ChrisHendersonImages 8:30am, 16 April 2012
I've had a set of these for a couple of weeks, and I am in the process of trying to return them for a refund. Here's why.

Deal breakers...

All of the following have been confirmed as known issues by Pixel tech support, best advice they could offer was 'return them and buy other triggers'.

1. TTL exposure compensation is not supported if your camera is set to Manual. Which mine is, always.

2. If you press the function button on the camera to disable flash for that shot, the red AF assist beam from the Pixel King is visible in the exposure, and there is no way to disable it.

3. The AF assist beam 'lands' way too high in the frame, making it useless at close distances. And again, there is no way to turn it off.

Other observations...

- The almost constantly blinking status LED on the Tx is in a really annoying location, right above your hotshoe/viewfinder, meaning that it is a pretty constant distraction. Also if you are trying to work discreetly at events the continuously flashing blue light will give you away... (and as a side note, why are those chavvy blue LEDs so damn popular with manufacturers? First my hard drives and card reader, now I have to look at them on my camera too? Ugh.)

- Plastic feels less sturdy than my RF-602s

- No 'Test' button on the Tx

- No means to trigger remote cameras

- "Supports groups at different power" might as well just read 'supports groups'; there is no way to alter the power from the camera, you need to do this on the flashguns themselves in manual mode. Indeed, each group can have a mix of power settings within it. The only real benefit from the groups is that you can enable and disable them individually from the camera (which I will admit can be useful).

This is not a complete review, the hypersync works great, and I'm sure these triggers would be awesome for a lot of people.

And to be fair even with these issues they work a lot better than the Pocketwizard FlexTT5 triggers I had the misfortune of trying to use at a wedding, and Pixel do at least reply promptly, and honestly, to their emails!

Hope this is helpful to someone, apologies if this information is already out there in some form.

C
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
1. TTL exposure compensation is not supported if your camera is set to Manual. Which mine is, always.

That is insane! Kills it for me also! Thanks for pointing it out!
ikarus43 4 years ago
I think that to be used in Nikon, these triggers need a device like the AC-3 from PW. or something similar to that. If not, is not possible to control different groups of flashes.
Von Wong 4 years ago
good to know. Thanks :)


what matters to me though is... are they reliable? The TT5s are disastrous so they're not even worth a mention... looking for any alternatives :)
SeedyBee2008 Posted 4 years ago. Edited by SeedyBee2008 (member) 4 years ago
@ChrisHendersonImages - thanks for reporting disappointing aspects. At least, you received a response from Pixel!

Some thoughts from comparing with the Canon version:

1. Nikon handles flash exposure compensation inextricably linked to ambient exposure compensation; Canon keeps them independent. I can see that Pixel might not be able to find a programming hook for camera manual (AEC disabled) combined with flash automatic (FEC wanted).

2. The AF Assist beam has similar behaviour on the Canon King; marginally useful to interfering. The Kings are for "off-camera" flash, so the AF Beam is irrelevant for many situations. (I also suspect that Vanon has better low-light AF capability.) :-)

3. The TX's Status LED perhaps could be dimmer for low-light conditions; on the RX it gives visibility at a lightstand distance. I haven't noticed a problem with daylight flash.

4. Agree on the cases! They can sometimes be user-repaired.

5. Canon's test button pair are OK if inconvenient for fat fingers.

6. The Pixel Opas Pro triggers work with the Kings and can trigger a second camera at 400m (tested).

7. Canon since 2007 has provided in-camera the means to control groups, and the Kings make use of this control capability. Each member of the group runs at the same power level, unless de-coupled from the TTL control lines.

The Kings do some things well, but like other triggers, are more suitable for some situations than others. I am finding them reliable, and forget that they are in use.
ChrisHendersonImages 4 years ago
Von, they seemed reliable enough. TTL exposures were consistent and hypersync was bang on.

I'm tempted to keep going with my rock-solid RF-602s, or maybe get some Plus III's from Pocketwizard, but my bad experience with the Flex TT5s means I'm less inclined to spend any money on PWs no matter how good the product may be...

The Opas look nice but the design is unwieldy. Maybe some Phottix Stratos? Think I'll have to do some more research...
Tim Kamppinen Posted 4 years ago. Edited by Tim Kamppinen (member) 4 years ago
Wait, so it can't adjust power levels on remote flashes from the camera? Glad I didn't buy them, as I was considering it this weekend. In fact the only thing that stopped me was the lack of TTL pass through; from the product description I was certain that manually setting flash power on remote groups was possible. If it's true that this is not one of the functions, I bet there are a lot of angry customers out there.

You'd think that these companies would have at least one person working for them who is actually fluent in the language of the people they're trying to market to. I'm so sick of trying to decipher product descriptions written in Engrish.
RB (Bob) Jones 4 years ago
On blue LED lights. The manufacturers are finally getting the message that nearly 8% of men suffer from some sort of colour deficiency. Most common is in the red / green spectrum so it is difficult to know if the LED is green or red. The blue is greatly appreciated by myself. The rest of the problems with this unit would make me shy away from it for my Nikon system.
ChrisHendersonImages 4 years ago
Fair point Bob, hadn't considered that!

And Tim, apparently you can adjust the TTL exposure compensation from the camera, just not if you're shooting on manual with a Nikon. There is no way to manually set power from the camera.
Tim Kamppinen 4 years ago
I see. Manual is all I wanted it for... and it definitely seemed like that would work from reading the product descriptions. In fact, comparing it with the older models (Bishops I think) it sounded like that was the main difference.
Jerry P. H. Posted 4 years ago. Edited by Jerry P. H. (member) 4 years ago
Ben (Von Wong), you and I need to get together and show me what is so disastrous with the TT5's... I am very satisfied with mine.

Name a time and central location... let's play, besides, it's been a while since we shared a drink. :-)

Use my jerryph.com email address.
elv0000 4 years ago
Thanks for letting us know, there has been very little information on how the Nikon version would operate. I think a lot of the specs are just copied from the Canon version.

It is a little strange that they took so long for the Nikon version if it has no new features over the previous knights though. Maybe they tried and it just didn't work out as planned.
Tim Kamppinen 4 years ago
If all your shots are under or over exposed and you have to correct them in post, what benefits are you gaining by shooting in iTTL mode? You could shoot in manual mode with $30 rf-602's, and find the perfect power setting on the flash so that the exposure was perfect every time. You paid a pretty high premium for a bunch of features that aren't doing you any good. With the difference in price, you could have actually purchased a second manual flash and second receiver if you had gone with the "dumb" triggers.

Just another perspective, it's your money after all.
mylhainen Posted 4 years ago. Edited by mylhainen (member) 4 years ago
"1. TTL exposure compensation is not supported if your camera is set to Manual. Which mine is, always."

I am testing Pixel King i-TTL units now, and I am not sure about this point. You can use exposure compensation to change the flash exposure while your shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity keep unchanged (because you're in M mode). This works with my test units and Nikon D800E at least.

I agree about point 2. I think I will use a black tape to cover the AF assist light.
mylhainen 4 years ago
One more addition, this is not the case:
"- "Supports groups at different power" might as well just read 'supports groups'; there is no way to alter the power from the camera, you need to do this on the flashguns themselves in manual mode. "

Works in TTL-mode too. You can adjust FEC in TTL mode on flashguns. You can't adjust FEC on individual groups from camera.
TheScotch 4 years ago
Had these for a minute, but found the completely unreliable for wedding photography. There were several deal breakers as mentioned above, but the real deal breakers for me were the fact that the units I had would not work at below 1/20 sec, and no TTL pass through had me sending the back for a refund.
ramganesh.com 4 years ago
@mylhainen - "You can use exposure compensation to change the flash exposure while your shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity keep unchanged (because you're in M mode). This works with my test units and Nikon D800E at least."

But this change will be universal - right? I cannot say Group A +2, GroupB -1 - which will make it much more flexible.

If I change EV +1 from Camera, then it will be Group A n+1, B n+1
☣ cUKi Posted 4 years ago. Edited by ☣ cUKi (member) 4 years ago
On Canon FEC per group seems to work as supposed: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2xn8piXLQU
SeedyBee2008 Posted 4 years ago. Edited by SeedyBee2008 (member) 4 years ago
cUKi, this is one of several errors in that review that I discussed with the publisher.

There is no way provided by Canon to adjust FEC by group.

Individual group power levels can be set, 1/1 to 1/64th or 1/128th.

Apart from communication channels, the Pixel Kings have no means of making any settings, and rely on the Flash Control Menus in camera bodies from 2007 on.
☣ cUKi Posted 4 years ago. Edited by ☣ cUKi (member) 4 years ago
Right, I wasn't paying attention. It's actually the power levels not FEC I was thinking about, sorry. And sorry for veering OT with Canon stuff :)
juredimc 4 years ago
3. The AF assist beam 'lands' way too high in the frame, making it useless at close distances. And again, there is no way to turn it off.

Here is a little mod i did :) Works for me :)
www.flickr.com/photos/56527506@N07/7637514486/in/photostream

- No 'Test' button on the Tx

Press Channel and Group button together
scottleesonphoto 4 years ago
i have just received my set of kings.......
high speed sync works great,

but a question......

the flashes dont fire full power when in 1/1 M mode.

they seem to be recycled instantly and seem to fire about 1/16 by my eye.

any help would be greatly appreciated

thanks
ImageWorks123 [deleted] Posted 4 years ago. Edited by ImageWorks123 (member) 4 years ago
I once order a pair of pixel TTL triggers for my nikon camera- never again. They simply didn't work. Be careful buying it from ebay because once you try to return it you will not receive your money back. Especially from meking on ebay. They are crooks! My suggestion don't cheat yourself- get the pocketwizards. With their firmware updates its future proof and parts and service a readily available.
Dportrait Australia 4 years ago
Thanks for the warning. Poor warranty and after sales service ruins quite a few otherwise reasonable products.
RMFearless 4 years ago
"2. If you press the function button on the camera to disable flash for that shot, the red AF assist beam from the Pixel King is visible in the exposure, and there is no way to disable it."

Update Content firmware for nikon: V.1010
1. Focusing light can be involved under the flash mode off has been solved
Dportrait Australia 4 years ago
Can we have a translation?
SeedyBee2008 4 years ago
1. A bug that allowed the focussing light to show in the actual exposure, even when disabled, has been fixed.
Lúcio Penteado Lopes 4 years ago
Does any body know if the other problems, specially the first (1. TTL exposure compensation is not supported if your camera is set to Manual. Which mine is, always.) had been fixed? I was about to buy this radio but this problem is a very big impeditive. Thanks.
Lúcio Penteado Lopes 4 years ago
Nobody?
Leo @ IM 4 years ago
Ive not had any experience with the Kings but I know Radiopopper PX support ALL of Nikons CLS functions.
StrobistAdventures 4 years ago
#1 alone is nuts. Why would they do that?
elv0000 4 years ago
I don't know if that's really correct, but at this stage you're likely much better of waiting for the MKII as it has its own interface, and therefore a lot more control.

Otherwise Phottix Odin for Nikon give full control in manual and TTL.

Cheaper options for Nikon are really only the Aoketec at this stage, maybe the coming YN-622 for Nikon will offer more than the current Kings though. Theres some more detail in my guide here - flashhavoc.com/ttl-radio-trigger-guide/
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