For the past few month I've been in the market for a reasonably priced wireless flash trigger (read poor man's PocketWizard). In my research I came across several different bargain wireless trigger system, all of which only supports manual flash control and all roughly costing between $50 to $100 USD. I found Todd Owyoung's
comparison of the Yongnuo RF-602 and Phottix Strattos particularly useful. After reading the article I decided to purchase the updated Strattos II directly from Phottix.
One transmitter and one receiver are sold as a set for $98.00 for either Canon or Nikon. An additional receiver cost $58.00. I ordered one set plus an additional receiver.
The packaged shipped from Hong Kong and took alittle less than two weeks to arrive at my doorstep.
Batteries (AAA) are included as you can see, always a nice touch.
Although the transmitter and recievers have hotshoes for direct mounting to the camera/flash, Phottix generously supplies cables so you can use the triggers with other types of flashes or cameras that can't be directly mounted by the hotshoe.
Top View: Test button and hotshoe.
Now one appeal of the Strattos I & II system is that the transmitter passes on the TTL data to the top hotshoe. This way you can mount another flash or commander unit on top and it'll behave as if the trigger wasn't there. This will allow you to make a hybrid wireless system where some of the strobes are controlled by Nikon's IR wireless TTL system while others flashes that you can't get line of sight on are triggered by radio, albeit outputs on the radio slaves will have to be controlled manually. It's not a perfect system but if you're already have an IR commander unit (SU-800, SB700, SB900) and just need something to trigger that hard to line up flash in the background, this could be your answer.
This was another appeal of the system to me, both the transmitter and receiver take AAA batteries.
Right Side View, Transmitter on top, Receiver bottom. The transmitter has an input for PC sync cord if you want/need to trigger by a sync cable instead of mounting it directly to the camera. The receiver has a ABCD group slider.
Left Side View: Same on both the transmitter and receiver, both feature a Test button and Channel slider. The test button will allow you to test fire that individual flash, pressing the button on top side of the transmitter will test fire all flash.
Backside: The transmitter has 4 toggle buttons to activate individual groups. The active group lights up red when attached to the camera and powered on. The receiver has inputs for DC 5V (if you dont want to use AAA batteries, however 5v DC cable is not supplied), 2.5mm accessory cable port, and a 3.5mm pc sync port. None of which are necessary if you are using a compatible Nikon flash but does allow you the option of using non compatible flashes by cable instead.
Test firing of my SB700 and SB600. Phottix claims a 150m+ range but that's probably a tad optimistic. I haven't had any problems trigger it from across the room or through walls though.
One last thing, you could use the triggers as a wireless shutter release also. To do this connect the receiver to the camera via the supplied 2.5mm shutter release cable. Pressing the top button on either the receiver or transmitter (while off the camera) will than trigger the camera's shutter.