Pocketwizards have always been a part of my career in one way or another so I keep an eye on their new products. Today they have launched an update to the 16 year old Multimax transceiver, and the price is significantly lower than the old one ($229). Whilst I do believe there are better and much cheaper solutions for those that just wish to remotely trigger a flash, such as the Skyport, the Multimax is still pretty unique in terms of the number of features that it offers, and it seems as though they have added a few more. Hopefully I can find a little time this summer to borrow one and test it out. I know that most people reading this will want to tell me that at $229 it’s still too expensive, but the fact is that this has features that some others don’t have, and some people are willing to pay for that.
For example, the Pocketwizard Multimax is still the only product on the market that can measure the shutter lag of a camera and thereby set a delay to make sure a whole set of different remote cameras fire at exactly the same time. This features is also what is used to sync multiple cameras to a single set of flashes. It’s a necessary feature for this kind of remote camera work that many people don’t realize is necessary until you give it a try for the first time.
The video at the bottom is a little bit cheesy, but it reveals some of the important details so it’s worth a watch. I personally needed clarification on a few points after watching it though, so I spoke to a contact with the company and they helped me understand a few more things.
One of my big questions was: “Can the Multimax II do Hypersync?” The answer to this is unfortunately, no. The Pocketwizard Multimax II cannot be used as a transmitter if you want to work with the Hypersync function, you’ll need to use either a TT1, TT5 or TT6. The Multimax II seems to have some select ControlTL functionality built into it, but it cannot do Hypersync which is a real shame. If you want to do all the fun pro stuff the Multimax can do, but occasionally want to use Hypersync, you’ll need to buy a second transmitter.
The other question I had was about remote power control because we do see a new screen shown in the video suggesting remote power control of flashes. What I was told is that essentially, the Multimax II has the AC-3 Zone Controller built into it. The Multimax II does not do TTL (because it is not brand specific) so you cannot control the TTL power compensation of flashes, but, if the receiving flash is sitting in either a TT5 or TT6 (possibly a Plus IV too), you can control the flash power manually in 4 different zones.