There are different things that you should consider before buying your very first camera trigger. Aside from the fact that it will be one of the essential tools in your photography, choosing the right product with the best specifications can greatly improve your craft.
Camera triggers come in different shapes and sizes and some are capable of producing amazing results. While others can be relatively cheaper, many professional photographers can agree that you’ll always get what you pay for. However, you don’t have to break the bank just to get hold of the best external trigger device for your camera. In fact, you just have to know the basics and consider the important factors before you make your final decision.
Here are the questions you should ask before purchasing a camera trigger:
1. Does it have different advanced triggering modes?
Make sure that the camera trigger that you buy offers a wide range of triggering modes that can be perfect for different types of photography. With a good camera trigger, you can transform your camera as well as your flash unit from a regular gear combination to a high-powered shooter that is perfect for even the most impossible feats like high-speed photography.
Remember, the external camera trigger unit doesn’t have to be heavy and bulky to be capable of capturing even the most elusive subjects. A small, single unit should have enough power to accommodate different functions for every type of high-speed events.
A high-quality camera trigger like MIOPS Smart trigger provides multiple triggering modes like Lightning, Sound, Laser, Timelapse, HDR and more. It transforms your regular camera into an advanced and versatile photography equipment.
2. Does it have an integrated light sensor?
If one of the reasons why you want to buy a camera trigger is you want to finally venture into lightning photography, answering yes to this question is extremely important: does the camera trigger that you want to purchase has a Lightning Trigger mode?
A great camera trigger has integrated light sensor built into the device that detects sudden bursts of light and instantly enables your camera to capture the image at the most precise moment. This is useful especially before high-speed events, for instance, before a lightning strike disappears from the horizon.
3. Does it support laser-based trigger mechanism?
Modern camera triggers can turn basic digital SLRs into high-speed camera equipment, thanks to a laser activated trigger mechanism that can instantly capture high-speed motion even in the absences of light bursts as a stimulus just.
For instance, in a splash photography in which you try to capture liquefied subjects in motion, or even in a bullet photography where you attempt to shoot a bullet mid-air, Lightning Mode alone won’t do the trick. You’ll need a Laser mode for that and the mechanism that enables it to detect motion as soon as the subject breaks the laser beam.
Read our tutorial on Water Splash Photography with MIOPS Laser Trigger Mode.
4. Is it capable of triggering your camera and flash unit by sound alone?
High-speed events like breaking glass, balloon popping or even bullet shooting through an apple have one thing in common: they all produce a loud noise – or a loud bang when they take place. It’s awesome to capture these events but capturing them through your regular camera is next to impossible – unless you have a device that is capable of supporting a Sound Trigger function.
5. Does it have a delay-timer setting?
It’s not enough to detect sound, movements or bursts of light when photographing high-speed events. You need to have the right timing, and it’s only possible if your high-speed camera trigger has the options that enable users to adjust to specific trigger settings such as delay-timer to the smallest millisecond.
Every single second count especially when you’re in the great outdoors, capturing once in a lifetime photos like a rocket launch or even if irreversible events indoors like a breaking glass or water explosions from popped balloons.
Also, read our tutorial on How to Do Popping Balloon Photography.
6. Is it versatile enough to let you combine multiple sensors?
As mentioned above, a good camera trigger should be capable of supporting multiple modes depending on the subject and the scenario of your photo sessions.
When you buy a high-speed camera trigger, make sure that you can have the freedom to customize and combine the modes available in the device to create a perfect, solid shot. Choose the product that will help you make use of several sensors, simultaneously, in order to achieve the most unique and creative images.
7. Does it offer more than perfecting your high-speed photography?
Make sure that the camera trigger that you buy is not limited to capturing high-speed events. A great camera trigger should be more than that. For instance, a few high-quality brands enable users to create the most mesmerizing time-lapse sequences even with a basic DSLR camera.
The camera trigger that you will purchase should have a Time-lapse mode that will let you adjust the shooting duration, the exposure value, and the number of frames per second when taking a time-lapse image.
Learn How to Shoot the Perfect Long Exposure Time Lapse with a camera trigger.
8. Does it support functions for taking High Dynamic Range photos?
A high-quality camera and flash trigger device have specific features that support your camera to master HDR Photography. For instance, a smart trigger can guide your gear into automatically taking pictures with different exposure values, to as advanced as setting a center exposure – even if your camera does not support bracketing.
9. Can the camera trigger be connected to a smart device?
Modern camera triggers make use of smart devices like your smartphone for a full performance. The camera trigger should be easily connected to your phone via Bluetooth. However, make sure that the trigger that you buy is supported and compatible with both Android and IOS phones.
Furthermore, the camera trigger that you should choose should have an upgradable firmware and is capable of supporting new features as well as future upgrades.
10. Is it compatible with the specific camera maker and model that you have?
Last but the most important factor is the issue of compatibility. Of course, before purchasing a camera trigger online, you have to double check if your gear and your flash units are compatible with the camera trigger that you want to purchase.
Camera brands have their own trigger devices specific to their products, but choosing this option is not the most practical especially if you’re planning to upgrade your camera in the future with another maker.
Most professional photographers’ advice is, buy a camera trigger with the versatility and universal compatibility regardless of your camera’s brand. A camera trigger in the market which is compatible with hundreds of DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras is a great choice if you want to be a flexible one.
Related Article: What is a Camera Trigger? A Simple Guide for Beginners