Shooting outdoors at shutter speed 1/800, possible using Phottix Indra500 high speed sync. It can go as high as 1/8000, no need to attach the ND filter to reduce the light. (Samiria Santana)

After 5 AC strobes, 3 battery pack strobes and 4 speedlights, 10 wireless triggers, only now that I realize how convenient it could have been if I invested on an ecosystem. All my devices would have worked together smoothly. If only I’ve know this when I was starting up, I could have saved myself from all the troubles.

Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know these things unless you experience it yourself. There’s a lot of things to goes through your mind when you’re starting up and most of them are associated with cost of equipments. You will always find branded equipments to be very expensive and the cheaper brands were very much capable.

Although, I have to agree that yes, different brands were heavily experimenting compatibility with each other so glitches and some minor incompatibilities are noticeable. An ecosystem is a compatibility between your camera, triggers and strobes. It maximizes all the features of your camera and all these communicated to your strobes.

I know that the most reliable flash trigger pocket wizard pulled some strings to match up with big brands like profoto, elinchrom and Paul C. Buff. But it looks like the strobe manufacturer are now coming up with their own trigger to complete their entire ecosystem. I don’t know how pocket wizard will position themselves in this market direction.

I advice those who are crazy about lighting like me to go to the direction of one ecosystem. Thankfully, I don’t have to invest on the big brands like Profoto and Elinchrom, Phottix passed it’s infancy stage of ecosystem that they are now as reliable as you want them to be. All their product is now directed towards strengthening their ecosystem.

So why do you need to stay in an ecosystem? Well, forget about going to your strobe to adjust the power. Imagine those strobe you mounted on a boom, no need to climb up and adjust, all can be set in the trigger mounted in your camera. Also, forget about flash receiver plugged in your strobe because in an ecosystem, all the receivers are built-in.

The high speed sync that you normally only enjoy in your speedlight is now possible in your strobe, wirelessly and built-in. You can now shoot at higher shutter speed outdoor and achieve that shallow depth of field. If you’re a TTL shooter, the strobe can be set to shoot TTL as well, intelligently communicating with your camera on what’s the best power needed for the scene.

All the settings are within your reach found in the trigger. You can decide if you want to set the strobe to shoot manual or TTL and even high speed sync. You can disable or activate a strobe belonging from 5 different groups. All in your fingertips. I miss the yelling to your assistant thought to adjust the lights.

I’m using the Phottix Indra 500 and Odin II trigger. I’m moving towards replacing my Canon speedlights with Mitros flash which is part of the ecosystem of Phottix. Exciting times ahead. I got my set from Macy Camera Shop.

Keep on shooting everyone!

Text and photos by Albert Pedrosa

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