RadioPopper Is Changing The Game ::

February 14, 2009 | • Gear & Gadgets • Resources News

OMGosh… Kevin has changed the game.  He may very well be going down in the history books for this.

The image above was shot with the new RadioPopper.  The amazing feat is this image was shot at 1/8000 of a second with an Alien Bee.  NOT TTL high speed sync. Unbelievable.  I wish I was going to WPPI to shake his hand.  This changes the game.  If that isn’t enough, the new RadioPoppers can adjust your Alien Bee and White Lightning gear… wirelessly.  

If you don’t know WHY this changes the game, you need to get in the game.  :)  

Interestingly enough, Pocket Wizard is about to unveil a new model.  If it does not give us high speed sync with ANY strobe, they really need to get back to the drawing table.

Putting my order in now.




  • K-Ren said on February 14, 2009

    Did you just get these? We’ve been using them almost since they came out last March. They are awesome!! I can’t wait to get the new models– Radiopopper is selling the new models at 50% off if you trade in the old ones by March 1st!!!

  • zack said on February 14, 2009

    I know they the original RP came out in March but I *think* the whole 1/8000th of a second with a studio strobe is new!


  • MaskPhoto said on February 14, 2009

    Hmm. I’m assuming that an SLR requires high-speed shooting (that is, the shutter opens and then the sensor uses an electronic shutter)?

    Any idea how these stack up against the new Alien Bees CSR+ radio slaves (4 of which I just ordered.. 😉 as far as sync speed goes?

  • ian said on February 15, 2009

    i’m just getting the hang of pw’s! Was going to buy rp’s last yr but they dont ship to uk, so I went for the old staple.

  • Chris said on February 15, 2009

    Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but this is (relatively) possible with any radio trigger. The trick is getting the camera to trigger on the beginning of the first shutter, which essentially turns the strobes into hotlights by exploting their longer than 1/8000s flash duration (i.e. the strobes are actually on for the duration of the exposure). This, of course, means you lose a lot of power, and the strobe power is now dependent on shutter speed. Alienbees are especially effective because they have relatively long durations, compared to more expensive lights.

    The RadioPoppers are special because they read the signals from the flash already on camera, but you could, for example, put a TTL flash on the hotshoe an then a radio trigger on the PC port. Or, if you have a CCD camera (1D MkI, D40, D70), you can do this without any trickery because the electronic shutter removes any focal-plane shutter issues.

    Great blog, by the way–I’ve been lurking here for a while and really like your photographic style and willingness to share things.

  • Henry said on February 15, 2009

    That’s real cool!
    Killing light with your shutterspeed of 1/8000 of a second and have full control on your aperture.
    Play with focus in use with your flash.

    w00t 😀

    Damned, I have to win some cash^^

    Best regards from Germany,

  • Glyn Dewis said on February 15, 2009


    Now all I need to do is get someone in the US to order it for me and pack it off to the UK :o)


  • zack said on February 15, 2009

    @Chris – I know that in theory it is possible but I’ve never been able to get beyond 250th with my D3 and studio strobes. On camera flash + PW has not been able to do it. I have been able to shoot up to 1000th with my D70 due to the CCD + electronic shutter.

    If the new RP’s can pull this off with CMOS and FP shutters, as they are demonstrating, then they have found a way to make it happen. I realize there will be power loss but I have plenty of power to throw at it to compensate for that. Even if I can consistently get 1000th of a second on my D3 I’ll be happy.


  • Tom Jamison said on February 15, 2009

    Hey Zack, First, this site is money! Hugely educational; thanks very much! Do you know if AlienBees’ new “Cybersyncs” will do this high speed syncing?

  • zack said on February 15, 2009

    @Tom & @MaskPhoto – I am not aware of Alien Bee’s trigger system surpassing the sync speed.

  • Jeff said on February 15, 2009

    I was looking at an alternative to Pocket Wizard for the longest time, It really makes a strong argument now. Although I will wait until tomorrow since PW is set to make a product announcement.

  • Andy said on February 16, 2009

    Well the new pocketwizard product has been revealed, and yes it does do HighSpeed sync for strobes and with an easier solution of setting up than the RP way of foam and holes.

    Just need a price point.. Guessing its not going to be cheap if they still market it at the top end price wise.

  • zack said on February 16, 2009

    Yep, the new PW’s look interesting. I’m not at all interested in wireless TTL. I just want high speed sync with any flash unit. Let’s see who lines up to be the best on this front.


  • Chad Pennington said on February 16, 2009

    Zack look like the PR’s can sync up to 1/8000th but what will be the cost and will it affect the power of the already stuff we have?

  • Chad Pennington said on February 16, 2009

    opps RP’s

  • lomoseb said on February 17, 2009


    It sounds unbelievable but if we get an equivalent exposure, say 1/250 f/8 iso 100 we can suppose that we lose one stop each shutter speed stop won as high speed ttl stuff so no magical. For outdoor portraits, is there any benefit, except a lower aperture ?

  • Christopher Z said on February 20, 2009

    I just got the PX system and it’s an amazing upgrade from the P1 system.

    I talked to Kevin real quick at WPPI and he the the JRx is coming out within the next couple of weeks (and is really really reasonably priced).

    Now I just need to get a set of Alien Bees.

    Thanks for the awesome video on Scott Kelby’s blog.

  • Dustin Diaz said on February 25, 2009

    The benefit is, as you said with 1/250 @ f/8 You could be at 1/4000 @ f/2 (and although technically that looks correct on paper — you do lose power and from what i’ve been reading, people are losing about 1/3 stop with every stop past 1/250)

    I have a set of 4 PWii’s, and I’m willing to ditch them for these Radio Poppers just for the simple fact that I have a D700, and my wife has a 5D2. PW’s new transceivers are proprietary to brand! This is awful because now we can’t trade back and forth to share that high speed sync.
    And from what it looks like, Radio Popper has solved that. Although the only thing I “don’t” like is that you need a transmitter and a receiver (the duality of the PW’s making a Tranceiver is great).
    In the end, I’m curious to know if the nikon PW flex will also work with canon so my wife could use it we’ll find out in Q2 :/

  • Dustin Diaz said on February 25, 2009

    And on another note, just in defense of the PW’s…, although Radio Poppers have created an ingenious system, they aren’t changing the game. The fact that you need to mount these to a master flash is silly and ridiculous (yeah, that’s how they did it). It “listens” to your flash (some call it magic) or your commander IR unit (SU-800 for nikon’s, or what you Canonites call STE2). IT MUST BE MOUNTED TO ONE OF THESE.
    The slide ‘n go simplicity of Pocket Wizard is still where it’s at. You can’t mount a Popper to your hotshoe like a PW. Another funny things is that you can technically get this to work with your on-camera flash (it’s in the RP instruction manual as a hack). This is almost similar to Nikon CLS… it jsut converts that beam of light into a radio signal.

    A real solution for all this is to not fix it on the radio end, but rather camera manufacturers need to work on better engineering their shutters.

  • John Rayl said on October 8, 2009

    JrX transmitter to JrX Studio will sync at 1/8000 with Nikon.

    All you need is an SB-800 and short pc sync.

    Mount the SB-800, enable AutoFP, Manual and 1/128 power to get no light from the SB-800. It is just there to enable the 1/8000 sync.

    Connect the JrX transmitter to the on camera pc sync(or to the flash if you like).

    Now you have full wireless power control of two Alienbees and one TTL flash AND upto 1/8000 sync!

    Check my flickr for info and photos:

  • Thann Eastburn said on October 13, 2009

    Zack, just curious what your take is on the RP setup. I’m using a D3 and occasionally a D700 and I’m VERY interested in your results here. Thanks!

  • Thann Eastburn said on November 7, 2009

    Okay, I finally received my RP JrX Studio kit after a long backorder, but boy was it worth it! I am using them the same way John Rayl is and I am very happy with the results. Fully flash-exposed images at 1/8000sec. Thanks again!

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