Taking the best lightning photos can be just a walk in the park as long as you have the right camera equipment that can dramatically transform even a regular digital SLR into a powerful high-speed shooter. That’s the reason why camera triggers have become very popular among enthusiasts and even professionals who want to make the most out of their lightning photography sessions.
If you’re a beginner in this amazing hobby and would want to join the growing community of shutterbugs who love lightning photography, you have to ask this simple yet important question first: what are the things that you should look for when buying a camera trigger?
Here are some of the smartest and most practical tips for choosing camera trigger for lightning photography.
1. It should have a light sensor and a lightning mode.
Camera triggers in the market today are focused on high-speed photography. While they work best with sessions capturing fast-moving subjects, their capacity seems lacking when it comes to shooting high-speed events with only light as the stimulus – and one example is during an event of lightning strikes.
Choose a camera trigger with a function specifically designed to capture lightning. For instance, an ideal camera trigger for lightning photography has a Lightning Mode with which users can easily adjust the device’s sensitivity to light. The versatility and accuracy of a light sensor-equipped trigger will help you capture even the most elusive and tiniest streaks of light perfectly.
2. It should have the versatility to be controlled remotely.
A complete gear for a lightning photography session usually includes following equipment: a digital SLR, a tripod, and an external camera trigger device. The combination of these equipment will make sure that your images won’t be blurry and the set up will be a faster substitute to slow and delayed human reflexes when pressing the shutter. Sounds perfect, right? Not exactly.
Many camera triggers can only be connected through a wired connection and while it can be useful in some instances, it somehow limits the freedom and safety of taking the most exciting photos especially in dangerous shoots such as during a lightning storm.
If you want to choose the best camera trigger, make sure that it has the function to be able to connect wirelessly to your camera. For instance, the perfect camera trigger can easily be linked to a smart device, specifically a smartphone (via Bluetooth) and from there, control the trigger and your camera from a safe distance.
3. It should have a user-friendly mobile software.
Traditional camera triggers offer the basic features that you will need in high-speed photography sessions, but don’t you think you deserve more?
In connection to the second section, the power to connect your camera trigger to a smartphone can be doubled if the particular trigger device has a user-friendly mobile software that offers total control of your camera equipment: remotely switching to Lightning Mode, adjusting the light sensor’s sensitivity, setting up the timing of your shots, to even saving your most favorite settings for future use.
4. It should be compatible with not just one but a majority of camera brands.
The leading camera brands in the market offer additional camera equipment such as camera triggers that are exclusively manufactured to serve their entire product line. In other words, these camera triggers are loyal to their brand – and are just compatible with the camera produced by their maker – and it’s a huge disadvantage especially if you want to fully explore the world of photography.
Choose a camera trigger that is loyal to you, and not to a specific camera brand. The camera trigger that you should buy should be compatible with not just one class of camera maker, but with all the leading brands out there. Making this decision will not only give you the power to turn your regular digital SLR to a high-speed camera equipment, it will also give you the freedom to choose which camera you want to grow with, in the near future – without worrying about compatibility and the costs of buying a new camera trigger.
5. It should be able to grow and evolve with you.
Speaking of growth, as a photographer, you need a camera equipment that will be able to evolve and grow with you. In other words, it should last the test of time, the challenge of compatibility and performance. How? By simply choosing a tough, powerful and high-performing camera trigger device with an upgradable firmware – not to mention, upgrading it for free.
Why is this important? First of all, who would want to buy a new camera trigger every three to four years? Don’t you think it’s a waste of money to always replace a camera trigger just because its features are already too old and irrelevant? Do you really have to purchase a new one just to enjoy new functions and updated functionalities?
There are only a few cameras triggers out there with a free upgradeable firmware so choose wisely.
6. It should be energy-efficient and have a long battery life.
Lightning photography naturally takes place in the great outdoors. While you can catch a glimpse of these glorious light patterns from your backyard, getting the most unique and fantastic images of lightning means venturing into the wild and often deserted sites – especially if you want to get the best view of this mesmerizing event.
For this reason alone, you’ll need a camera trigger with a long battery life. The most powerful camera triggers for lightning photography in the market offer the best performance but not all of them can handle hours of work.
Moreover, you have to remember that if you really want to take the most unique lightning photo, you have to take your time. In other words, use a camera trigger that will have both the performance and the battery life that will last for hours and even days.
7. It should have the power to trigger unlimited types of devices.
A camera trigger doesn’t have to be literally just a camera trigger. This may sound confusing but did you know that the best smart camera trigger in the market today has the power to trigger unlimited types of devices?
You’ll know that you got yourself the most versatile camera trigger if it has an independent mechanism that can trigger other external devices like flash units.
For instance, MIOPS camera trigger is a smart equipment that supports external flash units as well as other devices. Interestingly, it is alternatively used to detect lightning activity not just for photography but as a warning mechanism for people living in locations prone to lightning storms.
Your success or failure in lightning photography will always depend on how you took the first step in buying a camera trigger. Hopefully, this article will help you make the wise decision of choosing not only a sturdy and powerful trigger but also a device that will help you fully experience the fascinating world of this type of photography.
Related Article: Lightning Photography: The “Old School” Way vs Lightning Trigger