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Pixel King ETTL Radio Triggers Part 2

Hi Flashers,

So here is part 2 of my test of the Pixel King Radio Triggers.

I had a day off work and met up with my friend Hannah to test the equipment and shoot some photos.

We went to the local beach and as usual I looked like an idiot wearing:

  • shorts (because it was hot and I was planning on going for a swim)
  • kneepads (because rocks and stones hurt my knees)
  • boots (because I’m recovering from a stress fracture in one of my metatarsal bones in my foot).

I was using a Sigma 500 Super DG flash in an out of a Umbrella box.

The photos were shot in TTL mode, I simply dialled the Flash Exposure Compensation up and down on the camera. Most of these photos are straight out of the camera because I haven’t had time to photoshop them due to work.

I used a Canon 24-105 F4 with Polariser on some of the shots which is why the sky looks darker and bluer on some of the photos. And I also used a Canon 100 F2 . Camera was 5Dmk2. ISO 100

The 2 shots above were 1/200 f5 bare flash camera right

Just to show the setup: Bare flash in TTL mode camera right.

!!!!!!!!!  1/4000 f2  !!!!!!!

I learnt something new here: High Speed Sync reduces the total flash power because
instead of emitting one pulse during the exposure it emits lots of lower power pulses, which is why I never really used it because I used slow apertures and the flash just could not put out enough light in this mode. Interestingly in 2001 Canon released the 1D which had a X-sync of 1/500 sec. Since then on new cameras the X-sync has dropped down to a maximum of 1/250 sec !!!!????? Back in 1990’s I used a Minolta Dynax 9xi which could X-sync up to 1/330 sec. Have we got back in time or has technology regressed? Anyway if you’re shooting at f4 or smaller your flash isn’t going to be able to pump out enough light but at f2 the HSS flash can balance well with the ambient and it gives a nice effect. Also I prefer the blurry background so what started out as an experimental shot has now changed the way I think about photographing in broad daylight.

I’m going to try this again soon using my Sigma 50 f1.4 and perhaps I might even be able to borrow a friend’s 85 f1.2? 

The 2 shots above were 1/500 f4 flash camera left in Phottix softbox

By the time we got to the shots below the wind had blown over my light stand and the subsequent impact had snapped the plastic foot on the Sigma 500 Super DG flash 🙁

So I resorted to using two Canon 550EX flashes in manual mode on full power zoomed to 105mm either side of the model. Exposure was set to capture the view at 1/125 f6.3 iso 100 and the flashes just illuminated the model.

Note: The rock was so sharp it was too painful too sit on without that towel, I’ll clone it out once I have time.

Thats all for the moment, I’ll do part 3 of the review testing out the Hyper-Sync feature on manual flashes just as soon as I can. In the mean time…………… Keep Flashing!



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5 comments to “Pixel King ETTL Radio Triggers Part 2”

  • Michael Muetstege, December 17, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Thanks Richard for this great review and nice strobist pictures (I really like the sun set pictures).
    I’m testing the Pixel Kings to and I will compair them to my Phottix odin triggers.
    I discovered a other bug in the Pixel King triggers, when you use the modeling light it will not always work. First you must press the shutter button and focus then you can use the modeling light by pressing the depth of field preview button.

    Greetings Dutch strobist specialist Michael Muetstege

  • Willis, January 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Hi, does Rear Curtain Sync work on your Sigma 500 when triggered with Pixel King? Mine doesn”t.


    • admin, February 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Hi, I just tested my 5Dmk2 and Sigma 500dg and rear curtain sync. The flash triggered, the camera shutter speed would max out a 200th/sec however I can’t tell whether it actually was in rear curtain sync? I’ll have to test that properly later on.

  • Sven, October 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Great review – I got me some pixel kings as well for my Sigma EF-530-DG Super – and Nikon D300. Too bad the Kings do not work at all…

    If I connect everything the Flashes (2) will shoot but only at full power and any adjustment I make on the flashes is ignored…

    This is the first day I wish I had a Canont 🙂 but Pixel King told me that they are working on an firmware update – which was three months ago…

    • admin, October 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      yeah Pixel told me they were working on a firmware update to enable compatibility with my 550EXs……. So I bought some Yongnuo 622c’s, they rock!!!!!