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Gear & Apps

New Pocket Wizard Plus 3’s – More Affordable, Yet WAY Better!

By Matthew Saville on February 20th 2012

Nikon D300, Nikon 17-55 2.8 DX, wireless Nikon SB800 triggered via CLS

This is BIG news in the wireless flash community.BIG NEWS.All you “strobists” out there will know just how big this is.

For years now, Ebay etc. has been erupting with affordable, half-decent triggers.While Pocket Wizard, the ORIGINAL brand of reliable, industry standard radio triggers, kept coming out with more and more expensive gizmos, many that didn’t even work very well at first, or at all.Radio wireless TTL was all the range, for some silly reason, but now I am oh-so-glad that ridiculous fad has settled down and Pocket Wizard, the brand we have all come to love, has finally gotten around to developing a new, back-to-basics yet oh-so-powerful system, for LESS than the previous generation of Pocket Wizard Plus 2’s.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Pocket Wizard Plus 3!!!



• Initial MSRP of $139, shipping in late March, available for pre-orer at B&H HERE.

• 32 Channels, like the Multi-Max units, versus 4 channels on the old Plus 2’s

• Channels 17-32 are multi-zone channels, four zones per channel.Geek translation: Instead of setting different flashes to different channels and switching channels based on which remote you want, (and therefore NEVER being able to trigger ALL remotes at once!) …Now you can trigger up to four different lights separately, or in any COMBINATION, and all within a single channel.NICE!)

• The same INCREDIBLE range and reliability, with new features that add even MORE range (via daisy-chains, or sync speed sacrifice)

• Backlit LCD display and illuminated buttons (SWEET!)

• Backward compatible with all previous Pocket Wizard devices

• Two-stage “wake-up” half-press trigger button, for waking up remote cameras / flashes

• Three-stage battery meter (Welcome to the 21st century, PW Plus!!!)

• Improved built-in antenna system, without that silly “always-bent” Plus 2 antenna
SO, are there any “cons”, or disappointments?Yes, kinda.I wish they had functionality like the RadioPopper JrX “Cube” system, that allows you to CHANGE the manual power of a flash remote, wirelessly.I don’t need TTL wirelessly, I just like to be able to change my manual flash power without walking over to my stinkin’ flash, especially if it’s 100’+ away.So, that’s kind of a bummer.If you want that feature, you still have to either buy the slightly-expensive Radio Popper PX system, or the complicated and not-as-reliable Pocket Wizard TTL system, or the cheap but extra-parts-galore Radio Popper JrX + RP Cube system.

That’s all, folks!We’ll be sure to post again as soon as they are available for purchase! (EDIT: Pre-order them at B&H HERE!)

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ed Rhodes

    i’ve never been a fan of how the pocket wizards stick up so high on the camera. would much rather they be horizontal, and allow pass thru for an on-camera flash.

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  2. Michael

    Is Pocketwizard just like a SU-800 commander unit?

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    • Matthew Saville

      Yes, except it sends the signal via radio waves instead of using infrared, so it is 100X more reliable.

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  3. Angela A. Stanton

    awesome write-up! I may just jump and pre-purchase because I do dislike what I now have from them (mini and flex). Have fun in Vegas! Ang

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    • Matthew Saville

      Honestly Angela, the PW Flex / Mini system is just a huge debacle in my opinion. Yeah, it’s great if you actually need the few things it offers, such as hypersync and wireless TTL.  But for plain old triggering in regular conditions, nothing beats simplicity and tried-and-true reliability.  I love my cheap triggers and they’ll always be in my camera bag, but for heavy duty on-the-job reliability, this sounds like our studio’s next big purchase.  Aside from the upcoming 5D mk3 LOL…


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    • Joseph Requerme

      Matt, May I ask if is it compatible with entry level DSLRs? Like D3000,D3100,D5000 and D5100.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Joseph, that’s the awesome thing about this and other “basic” versions of radio triggers-  They’re compatible with ANYTHING.  Of course if you have a Sony DSLR, you’ll need an adapter because the hotshoe is different.  Other than that, as long as you stay below the camera’s designated shutter sync speed, (usually 1/200 sec) …then you’re okay.


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