of the case i could demonstrate them that it was working and that the problem was more the guy behind the camera.
    I’ve been using PW since the first 16 ch transmitter-reciever design (something like 16 years now…) I wouldn’t imagine going on an assignment without a handful off Pocket-Wizzard in my bag.
    And look at the large event such as the Olympics… you wont see much other products than Pocket Wizzard…
    It might be for a reason…

  • AJ

    It’s obvious what they’re doing. They’re frantically trying to protect their existing customer base, knowing that many users will be staring wide-eyed at the $100 Yongnuo 622s which do it all and which have, frankly, pulled the carpet from under PW’s entire business model.

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