A crowd-funding project has started for ‘Wingman‘, a product said to “reinvent wireless triggers and speedlight controllers”. The device is modular, hackable 2.4GHz “multi controller” capable of adjusting four independent groups of Nikon or Canon flashguns in manual mode.
The Wingman has its own OLED control panel to display all your settings at once, a bit like the Phottix Odin or Hähnel Viper, but unlike these systems it does not depend on TTL communication with the camera, so you can adjust Canon- and Nikon-brand speedlights at the same time. (TTL control may also be available.) There is an interchangeable hotshoe mount, “intelligent accessory port” and USB firmware updates to future-proof the device.
The main controller unit is a “trans-receiver”, allowing it to transmit and receive signals, but a ‘Wingman Jr’ dedicated receiver will also be available. The hotshoe is not built into the device but instead connects to speedlights by cables plugged into the Wingman’s proprietary accessory port, allowing the photographer to flit between Nikon and Canon flashguns without having to shell out for dedicated receivers for each brand. Other modules will include a shutter release cable, a laser sensor and a motion sensor, expanding the capabilities beyond mere flashgun control.
Wingman is the brainchild of Viveck Bansal, founder of Hong Kong-based Viren Banserv Limited, which has launched a campaign on Indiegogo to fund production. Bansal says of the trigger:
“There is manual independent sub-stop exposure control for speedlights and a unique collective control of all light groups and a visual remote speed-light status indicator on the transmitter.
“Most of the products on the market have dedicated LCD design and it’s impossible to change the GUI and buttons are dedicated.
“The Wingman uses graphic OLED and OFN for navigation (similar to the Blackberry Bold). The hot shoe is interchangeable , there are no hardware design restrictions. It can always be upgraded with new features
“With Wingman, it’s only a matter of a software update or a cheap accessory. This a huge savings for Photographers. No need to buy a new set of devices.”
On the Indiegogo crowd-funding web site, the Wingman project has an ambitious funding target of $250,000. However, the campaign is a “flexible funding” one, meaning that at the end of May, the founders will receive all of the money pledged whether or not the goal is reached. To be eligible for a basic flash triggering set, backers should donate a minimum of $400, which will net them a ‘WingMen’ set including a transmitter, a receiver and speedlight cable.
Watch the above video and visit the project page for full details.