MIOPS Smart Trigger Review

I purchased the MIOPS Smart Trigger last summer after seeing it being used by a few photographers in Europe. This a combination trigger, intervalometer, remote and a whole lot more. The nice part is that it is well built, small and light. The MIOPS can be purchased for $220 to $240 based on the camera cables you need.

The unit measures approximately 2.5 in. X 4.0 in. and weighs just under 4.0 oz. including the battery.

The MIOPS trigger has six modes of preprogrammed operation and one “Do It Yourself” port. A really useful feature is that you can vary the sensitivity of each of the modes as appropriate. 

The controller is very durable. I have had it in my bag for over 1 year and is does not show any signs of wear and continues to perform very well.

A 128×128 pixel, full-color display, is mounted just above the large buttons, used for operation and selecting menu options on the front of the trigger.

The device is powered by a 3.7 V/1020 mAh. lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

The MIOPS can be used with Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Canon and Nikon, as well as other brands. The trigger hardware is identical for all configurations with the exception of the supplied cables that need to match the I/O ports of your camera.

This allows you to use one MIOPS with various camera models as long as you purchase the right connection cables.

The trigger unit is used in two ways, either to trigger an external flash or to activate the shutter of your camera. Flash units are connected via the PC sync jack, and cameras are connected via the remote shutter release jack.

The MIOPS internal (replaceable) battery can be charged via a micro-USB cable and any USB charger or your PC’s USB Port,

The MIOPS is manufactured using a strong plastic with well configured, raised push button controls. The screen is an LED display and is easy to read in most lighting conditions. It has an internal microphone and a light-sensitive sensor for activating laser and lightning modes. For the DIY mode, an additional port is provided that can be connected to an external sensor.

The trigger can be mounted using the camera hot shoe or on any support that has a 1/4 20 screw mount.

The MIOPS can be used remotely via the free MIOPS smartphone app for IOS and Android phones.

For triggering with the MIOPS it is best to set your camera to manual exposure and manual focus.



Lightning mode: allows you to capture flashes of lightning without the need to leave your shutter open for long exposures in the bulb mode. Sensitivity can be set from 1 to 99 to trigger the sensor for capturing lightning flashes. In the lightning mode the MIOPS can be used to trigger the camera with other sources of light. As examples: fireworks, flashes, and other forms of artificial light.
Sound Mode: requires you to use a dark environment with the MIOPS triggering a flash.

Set your camera on bulb and open the shutter, the sound activates the MIOPS to trigger the flash and you capture the action.   You can use the MIOPS to trigger the camera but the shutter lag makes high-speed photography nearly impossible.

 


Time-Lapse Mode: here you set your camera in bulb mode so the MIOPS can control all the shutter speed and shooting intervals. This is useful is your shutter speeds need to be 1 second or greater. If you are shooting at shutter speeds of less than one second then use your camera’s shutter setting and set the MIOPS’s Exposure to 00:00.You can set the interval (this is the time between each exposure), and the total number of images that will be captured for the time-lapse sequence.
Laser Mode: for this mode you will require an external laser directed at the MIOPS sensor. The MIOPS will trigger the camera or a flash when the beam is broken by any object passing between the laser and the MIOPS. This mode requires a constant laser beam to be directed at the front sensor.

The MIOPS trigger can be adjusted for a delay before the unit triggers the camera or flash from 1 to 999 mili-seconds. An additional setting allows you to set the number of frames that will be captured after the beam is broken. These can be from 1 to 999 at a maximum frame rate of 2 images per second.

HDR Mode: this is a mode that is good for cameras that either do not have an internal bracketing mode or where the camera is limited to just the 3 shot bracket. The MIOPS trigger will allow you to set 3, 5, and 7 shot brackets. I prefer to use the camera’s internal bracketing/HDR modes.
DIY (Do It Yourself) Mode: this mode is used to connect external sensors to your MIOPS. The external sensor can be of any type if it meets some technical specifications. The DIY mode enables you to trigger your camera or flash unit based on a signal coming from an external sensor. The DIY port is located on the left hand side of the device. It is under the protective cover. It is a 3.5 mm stereo jack. The external sensor should be connected to the DIY port only.

The DIY mode has three different parameters as follows:

The first one is the threshold value. It is given as a percentage and reflects the required change in the signal level to initiate triggering. As the input signal can be anywhere between 0 and 3.3 Volts, one percent change is equal to 0.033 Volts. You can set the threshold value using this as a guide.

The second parameter is the delay. As in the other modes, you can add some delay to the triggering event. The delay can be set to any value between 0 and 999 milliseconds.

The third parameter is called the “mode”. This parameter specifies how the output signal of the sensor should change to qualify as a trigger event. There are three options: Change, Rising, Falling. If you set the mode to change, it will not matter whether the voltage is going up or down. Any value above the threshold will qualify as a triggering event. If you want to detect increasing voltage only, the mode should be set to rising. And finally, if you set the mode to “falling”, you will only detect decreasing voltage changes.

Scenario Mode: works in combination with the smartphone app. You can store up to three different scenarios to the MIOPS to be executed later. When you create a new scenario and run it, it will be also stored to the MIOPS. You can run each scenario later. To make any change you must do it via the app on the phone. The scenario mode screen lets you choose one of three previously stored scenarios. The screen will display which step is currently running and when the scenario ends, the MIOPS will return to the selection screen.

Smartphone App ModeThe smartphone app has been designed as an interface to configure and control your MIOPS Smart. It is available on iOS and Android platforms. The iOS version must be 7.0 or higher. The Android version must be 4.3 or higher. The smartphone and MIOPS communicate via Bluetooth. Your smartphone has to be Bluetooth 4.0 compatible.. The application’s interface is basically the same for most of the functions as in the MIOPS trigger. 

In conclusion, I have no hesitation in recommending the MIOPS Smart.  There are a number of other features that are available when you use the smartphone app that I will leave for a future post.

MIOPS Triggers are available at Hunts Photo & Video – here is a link to the Panasonic Version – use the search field for other versions. 

For more information, you can visit the MIOPS web site at www.miops.com

 

This entry was posted in Accessories, Photography, Product Reviews, Time-Lapse.

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