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What Is A PocketWizard

PocketWizard is a brand of radio slaves that was instrumental in emergence of the “strobist” movement of off-camera flash photography. Their products became so ubiquitous that, like companies such as Hoover and Coca Cola, their brand name is often used to describe the product genre and not necessarily just the brand and their own products.

Radio slaves allow a flash to be fired remotely by attaching a radio transmitter to the camera’s hot shoe, and a matching receiver to the remotely positioned flash or studio strobe.  The range of a PocketWizard can be several hundred metres, and they can also be used to trigger remotely positioned cameras as well as flashes.  Sports photographers often use them to place cameras in otherwise impossible places to stand, such as in a hockey net, or directly behind a soccer goal.

Phottix, RadioPoppers, Yongnuo, Profoto… all these companies and many more offer similar radio solutions for remotely triggering flashes and cameras.  At the time of writing this glossary entry, it appears as if the market lead that PocketWizard enjoyed, has all but vanished now as cheaper alternatives have emerged.  They appear to be suffering severe financial difficulties and I think it’s fair to say that their future is uncertain.


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what is a pocketwizard