Geeky Stuff Photography Tech/Web

Why Gadget Infinity Wireless Triggers Suck.

Running shoes shoot
That’s me. Lying on the cold cold ground in the early AM photographing a pair of running shoes. There are no lengths I will go to to take a great photo. Good thing I am wearing my big, fluffy Canadian parka, as it is taking ages to get the flashes to sync because my cheapo Gadget Infinity wireless triggers keep misfiring! Arg!

If you are a recreational photographer or if you are like me and you just started your own home media business that requires a ton of electronic gadgets and creative gear that sees no financial boundaries, you probably don’t have $500 to spend on Pocket Wizard’s wireless triggers. That’s why I bought the Gadget Infinity wireless triggers (Cactus Model) for a bargain basement price of $60 for one transmitter and two receiver to go on my flashes, the Canon EX 430 & 580).


Gadget Infinity Wireless Triggers

Before purchasing the cheapo version, I had read loads of reviews that warned of misfiring and unreliability, but the Gadget Infinity triggers seriously take the piss. These are the main things that suck about these triggers:

  • Flash misfires, often. This totally sucks because it uses up all your flash’s battery power and not only do you have to wait even longer for the flash to charge, but when it finally does, your flash is likely to be dunzo.
  • Flash is out of sync with the shutter. This is possibly the most annoying thing ever. More annoying than a late-90s boy band reunion. I know. That’s infinitely annoying.
  • Flash doesn’t fire. Period.

If you have a time sensitive shoot or you are dealing with a live subject that might complain more than these running shoes, I recommend renting Pocket Wizards (approx. $25).


Pocket Wizard Plus C-U

Has anyone else had a sucky experience with cheap triggers? Is there a budget solution to make them work better?

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  • Reply
    February 24, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Time to spend some money, unfortunately:
    (That’s the Sekonic lightmeter that has a built in PocketWizard Transmitter)

  • Reply
    February 25, 2008 at 3:14 AM

    Well I don’t know anything about flash triggers, but somewhat randomly I spent about, erm… 20 seconds taking a photo of my new running shoes yesterday. My process was somewhat inferior to your own, basically consisting of turning my D50 to auto mode, popping the flash, pointing and shooting! I feel I let my poor camera down using it in auto mode :(

    Anyway, I tip my virtual hat to you, for your efforts in taking on the cold, cold ground in order to get that shot!

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    February 26, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    @djh — bah humbug.

    @Ian — wow, we are so nsync. except for the auto mode. shameful. NB. there are other auto modes other than straight auto, give P a go. i wouldn’t mind a virtual hat to add to my collection.

    @The Captain — i usually don’t take orders from cupcakes, but i’ll see what i can do.

  • Reply
    Francois Minh
    February 26, 2008 at 11:28 PM

    I found on ebay for 15 $ a couple of radio transmitter made in HK working real fine.

  • Reply
    February 28, 2008 at 12:25 AM

    honestly i know nothing about all that stuff. i just bought an old camera from a pawn shop so i’ve been fiddling around with it. btw i love ur website. really enjoyed reading and watching some of ur adventures :)

  • Reply
    February 28, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Ha! Fear not, my camera does not live in auto mode, my film SLR is pre auto focus, So I usually use my cameras in manual modes. Saying that, some times I am just plain lazy. Will see what I can do about that virtual hat!

  • Reply Lisa Bettany. Canada’s Sexy Geek Blog » Blog Archive » DIY Photography for the Thrifty and Unrich
    April 2, 2008 at 1:57 AM

    […] flashes were triggered with two cheap and untrustworthy Gadget Infinity remotes and were at 1/8 power, with the 580ex maybe less two thirds of a stop because it’s a more […]

  • Reply
    September 28, 2008 at 6:23 PM

    Mine suck too… They fire okay when I have just one, but if I start adding flashes they start to go haywire. They are not dependable and having to fiddle with them while working with a model is embarrassing. Im saving up for the new alien bees Cybersync triggers. The aren’t anywhere near as expensive as pocket wizards but have gotten much praise in reviews.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    AH CRAP! Really……I just bought one, then stumbled across your blog… about bad luck. Hopefully I won’t have as much trouble, don’t have the cash for the PWs, and living in BFE doesn’t make the renting solution possible….love your blog…keep up the good work……HJG

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa: Photography, Videos, & Geeky Stuff. » Entry » Promo Shoot with Musician Jesse Tucker
    July 29, 2009 at 11:31 PM

    […] They are a third the price as Pocket Wizards and work like a charm. Way way better than the Gadget Infinity triggers I […]

  • Reply
    August 26, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    I was about to purchase the Cactus v4 Wireless system and then saw this post. Almost made me delete my Shopping Cart at Gadget Infinity but then I realized this is an old post on the older model Cactus’.
    I’ve heard mixed reviews on the v4, only way to get to the bottom of it, is to take the plunge. So here I go.

  • Reply
    Jonas Kroyer
    September 24, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    No choice Pocket Wizards rock although the standard model is a bit bulky.
    They totally do their job every time.
    I bought mine in B&H Photo when I visited NYC a year ago to a reasonable price.
    I have friends who uses the Cactus ones and is happy.
    But for me there is only the wizards can’t wait to get a hold on the TTL-models when they are released for Nikon.

  • Reply
    Daniel Thomas
    February 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    I bought the Cactus V2s pack over a year ago, like most people, because I couldn’t afford nicer ones and figured it was worth a shot for how cheap they are. I’ve always only used one receiver so I don’t know anything about using multiple flashes with them, but they worked perfectly fine for about one year, and then my receiver completely died and I now either have to order a new one or splurge on the Paul C. Buff trigger/receiver (Alien Bees). which is about $130.

    The only complaint I’ve had about the V2 receiver is how poorly designed it is. The battery cover fits on rather loosely and has even popped off while in use. The way it sits on the flash stand vertically always makes me feel like the weight of the flash on top of it is going to break the receiver, but it always held up even with an umbrella attached. I also hate how there’s this tiny little screw holding the receiver on the flash stand. I lost the screw for a while and had to use velcro and tape to keep the receiver on the stand.

    My trigger still works fine, but I’ve had to change the battery in the receiver a few times over the last year, and that gets expensive over time because it uses those little CR2 3.0 volt batteries that are like 5 or 10 bucks a piece.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    February 24, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    @Daniel — definitely get the Alien Bees Cyber Syncs. They are much sturdier and I’ve used them for about 2 years and have had no trouble. The battery did die on the transmitter eventually, and yes the silly little battery was about $10, but not outlandish for photo gear :)

  • Reply
    Daniel Thomas
    February 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    I actually just bought the Cyber Syncs right after leaving my previous comment. :) It just about wiped out my pocket book for the next couple weeks, but I know they’re worth it. A friend of mine has been using them for a couple years, as well, and hers still work perfectly. I’ve used hers a couple times and I definitely like them better. I also like the idea of having something shipped from Nashville as apposed to way the hell out in Hong Kong.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    February 24, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    agreed! good luck with them. i’m sure you’ll take some awesome pictures :)

  • Reply
    Marc W.
    March 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I first had the Gadget Infinity 16 channel triggers, and they sucked. The PC sync port on the back kept ripping the cable inside. I got sick of having to solder them, so I got the CTR-301P. No problem.

    I’m thinking about getting the GI V5. 3.5mm sync ports for the win. Rather get the PW Plus IIs, but don’t have the cash and no cash coming in from shoots… so the CTRs do me just fine.

    Oh yeah, those early GI triggers, yeah, they’re crap.

  • Reply
    Jack Strutz
    April 29, 2011 at 1:34 AM

    The Cactus V5 triggers are waaaaaay better. I haven’t even had a single misfire.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Been using the Cactus V5 for the last few months and they’re far far better than the V2s stuff. In V5, the unit can be switched to either transmitter or receiver and are quite reliable *and* regular AAA batteries instead.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    hi, i am sorry you having a problems with your cactus, last year i bought the v4, use it with my studio flashes without any problems. I also have sb800 and sb900 (nikon) for weddings with out any miss firing. This year i bought v5 you don’t need cables the sb flashes and camera . Even better.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    hi, i am sorry you having a problems with your cactus, last year i bought the v4, use it with my studio flashes without any problems. I also have sb800 and sb900 (nikon) for weddings with out any missfiring. This year i bought v5 you don’t need cables the sb flashes and camera . Even better.

  • Reply
    Clay |
    April 25, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Great blog. Really Great.

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