qUAntUm k 3:09am, 15 August 2007
Hi strobists...Im brand new here...just starting out...and while researching alternatives to pocket wizards and ebay triggers i discovered the following:

SM Development FlashWaves Kit


Cameron Wireless Trigger


Anyone know anything about them? Thank you.
FlashZebra Posted 12 years ago. Edited by FlashZebra (member) 12 years ago
The top unit in your second link looks like it is the inexpensive radio slave 16 channel unit with the 1/4 inch (6.3mm) phone plug.

These are in widespread use and are sold my numerous merchants. I would say that for most that want to use an inexpensive radio slave it is the model of choice.

But, I have never seen the other two units before (one on first link and one at the bottom of the second link).

The "unknown" units seem to look interesting, but the sync speed limit is likely an issue with many, but for ad hoc studio use the cited 1/125 and 1/180 second shutter speed limitation is likely fine.

With all the issues with inexpensive radio slaves, new offerings might just improve the situation.

Enjoy! Lon
J0hno 12 years ago
For me it was the top one in the 2nd link that is the YH unit sold by many vendors - including ebay sellors. It seems that they package it up a bit though. Thats the "Cameron Flash Sensor Kit RT-03K"

It's odd that the site has no prices or indication of where you can buy them though.
qUAntUm k Posted 12 years ago. Edited by qUAntUm k (member) 12 years ago
Thank you both!

I found both of there for sale in camera stores in toronto. The Cameron kit sells for $150 CAN at Downtown Camera and the Flashwaves sells for $270 CAN at Henry's. I guessed that the Cameron triggers might be the ebay ones, but i wasnt sure. Too bad they are so way over priced :( As for the "unknowns" maybe someone here will shine a light...
FlashZebra 12 years ago
At $270.00 Canadian, is likely a bit more than the new Elinchrom Skyports.

The Skyports are getting very good reviews.

Enjoy! Lon
qUAntUm k Posted 12 years ago. Edited by qUAntUm k (member) 12 years ago
Airchinapilot Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Airchinapilot (member) 12 years ago
I'm about to go to a store and try these out.

By the way I looked at the sm development website (Korean country -- website in english) and it looks like they have something that is very PW-like. Their MySlave line.

Airchinapilot Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Airchinapilot (member) 12 years ago
I just came back from trying the SM Flashwaves transmitter and receiver. I have this mini review. My apologies if I didn't test this as thoroughly as pros might.

I think if they turn out to be reliable in the longterm that it could be a decent competitor to the Elinchroms though you get more value out of the initial kit on the Elinchroms.

The transmitter fits on the hotshoe / the receivers are also either hotshoe mounted (flash goes on top of the receiver -- it also takes PC or phone jack). On the underside of the receiver appears to be a standard 1/3 inch screw hole.

Build quality - The build quality I would say is not up to outdoor or performance standards. It is certainly a couple steps better than the eBay transmitter quality though the sales rep had a bit of trouble with the battery door of the transmitter. I also would hesitate stressing out the transmitter's screw thread (though the metal components did seem to be of good grade metal). The receivers are fairly small so I don't think there will be any issue over keeping them safe as they could easily fit within a kitchen plastic container you can get at any dollar store. The antenna seemed fairly sturdy and with a rubberized exterior. I wouldn't stomp on these obviously.

The receiver takes 2x AAAs while the transmitter takes 1x23A 12v (garage door / keyless entry battery). They also take an optional -- not included - DC adapter.

Peformance - I tested it within a store by attempting to synch up on my Canon 30D. I went from one end of the store to the other (60 feet -- stated 160 feet in their literature) and was able to flash my Vivitar 285HV at 1/16 up to "M" (full power).

I was impressed that it worked out of the box and running my shutter speed up to the maximum on my 30D. I don't have any need for a real performer like the Pocket Wizards and likely won't need extreme range or programming set ability. The Flashwaves can be set between 10 channels.

Unfortunately, I was not able to test it out between floors, through walls. Nor was I able to test it out in conjunction with more than one flash / receiver as the store only had the kit (one transmitter / one receiver).

I wasn't able to test it out on a lightstand and that might be a concern. However, as it comes with PC and RCA jack then you could easily hang it off the flash or use one of the included velcro straps. It also comes with two PC sync cords.

Price - Here is the kicker. The Transmitter / Receiver kit is around $C250 but each receiver is probably around (they couldn't quote me an exact price) $C200 each or perhaps less. I will update this once they provide me with an exact quote.

The same company has the "My Slave" wireless kit which I also wanted to test out but unfortunately the store ran out of AAAs and the My Slave receivers need three (vs 2 for the Flash Waves). I was told that the My Slaves have extra range over the Flash Waves.

Conclusion: I will be interested in testing these further once the store gets in extra receivers. I will most likely buy this system and test it out thoroughly within the store's return policy time period and make my decision then. Whether or not the price works out is another matter.

For Vancouver Strobists: I tried this out at Lens and Shutter on W. Broadway. The sales rep Krysta was very helpful.
Crantastic 12 years ago
That animated logo they've got in the corner is righteous. How did they light that? :P
elv0000 12 years ago
You tested up to 1/8000th? I think any trigger would still fire it just not going to be any flash in your image :-)

What about the max sync speed though theyre quoting 1/180th?
Airchinapilot Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Airchinapilot (member) 12 years ago
Right - duh. That's why I'm not a pro! :) I plan on trying them out again tomorrow and testing their stated sync.

I got pricing from them .. this gives me great pause.

$C180 each receiver
$C260 kit (receiver + transmitter and extras)

do the math
FlashZebra 12 years ago

$C180 each receiver
$C260 kit (receiver + transmitter and extras)

If the Skyport had never appeared, those prices might attract some buyers.

But with the Skyports readily available, I suspect they are not going to sell a lot of these.

Enjoy! Lon
Airchinapilot Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Airchinapilot (member) 12 years ago
Lon, you are right in that the pricing certainly isn't competitive especially as the Elinchroms are a known brand.

I actually purchased the Flashwaves kit out of curiousity today just so I could better evaluate them to see if there anything to learn that might change my opinion. I have 10 days before I can return them.

I've played with it for a couple of hours today.

So far...
- Synchs up to 1/250 on my Sunpak auto36dx. If I only had that model Sunpak as my flashes I would be happy. However ...
- only synchs up to 1/180 on my Vivitar 285hv

scratch that. I just tried it again. I think I might not have seated it correctly on the hotshoe.

- causes my Canon 430ex to flash uncontrollably !

- obviously I used fresh batteries on both flash and receiver for the test

at the store it seemed to synch up to 1/250 on their 580ex II well enough, though. So I wonder what it is about my 430 that is the issue.

Doesn't seem to work going from PC to PC for any of my flashes. I am going to give it another test once I find my other hotshoe-PC adapter just to be thorough. I also wish I had a hotshoe-phono or hotshoe-mono jack as I consider those more robust (and the Flashwaves have that cable included).

I put in a tech support email to the distributor and also to the company website (which doesn't even list the Flashwaves as a product, strangely) and I hope they have a response.
Airchinapilot Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Airchinapilot (member) 12 years ago
I had a frank email exchange with the rep at Booth about the SM Flashwaves and it seems that there is a radio frequency conflict between the 430ex and the Flashwaves (that does not exist for the 580 -- as I had earlier reported). Unfortunately, this means that I cannot use this product as the 430ex is my primary flash. Also it seems the "SUNPAK PF 30" has the same issue.

I should report though that I took the Flashwaves out on the street last night to do some street portraits

Granville Photographer

and it worked pretty well -- no misfiring -- on my Sunpak (though I didn't stretch the distance as I was alone and didn't want my light stand + flash walking away from me). There was lots of police presence and there didn't seem to be any conflict with whatever radio waves that were already out there.

If for the 430ex incompatibility and the difference in price between this and the Elinchrom Skyports I would feel differently.
tarjei99 11 years ago
Anybody tried to interest eBay merchants in these devices? That could bring prices down.

The integrated hot shoe should be of interest if there is something at the other side of the receiver to attach it to .

The integrated hot shoe should give the seller better margins compared to the ordinary eBay triggers since we would not need to buy other items such as leads and hot shoe adapters, etc.

(Griffin Design & Photography) Posted 11 years ago. Edited by (Griffin Design & Photography) (member) 11 years ago
$200.00!!! Thats crazy! Man, for that price the Elinchroms will be more than man enough for me! If I'm gonna spend a lot of money either way... then I'm going based on reputation!

-David Griffin A.K.A. The Prince of Cheap - Studiolighting.net

p.s. Though the Gadget Infinitys are unstable... I've made enough money with them that I'd buy 10 pairs for the price of 1 PW. (Though the PW's may a guaranteed shot every time.) Damn, am I really this cheap?
seri_art Posted 11 years ago. Edited by seri_art (member) 11 years ago
$C180 each receiver
$C260 kit (receiver + transmitter and extras)

What am I missing here? It seems to me that Pocket Wizards don't cost enough more that getting this cheaper thing is attractive. A quick look finds the Pocket Wizard Plus II for $180 at Amazon. (US and Canadian dollars are 1:1 these days).
Gene's Pentax Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Gene's Pentax (member) 11 years ago
These are great!

You can get a trigger + TWO receivers for about $200 (+S&H) USD from a Korean vendor. (These are made in Korea.)

I've been testing Flash Waves for past few days. Using Canon 40D (borrowed), I was able to sync my flashes up to 1/250s at 3fps! But the manufacturer states the max sync speed is 1/180s. I think I know why, because when I put in old batteries (voltage was at 1.07v), the sync speed definitely dropped. With the old batteries, I was able to sync consistently at 1/160s and some at 1/200s.

I will post my test results as soon as I get a chance, but I am really liking these, especially at the lower price!

The things I like about them are:
1. built-in hotshoe
2. PC and phone jack connectivity (you can fire up at least 2 flashes with one receiver ... might even be able to do 3 flashes, but I only have 2 flashes and that's all I was able to test for)
3. Small size & Light weight. Basically same size as my MicroSync receiver. Flash Waves' transmitter is bigger, but it's only the width. height and length are same.
4. Reliability. Seems reliable. Again, I used different sets of batteries. One set at 1.35v, another one at 1.2v and last one at 1.07v. All worked quite well. Haven't tested for max range yet, but it was able to trigger flash even through a 10 inch thick concrete wall and from different rooms in my apt.
5. Price.

Build quality is ok. Better than the Gadget Infinity crap. I guess the difference between Flash Waves and MicroSync is that MicroSync is made of metal (and heavier) and Flash Waves is made with plastic (and lighter .. only 41g without batteries). So, can it be sturdier? Sure. But it's good enough, especially considering its light weight.

I guess it doesn't work with some flashes, but I was using Sigma EF-500DG Super and Pentax AF 540FGZ. No problems.
mmknipser 11 years ago
OK, I ordered a Flashwaves set of 1 transmitter and 2 receivers.

I know about the interference issue when using with Canon's 430 EX. But what's about other Canon flashes?

Does the Flashwave produces misfiring only when the flash is attached to the receiver's hot shoe? Or when connected with a cable also?

I wrote about changing the channel would help ...

Other experiences?

BorealisOutdoor 11 years ago
After using the FlashWaves kit for about six months, I have mixed feelings. In general, I like the way they work - that is, once you get one that actually works. I especially like the small size. I can carry a bunch in my camera bag without taking up a lot of space and they stand up well to bouncing around in my bag. The receiver housing is sturdy enough to support a speedlight on the hotshoe, but I prefer to use either the PC sync or the 1/8" sync and then velcro the receiver to the side of the flash or light stand so there's less likelihood of breaking something if things tip over. The range is more than enough for anything I've used so far.

My frustration comes from finding units that work. I started with the transmitter/receiver kit. Everything worked fine, so a week later I ordered a second receiver. It didn't sync through the 1/8" jack, but the hotshoe and PC sync worked. I returned it for exchange, and the replacement unit had the same problem. Third time's a charm, I guess, because next one worked. Everything's worked reliably ever since, so a couple weeks ago, I ordered another receiver, which arrived yesterday. It wouldn't receive, so back I went to exchange it today. I got a replacement unit and we tested it at the store, and I tested it some more throughout the day. It works great. Still, that means three receivers out out of six were defective. I hope that a 50% failure rate is simply my bad luck and an uncommon experience.

The way I figure it, when consumers demand cheap, they pay an unexpected price somewhere else. Manufacturers cut inspections and push assembly lines to the limit. The consumer becomes the quality tester. The gamble with any electronic device is that if it works out of box, it'll probably work forever. If there's a problem, you'll know pretty much right away. I'll play that game as long as I know the manufacturer, distributor and retailer will correct problems promptly, cheerfully and with minimal inconvenience to me. Once I find a working unit, I'm pretty confident that I won't have further problems. I will want to have several receivers, and possibly a couple transmitters so I don't have to switch back and forth with cameras. I certainly couldn't afford to have so many units if using a more expensive system.

Booth Photo and my independent camera store owner have bent over backwards to replace the defective units. The store swapped my defective units for working ones in their inventory, then sent the defective kits back to Booth, who replenished the store's inventory quickly. If your retailer has to order these in for you, insist that they order two or three backup units at the same time, to avoid delays if your order has to be exchanged.
duckgrabber 11 years ago

Why not just use Skyports if the cost is similar? I have 6 receivers and one trigger, and they have each performed flawlessly. I don't baby these things either. Most of the time it's been below zero, even down to -25F one night. Range really is 400 ft., and I can push that in open territory by nearly 50%!


What new Skyports? I talked to Bogen last month and they didn't know anything.

Kent in SD
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