Launched at the WPPI Expo, the long-awaited Phottix Mitros E-TTL flash is now shipping to dealers in the USA, UAE, Indonesia and the Philippines. Originally billed as a “game-changer“, has the Mitros arrived too late to change the game?
Phottix’s marketeers describe the Mitros as “a professional-level flash — at home on-location or in the studio”. This hotshoe-mount flashgun has a whole host of features that, on paper at least, put it level with the top-of-the-line models from Canon, Yongnuo and Oloong. As well as through-the-lens (TTL) exposure control for automatic adjustment, the Mitros has high speed sync (HSS) enabling it to be used at any camera shutter speed. The guide number is 58 (at 105mm) and the flash head zooms from 24–105mm. Firmware updates may be installed via USB port.
As a system flash, you can buy several of these or other Canon E-TTL-compatible Speedlites and they will communicate with each other, as the Mitros offers both master and slave modes for the Canon E-TTL optical transmission system. For less high-tech set-ups, slide the Mitros into a radio receiver or plug a cable into its 3.5mm sync port. There is no radio functionality built into the flash body itself but it is fully compatible with the Phottix Odin TTL system, so long as you put it on top of a receiver.
After being teased as a “game-changer” in February of last year and officially announced at Photokina in September, rival Chinese companies have had a fair bit of time to catch up, but the Mitros still remains the only Chinese-designed flash with every “flagship” bell and whistle including HSS, TTL, master and slave modes and support for an external power source. Only the Oloong SP-700 matches it on spec, but that hasn’t been released yet.
Granted, Phottix’s latest offering does not necessarily do anything that a Japanese Canon Speedlite (or Nikon Speedlight) cannot, but it will be coming in at a much lower price point. Exactly how much has not been announced (see below) but you can most likely expect to be paying Nikon SB-700 money for SB-910 features.
There are a few things that the Mitros is missing, such as the built-in radio capabilities of the Canon 600EX-RT and Yongnuo YN560-III. There is also that control panel: when we had a play with a prototype Mitros in Hong Kong, the interface felt OK but a bit cluttered and not nearly as nice as the 600EX with its giant, clear, easy-to-read LCD screen. In actual use, of course, your experience may vary and for the potential price difference, who can complain?
This release is just for Canon E-TTL. But Nikon and Sony users, do not fret — the i-TTL version of the Mitros is promised for May 2013 and the Sony model should come in the autumn. No such love for Four Thirds or Pentax photographers.
Where to buy
At the WPPI Expo, the Mitros will be sold by Midwest Photo Exchange (MPEX), Samy’s Camera, Silvio’s PhotoWorks and Southeastern Camera & Supply. Adorama and Arlington Camera are “taking orders” though they haven’t listed the flash on their web sites yet. Sellers in Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Spain should have the product on shelves later this month, while “international availability” (including the UK) will come in April.
Price-wise, Filipino site Hardware Zone lists the Mitros at 12,000 Php, around £200 or $300, though pricing is bound to vary by distributor and region. Update: The USA recommended retail price is $349.99 from the official distributor OmegaBrandess.
Is this a game changer? Let us know what you think in the comments below.