Power Control for Non-Compatible Cameras
This page is for photographers who want to use their MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 with an AC3 ZoneController on nearly any non-Canon/Nikon camera with a basic hot shoe to get manual power control. You may have read about this feature in our 1/16/14 "What’s That For, PocketWizard?" blog post.
For the most mirrorless cameras and other non-compatible camera brands like Sony, Olympus, Hasselblad, Mamiya, and others, using manual power control with your ControlTL radios and remote speedlights is simple. A MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 with an AC3 ZoneController must be used on-camera to transmit. Remote speedlights should be used with receiving FlexTT5s. Only compatible Canon/Nikon speedlights are supported and the receiving FlexTT5s must match the flashes they are attached to.
How to set up your radios for manual power control with non-compatible cameras:
- Put a MiniTT1 (or FlexTT5) in the hot shoe of your non-Canon or non-Nikon camera.
- Slide your AC3 ZoneController into the top shoe of the radio on your camera. Make sure all Zones are set to M or 0. A mode is not supported for non-compatible cameras.
- Place your remote speedlights into the top shoes of the receiving FlexTT5s.
- Set remote speedlights to TTL mode on the back of the flashes.
- Turn on your remote speedlights, and then the receiving FlexTT5s
- Turn on your transmitting radio, and then the camera.
- Use the camera to fire the flashes! You can adjust the AC3 dials for remote manual power.
Some of these operational notes may also be helpful:
- Update your firmware! The ability to use an AC3 and ControlTL radio on a non-compatible camera was added in Version 6.400 for Canon radios and Version 3.400 for Nikon radios. This feature will not work using old radio firmware.
- Make sure your camera has flash usage enabled. Some cameras (like the Fuji X-10 and X100 cameras) cannot use flash when Silent Mode is enabled.
- If the smaller TTL pins in the hot-shoe of your camera line up with the transmitting radio's TTL pins, the radios try to communicate with the camera, which can result in bad exposures. Use tape to cover all but the large center pin in your camera’s hot-shoe if you see problems with your radios or flashes.
- We have found some Fuji cameras (The X-Pro2 specifically) will give an "overheat" warning when used with a Canon MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 in the shoe. If you tape over the extra TTL pins (as described above), this should solve that issue.
- The MiniTT1 has an auto-standby feature that is enabled after 180 seconds when an AC3 is mounted in the transmitter's top-shoe. You may need to press the TEST button on the side of your MiniTT1 if you experience missed exposures after this time period.
- You may notice a lower overall maximum sync speed when using manual power control on your non-compatible camera. If you want faster flash firing, use Basic Trigger Mode. Basic Trigger Mode disables manual power control.
- Power control with non-compatible cameras is only possible if the radio brand matches the speedlight brand. For example, you need to use Canon radios if you have Canon speedlights. This feature will not work with flashes that are not compatible with the ControlTL system.