MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger Review (Part One)

May 03, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger Review

Part One: Overview and Lightning Trigger


This is my review of the high speed photography trigger device from MIOPS who previously gave us the excellent Nerotrigger. The MIOPS is an updated version of the Nerotrigger. The MIOPS unit retains the basic shape and size of the Nerotrigger and although some of the trigger features remain the same there are many new features and additions that make this new trigger very interesting.

Opening the box reveals the MIOPS to be a polycarbonate unit with soft touch orange buttons on the face. These control the various functions and allow you to adjust the settings of whichever particular function you are employing at the time. The same orange soft touch material hides the input sockets on one side. The inputs are 2 x 3.5mm jacks; one for connecting the flash sync cable and one for connecting an external device, a 2.5mm jack for connecting to your chosen camera, (cables are supplied separately but are inexpensive), and a standard USB socket that can be used for charging the units battery and updating the software (one of the new features). The top of the unit has a light sensitive diode for the Laser and Lightning triggers and a small microphone hole is on the underside. Another new feature is the rechargeable 1020 mAh battery this should last for however long your shoot lasts and it can be charged via the USB to a laptop if required. The small screen is easily readable and the buttons are responsive.

The unit size is approximately the same as a standard pack of playing cards both in width and height and weighs about the same too. There is a hot/cold shoe mount for placing the MIOPS on a camera or tripod and there is also a standard screw thread for putting the unit on a light stand or small tripod if You want to.

 

 

MIOPS (1)MIOPS (1)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

MIOPS (2)MIOPS (2)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

MIOPS (3)MIOPS (3)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

What's new? Simple answer: Lots.

Apart from the facility to update the software and the rechargeable battery, the unit now boasts connectivity to smartphones. Android and iOS apps are available in their respective stores. The connection is based on Bluetooth technology and each unit has its own individual identifier so you can shoot with buddies at the same time and not interfere with each  others connection.

The trigger functions on the unit are what we have come to expect and were on the previous model: Lightning, Sound, Timelapse, Laser, HDR, DIY, and a new addition named Scenario. But that's not all, the developers have included the facility to use your smartphone as a wireless remote control with the additional functions of a simple 'cable release' that acts just like a normal shutter button,, 'press and hold' keep your finger on the button and release when you want to, 'press and lock' whereby you tap your app to open the shutter and tap again to close it, 'timed release' and 'mobile dongle'. These are all simple modes and self explanatory (with the exception of the 'mobile dongle' mode that I will revisit later). Simple they might be, but incredibly useful nonetheless.

Remote Release Modes
MIOPS (7)MIOPS (7) MIOPS (8)MIOPS (8) MIOPS (9)MIOPS (9) MIOPS (11)MIOPS (11) MIOPS (12)MIOPS (12)

 

So, how do they all work?

First of all you need the app, (assuming you have also charged your battery), I have an android phone and a search for MIOPS in the Google Play store took me straight there. Once you have downloaded the app, you need to marry your two devices together. Turn on the MIOPS and start your app. The app will ask for permission to turn on your Bluetooth and then once that is done it will locate your MIOPS. Mine was a very simple exercise to pair them up and make the MIOPS a trusted device so as to ensure this is just a one time process. One minor niggle of the app was that the symbols did not appear on my phone, not a deal breaker and I'm sure it will be remedied soon.

OK, so you have your app, your phone and your good to go. As much as I would have loved to play with the MIOPS all day, I do have time restraints :-) so today I will just be playing with the Lightning function, the trouble being of course that where I live in the south east of England, lightning is not that common, especially less so on demand!

A check around the house for a suitable lightning substitute revealed a box of matches and an idea formed. I have a small shed/studio and set my Olympus OM-D E-M1 on the tripod with a macro lens attached, I also had a Yongnuo flash on board as it was a bit dark . I placed the MIOPS off to the side and clamped the matchbox securely so I could just concentrate on the 'strike'. And then began the magic. I opened the app and made sure the devices were talking to each other, I then began experimenting.

The app performed flawlessly and was very simple. Just run your finger around your screen either clockwise or anti-clockwise to set the sensitivity of the MIOPS unit. The action was smooth and it was easy to select the sensitivity value in single increments even though it goes from 1% to 99%. When your are ready, press start on the phone, the MIOPS blinks and the settings are uploaded. If you have got it wrong and the camera keeps triggering, press stop and lower the value. Simples! After a bit of trial and error I was able to get consistent results of matches bursting in to flame. Adjust the settings a little and get a bigger flame as the unit needs more light, keep the settings low and a tiny flame from the match head  is recognised as a change in ambient light and the camera is triggered.

These are a few of the photographs I took. When I do get some lightning around here, I will definitely be attaching the trigger to my camera.

MIOPS (7)MIOPS (7)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA MIOPS (1)MIOPS (1)


MIOPS, Lightning TriggerStrike 1The MIOPS unit was set to low sensitivity for this shot. As you can see the match has only just ignited and the ambient light change was very small, yet the MIOPS easily picked it up and fired the camera.

MIOPS, lightning triggerStrike 2A higher value on the MIOPS meant that the device needed more light to trigger the camera, hence the larger flame on this one.

MIOPSStrike 3I was able to get consistent results once I had established the correct settings.

Initial impressions of the MIOPS are very favourable indeed and I can see this being an ever present in my kit bag.Next up, I will be putting the sound trigger to the test.

 

 


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