I’ve been doing high speed photography for a while, now but I’ve doing it manually. After some time you get used to the timing but will still miss some of the shots, and with high speed photography you can’t afford to miss that one perfect shot. MIOPS is a $239 smart trigger that helps you nail the shot in high speed photography.
Let’s first look at the smart trigger itself.
The unit comes with the MIOPS smart trigger, a BL5c battery, a USB connection cable, a flash sync cable, and a camera cable of your choice. It didn’t come with a manual but you can download one online.
You can easily charge your MIOPS using any kind of phone charger and USB connection cable. On the bottom is a 3/4 screw mount and hot shoe mount where you can easily attach it to a light stand or on top of your camera. The small hole below the battery is the microphone for the sound trigger.
On the side is the DIY port, flash port, camera port and mini USB port.
The lens in front for the laser and lighting trigger.
You can easily control the smart trigger using the scroll button and you can even connect it to your smart phone via Bluetooth or a mobile dongle that comes separately.
The smart trigger has 7 modes: Lighting Mode, Sound Mode, Laser Mode, Timelapse Mode, HDR Mode, Scenario Mode, and DIY Mode. When you download the MIOPS smartphone app there is also three advanced shutter mode releases: Press & Hold, Press & Lock, and Timed Release, which will make your smartphone a wireless trigger for your camera.
The one I was really interested about was the Sound and Laser mode because it’s perfect for getting those high speed photography shots I need as a portrait and product photographer. In this article I’ll show you different photo shoots in which I tested the smart trigger.
I had a shoot in the studio and I brought the MIOPS trigger with me. After the shoot, I got Angelo, one of the staff in the studio, to do my first tests on the MIOPS.
I first tried connecting the MIOPS straight to the camera and triggering all my flashes using my wireless flash trigger, but for some reason the shutter was a little bit delayed. After doing some research I learned that the best way to use the sound trigger is by connecting it straight to your flash.
I connected the smart trigger directly to my speedlight with a big umbrella as the main light. I had another flash with blue gel (slaved) at the back right of the subject.
To capture the flash I needed to set my DSLR to about 1.3 to 1″ second shutter. I first set the MIOPS to sensitivity 90, delay 10ms, then I set it to Lock “On” so it only triggers once as any kind of sound can trigger your flash. After pressing start on the smart trigger, I pressed my shutter and Angelo hit a plastic bottle of water as a test subject because we didn’t want to waste beer bottles.
We were shooting on the rooftop of the studio and the main problem we encountered was noise coming from cars and construction nearby which triggered the flash. After getting all the timing correct, it was time to pull out the beer (we put iced tea inside because we didn’t want to waste some good beer).
After the first shoot with the beer bottles, I learned that getting a longer flash sync cable would help because you can place your smart trigger closer to the subject.
I wanted to try the laser mode quickly, so I placed a laser pointer on top of a chair and pointed it towards the lens of the smart trigger.
I tried moving my hand back and forth to trigger the laser and it was very accurate popping my flashes every time the line of the laser was broken. I got a bucket of water and dropped a perfume onto it to test the laser mode. I needed to delay the trigger a bit because it needed time to hit the water after it passed the laser.
Next was a product high speed photography sound mode test.
I need to add that the MIOPS smart trigger is not water resistant so I just covered the MIOPS with a plastic bag because it might get wet, as I was placing it close the balloons.
Almost the same setup and steps for the balloon shots: MIOPS sound trigger sensitivity from 90-99%, delay is at 10-30ms, Lock is On. For the camera settings, shutter was at 1.3 seconds, ISO 64-100, f/8-f/11. You need to shoot in a dark area or turn off all the ambient light because the slow shutter of you camera might expose for the ambient light.
Step 1: Setup your lighting, set your MIOPS settings and start the MIOPS smart trigger.
Step 2: Press the shutter of your camera.
Step 3: Drop the watch (which had a needle taped to it to pop the balloon)
For my last test, I got my girlfriend to model again for me. I had the smart trigger on tripod and directly connected to my speedlight which was on the Big Mama (Wescott Apollo) for the main light, and I had another speedlight with yellow gel (slaved) for the background light.
I couldn’t let her have all the fun!
I changed the yellow gel to pink.
The hardest part of the shoot was getting my girlfriend to keep her eyes open when the balloon popped!
The fun part of high speed photography is you never get the same shot twice, but with the $239 MIOPS Smart Trigger you will never miss that perfect shot. Almost all the testing I did was for the sound and laser trigger, which is perfect for high speed portrait and product photography, but this smart trigger has 7 modes plus 3 more shutter modes that you can use so I think it’s definitely worth it.
It was fun shooting with MIOPS and can’t wait to use it for my advertising work.
A big thanks to the MIOPS team — and especially to Onur — for providing us with a MIOPS unit for review.