Studio Flash Light Triggers
What are flash triggers? What do flash triggers do?
Flash triggers are the device the camera uses to talk to the flash. The trigger is connected to your flash via the hot-shoe (that little bracket that sits on the top of your camera). When you fire the shutter, the camera sends out a little electronic pulse to the trigger to activate it. The trigger takes over from there.
Triggers come in lots of different makes and models. But there are two basic styles of triggers. First, there are what we call manual or dummy triggers. These triggers control only what channel the signal is sent on. If you want to make other changes to the flash, though, you need to do that on the flash itself.
Other triggers are smarter. These triggers allow you to control more or even all the functions of the flash directly from your camera. A smart trigger, for example, might let you set flash power, change the mode of the flash from manual to TTL or change the zoom. If I want to change the power of the flash, I can do it from my “smart” trigger. If I wanted to change the flash with a manual-only dummy trigger, I’d have to physically walk over to the flash and change the power.
Smart triggers are handy because you control everything right from the trigger on the top of your camera vs. walking to each flash and changing it manually.