Remote Camera Triggering

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1D Mark II, FlexTT5, and CM-N3-ACC cable

All PocketWizard radios can be used to remotely trigger a remote camera. You will need at least 2 PocketWizard radios and the correct PocketWizard remote camera cable. Different camera bodies have different remote camera connectors and require different cables. To find the right cable for your particular camera, you can use the Cable Finder.


Basic Remote Camera Setup

  1. Set the transmitting radios and the receiving radio on your camera to the same Channel and Zone (if applicable).
  2. Attach the remote camera cable to your camera's remote port and the sync port on the camera's receiving radio.
  3. Turn on your equipment top to bottom (radio, then camera)
  4. Press TEST on the transmitting radio in your hand to trigger the remote camera.

Best Practices

  • Be sure to press the TEST button deliberately, do not "jab" it. If you press too fast, the remote camera may not have time to wake up and confirm focus and exposure. If you are using a Plus III/IIIe as the transmitter with a Plus III or Plus IV as a receiver, you can half press the TEST button to pre trigger the camera.
  • Remote cameras are often set up in places where photographers cannot go. This means that the remote camera could be positioned in situations that are less than ideal for good reception, like on the ground behind a soccer goal, in a tree hidden from view, or on a stanchion behind a basketball goal. The receiving PocketWizard does not need to be in the hot shoe to trigger the camera. Cables are available in either 1' or 3' lengths and we have a 10' extension cable (the MMX) so you can put the camera where you want but put the radio in a position where it will be able to have the best reception.
  • The type of cable does make a difference. PocketWizard remote camera cables are designed to be durable and last. They are also wired to be used with PocketWizard radios that can pre trigger the camera. Aftermarket cables may or may not be wired the correct way to work properly with the radios.
  • Some radios have special modes such as LR (Long Range) and RP (Repeater) that can help with tricky setups. Be sure to check your radio's quick guide or the PocketWizard Wiki for details.


Important Notes

  • When using a MiniTT1/FlexTT5/FlexTT6 remote camera setup using default radio settings, a remote camera can only be triggered in single shot mode and there will be a delay between shots. When the camera's meter is "awake" and the internal LED is active, the receiving radio cannot listen for an incoming signal. For Canon cameras, the delay is typically 2-3 seconds before the meter sleeps. For Nikon cameras, you can adjust the length of the delay by going into the custom menu settings and changing the setting. It's called Auto Meter Off or Standby and the shortest delay is 4 seconds.

Continuous triggering with ControlTL radios is possible if the FlexTT5 / FlexTT6 attached to the camera has either Disable Shoe Communications or Basic Trigger Mode set via the PocketWizard Utility.

Triggering a Remote Camera from a Handheld Camera

The setup is very similar to the Basic Remote Camera setup but there are a couple important differences. When you are triggering from a handheld PocketWizard to a remote camera, the radio will send hundreds of packets of triggers through the air. When you have a PocketWizard in the hot shoe of your handheld camera, the camera thinks the radio is a flash. That means it won't send a signal until the handheld camera's shutter is tripped. It then sends a very quick pop (because the camera thinks it only needs to pop a flash) to the radio in its hot shoe. Because the radio is getting a very short signal, it only has enough time to send out one or two trigger packets. If the remote camera is not completely ready when its radio gets the trigger, it may not fire because it is still checking the settings and will miss the packet.

Best Practices

  • Use the PTMM adapter. This adapter connects to your remote camera cable and has a switch on it. When you turn the switch "on", it will pre trigger your remote camera and keep it in a pre triggered state, as though you were constantly half pressing the shutter button. Note: It will use more battery power than usual, as your camera is kept constantly awake.
  • Use a cable on BOTH the handheld and remote camera. With this setup, if you are using Plus III radios, when you half press the shutter button of the camera in your hand, it will send a half press signal to the remote camera at the same time. This will pre trigger the camera so it responds faster when you take the photo. With any other radio, it will ensure that a signal is sent out to the remote radio.

Important Notes

  • With most mirrorless cameras, when you set the camera to continuous high speed shooting, the hot shoe will be disabled. For that setup, you MUST use a cable on the handheld camera as well as the remote camera because the handheld camera won't send a signal to the transmitting radio through the hot shoe.
  • When you are shooting from a handheld camera to a remote camera, there will be a delay between shots. This is because the transmitting camera will not send the signal to the hot shoe until AFTER the shutter moves. Using a PTMM or cables on both cameras will help lessen (though not completely eliminate) this time difference because the remote camera will be at half press and ready to receive a signal.
  • There are many more helpful tips about this setup on the PocketWizard Games Wiki page.

Relay Mode

Sometimes you want to use a flash with your remote camera, for situations like self portraits or maybe taking a photo of a bear at night in the wild. Relay mode allows you to trigger a remote camera and to have that remote camera trigger a remote flash.

For Relay, you need at least 3 PocketWizards. One to send the signal, one on the camera, then one attached to the flash. You will also need the appropriate remote camera cable. It seems logical to set the radios all to the same Channel but if you do that, you will find they will not sync properly. A flash only needs a quick "fire now!" signal to fire while a camera has to verify that the exposure is correct and that the focus is confirmed before it will shoot, even if both of those are set to manual. When you set everything to the same Channel, the flash will fire before the camera, resulting in a dark exposure.

When you use our Relay mode, you use 2 different Channels. Here's how Relay works:

  1. The PocketWizard in your hand sends out a signal on a specific Channel.
  2. The PocketWizard for the camera will receive that incoming signal and trigger the camera. The camera then sends a sync pulse through the hot shoe. (note: the PocketWizard MUST be in the camera's hot shoe)
  3. The PocketWizard on the camera senses the trigger from the camera's hot shoe and automatically sends out a new signal on a different Channel.
  4. The PocketWizard connected to the flash receives the signal on the secondary Channel and fires the flash.

For example, the transmitting radio will be set to Channel 1. The radio on the camera will be set to TxRx Channel 1 and receives on Channel 1. When it gets the trigger from the camera's hot shoe, it will automatically send out a new trigger on Channel 2. The radio connected to the flash should be set to Channel 2 to receive the signal.

Any PocketWizard Auto Sensing Transceiver will automatically send out a signal one Channel higher.

  • A FlexTT5 or FlexTT6 will automatically send the signal one Channel higher but you can program the radios in the PocketWizard Utility to send out the Relayed signal on a different Channel if you wish to.
  • With the MultiMAX, you can choose which Channel you use for the Relayed signal.

For more information, please see our Relay Mode page.


Note: If you are using a FlexTT5 or FlexTT6, you can use a flash in the receiving camera's hot shoe, simply set it to Master, just as you would if you were firing directly from the camera.


See more about Relay Mode in this PW TV episode:

Remote Camera Cables

Remote camera cables fall into three general categories, each with different applications and features. Please see our Cables page for details about using each type of cable with different PocketWizards.


ACC Cables - These cables have a stereo miniphone connector on one end and a camera-specific remote connector on the other. A camera can be remotely pre-released when connected via an ACC cable to a compatible Pocketwizard radio. They can be used with the ACC port on a MultiMAX or the P1 port on a FlexTT5/FlexTT6.

Note: -ACC cables shipped into the market starting July/August 2013 include an MSMM Adapter (stereo to mono miniphone) which converts a -ACC cable to a standard miniphone cable.


Pre-release Cables - These cables have a mono miniphone connector on one end and a camera-specific remote connector on the other. They also have a pre-release switch built into the cable itself. When the switch is engaged, the connected camera behaves as if its shutter button is held down half way. This lets the camera respond more quickly and consistently, but at the expense of battery life. Pre-release cables can be used with Plus IIs, MultiMAXes, and FlexTT5s set to Basic Trigger Mode.

Note: As of July 2013, we've started shipping Pre-Trigger Mono Miniphone (PTMM) Adapters in place of Pre-Trigger (-P) cables. The PTMM Adapter works with any -ACC cable to convert it from a -ACC cable to a Pre-Trigger (-P) cable and has a switch for Normal or Pre-Trigger mode.

Pre-Trigger ON behavior (switch engaged and set to I):

  • Camera continuously meters and focuses (if set to autofocus)
  • Reduces Lag Time/more consistent Lag Time
  • Camera uses batteries faster
  • Some camera controls (menus) not available

Pre-Trigger OFF behavior (switch disabled and set to O):

  • Camera meters and focuses only when triggered
  • Lag time affected by focus time
  • Camera uses batteries normally
  • Image review available
  • All camera controls available


Standard Cables - These cables have a mono miniphone connector on one end and a camera-specific remote connector on the other. They can be used with Plus IIs, MultiMAXes, and FlexTT5s set to Basic Trigger Mode.

Note: -ACC cables shipped into the market starting July/August 2013 include an MSMM Adapter (stereo to mono miniphone) which converts a -ACC cable to a standard miniphone cable.


ADDED BONUS: All cables shipped into the market starting July/August 2013 will be packaged in our new retail packaging. They are now packaged in an environmental friendly 100% recycled paperboard box with white labels showing both ends of the cable as well as a compatibility list. This replaces our old packaging of a plastic zipped bag.


See more about remote camera cables in this PW TV episode:

FlexTT5 + ACC Cable Compatibility Chart
FlexTT5 Configuration Supported Behaviors
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot mode
Relay Mode for Standard and ControlTL Channels
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Not in camera's hot shoe
Unsupported
Remote camera cannot be triggered
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot mode
Relay Mode for Standard and ControlTL Channels
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Not in camera's hot shoe
Unsupported
Remote camera cannot be triggered
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Basic Trigger Mode enabled
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Relay Mode for Standard Channels
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Basic Trigger Mode Enabled
Not in camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Not in camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Not in camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shoe or continuous modes
FlexTT5 + Standard and Pre-release Cable Compatibility Chart
FlexTT5 Configuration Supported Behaviors
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Unsupported
Remote camera cannot be triggered
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Not in camera's hot shoe
Unsupported
Remote camera cannot be triggered
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Unsupported
Remote camera cannot be triggered
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Not in camera's hot shoe
Unsupported
Remote camera cannot be triggered
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Basic Trigger Mode enabled
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Relay Mode for Standard Channels
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Basic Trigger Mode Enabled
Not in camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a ControlTL Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Not in camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Attached to camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shot or continuous modes
Receiving on a Standard Channel
Shoe Communications disabled
Not in camera's hot shoe
Remote camera triggering in single shoe or continuous modes

Auto-Focus

A remote camera that is using Auto-Focus but has not been pre-released (with a pre-trigger cable or a half-press from a Plus III) will still attempt to focus a remote camera before firing an exposure. Depending on the AF setting that you have chosen for your remote camera, the auto-focus behavior will look a little different:

  • When the camera is set to AF-S (Single), the camera will not release the shutter button until it can confirm the focus. When using this setting on the camera, the camera will attempt to autofocus before releasing the shutter button.
  • When the camera is set to AF-C (Continuous), the focus is continuous up until the point of the full shutter release. When using this setting on the camera, the camera will first attempt to focus and will then fire regardless of focus confirmation.

In AF-S there is the possibility of missing shots, if focus cannot be confirmed, and in AF-C there is the possibility of getting an out-of-focus shot. These limitations are tied to the camera’s auto-focus system – you will see the same behavior with or without PocketWizard radios.