First Look at the Cactus V6 Wireless Flash Transceiver

I spent years trying to figure out which wireless flash triggers to buy before I settled on the Cactus V6 triggers. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, so Pocket Wizards were out. I looked at the Phottix Odin and really liked them, but they were still a little more than I wanted to pay—especially since I don’t do a ton of off camera flash work.

The other reason it took so long for me to settle on something is that the temporary I-just-want-to-dabble-in-off-camera-flash triggers I picked up were still going strong. I bought these Cowboy Studio triggers for $30 expecting them to last just long enough for me to decide if I wanted to invest in better triggers. They’re about as basic as you can get, but I can’t seem to kill them.

Then one day I saw a blog post about the Cactus V6 triggers. One of the selling points for the Phottix Odins was the ability to change flash output directly from the transmitter. It’s a pain to have to run around to all your flashes, changing settings—especially if you’re using several. The Cactus V6 triggers have this functionality. In addition, they work with a long list of different flash makes and models. They can apparently even learn new flash profiles. The price was right, so I ordered three.

They are transceivers, so any one of them can operate in transmit or receive mode. You’ll need one to attach to your camera, and one for each flash you want to operate. From what I can see so far, the menu system is pretty straightforward. The manual itself is well-written. They even include a little pamphlet showing photos and lighting diagrams to use as examples.

I haven’t had a chance to test them out on an actual shoot yet, (they’ll be put through their paces this Sunday,) but my initial take on build-quality, etc. is that they’re worth the money. They feel solid enough, the controls are simple and effective, and the few test shots I fired off this afternoon showed them working perfectly. I’ll write up a proper review after I’ve had some time to play with them.

UPDATE: APRIL 26, 2015

I finally got around to using the Cactus firmware updater to install the latest firmware to the triggers. I couldn't believe how easy it was. There were no glitches, no complicated setups, nothing. Just take the batteries out of the transceiver, plug it in to the computer (MacBook Pro in my case,) and hold the Menu button while turning the V6 on. One click on the updater software send the firmware to the trigger. Each trigger took about 10 seconds to update.