AFTER five AC strobes, three battery pack strobes and four speedlights, 10 wireless triggers, only now have I realized how convenient it would have been if I invested in an ecosystem. All my devices would have worked together smoothly. If only I’ve known this when I was starting up, I could have saved myself from all the troubles.
Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know these things unless you experience it yourself. There’s a lot of things to go through your mind when you’re starting up, and most of them are associated with cost of equipment. You will always find branded equipment to be very expensive and the cheaper brands were very much capable.
Although, I have to agree that, yes, having different brands involved heavy experimenting for compatibility, so glitches and some minor incompatibilities become noticeable. An ecosystem ensures compatibility between your camera, triggers and strobes. It maximizes all the features of your camera and all these are communicated to your strobes.
I know that the most reliable flash trigger Pocket Wizard pulled some strings to match up with big brands like Profoto, Elinchrom and Paul C. Buff. But it looks like strobe manufacturers are now coming up with their own triggers to complete their entire ecosystems. I don’t know how Pocket Wizard will position itself in this market direction.
I advice those who are crazy about lighting like me to go to the direction of one ecosystem. Thankfully, I don’t have to invest on the big brands like Profoto and Elinchrom. Phottix passed it’s ecosystem infancy stage such that they are now as reliable as you want them to be. All their products are now directed towards strengthening their ecosystem.
So why do you need to stay in an ecosystem? Well, forget about going to your strobe to adjust the power. Imagine the strobe you mounted on a boom: no need to climb up and adjust, all can be set in the trigger mounted in your camera. Also, forget about flash receiver plugged in your strobe because in an ecosystem, all the receivers are built-in.
The high speed sync that you normally only enjoy in your speedlight is now possible in your strobe, wirelessly and built-in. You can now shoot at higher shutter speed outdoor and achieve that shallow depth of field. If you’re a TTL shooter, the strobe can be set to shoot TTL as well, intelligently communicating with your camera on what’s the best power needed for the scene.
All the settings are within your reach found in the trigger. You can decide if you want to set the strobe to shoot manual or TTL and even high-speed sync. You can disable or activate a strobe belonging from five different groups. All in your fingertips. I miss the yelling to your assistant, thought, to adjust the lights.
I’m using the Phottix Indra 500 and Odin II trigger. I’m moving towards replacing my Canon speedlights with Mitros flash, which is part of the ecosystem of Phottix. Exciting times ahead. I got my set from Macy Camera Shop. Keep on shooting, everyone!