Phottix Ares Wireless Transmitter

So a year or two ago I started playing around with off-camera flash, and knowing I couldn't afford a set of Pocket Wizards I went down to a local camera store and picked up a cheap wireless transmitter/receiver combo for around $35. I was disappointed to say the least - I won't name the product, but it was one of those cheap knock-off brands that are exclusive to brick-and-mortar stores. The stupid thing was really cheaply built and would randomly pop the flash, only firing when I hit the shutter maybe 25% of the time. I chucked the thing in my bag and forgot about it.

I have always wanted to get a good wireless trigger set, but very hesitant after my previous experience. I researched every now and then, but nothing jumped out at me - until I recently found the Phottix Ares Wireless Trigger. Amazon had plenty of great reviews, so I decided to pick up a set. They arrived at my office yesterday.

I immediately noticed how well constructed they are. It comes with a transmitter that mounts to your camera's hot-shoe mount, and a receiver that you mount your flash or studio flash to. Both pieces take two AA batteries, and come with an 8 Channel 2.4GHz selector & on/off switch. The transmitter can focus on one channel or all channels simultaneously if you are shooting with multiple receivers on different channels. It also came with cables to hook up to non-hot-shoe flash units as well as studio flashes.

Phottix Ares Wireless Receiver with Canon 430EX Flash

I was extremely nervous as I got everything setup, remembering how bad the other set was. I powered both units on, and set them to Channel 1, mounted my Canon 430EX flash, and fired off a test shot. It worked flawlessly. I fired off another 10-20 shots, the flash going off every time. The units synced up to 1/200th, I am not sure if there is any high-speed syncing available. Range was great all around my office, from inches away to at least 20 feet. Not sure what the maximum range is, but once I get outside with the flash on a light-stand I'll see how they perform in the wild. I am really excited to use these for an actual shoot soon, I am fairly confident that they will work great.