Your Complete Guide to Capturing Wedding Details

Gear Announcements

New Cactus V6 Triggers Announced, Offers Impressive Flash System Compatibility

By Anthony Thurston on May 9th 2014

In the budget trigger world, there are few brands that have a reputation of being as reliable as they are affordable. The Cactus branded triggers are one of those solid brands that continues to provide a high quality product at an inexpensive price.

Today, Cactus announced their new Cactus V6 flash triggers, and beyond just being a new model, they offer some new features that set them apart as one of the most intriguing budget triggers on the market.

Cactus_V6_1

[REWIND: Our Review of Peter Hurley’s New Illuminating The Face Workshop]

Cactus V6 Radio Trigger Specs

  • Wireless manual power control of a list of current and previous Canon, Nikon, and Pentax flashes
  • Flash profile learning for analogue-TTL flashes
  • Full manipulation of power levels to 1/10, 1/3, 1/2 and 1EV steps
  • Low Power mode fires the flash for extremely short lengths of time
  • Absolute Power Mode benchmarks the power output of different flash models to the same light intensity
  • TTL pass-through with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Fujifilm via one single unit
  • Built-in optical trigger enables pre-flash triggering
  • Group control allows you to control up to four groups
  • Relay mode triggers the camera shutter and flash in sync
  • Delay timer is configurable from 1 millisecond to 10 seconds
  • Mini-USB port for optional power supply and firmware updates

Cactus_V6_2 Cactus_V6_3 Cactus_V6_4 Cactus_V6_6 Cactus_V6_front

Initial Thoughts

These are some pretty impressive triggers if you ask me, especially once you add the price into the equation ($54 each). The fact that these triggers are not only compatible, but TTL compatible, with Canon/Nikon/Pentax is a HUGE advantage for photographers and studios who use multiple systems.

Currently, these new triggers are only available over at Gadget Infinity, but they will likely show up on Amazon in the near future as well.

I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on some of these for review. I should also probably think about updating my budget trigger post since that is starting to get a little dated…

What are your thoughts on these new Cactus V6 triggers? Do you find them as impressive as I do, or does the price put you off?

 

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

34 Comments

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Jared Stewart

    I have three of these now and love them. The range and reliability of them have been amazing compared to the YN-622 which can be hit or miss.

    | |
  2. Tyler Friesen

    I tried a set of the older cactus triggers and had an outrageous amount of misfires. Anyone else have that problem with them?

    | |
  3. Dan

    damn, why no Sony camera support

    | |
  4. terry

    gday had half of my question answered here, (thanks pete may 13) i have just purchased two cactus rf60’s (still in the mail) will a cactus v6 on camera with no flash on camera still go to maximum sync speed of 1/8000. thanks for your help (please excuse my ignorance as i’m on a steep learning curve) cheers

    | |
  5. Daniel

    Huh, this looks awesome. Just in time for the death of my cybersyncs. Wish I could test how sturdy they will hold the 600ex flashes banging on my belt during weddings.

    | |
  6. Carl B.

    I happen to love what I see here in the new Cactus line with both the V6 and the RF-60. For my line of work there is just one little function that is missing however.

    From my reading of system information and conversation with Cactus there is no AF Assist Beam in either the V6 or the AF 60. There are work-arounds for this small but important missing feature however I would rather the unit be fully functional for my needs.

    I should note that the units are beyond impressive with features such as having the ability of learning second party flash to work in concert with system. I am not sure I have heard of such a feature in any other system…

    Again, this is for my needs and would like to know thoughts on fellow photographers on this small (missing) feature and how it may affect your use with or decision on using this Cactus system.

    Bravo to Cactus – However I will wait for the next generation.

    | |
    • Class A

      I don’t see much point in AF-assist beams on off-camera units. I don’t think they would be strong enough to help over a certain distance and you’ll also typically have your flashes in light modifiers, angled away for bouncing, etc.

      That leaves on-camera AF-assist light. Many camera come with a built-in AF-assist light and for those that don’t, you can add another trigger or flash on top of a V6 in TTL pass-through mode that adds an AF-assist beam. So I can see why they didn’t add it to their transceiver design.

      | |
    • Fraulein

      Good point, one could add another trigger or flash on top of the V6 but that would add another cost to my bag, more gear to my bag, and possible issues with brand conflict of working seamlessly.

      I would rather just buy all RF-60s and forgo the additional gear and expense and possible complications.

      I am not sure what dSLRs come with built-in IR AF assist – I do know none of my five bodies don’t.

      There must be a reason why so many speedlites come with some kind of AF Assist be it IR or otherwise and I can only assume, like Carl B, I too need the assistance of on-camera AF Assist during very low light situations.

      As stated by Carl B., there are work-arounds to this situation but I would rather wait for the right product for my needs.

      | |
  7. Luiz

    My flash

    1. work 550ex ?
    2. Nissin 622 II ?

    thanks

    | |
    • Peter Koerhuis

      550EX should definitely work. I’m not sure about the Nissin. If you want to know for sure, email Cactus. They’re still adding new flash profiles.

      | |
  8. kvaz

    To bad that they cant be wireless TTL, only pass through ((

    | |
  9. Zoran

    Can you turn on/off some groups with these abcd buttons? I would love if i could do that with kickers on weddings…

    | |
    • Class A

      Yep, the buttons allow you to activate/deactivate groups with one press.

      | |
    • Peter Koerhuis

      And you can use a TTL flash on your camera body at the same time.

      | |
  10. Jonathan

    Although Cactus’s V6 Trigger + RF60 system looks rather tempting, none of their manuals mention having an AF assist lamp. Those who frequently shoot in low light might want to stick with Yonguo for now.

    | |
    • Brian Hursey

      Jonathan. There is no af assist because there is no ttl signal between the camera and v6. However I was able to use ttl pass through on the v6 to my YN622C and use af assist. As a side effect I could then combine the systems. :) Then you can even trigger flashes on 622C transceivers. The ability to very quickly change power on the v6 is awesome. With my YN622C a I mainly used manual powerThe v6’s replaced that from a manual setup. I been a v6 tester since January.

      | |
  11. David

    Wow. I can’t wait to see what the reviews look like on these. If they stand up to real world use I just might trade in my Phottix Odins. I just can’t justify paying 200 bucks per unit if I can get a respectable alternative for 55.

    | |
    • Class A

      The first Cactus V6 reviews have already been published. Google is your friend.

      | |
  12. Jon Yoder

    This looks to be pretty awesome if it’s reliable and solid. Is there anything that this missing compared to the YN622? Right now I’m thinking that I’ll go with this if the reviews are good.

    The thing that I’m probably most attracted to with this is the hot shoe mount and solid build. I hate screw on mounts, especially when adding extra weight.

    | |
    • fotosiamo

      I have the Cactus v5 for over 2 years and they are solid and about just as reliable as Pocket Wizards.

      I’m pretty stoked with the v6!

      | |
    • Peter Koerhuis

      I can say from my own experience that the build quality on the V6 is even better than the V5. Ergonomics are much improved as well. The locking lever on the V6 is very good — easily as good as on my 600EX-RT.

      | |
    • Tyler Friesen

      I had an older set and they were not so reliable for me, I kept using my pocket wizards.

      | |
  13. Ranalli

    So they’re not true TTL like the Yongnuo YN 622N-TX / YN 622N pairing but they can still do remote manual? If so that’s still a huge win and a killer price. Frankly for 90% of shooting I want a fixed setting anyway without TTL changing the settings on me unless I’m using perhaps one flash only.

    All these companies are just burying PocketWizards.

    | |
    • Stan Rogers

      … and they’ll do remote manual control with older TTL/OTF (film-style TTL) flashes, even if they don’t have manual control. You’d need to create a profile for the flash (a mostly automated procedure), but you can use just about anything (old Metz and Sunpak “potato mashers”, mixed flash brands, old flashes where maybe the capacitor isn’t quite up to snuff anymore, that sort of thing). And “absolute power” mode means that you can mix and match without quite so much confusion if you’re trying to set up ratios.

      | |
    • Peter Koerhuis

      What I find very useful for events is that you can put a V6 in TTL pass-through mode between camera body and on-camera flash. That way you still have full TTL support with the on-camera flash, while being able to remotely control up to 4 groups of manual flashes.

      | |
  14. Tagnal

    Seems like a miss still compared to the YN622’s

    | |
    • Anthony Thurston

      I disagree, these are very attractive even when compared to the YN-622’s

      | |
    • Lithion

      after a while i stopped using ttl and switched totaly to manual. i can see a and control more. i got 4 yns 622C and i see one downsize of them. you have to go to camera menu to adjust manual power. here i can see there is an option directly in the triger. and i think theyre bulkier. however they are doing their job right.

      | |
    • Lithion

      yns are bulkier i mean ;)

      | |
    • Lennar Kivistik

      just bought 4 YN-622, and have the same issue that you have to go into camera settings, but then again they (Yongnuo) are working on the YN-622C-TX “Controller unit” like the YN-622N-TX for nikon.

      Ill just stick around and wait for that one :)

      | |
  15. Sam

    Do these support high speed sync?

    | |
    • Calem Photo

      as per Cactus website :
      Support sync speed up to 1/1,000 second (subject to camera’s sync speed limitation);

      | |
    • Peter Koerhuis

      The stated maximum sync speed of 1/1000 is for regular flash (without HSS). With an on-camera V6 in TTL pass-through mode, the flash on the V6 will have all E-TTL II features including HSS at 1/8000 shutter speed (tested on 5D mkIII with 580EXII and 600EX-RT).

      | |
    • Bill

      Peter, were both your flashes off camera when tested to 1/8000th shutter speed? You had three V6 units going, one on camera and two off?

      | |