Top 10 Ways to Avoid Cord Clutter
First things first: let me introduce myself. I’m Chris Valites, a graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. For the past three years, I worked at PocketWizard. While in snowy Burlington, Vermont, I provided technical support, photography, technical writing, janitorial skills, and wore many other hats and duties for the engineers in the Green Mountain state. Now, I hope to bring my skills along to Capture Integration in order to help provide top quality content and support in my new role as Research, Marketing, & Support.
For my first Capture Integration Top Ten, sticking to my strengths is key. I come from a wireless back`ground, and, personally, I can’t stand the thought of cables draped across my setup. Those that have seen me shoot know I can’t sit still. While it may be fine for one or two people to monkey around all the studio power pack cables, or cables from packs to heads, or even old school sync cables from the cameras to the packs, I’m a firm believer in keeping things simple. Removing wires helps you keep things safe, as well as keeping you from tripping into whatever object or model you may be photographing. And it helps keep everything visual and mobile, as well. On location, you have fewer variables to worry about losing, or forgetting, or breaking. Thankfully, CI’s inventory has a lot of options to help you cut the cord, and in more ways than one.
10.) Profoto Pro B-3 Air
Profoto has a number of battery generators that excel for location work. Editorial shooters and portrait photographers will instantly agree that a lightweight, bulletproof pack is something that is indispensible for shooting on-location. The Profoto B-3, with its modular LiFe battery and built in Profoto Air or PocketWizard receiver is a stellar choice, offering 290 full power flashes on one battery, an 8 stop range of adjustable power settings, and 1200 Ws of power in a package that comes in a hair under 20 pounds makes for one of the go-to solutions for getting out of the studio…and bringing the lights along.
9.) Profoto Pro-B4 Air
The Profoto Pro-B4 is one of the ultimate location shooter’s lighting kits. Delivering ultra fast flash durations ranging from 1/2000th of a second to 1/25,000th, and an adjustable 11-stop range of power, the Pro-B4 is one of the packs that can and does do it all. With integrated an integrated Profoto Air remote for sync and control, not only are you not attached to mains power via a cord, but you don’t have to connect any external receiver through a sync cord, either.
8.) Phase One V-Grip Air
The Phase One DF+ camera body gets a boost with this vertical grip. Not only does it have the shutter speed dial, aperture dial, and shutter button for easy vertical shooting, it also has a built in Profoto Air radio to trigger all remote Air receivers, both internal and external.
7.) Broncolor Move 1200 L
For users that need both portability, AND the ability to freeze action, fast flash durations are key. This is especially important for sports shooters, capturing moving models for fashion shoots, or dance photography. Broncolor Move pack provides a powerful, battery powered pack that has a t0.5 flash duration of just 1/12,000th of a second. With a speed mode to allow for decreased time between pops, this pack puts out a lot of power (1200 Ws worth!) in a short time, independent of any connection to mains power. You can easily hook up a Profoto Air remote or a PocketWizard radio via the multiple sync ports to help you get rid of your sync cord as well.
6.) PocketWizard Plus III
The granddaddy of radio flash triggering, PocketWizard updated their lineup from the venerable Plus II to the Plus III. Taking some cues from the features available on the MultiMAX radio, the Plus III offers remote flash triggering as well as enhanced remote camera triggering. Using the two-stage TEST button, you can replicate the half-press of your camera’s shutter button on a remote camera. You simply need, a Plus III in your hand, a Plus III attached to the remote camera, and an ACC cable that matches the remote camera’s triggering port. In addition, FAST mode has been added, allowing you to sync at much faster speeds using Leaf Shutters, like those found on Hasselblad H-system lenses, or the LS Lenses available from Schneider for the Phase One DF and DF+ cameras.
5.) Sekonic L-478DR
The Sekonic L-478DR continues the tradition of excellent meters from Sekonic. Featuring a state of the art touchscreen, the 478DR is also a modular system, allowing you to replace the incident dome with a 5-degree viewfinder. In addition, the L-478DR has a PocketWizard transmitter that allows you to trigger your Plus IIs, Plus IIIs, MultiMAXes, and other Standard Channel radios wirelessly. Finally, you can even control the power of your remote Canon or Nikon Speedlites on FlexTT5s using the L-478DR’s touchscreen interface, meaning you can set the power of your remote flashes without ever touching the speedlites themselves.
4.) Profoto Air System
Mentioned above as available receiver options for the Acute B4, Acute B2, and below for the B1 flashes, the Profoto Air system is one of my favorite parts about the Profoto lineup. Not only can you trigger remote flashes, (in many cases, with built in receivers instead of external radios,) you can also control the power of many flash packs using the Profoto Air Remote. With a FAST mode similar to that of the PocketWizard Plus III, you can also get more flash energy in the frame when using leaf shutter cameras, allowing for better sync at higher shutter speeds on Phase One DF, DF+, or Hasselblad H system cameras. Even better, the Profoto Air TTL-C allows you to use TTL with Canon cameras. A Nikon version of the Air TTL is coming soon, according to Profoto, along with HSS support for both systems.
3.) Capture Pilot
Capture Pilot is an app from Phase One that ties in to your iPhone, iPad that allows you to control your camera’s shutter, aperture, ISO, and triggering functions from your mobile device. While those features alone are excellent reasons to download the app, you can also give your clients an iPad or iPhone, and they can rate images as you shoot. By using either color tags or star ratings, you can have your client preview the images ahead of time, giving you a head start on processing your selects after the shoot. Android or Windows phone users don’t fret: there is a web browser version that allows you to rate and color tag images as well. This helps get your clients off your laptop, or away from the back of the camera.
2.) IQ2 series of digital backs
Why does a wireless post feature the IQ series of backs, specifically the IQ250, IQ260, and IQ280? Well, each of these digital backs has built in Wi-Fi. This is an amazing feature on location, as it allows you to use the aforementioned Capture Pilot without any need for a tethered laptop, and attendant wireless router. Now you can use the Capture Pilot app as a preview while backpacking out to your landscape viewpoint, or as a way to show clients on location what to expect when you can’t plug in a wireless router for your laptop.
1.) Profoto B1 500 AirTTL
Hands down, the Profoto B1 is the best light I’ve used in years for my needs. Solidly built, powerful for a monolight at 500 Ws, and capable of TTL, if the features stopped there, the B1 would be an amazing studio strobe. What pushes it over the edge, however, is the fact that it comes with a Lithium Ion battery, allowing you to take this flash anywhere. Shooting at a wedding reception in an old barn with no wiring? Not a problem. With 250 full power flashes available per battery, all in a lightweight package, Profoto has made one of the most desirable flashes on the market today. With Nikon compatibility coming soon, and assurances that they will be adding HSS, or High Speed Sync via a firmware update, expect to see demand grow for this flash. This is my favorite flash to use by far, as it’s independent of a pack or radios, meaning that it is the most extreme example of wireless technologies.[box] All products listed above are available from Capture Integration. Contact us to learn more about these products, as well as many more tools not listed here. The Capture Integration sales team can help you with any/all of your photography needs.
Call us today to schedule your demo at 877-217-9870[/box]