February 6, 2014

Testing the Phottix Odin Flash System

This is just a short article / review on the Phottix Odin Wireless TTL Trigger Set. I’ve been using off-camera flash with various wireless flash triggers for over ten years now, mostly for fill flash type scenarios at weddings or on occasional portrait sessions. Every pro or semi-pro photographer has known that for years the Pocket Wizards were always the cream of the crop. For my shooting style they tended to be on the expensive side, but they were ultra-reliable and also one of the first units to offer full TTL functions.

I’ve always been conservative (on the cheap side) when it comes to buying new gear and I need enough gear to trigger at least two flashes. I’m also a Canon guy so when Canon announced their wireless flash triggers, the Canon ST E3 RT and the 600 EX RT Speedlites, I almost went right out and purchased them. I really liked the new function screen on the commander unit, but to be honest, the price was still a major issue because if I wanted to trigger two flash units I was looking at spending well over $1300. In order for them to be fully functional, I needed to upgrade my flashes and get a TCU unit (the ST E3 RT).

When Phottix first announced they were coming out with a totally wireless flash system with TTL capabilities about a year earlier, I really wasn't in the market for a new system. I sort of put their system in the back of my head for awhile. I had been using Phottix Atlas flash triggers for a couple years, and knew they were reliable, but my units had no TTL capabilities so basically all they could do was fire my flashes.

The main feature I liked on the new Canon was that you could change any of the settings right from the camera without having to physically make changes on the flashes themselves. Then I remembered the Phottix Odin system, which could also do the same. Whenever I purchase any new product, I like to wait until they've been battled tested in the real world, so I went online and read the reviews for the Odin system to see how they held up.  Not only could the Phottix do all the same things the Canon could do, I could keep my current flashes and that alone would save over $1000. So that was enough for me to purchase the Phottix Odin system and after using them for awhile, I knew it would be a very long time before anything else came close to these units. 

I’ll be the first to tell you, they just work. Every time, no exceptions. They’re rated at 320 feet range and I believe it. Just for the heck of it I had tested my old Atlas triggers and they fired at over 300 feet. In my opinion, the Odins are just about the best thing since sliced bread. With these units you have access to 4 channels and 3 groups, plus they can sync with your camera’s shutter (high-speed sync) up to 1/8000 second. They allow you to raise or lower the power, switch from TTL to manual, adjust the zoom and set ratios if you want, all from your camera. The screen on the TCU is easy to read and all the units work on AA batteries.  Another feature of the Odin wireless system is the addition of a USB port and a USB cable so you can install firmware updates. The Odins come complete with a 3.5 sync cable, and a 3.5 to 3.5 adapter, a 6.3 adapter for studio strobes and even a lanyard. The transmitter also features a backlit LCD screen for viewing in low-light conditions and modeling flashes that can be activated right from the transmitter. There is even a switch so you can use second curtain sync!
I've been using the Odin system for over a year in the field with my 580 EXII’s and they've been great. To date, these are the easiest and most reliable triggers I've ever owned. The the real benefit is being able to make all my flash adjustments without touching the flashes. Just dial the power up/down for each flash right from the LCD screen and keep shooting. Using the Phottix Odin system couldn't be simpler and I would personally recommend them to anyone. The last time I checked they were available for use with Canon, Nikon and Sony. The prices can’t be beat either. You can get a set-up for one flash for about $329 or a set-up with two receivers for only $399.  If you’ve been thinking about picking up a set, you won’t be sorry.  Great system, great prices……..Remember, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography