Sony Alpha, PocketWizard and remote cameras

Remote cameras mounted inside third at Minute Maid Park for ALDS Game 1.

Mirrorless cameras are the future and will eventually replace DSLRs. Like many photographers, I have started testing various mirrorless models for eventual use at the newspaper.

While differences and changes are to be expected, one thing in particular caught me by surprise when I setup a remote camera for my first test of the Sony A1 at the American League Division Series earlier this year.

Read on for the details…

Hot Shoe Triggering

Traditionally, using a PocketWizard to trigger remote cameras from a DSLR is simple. Place the transmitter in the handheld camera’s hot shoe and it will fire every time the shutter button is pressed.

Mirrorless Changes

Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras change things. The Multi Interface Shoe can not be used to trigger a transmitter when in electronic shutter mode. Electronic shutter is needed to hit the maximum 30 frames-per-second of an A1 so is almost always used in sports photography.

An S-VPR1-ACC cable is needed to connect the handheld camera’s USB port to the PocketWizard’s 3.5mm sync port to trigger the transmitter each time the shutter is released on the handheld camera.

The downside is that an extra $40 cable is needed, but otherwise is easy enough to adapt to. Just be careful because the USB connecter on the cables is easily bent or broken!

Custom Trigger Buttons

For those who want more control, and to avoid triggering the remote every time the handheld camera is fired, a custom trigger button can be used.

Photographers using a custom trigger button will not be impacted by this change when switching from DSLR to mirrorless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *