The Phottix Hero is a wireless remote device suitable for most SLRs with a wired remote terminal. The camera built-into the receiver allows the photographer to remotely see what the camera sees as an aid to getting the shot.
Phottix Hero: Specification
- 2.4in LCD display and remote audio capabilities
- Instant shutter release or 2sec delay
- Two way communication with transmitter and receiver
- LCD Brightness and speaker level setting
- Channel adjustment available
- Compatible with most DSLR in the market
- Optional cables available for different cameras
- Power saving functions
- AV output for connection to a TV
The Phottix Hero costs £375 and combines the live-view ability of devices like the Zigview S2
priced at £295 and that of wireless remote controls, which vary in price from around £40 for third party dedicated offerings such as the JJC Wireless Controller WC-100
to £300+ for a set of Pocket Wizards
(without adapter cables) or the Canon LC-5 Wireless Remote Controller Set
Phottix Hero: Features
Setting up the system.
The device is split into two main parts; the transmitter containing a small digital camera, antenna and connection to the camera, and a receiver with a bright, clear 2.4inch LCD screen. The system is powered by two Li-Ion rechargeable batteries, which last a good while on each charge.
A range of plastic adapters are supplied for connecting the transmitter to the camera's viewfinder. I tried the device on a Nikon D80 and Nikon D700. On cameras with square viewfinders, the transmitter slots on firmly and feels secure. On round viewfinders, such as the Nikon D700, the transmitter has a tendency to swivel of its own accord and there doesn't appear to be a way to tighten up the fitting satisfactorily.
Once secured to the viewfinder, the transmitter can be connected to the remote terminal on the camera to enable triggering of the shutter using the hand-held receiver.
Phottix Hero: Build Quality
Several adapters are provided.
Although mostly constructed of plastic, the materials used in the construction of the receiver are of high quality and the fit and finish is good. The buttons are well spaced and should be easy to use in adverse conditions, even when wearing gloves. The 2.4in screen is clear, bright and sharp although it can be a little difficult to see in bright lighting conditions, even on maximum brightness.
The transmitter is constructed from similar materials and feel like it could probably take the odd knock. I only have reservations about the longevity of the antenna, which is thin and flexible. I could see this breaking loose after repeatedly taking it in and out of a camera bag, but I may be being a little over zealous there as it doesn't really feel flimsy at all.
Phottix Hero: Performance
Once everything is connected up and switched on it takes a couple of seconds for the receiver to pick up the signal from the transmitter, but once it has found it, it tends to hold it well. The picture on the receiver is bright and clear, although it is not centred on the viewfinder and doesn't cover all the viewing area.
The centre button on the receiver has two stages to it, just like the shutter button on your camera. I found it fairly responsive although there is a slight delay before the camera responds, which appears to increase as you move further from the transmitter, or as obstacles reduce the signal.
Phottix claim the Hero will work over 100m in ideal conditions. I got as far as 20m away before the screen started cutting out in less than ideal conditions, which I thought was quite impressive. With obstacles in the way, this distance was reduced to around four or five metres, which is still pretty reasonable when its considered that I was outdoors and the camera was still inside.
Phottix Hero: Verdict
Overall, I found the Phottix Hero to be a good product, yes certain things could be improved such as the amount of viewfinder visible on the screen, but there really isn't anything else I've seen that combines the convenience of live view with a wireless remote release in this way. If these particular features interest you, then the Phottix Hero could prove to be a worthwhile investment.
The creative possibilities a device like this could open up could be of particular interest to many different photographers. One use I could think of is when I need to get a camera high-up, but shoot from ground level. In the past I've managed by sticking the camera on a pole and hoping for the best. A device like this would take much of the guesswork out of such a task.
Phottix Hero: Plus points
Good build quality
Good image quality on LCD display
Value for money when features are considered.
Excellent battery life
Phottix Hero: Minus points
Not all of the viewfinder is visible on screen.
A Phottix Hero is available to buy direct for £375 from their website here: