Bumper Xmas budget flash trigger review

We review the current generation of budget flash triggers: the Yongnuo RF-602, Pixel Soldier TF-372, Phottix Strato 4-in-1, Aputure Trigmaster and MeiKe MK-RC7. How do they compare?

Pixel Soldier, Aputure Trigmaster, Yongnuo RF-602, MeiKe MK-RC7 & Phottix Strato

Performance

The triggering systems in this review are built to last, unlike the eBay triggers of yesteryear. The only point of concern would be the transmitter on the Trigmaster, which has an awkward shape and a plastic foot. The Phottix Strato in particular feels bombproof.

We tested the maximum synchronisation speed of each trigger on both focal plane and electronic shutter Nikon cameras. The full report can be found in this├é┬áseparate article. The Pixel Soldier and Phottix Strato came out on top, meeting the D700’s maximum sync speed of 1/250 second.

A graph showing synchronisation speeds of different flash triggers with mechanical and electronic camera shutters.

We haven’t completed a full range test yet, but it will be added to this article.

Reliability-wise, we never experienced any misfires with any of the triggers in this review. The only problem we encountered was some random firing when connecting an MK-RC7 to a CononMark DD400S studio flash, which we thought more likely to have been an issue with the cables, connections or flash itself. However, reader Mike Ashcraft wrote in sharing an issue believed to be related:

I have ran into an issue when using two pairs (TX/RX) to try and remotely trigger the shutter on my 7d while also using wireless flashes. The shutter pair on channel 1100 and the flash pair on 0010. The issue is that the flash is firing before the shutter is open. It will also continually try to fire the flash if you hold the remote shutter button down.

I have├é┬ádetermined├é┬áthat this is only an issue when using the flash pairs transmitter on the 7d’s hot shoe. If hook up the flash transmitter to the flash sync jack the problem goes away. Also if the unused pins on the transmitter are blocked from contacting the pads on the 7d hot shoe the unit will work correctly.

None of the triggers have needed new batteries yet.

Next: Recommendations

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.
selbydavid.com