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Review: Phottix Strato Wireless Flash Triggers

After a few months of mystery, Phottix recently announced the second generation of their Strato wireless flash triggers. While at first glance the Strato looks like your standard 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger, Phottix has included so many smart details that the system warrants serious consideration for any speedlight shooter looking to step up to the reliability of radio triggers.

This review covers the details of the Phottix Strato and also offers a few points of comparison against the ever-popular Yongnuo RF-602 wireless flash triggers, which I recently reviewed.

Phottix:

For anyone unfamiliar with them, Phottix is a Hong Kong-based company that makes a wide range of camera accessories, from wireless flash triggers like Phottix Strato to GPS modules and wireless live-view remotes to lightstands.

The company’s recent Phottix Atlas series of wireless flash triggers recently garnered a lot of attention due to their compatibility with the industry-standard Pocketwizards – featuring nearly identical features and full compatibility, all at a fraction of the price.

In short, Phottix is a camera company that any Strobist could love.

When I first heard about the Phottix Atlas, I was so intrigued that I inquired about review samples. And while the FCC-approved version of the Atlas was being fine-tuned for North American, Phottix offered to send me samples of their new Strato model for review.

Even though I’d just recently bought the Yongnuo RF-602, I was curious to see how the Stratos stacked up.

Phottix Strato – Wireless Flash Trigger:

The Phottix Strato is positioned neither as a premium wireless flash trigger like the Pocketwizard FlexTT5, with all the latest bells and whistles (and a price to match), nor a purely budget model like the Yongnuo RF-602. Rather, the Strato sits somewhere in the middle, offering solid performanceReview: Yongnuo RF 602 Wireless Flash Triggers, great build quality, and a few new features to make it stand out from the competition.

And at less than $75 for a set, the Strato is positioned at about half the price of offerings like the Elinchrom Skyports or Paul C. Buff’s Cybersync series.

TTL Pass Through:

With the Strato, Phottix introduces “TTL pass through” capabilities to this middle market segment, which basically allows you to use a hotshoe flash on top of the Strato’s transmitter with full TTL capabilities. What does this feature mean for photographers? Flexibility and freedom.

Taking advantage of the TTL pass through of the Strato, you can use a hotshoe flash on-camera to provide fill, bounce, or use the flash’s AF-assist light. You can even put another brand of wireless flash trigger on the Strato transmitter’s hotshoe and trigger another set of remote flashes along with the Strato’s remotes.

In essence, what the Strato offers is all the features that you could use with your camera’s normal hotshoe – think of it as the world’s shortest TTL-sync cord.

For shooters using Nikon’s CLS (or Canon eTTL), you can use the TTL pass-through function as a way of combining CLS triggering with the 2.5GHz Strato triggering.

In this setup, you could use non-TTL flashes or strobes with the Stato receivers, while using a Nikon SB-900 or Nikon SU-800 as the commander on top of the Strato transmitter to control a second set of CLS-capable speedlights, all with the benefits of TTL and groups.

One has to keep in mind that in this setup, no CLS/eTTL data is being sent by the Strato transmitter – triggering with CLS/eTTL is still done via IR sent from the commander flash, so you’re not getting the same kind of TTL Frankenstein mix like you would with Pocketwizard FlexTT5 units.

Phottix Strato Specifications:

The Phottix Strato’s specs look pretty standard for this class of wireless flash trigger. On their own, the specs of the Strato offer a lot to like, including AAA batteries for both the transmitters and receivers, and universal 3.5mm jacks for outputs.

It’s these little details that the specs hint at that really make the Strato really stand out, as we’ll see later on in this review.

Model Strato
Frequency 2.4GHz worldwide
Channels 4 + All-channels mode
Inter-compatibility None
Design Separate transmitter/receiver
Range 100m+
Flash Wake-up Yes
Max Sync (s) 1/250
Wired Shutter Release Yes
Batteries AAA
Transmitter Hotshoe Yes, TTL pass-through
Receiver DC port Yes
Transmitter input 3.5mm
Receiver output 3.5mm, 2.5mm
Price (transmitter + receiver) €68.20 $73.94

Inside The Boxes:

Inside the boxes for the Phottix Strato, you have just about every conceivable think you’ll need to get started with these triggers, including Energizer-brand AAA batteries. One of the most beautiful things about the unboxing of the Strato transmitter-receiver kit was seeing that Phottix includes just about every imaginable cord and cable you’ll need, from a PC-sync cord to connect to your speedlight flash to 3.5mm and 1/4″ mini plug connectors for  your studio equipment.

The Strato system can be bought as one pair of transmitter and receiver, or as individual receivers, and both come with the full compliment of accessories. The one thing lacking from the individual receiver package is an miniplug to make PC jack, which is included in the kit.

Phottix Strato Receiver & Trigger:


On first look, the Strato receiver and transmitter appear almost identical – this design is in contrast to the Yongnuo RF-602 style, where the transmitter is about half the size of the receiver.

Aside from the functional differences, the transmitters feature a metal shoe and screw-down lock for securing to the hotshoes. Beyond that, the differences come down to different ports on the receiver and a heftier weight to the transmitter.

Phottix Strato Transmitter:


Phottix Strato Receiver:

One great thing about the Strato system is that both the transmitter and receiver take standard AAA batteries. The units ship with Energizer-brand batteries, but it’s nice to know that you can use rechargeable batteries like the Sanyo Eneloop AAA NiMH with the system instead of more exotic and harder to find sizes.

Hats off to Phottix for understanding that usability doesn’t always mean having the smallest gadgets (which smaller batteries would allow), but rather readily available and interchangeable batteries. 

Connectivity – Outputs, Inputs, and Interconnects:

The Phottix Strato get a A+ for connectivity. Both the transmitters and receivers feature beautiful 3.5mm miniplugs and all the necessary cables, as well as a 3.5mm to 1/4″ miniplug adapter. Thankfully, there are no weird proprietary 3-in connections like the Yongnuo RF-602.

Also included with the transmitter kit are miniplug to PC-sync cords, so you’re good to go if you want to connect the Strato receivers to your speedlight flashes that way instead of using the hotshoe connections.

The Strato receivers feature DC-inputs, so you can power them without batteries in the studio, along with a 2.5mm microplug connection that’s used with the include shutter-release connector. The standard 10-pin shutter-release cable and the PC-sync cables feature threaded locking cuffs, which is a nice touch.

Controls:

The controls on the Strato unitst are pretty straight forward. Each receiver and transmitter has a big test button, which you can use to fire and/or wake the flashes. Pressing the test button on the receivers will fire that individual flash, while pressing the test button on the transmitter will fire all appropriately selected channels.

The Strato system allows for four channels, much like most comparable triggers. However, instead of dip switches or menu interfaces, the Strato features a simple four-channel slider selector on the receivers and transmitters. On the transmitter, there’s also a master switch that determines whether the transmitter fires receivers on all channels or just the individual one to which it’s set..

What this means for the photographer in multiple-light setups is essentially the ability to set different groups of flashes via channels, and then test these groups individually. When designing a lighting setup, this very quick ability to trigger specific lights and groups of lights makes short work of dialing in the right exposure.

With the cheaper system of dip switches – or more expensive models that bury these functions in menus on an LCD – this sort of fast, on-the-fly testing is no where as easy.

Build Quality:

The build quality of the Phottix Strato system is great – some might say impressive, even. Both the transmitters and the receivers – which are very similar in design – feature a robust build quality and heavy-duty plastic. No creaking joints, not even on the battery doors, which lock securely and have no give. Big upgrade from the Yongnuo RF-602s, but also expected given the Strato cost almost twice the price.

All the switches on the transmitters feature positive detents at each position and seem solid. The only gripe I can find with the Stratos is the test/shutter release buttons – since there’s no off-switch on the transceiver, a protected or lower-profile button would have been appreciated to prevent accidental use.

That, and I’d love to see metal feet on the receivers. Then again, not even Pocketwizards offers metal feet on their transceivers, so maybe we should be thankful we get metal feet on the Strato transmitters.

Operation – Use As A Wireless Flash Trigger:

Unlike older flash triggers like Pocketwizard Plus II or other systems like Elinchrom Skyports or Paul C. Buff Cybersyncs, the Phottix Strato system is designed for small hotshoe flashes in mind, and connecting them to your flashes is as easy as sliding the units onto the receivers’ hotshoe. No messy PC-sync cords required.

Phottix accommodates studio strobes using the larger 1/4″ sockets with the included 1/8″-to-1/4″ adapter. Since Phottix includes just about every connector you could desire in the kit, you’re set to trigger anything from a humble Nikon SB-400 to Alien Bees to Profoto.

To use the Strato system, simply attach the transmitter to your camera’s hotshoe and then attach the receiver to your flash or strobe of choice. Thanks to the four-channel slider, setting the individual receivers is dead simple.

Since I’m using to using four groups with Nikon CLS, I will often still group my flashes in that same manner when using the Phottix Strato. Even though there’s no manual control over the units’ power with the Strato system, what this use of multiple receivers does allow for is quickly setting the exposure for different groups of flashes using the channels settings.

For example, I can set my backlight, fill, and keylight into three different channels, and test the exposure for each light individually using the separate channels. When it’s time to put it all together, simply setting the transmitter to fire all channels (instead of individual channels) produces the complete exposure.

While the whole system of different channels with radio triggers is designed to give you flexibility when there may be competing wireless signals or other photographers using the same system, I love the ease of the Strato’s channel system for tricks like the above for grouping flashes.

Operation – Using Strato As Remote Release:

While most users will be using the wireless flash triggering function, the Phottix Strato system doubles as a wireless shutter release. With the receiver plugged into the 10-pin shutter release socket of your camera, the transmitter’s main button acts as the shutter release, complete with half-press capabilities. Simple.


Reliability & Range:

In my testing, the Phottix achieved a reliable range of approximately 70-meters. This is nearly identical to the reliable range to which I tested the Yongnuo RF-602 under the same conditions.

While the Phottix Strato specs a 100-meter range, I can only imagine that this is under ideal conditions. Under the more real-world conditions, I tested the Strato in an alley way that was situated between a four-lane street and row of apartment buildings, with power and phone lines running parallel to the alley. Considering the general interference of the powerlines and the dozen-plus wireless networks in the area of testing, I think the 70-meters of the Strato are quite good.

I have no reservations recommending the Strato for reliability. For my own work, where I’m generally shooting at distances of 10-meters from the remote lights, the Phottix Strato offer rock-solid reliability. In recent shoots using the Strato in the studio, I had zero misfires and 100% accuracy with the Stratos.

Flash Sync Speeds:

I am happy to say that the Phottix Strato features 100% completely clean triggering at 1/250. Here’s a completely boring shot of a wall shot at 1/250 – boring, but you’re testing sync speeds, this is a beautiful sight.

Perfect, clean triggering at the max sync speeds of my D3 and D700. Just as you’d expect from your flash trigger that promises 1/250 sync speeds.

Flash Wake-Up:

One feature the Stratos boasts is the ability to “wake up” flashes that have gone into standby mode aafter inactivity. Most speedlights have a standby mode, which helps conserve power when the flashes are not in use, since active flashes are continually topping off the capacitor to be ready to deliver consistent output.

I use two Nikon Speedlights in my portable lighting kit – results with these flashes is below.

Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

As advertised, the Phottix Stratos do wake up the Nikon SB-900 speedlight when they’ve fallen into standby mode. This can be accomplished by a either the test button on the transmitter or by activating the camera’s shutter release while the transmitter is enabled on the hotshoe.

Nikon SB-600 Speedlight

Just like most other wireless triggers on the market, the Nikon SB-600′s weird communication protocols seem to have proved a challenge, and these flashes do not wake from sleep. As a best practice, turn off the standby function of the SB-600 for best results if you use it.

End Notes & Conclusion:

When bought my set of Yongnuo RF-602, the Phottix Strato weren’t readily available. However, if they were, and knowing what I know now, the Strato system would have been a very strong contender for my money, even at nearly twice the asking price.

Pro:

  • Reliable & 100% clean triggering at 1/250
  • Great build quality
  • Locking hotshoe for Nikon speedlights
  • Receivers & transmitters use common AAA batteries
  • Metal foot on transmitter
  • Screw-down lock on transmitter
  • Metal threaded socket on receivers
  • Easy four-position slider for channels
  • Standard mini-jack connections
  • PC, mini-jack, and 3.5mm connectors included!
  • No proprietary connectors
  • Cheaper than Pocketwizards, Elinchrom Skyports, Paul C. Buff Cybersyncs, etc.

Cons:

  • Plastic foot on receiver
  • No off-switch on transmitter

Compared to other flash triggers like the Elinchrom Skyports or Paul C. Buff Cybersyncs – both popular alternatives to the more expensive Pocketwizards – the Strato stack up very well despite costing about half the price. For the “strobist shooters” using small flashes like David Hobby or Joe McNally, the hotshoe connectivity of the Phottix Strato makes it a natural choice.

To me, what the Strato embody is a new generation of budget-friendly flash triggers that offer rock solid performance without compromise. Unlike budget-kings like the Yongnuo RF-602, there aren’t really any caveats for the Phottix Strato.

Instead of simply meeting expectations, the Strato actually inspire confidence with great build quality and reliable triggering. On top of that, the Stato system even offers up convenient features like TTL pass-through, expanding the triggers’ utility and flexibility even further.

So, anyone want to buy my Yongnuo RF-602?

Where To Buy The Phottix Strato:

No need to look on eBay for the Strato – it’s best to go straight to the source. You can order the Phottix Strato directly from their online store. If this review has been helpful to you, ordering through any of the affiliate links to Phottix keeps me pleasantly caffeinated on green tea.

End Notes:

Big thanks to Phottix for sending the Strato units for review. As a follow up to this review, I’m going to go into a little more detail comparing the Strato against the Yongnuo RF-602, as I know many people are looking at both systems. In the meantime, let me know if there’s anything you want to know about the two systems that I haven’t already covered.

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There are 123 comments

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  1. Richard

    Fantastic review, as always, Todd. Thanks for going into such detail, I will probably get a set to compliment my recently purchased RF602′s – have a green tea on me!

    • Todd

      Hey Richard, thanks for the comment on this review. Thanks for the support! I think that if you have the Yongnuo RF-602, you’re going to like the Strato.

      While they share many of the same specs, the Strato just offer a lot of nice details that add up for a great, simple triggering system.

  2. patrick

    nice review as always todd. i have the cowboy studio triggers and so far so good for me. i think if i decide to upgrade or they fail, i’ll give these a shot. good stuff.

  3. David

    Great review. Maybe this was in there somewhere and I missed it, but can I trigger the transmitter via a sync cord rather than just the hotshoe attachment? I am thinking this would be useful for triggering strobes using my flash meter. If they can do this, I may be ordering a set of these here very soon.

    • Todd

      Hey David,

      Are you asking if you can plug the transmitter into say, a Sekonic L-358? You can use the miniplug-PC sync cord that’s supplied with the Strato to plug it into your lightmeter.

      Alternatively, you can set the flash meter to “wait for flash” mode if it has it, and trigger the Strato without wiring it – that way the meter will wait to detect the flash without having to be synced.

  4. TJ McDowell

    What are your thoughts on batteries? To me, it seems to make more sense to have a AA design. While AAA is definitely a step up from the watch battery style, I think I’d prefer to carry only AA’s (which I already have on hand for my flashes) around on a location shoot.

  5. JCLemon

    Todd, Great review. I’ve been playing with a full set of Strato triggers with my SB-600s for about a week now, and I have to say, they’re pretty damn great. I’ve noticed that while the triggers won’t wake the SB-600s from standby with a half-press of the shutter, they WILL wake up when I pop a frame. This is now my default mode for working with these while wanting to maintain some battery life in my SB-600s. If I really can’t afford to waste a frame to cycle the link back on, I will manually turn off the standby mode; otherwise, I let it go to standby and pop a frame to wake everything back up and get back to shooting.

  6. kelvinbushan

    I was wondering if the transmitter is working in Pass Through mode, is it possible to use the sync speed of the flash (Canon 580EX) if it is set to HSS? This way I could over power the Sun and get the shot I needed.

  7. Gonzalas

    Hey Todd, thanks for the info alot, i just wanna ask..i got a nikon d5000 and a sb-600 flash unit. If i use this phottix strato, can i still use it as a wireless flash trigger.. meaning only with the transmitter mount on my d5000 hotshoe and the sb-600 on the trasmitter, will this enabled the flash to work wirelessly?.. your info is much appreciated. thanks and have a nice day^^

    • Todd

      Hey Gonzalas,

      You’ll need one receiver and one transmitter to use the SB-600 off-camera. If you put the SB-600 on the transmitter, you can still use it like you would normally, but then I’m not sure why you’d need the Strato.

      • Gonzalas

        thanks for the quick feedback.. i notice i make a mistake at my question.. what that i liked to ask is that.. i place the transmitter on my Dslr and the sb-600 flash on the reciever.. does it stil work?.. sorry… i am quite a newbie ..

  8. Mike Dawson

    Nice review. Three comments:

    1) Perhaps the reason for the plastic receiver shoe is because you stick it in the camera’s hotshoe in order to use it as a shutter release? So the plastic is to insulate?

    2) Just received my own set of Stratos. Was testing them with an SB-800 unit. Flash did not seem to reliably wake up from stand-by. Other reviews say the SB-800 is reliable with the Stratos. However, I have my autofocus set to the AF-ON button and not to the half-press of the shutter. So I’m not in the habit of half pressing my shutter release. So maybe that’s the issue. I’ll test a little more.

    3) Perhaps the reason for the PC cord being included with the kit, and not the receiver, is that the PC cord is provided for use with a camera body. I have old Minolta cameras, for example, and I can use my Nikon Stratos transmitter on them via the PC sync. If I want to use PC sync with my flashes I’m out of luck. Or rather, I need to buy my own PC sync cables. No point in buying 5 kits when I only need 1 transmitter.

  9. kiby

    Hi,
    I’m about ordering these for a 430EX and some studio flashes, and have a question (I’m not a pro strobbist). I may order a sekonic 358, but would be sure I can put a second strato transmiter on the sekonic (with cable) to fire the receivers/read the values, and then go back to dslr with its own transmitter, and take the shot. Is it possible (strato/358 support) ?
    Many thanks for your review ;-)
    Kib

  10. bohnyee

    thank for all yr info ,Todd
    just wonder is this device work in out door especially bright sun light ?? (even the receivers are hiding behind the subject or tree …)
    can the flash get to fire if it is behind my camera ??
    thank in advance !

  11. Shawn

    Very nice review. Will these units work with the Yongnuo units? I am happy with the Yongnuo receivers but would like a better transmitter. I have no complaints with the Yongnuo’s but if I could improve the transmitters and do some mix and match that would be nice.

    • Todd

      Hi Shawn,

      No, these won’t work with the Yongnuo RF-602s – they use the same frequency, but that’s it. Their triggering communication is different.

  12. Alejandro Ilukewitsch

    Thanks for the review, this seem to be what i am looking for. Recently bought a softbox to use with my sb900, and been having a lot of trouble to fire the flash since its hidden inside the softbox. Will fire this through the strato, and my other flashes by cls so I can control the power. (I have a su800 which I will mount on top of the trigger). I really don’t care about ttl, just having the option to set the power of flashes manually. From what I understand this is not possible, still has to be set directly on the flash, but at least will be in only one flash, the rest will continue to be control through the su800.

  13. Paul Harris

    Can these triggers be used as commanders – i.e. can I set the power of my slave flashes remotely, like I can with CLS and AWL?

  14. Paul Harris

    Thanks for answering, that is disappointing. Do you know of any alternatives that do offer such functionality. I know radio poppers have an IR->radio setup in the px? system, but this isn’t available in the uk, and Pocket Wizard is still working on its Nikon FlexTTL system.

  15. bibi

    Hi,

    Does anyone have ever ordered something on http://www.phottixstore.com ?

    I’ve sent an email to them with some questions, they answered a few hours later. I’ve then order some studio stuff on November 9, all stuff were and are in stock, and my order is still noted as “processing” on my account !

    I’ve email all emails I have found to them to ask about this, and no news at all. Money have been sent the day of the order.

    So, does anyone know what “processing” mean to them ? And did someone ever had problems with them ? As they don’t answer my emails since ordering, I’m questionning myself about their reliability and would need some feedback before going further on this one…

    Regards,

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=36969955

    • Todd

      If you need Pocketwizard compatibility, the Atlas are the best choice. Otherwise, these Strato offer a better value and similar excellent performance. I also prefer the form factor of the Strato.

      • Jin

        Thanks for the review Todd. Can you explain a little more why the Atlas is better suited for compatibility with Pocket Wizards than the Stratos? I have 3 PW Plus IIs and thinking about getting the Strato set (i like the smaller design and price) to add to my set. So my thought is use the Strato transceiver on camera and then receiver and my other 3 PW’s as receivers.

  16. Little Bird

    How about , Strato of setting the channels? It seems the channel does not work very well. I can’t fire the flash individually from the channels. Even i’ve set Ch 1 / ch 2 / ch 3 / ch 4 … it still fires. Why?

  17. Alexander

    Have you tested triggers using the pass-through flash in commander mode, combining a set of TTL remote flashes with a set of radio-triggered remote flashes all at once. It should work in theory, but have you done it in practice. Will flashes fire simultaneously???

    Thank you for your review!

  18. Alexander

    Have you tested triggers using the pass-through flash in commander mode, combining a set of TTL remote flashes with a set of radio-triggered remote flashes all at once. It should work in theory, but have you done it in practice. Will flashes fire simultaneously???

    Thank you for your review!

  19. Venura Herath

    Hi Todd,

    Nice lengthy review. Have you tried to combine both Nikon CLs and strato.
    I read couple of forums that pre flash fires flashes attached to the strato making the combination unusable. (I just received 2 PW plus II and strato receiver (I dont have a transmitter, this is actually a gift and she accidently ordered a receiver for me :))

    Any insight is highly appreciated.

    Best regards
    Venura

    • Todd

      Hi Venura,

      Yes, you can use a speedlight on top of the Strato transmitter to act as a commander for CLS remotes. There’s no prefire – CLS functions work just fine. I just tested this on a D700 with the SB-700 and remote SB-900s.

  20. David

    Hey Todd, this is an insanely thorough review, thank you. I also want to give you some props for taking the time to respond to so many of the comments, it has to be time consuming, but I am sure it’s appreciated by many.

    Someone asked the question earlier, but I wasn’t 100% clear on the answer. Will these triggers only fire within line of sight since they are IR? If I wanted to trigger a flash from around a corner or behind a wall, would it work?

    Thanks!

  21. marc

    Great review and it’s probably the tipping point for me to buy a set of Strato triggers. Do they have a bulb setting when you hook them up as a wireless remote release? I like to do long exposures (>30s) via remote and want to know if these can replace my current remote.

  22. Mark

    Thanks for your review. Can Phottix Strato be used with the very old Nikon Speedlight like SB-16B? Does TTL still support on the old Speedlight?

  23. Thomas

    Famous review with a lot of details and pictures. Even you’ve tested the Nikon version and I’m looking for the Canon version :-), it helps me great in my decision.
    Thanks.
    Thomas

  24. Woodsmoke

    I didn’t see any mention as to whether or not the Stratto will shoot in single, multiple, bulb and extended or timed mode. Will it? It doesn’t say on the company website and I couldn’t find it in any of your reviews.

  25. Philippe

    Hi Todd,
    Thanks a lot for the review, does the Yongnuo also provides that red light that allows autofocus that you get on speedlights? Or can the Phottix trigger that red light on my speedlight when i half press the shutter release? I need this focus light for nightclub assignments but want to use the speedlight off-camera and I only have one. What do you think would work best?
    Thanks!

  26. Rob

    Todd, thanks for the in depth review. I just purchased the Calumet Pro version of these. Basically same product with the Calumet name. One question, I noticed that the trigger button on the receiver units doesn’t fire my speedlite when connected. The transmitter does and everything else works great. Is this the way they are designed? Just curious as I also own the Pocket Wizards and the test button on my Pocket Wizard receivers will trigger my strobes/speedlites. If they don’t, no big deal. Still really like them and plan on putting them to good use.

    Thanks,
    Rob

      • Rob

        Todd,

        I sent a note to Phottix as well and they are not designed to do that so they work just fine. The test button on the receivers is for the focusing/shutter release when connected to the camera. So all is good.

    • Todd

      Hey Paul,

      Thanks for the note – glad the review was helpful. The Stratos are a great buy I think – better build quality than a lot of other triggers out there, reasonably priced, and just solid performance.

  27. azamnecrone

    hi,
    nice review u had there.very-very detail i can see.but a little favour i wanna ask,..

    1. the port from strato receiver to flash (got pc sync cable),is it 2.5? jack or 3.5? jack?
    2. the port from strato receiver to camera (the remote wire),is it 2.5? jack or 3.5? jack?

    fyi,
    im using sony system.i also had modified some cables for my sony flashes to 3.5? jack to be used with phottix aster/phottix atlas (PW compatible).

    here the picture (sorry,i wrote in malay coz im from malaysia.u can used google translator for it)
    http://azamnecrone.com/blog/memyselfandi/experiment/mod-kabel-sony-utk-pocket-wizard/

    so i need a clear clarification so that i can buy this strato to replace my aster..

    thanks in advance!

  28. Todd

    FYI: If you’re having trouble ordering from the Phottix Store, one thing to keep in mind is that your shipping address and the billing address must be the same. This is due to Paypal’s security requirements, not Phottix’s.

  29. Roger Williams

    I found this review very helpful, although my interest is not flash sync.

    I have two DSLRs that I want to use for stereo shots, which requires them to be synced. One is a Nikon D300, the other is a Fujifilm S5 Pro (built on the D200 body). If I use the RF receiver on the Nikon, can I link a cable that will fire the S5 at the same time?

    • Todd

      Hey Roger,

      You should be able to trigger both bodies with two Strato receivers and one transmitter – I believe they should both receive the trigger to fire simultaneously, so you’d be set.

    • Chris R

      Hi, I just got this trigger and can’t seem to fire SB-700 (flash mounted on receiver; transmitter mounted on D300S), does anyone have the same issue? When I press the shutter, I see that red LED on the flash blinks, so I assume it got the trigger signal but for some reason, the flash didn’t fire. No issues firing my SB 600. Please help! Thanks

      • ZL

        You is there a connector from your camera to the the Stratos set?

        There is no problem with my D7000 to the Stratos set.

        But if your flash’s LED flashes, then there is either a problem with the flash or most likely the receiver set.

        • Chris R

          Hello, my SB-700 flash is mounted directly on the Strato receiver. The receiver can fire my SB-600 so I don’t think the receiver is faulty, neither do I think its my SB-700. I suspect compatibility issue between SB-700 and Strato.

          • Chris R

            Hi guys, I finally was able to make it work. Yeah, it works on SB-700 but on manual mode. Doesn’t work on TTL. I’m relieved!

    • Todd

      Yes, you can use the SU-800 on top of the hotshoe on the Strato – keep in mind that no CLS settings are transmitted by the Phottix Strato, it’s just as if the SU-800 were connected normally to your camera.

  30. Mikael

    Hi, great review (as always :)!

    I have a Canon 5d mkII and a Nikon sb600, do you know if a strato for canon will be able to fire of my sb600?

    • Todd

      Hi Mikael,

      Thanks for the comment. As far as I know, the trigger should still work, but since the wake-up signals the trigger sends to the flash are different, you’ll have to disable the stand-by mode of the SB-600.

  31. Lucio

    Great review, I’ll be ordering mine this week. I have a question tho, do you know which version of the Strato would work with a Nikon D40?
    Thanks so much.

  32. Billy

    Another great article but now im questioning my setup. I have a D80 with two sb600s and cactus V2 transmitters. I take a lot of skateboard photography and never knew if its my camera thats too slow, the lens(normal 18-55mm) the flashes of the wireless transmitters. If anyone could help me out it would be greatly appreciated :)

  33. Nam

    “One has to keep in mind that in this setup, no CLS/eTTL data is being sent by the Strato transmitter – triggering with CLS/eTTL is still done via IR sent from the commander flash, so you’re not getting the same kind of TTL Frankenstein mix like you would with Pocketwizard FlexTT5 units.” What do you mean by this?

  34. ZL

    You is there a connector from your camera to the the Stratos set?

    There is no problem with my D7000 to the Stratos set.

    But if your flash’s LED flashes, then there is either a problem with the flash or most likely the receiver set.

    Chris R
    Comment:
    Hi, I just got this trigger and can’t seem to fire SB-700 (flash mounted on receiver; transmitter mounted on D300S), does anyone have the same issue? When I press the shutter, I see that red LED on the flash blinks, so I assume it got the trigger signal but for some reason, the flash didn’t fire. No issues firing my SB 600. Please help! Thanks

    • Chris R

      Hi, as I mentioned, the receiver can fire my SB600 so I don’t think the receiver is faulty.

      Sorry, what connector are you talking about? my setup is: transmitter is directly mounted on D300S hotshoe and fires the slave SB700 which is mounted on the receiver.

  35. ZL

    yes they work on the SB 700, if it doesnt work on yr stratos, the problem is either with the camera or u unluckily obtained a faulty set.

  36. Robert

    So does a flash have to be on top of the transmitter in order to trigger other flashes? It seems like all the pictures of the product include a flash on top of the camera, with the transmitter in between?

    Can I just have the transmitter on top and still trigger a flash?

    • Chris R

      Not necessarily. You can trigger slave flashes (mounted on receiver), with or without a flash on top of the transmitter. But if you want fill flash for your subject, feel free to mount a flash on the transmitter.

  37. j

    hi,

    can it also trigger 3rd party receivers?

    just saw a receiver from a local photography store. just not sure if this product can trigger 3rd party receivers too.

    thanks.

  38. Lintang

    Hi,

    I put my SB 900 and SB 800 on the Phottix Strato II receivers and I put the transmitter om my Nikon D90. It fire SB 800 but does not fire SB 900 (the light on test firing button was only blinking).

    Is the Phottix Strato II receivers compatible with SB 900? If compatible, can someone help me what should I do?

    • Zane80

      Hi Lintang, it must be frustrating for you to discover that one flash work and the other doesn’t.

      It worked on all my 3 SB700.

      Have you tried switching receivers between yr flashes?
      Or have you tried to borrow another SB 900 to see if the problem is with your SB 900?
      Did you test yr flash without using the receivers first?

      There are many factors in regards to 3rd party products. Sometimes it is about luck.

  39. Chase

    One quick question will this trigger the Bower SFD926N flash? I would like to get into some sort of a more professional style of shooting mainly for friends and family and would love to be able to have the abality to have a somewhat cost effective situation as i can buy 4 of them for about the price of one SB-910.

  40. Leon

    Hi,

    I have the strato transmitters and recievers but I can’t seem to figure out to use the trigger as a remote release and fire studio strobes.

    When I hook the release up I manage to release the shutter but the strobes don’t fire. Is there a setup (Nikon D700) in which this is possible?

    Thanks, Leon

  41. Ujwal Bhattarai

    I love my stratos and have never failed me….i have the version 1.
    But be warned.

    Do not mount a heavy flash on the pass through shoe of the transmitter. The hot shoe is secured by very small screws on plastic mount. It will break after a few months of use. Mine broke halfway in a wedding …crashing my 580EXII on the ground…lickily i was kneeling so the fall wasnt too bad so the flash didnt get damaged. I gaffer taped the transmitter and it still works perfectly. Syncs every time but the best way to use the pass through shoe would be to use a Custom Bracket CB1 mini bracket to mount your pro flash and use a TTL sync cord like OCe3 to connect the flash.

    I repeat….do not mount a 580EXII or similar flashes on the transmitter directly.
    If you take care of it…I am sure one can get years of reliable service from them.

    Thanks!


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