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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

iShoot Sniper hands on review

Portland Photographer

 The iShoot Sniper is a transceiver unit available from Photoloving.com. The iShoot Sniper features 16 selectable channels, three shooting groups, and remote shutter release capabilities. This transceiver operates on 2.4Ghz, takes two AA batteries, and has one hell of a range.

The company says that it will trigger up to 500 meters distance with a 90% hit rate in open field. I went out with a set of the Snipers and my Nikon sb900 and did some range testing. I was able to get a consistent firing from about 300 meters, and after that it got a bit spotty. Having said that, I was not out in an open field. I was along a stretch of road that was surrounded by office buildings and power lines. I have no doubt that the Sniper can make it to 500 meters on an open field with little to no radio interference. I was happy with the 300 meters and did not try to find a 500 meter open field. The range on the iShoot Sniper is more than most people will ever need from a trigger.

The transceivers were very well packaged, they did not come with any cords, however, but they did come with a stand for the transceiver that looks like the one that comes with a Nikon sb900. If you are just planning on using these units with speed lights then the fact that they do not come with any cords is not a big deal at all. If you are planning on using them with mono lights then make sure you get what ever cables you will need to hook them.

On the top of the iShoot Sniper there is a hot shoe, test button, and the sixteen channel selector dial. On the left of the transceiver we have the three selector switches for choosing between flash or camera triggering, receiver or transmitter mode selection, and your group options. The right side of the unit is where you will find the battery door. The Snipers use two AA batteries, which I think is a great touch.

Portland Photographer

At the back of the unit you will see your control sockets and led lights. The two control sockets are located behind a rubber door and they are a 2.5mm shutter control socket and a PC sync socket. Above the control sockets are two led lights labeled led2 and led1. These lights will be able to tell you all sorts of information from how much juice is left in the battery, to signal strength. I carry with me the paperwork that came with the units to reference, but it is pretty straight forward with red/bad, green/good.

The Snipers have a maximum speed sync of 1/500 of a second depending on your cameras max speed.

The tranceivers can act as wireless remote shutter control. It can also activate the auto focus, and supports four second delay, bulb mode, and continuous shooting, along with the ability to wake up sleeping flash.

These transceivers pack some great features, but the two that stick out the most are their durability, and reliability. Having been shooting with the iShoot Snipers for about a month now, I have yet to encounter any issues with them. I have taken them out into the wet Portland, Oregon winter, and into signal rich offices, and still I have yet to have a misfire. Being able to be used out in wet conditions is a big plus for anyone that lives in rainy areas. I have run these units through as many obstacles as I could think of to get them to miss fire. I have to say that they stood up to everything I could throw at them as they have a great dust proof and waterproof design.
Portland Photographer

The iShoot Snipers are a solid feeling transceiver. In your hands these units feel like little tanks with out being too heavy on the camera. The shape and layout of these units are very comfortable when you are using them as a remote shutter trigger.

The only improvement that I would like to see on the Snipers is TTL pass through on the hot shoe. I am a Nikon shooter, and there have been a few time that I have wanted to mount the Nikon SU800 on top of the Sniper to have control of the power levels of one group of flashes, and have another group just fire, as they are set out of line of sight.

I recommend the iShoot Snipers to anyone who is looking for a brilliant weather sealed, solidly built, reliable transceiver unit. Head on over to photoloving.com and order yourself a pair or two.

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