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New PocketWizard PLUSX Recently Released - How Important Is Price?

Published: 20/03/2013
By: larry

PWPlusXThe Pocket wizard PLUS X was just released not to long ago. The PLUS X has fewer features than the year old PLUS III. The single most noticeable feature appears to be the $99 price. This is cheapest trigger that Pocket Wizard has made. Mike Kelley did a review over at FStoppers.com. David Hobby also reviewed and liked the PLUSX. I've added the PLUS X to the trigger table and reader poll.

I found what was the most interesting aspect of both reviews was the reader comments there were a couple of interesting themes that kept popping up in the comments of both reviews:

  1. Many commenters noted that the Yongnou RF-602's and similar triggers that were a fraction of the cost of Pocket Wizard PLUS X and they found them rock solid.
  2. A couple of commenters pointed out that Pocket Wizards were made in the US, and they would gladly pay a higher price to support a company that did it's manufacturing in the US.

I think the PLUS X is a move by Pocket Wizard to better compete with all the Chinese made triggers. It's really tough to figure out if this new trigger is worth many times the cost of the Chinese made ones.

8 comments on “New PocketWizard PLUSX Recently Released - How Important Is Price?”

  1. I just found your blog. I've been shooting real estate for the past three years but it's always been just a side project. I'm thinking very seriously about adding another page and showing my work to gain more work. I really like this blog! Thanks for all the information. I've been browsing it for hours now!

    ps...the plus x is my next purchase..I need five of them..ha

  2. I think that there is a third point missing in your list.

    And this is that for the most photographers function is more important than the price or origin. The Pocket Wizard PLUSX has not the advantages the cheap Chinese triggers (I’m using Yongnuo RF-602 and Phottix Strato II) offering me. Or the other way around, the Pocket Wizards having disadvantages I'm not willing to accept:

    1. The PW’s sticking far out from the top of the camera
    2. It's bulky
    3. I need an additional PC cable
    4. I can’t mount a flash on top
    5. It occupies the cameras hot shoe or need a fixture on the light stand

    That’s the point! If Pocket Wizard would have thought twice about why the cheap Chinese triggers are so popular, they would have noticed, that it is not just the price. It’s also the design and usability.

    And even I'm from Germany, I would much prefer to buy an American brand instead of a Chinese.

  3. i think the value in purchasing something like this comes from the support you get from that company should things not go to plan. i never purchase by cheapest price I buy from reputable places where i'll be looked after quickly and cheaply if things get damaged or it's a lemon, or where i'll get a temporary replacement while it's getting fixed etc.

  4. When I first saw the new Pocket Wizard Plus X I thought this was finally an affordable trigger solution I was looking for. However, it has NO hot shoe for mounting a speedlight flash like most triggers/receivers do. With most photographers using speedlights this PW is totally useless for me. 🙁

    However, I found these new triggers from Calumet Photo: http://www.calumetphoto.com/eng/gallery-triggers1303 (On sale through 3-31)
    I am going to give them a try as I have had problems with my 602's and iShoot 2.4G PT-04s recently. I like the idea that Calumet backs their products with a warranty and they have a reputation for professional customer service. They should arrive by Friday for a photo session next week. I'll let you know how they work.
    Best Regards,
    Ron

  5. If we all bought based on price alone, Nikon, Leica, Hasselblad and many, many others would be out of business. I would agree with other comments, that we buy what works for us, is easy and inexpensive to maintain, and does the job. Price comes a bit lower on the list! That said, it would appear there may be alternatives that are better than pocket wizard, but as in all cases of making a purchase like this, do your homework.
    Mike Willett

  6. I've used the same pocket wizards for 10 years. They've taken a beating and travelled the globe and never missed. They're so reliable, and simple that I don't even have to think about them...until right now. They are the gold standard in radio slaves. I'm not familiar with the chinese options specs, but I have no reason to look elsewhere. At $99, the best (PW) just got cheaper. In my opinion, the cheap chinese versions of everything out there are basically disposable after 6 months to a year. They're just don't seem to be engineered to work for a long time.

    I use speedlights mainly and connect one with this hotshoe adapter http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/421306-REG/Paramount_PMPWMHSF1_Miniphone_Pocket_Wizard_to.html
    The rest of the lights are triggered optically. So you really only need one set for the majority of projects. For Justin, you should NOT need five PW's if your flashes have built in optical slaves. If they don't have built in optical slaves, then spend the other $300 on some flashes that do. It will be a much more practical setup.

    One last thing, the fact that the PW occupies the camera's hotshoe is not a problem for me. In most cases, the whole point of having a slave system is to get the flash away from the camera for more pleasing light. This might be a matter of technique though.
    Aloha,
    Travis

  7. "However, it has NO hot shoe for mounting a speedlight flash like most triggers/receivers do. With most photographers using speedlights this PW is totally useless for me. :-("

    They come with a cord you plug in, you do not need a hot shoe mount to use with speed lights.

    I agree with Travis also, I have no reason to look else where as the pocket wizards have been so reliable I can not settle for anything less. I tried to save all kinds of money when I first started out but learned quick that most of the time you end up buying the one you wanted from the get go. Not always the case but from my experience it has been with the chinese products.

  8. "It’s really tough to figure out if this new trigger is worth many times the cost of the Chinese made ones."
    Actually, pocketwizard components are made in china.
    Since globalization you can no longer judge or compare product quality based on it's origin.
    Looking at the specifications there's a lot better and cheaper stuff on the market.

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