They may be a little way down on the list of optional accessories for your DSLR but, nonetheless, a wireless remote shutter release and off-camera flash triggers are items that we, sooner or later, think about getting. They provide more shooting flexibility and, if you’re using flashes for studio work, pretty essential I would say.
Now, it can come as a little bit of a shock when you start pricing these particular accessories up. Nikon’s own options for these are in the form of the SU-800 Speedlight Commander and WR-1 Wireless Remote. How much? These two will not give you ANY change out of £1000. They have the cheaper and more cheerful ML-L3 Remote but that doesn’t work with a D800(E). Even with the camera models it does work with, the range is limited and requires a clear line of sight. So, unless you’re a very busy pro commanding premium fees for your work, Nikon’s own will almost certainly get crossed off the shopping list rather rapidly.
Then we come to the relatively cheap to reasonably priced 3rd party offerings from the Far East. A bit more like the kind of price you expect to pay but are they any good? In a word… No. They’re cheap for a reason and that generally means build quality is of the decidedly flimsy plastic standard and reliability (or rather lack of it) will leave you frustrated at the many misfires you’re likely to encounter. Consider yourself lucky too if you get a lifespan of more than 12 months from the units.
So, our options thus far seem to be, 1.) Good but ridiculously expensive or 2.) Cheap but rubbish. Do we have another option? Thankfully, yes and it happens to be the “No Brainer” option.
Pocketwizard of the USA have established themselves as the industry standard for wireless transceivers combining rugged reliability with a rich set of features. They’re well made, very reliable and will last and, while they’re not inexpensive, they won’t worry your bank manager too much.
The Pocketwizard Plus III is a feature-rich Transceiver that can operate as a remote camera or flash trigger in conjunction with other Plus III’s with the Twin Set costing just £230. You do need to factor in the cost of dedicated cables at around £25 each so a cable for your flash and one for the camera will add £50 to the bill. That’s still less than half the price of the Nikon WR-1. They’ll work through walls and long distances, give you 32 channels to work with and a host of other usage options.
If you’re after a Wireless triggering solution for your DSLR, there’s no doubt, Pocketwizard is the way to go. You can find more info on the Plus IIIs on the Pocketwizard site at http://www.pocketwizard.com/products/transmitter_receiver/plus%20iii/