What is a Lightning Trigger and Why You Need It?

December 5th, 2018 9:18 am    A+ | a-

Lightning triggers have become a must-have for all photographers. This is true especially for assisting amateur and professionals in their high-speed photo sessions. Its features are already known to most people but there are others who are still yet to discover its advantages.

What is a Lightning Trigger? This article will tell you everything you need to know about this device. Additionally, you will discover why you need it in your own camera bag.


1. It’s an external trigger for high-speed lightning events.

A lightning trigger is an external unit that can be attached to your camera. It is designed to capture fast lightning events without the worries of missing a perfect shot. In fact, it has special features and functionalities just for that purpose.

As an extra unit for your full camera gear, it can be a standalone device or a remotely controlled unit. The great thing about a lightning trigger is that it is compatible with many camera brands.

ALSO READ: How to Capture Lightning Strikes

2. It has a built-in Light sensor to detect lightning.

A Light Sensor is important so that a lightning trigger can do what it does best: detect lightning bursts. This technology makes smart camera triggers more powerful than its older versions. Since the sensor is built into the device, it works together with the other features of the trigger.

As a Light Sensor, it can sense even the tiniest burst of lightning. It can also detect lightning events within the camera’s location. Thus, it also serves as a warning device for dangerous lightning storms.

ALSO READ: How Do Lightning Triggers Work?

3. It is attached directly to your camera.

A lightning trigger is attached to your camera. It is then connected to the device’s shutter as an alternative trigger activator. The trigger’s body is so sleek and light that it can comfortably fit and work with your camera – together, as a single device.

The trigger’s direct connection to the camera allows it to control features needed for taking lightning photos.

4. It triggers your camera to capture fast lightning bursts.

A lightning burst can appear as fast as a quarter of a second. Therefore, it’s impossible to take a lightning photo when just using your camera’s own shutter. This is because your hands react too slow to the event and your shutter speed needs to be faster.

With a lightning trigger, you can automatically activate your camera to take the shot. This happens when the trigger detects a lightning burst. Here, you also have the option to adjust how many shots you take per second.

MIOPS Smart for Lightning Photography

5. It helps you accurately time your lightning shots.

A lightning trigger does not only detect a lightning event and activate your camera to take a photo. If it is a smart trigger, it can offer more than that. In fact, a smart trigger can help you time your shots. This is through a Timer that helps you place a delay on when your trigger activates the camera after a stimulus (light).

This is helpful in the event of multiple lightning bursts. It can also help you create unique lightning shots because you can use the same timing in the future. Just save your settings and it will be there when you need it.


6. It may function under a specialized Lightning Mode.

A lightning trigger can be a trigger that is capable of accomplishing other feats. For example, high-speed trigger devices are also lightning triggers. It is best for lightning photography but can also be used for high-speed photography events, HDR, or even Time-Lapse.

If you have this kind of high-speed camera trigger, it should have a Lightning Mode. Under this mode, are special features and functions ideal for taking perfect photos of lightning. This option is customized to answer the needs of lightning photography. Several of these features are already mentioned earlier.

ALSO READ: Understanding Camera Modes for High-speed Photography Triggering


7. It captures even the smallest spark of lightning.

A lightning trigger has a Light Sensor that can capture lightning events of different shapes and sizes. Even with the tiniest stimuli (light), it can activate your camera to take a shot. On the other hand, strong lightning bursts can produce overwhelming exposure.

In order to succeed at taking perfect shots of these two lightning instances, the sensitivity of the Light Sensor should be adjusted accordingly.

Because of this flexibility, you can capture high-detailed lines and patterns of lightning bursts. Plus, you don’t have to worry about overexposure or underexposure.

8. It can be controlled wired, or wirelessly through a smartphone.

There are two types of lightning triggers: wired and wireless. While they can both function as a lightning trigger should, the wireless unit is basically convenient and practical.

A wireless lightning trigger is either a standalone device or a remote mobile device. The former has everything you need as a trigger. For the latter, you can use your smartphone to adjust and control its settings. Your choice of which one you should have depends on your needs as a photographer.


9. It is light, portable, and just about the size of a credit card.

A lightning trigger is not a bulky and complicated device. In fact, it is just about the size of your credit card. It is light to carry anywhere, even during your travels. Its portability makes it a number one choice or travel bloggers for their own photography sessions.

A trigger unit can easily fit in your camera bag. Because it is wireless, you don’t need additional space for unruly cables and messy wires.


10. A lightning trigger has its own, built-in battery.

Lastly, a lightning trigger has its own power source. It will not leech on your camera’s own battery life. It is a stand-alone and independently powered equipment that can last for days. This is useful, especially for long outdoor or wildlife photo shoots.

Additionally, a lightning trigger can be charged using an external power bank. This is because its ports are compatible with other external devices.

 Lightning Photography with MIOPS Smart by Justin Labadie

Why do you need a lightning trigger?

Whether you’re focusing on lightning photography or other types of high-speed photography, a lightning trigger is a great investment for both amateur and professional photographers. The good things about choosing the best lightning trigger are the convenient compatibility with most camera brands and its free, upgradeable firmware.


MIOPS offer the most intuitive and versatile camera triggers today. If you want to capture extraordinary photographs of lightning, MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger has a lightning mode which is designed to capture lightning strikes with your DSLR or compact camera, without having to run series of long exposures. MIOPS Smart detects the lightning strike and triggers your camera at the exact moment.


Related Article: How to Take the Extraordinary Lightning Photos

Photo Credits: Trevor Mahlman, MAS PhotoArt

Tags:  camera trigger, High Speed Photography, lightning photography, lightning trigger, photography tips,