Photography News issue 24

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Photography News Issue 24 absolutephoto.com

First tests

Hähnel Captur from£59.99

Specs

Transmitter/receiver set £59.99 Spare receiver £29.95 Module Timer £39.99 Module Pro £99.99

Captur Remote and flash trigger Availability Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic In the box Transmitter, receiver, 3 cables, 4 AAs Range Up to 100m Other features Receiver – 2.5mm phono, tripod bush Power 2 AAs Dimensions (lxwxh) Trigger: 87x43x33mm, receiver: 87x43x40mm Captur Module-Pro In the box Module-Pro and Module-IR, protective covers, 4 AAs Delay mode, Long exposure Up to 99h, 59mins, 59secs Interval timer 1secs to 99h, 59mins, 59secs, 1-999 frames, unlimited option Trigger methods Sound, IR, light, laser, auxiliary (such as third party pressure plate, temperature sensors, DIY options) Other features Lock possible, beep option, LCD stays lit for around 8secs, 2.5mm phono and micro USB sockets, tripod bush Power Two AAs Dimensions (lxwxh) 149x52x20mm, Module-IR: 79x63x23mm Weight (with batteries and protective cover) 154g, Module-IR: 108g Weight (with batteries) Trigger: 96g, receiver: 101g

Review by Will Cheung

The Hähnel Captur is a radio camera and flash-trigger system available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic cameras. A trigger and receiver set with leads and four AA batteries costs £59.99 (shown above) and for multi-flash set-ups, extra receivers are available at £29.95 each. If you want to remotely trigger the camera as well as a flashgun you need two separate sets. The Nikon set I tried comes with three cables including the popular ten-pin. It’s easy to use too, and when the units are powered up they automatically pair up or matching can be done using Digital Channel Matching (DCM). To do this, turn on the transmitter and receiver units while holding the release button. Turn them all off and they are paired when you next turn them on. I tried the Captur as a camera trigger and a flash trigger with a flashgun slipped into the unit’s hotshoe fitting and it worked perfectly well. The supplied three cables does not include one for studio flash so you need a 2.5 or 3.5mm mini-jack cable (whatever your flash system uses). The Captur receiver does not have hotshoe contacts for TTL functionality when mounted onto the camera so there’s off-camera TTL either. What you also don’t have is high-speed flash sync capabilities (Auto FP in Nikon, High Speed Sync in Canon). As the triggers are radio – using 2.4GHz – range is excellent with 100m claimed and it also works round corners and through walls. So far, nothing different in that and there are plenty of similar devices around. But buy the Module Timer for £39.99 or the Module- Pro for £99.99 and your creative horizons are massively expanded. The Module Timer lets you enjoy time-lapse and long-exposure work, but given the money it is worth going for the Module-Pro set. You get the intervalometer/ long-exposure function and a great deal more. The Module-Pro kit comprises two units, but it’s the larger one that is the key unit. With it you can set the camera or flash to fire using sound, light and a laser. Use the two units together in IR mode and the camera or flash fires on the beam being broken by the subject. There is also an auxiliary option for third party or DIY devices.

Essentially, the Captur system is for creative still lifes, nature and action work as well as being a camera/flash trigger and intervalometer device

Essentially, the Captur system is for creative still lifes, nature and action work as well as being a camera/flash trigger and intervalometer/long exposure device, so it is a very versatile system. Set-up of the Module-Pro obviously depends on what you want to do. Basically, each mode lets you adjust sensitivity, the time delay, the length of time you want the unit to work once triggered and the number of shots. So, in Sound mode, pushing the Set button takes you to a sub menu where sensitivity can be set between one and 99 – these are arbitrary figures, not related to decibels. Set to 99, I clicked my fingers behind my back and the camera fired. Set to one, a very loud whistle close to the unit was needed to fire the shutter. You can adjust sensitivity in real time by watching the green LED at the top of the unit. When it turns red you know it is detecting the triggering medium. Next you can set the delay between the triggering sound and when you want to camera or flash to fire. This is adjustable from 0.00 to ten seconds in 0.01sec steps. Next you can set how long you want the trigger to operate for. The maximum is five seconds adjustable in 0.01secs. So, for example, if the camera is set to continuous drive, and the Module-Pro is set to 5secs, the camera will continue to release for five seconds once triggered. In single shot mode, the camera will fire as often as the Captur trigger is tripped. The final option is number of frames. This can be zero or set between one and 999. There is a ‘t’ option too and the camera will release according to how the intervalometer is set up. These set-up parameters are available in Sound, Light, Laser and Auxiliary. In IR, sensitivity is set on the Module IR unit, with the option of high or low. The laser option requires a separate laser – I used a projection pointer so these are easily

available. With this, the same fine-tuning options are available and you just need to set the laser up so it is pointing directly into the Module-Pro’s sensor. The top-corner LED changes from red to green when you have it spot on and the camera/flash will now fire when the beam is broken. The laser option gives a very narrow angle of sensitivity compared with the IR option, which has a much wider field. Once you have the settings sorted, push the Start/Stop button and do whatever it is to trigger the camera/flash. I have to say that the system works well and while it all sounds quite involved the reality of setting up the Module-Pro is simple and intuitive. However, as anyone who has tried to shoot balloons bursting or water droplets will tell you, you will have to fine-tune your camera/flash set-up, so you need to work at it and you can’t expect perfection immediately. I found working out how the delay timer/ intervalometer worked took more time than the various triggering options. This is because the Delay, Long and two interval timer options are interconnected. While this does make the unit more versatile, it can be confusing to start with. The important thing is if you just want a single time-delay shot or a long B exposure, then remember to check the interval timer settings before pressing the trigger button. Just make sure the number of frames set for INTVL 1 is at one – don’t have the ‘---’ set because that means unlimited shooting. Setting a figure higher than one means the intervalometer kicks in too. The process is easier once you done it a few times. The upside, though, is the unit’s versatility. So it’s easy, for example, to set a time delay and series of exposures, the gap and number of which you can determine, and then repeat that sequence as much as you want, with a time gap that you can set.

Contact hahnel.ie

Verdict

What the innovative Captur system offers is versatility in terms of your triggering method – and it is very effective too. Plus it’s flexible delay, long-exposure intervalometer as well as a radio flash trigger. At £160 for the transmitter/receiver set and the Module Pro, you have a great value accessory that deserves to be in your creative armoury. Pros Versatile, adjustable, working range, good price, performance Cons On the Module Pro the connected nature of the delay, long exposure and intervalometer functions

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