CyberSync: Mini-Review and Initial Testing

My CyberSyncs showed up on Tuesday, and like any other time a piece of gear arrives that I’ve ordered I was none other than a “kid in a candy store”. CyberSyncs are touted to have Pocket Wizard-like quality, for a much lower price. I’ve had them out and I’ve been playing with them for the past few days and I wanted to give you a little mini-review, with a full in-depth review to follow.

Below, I’ve posted a video of the unboxing and then I posted some pictures from a little bit of range testing I performed. In the range testing, I put the CyberSyncs up against the Cactus V2s triggers that I have used up until this point. I also compared the two for a little bit of a flash sync issue I ran into with the Cactus V2s and I’ll explain more about that in a minute.

And now, the video:

Here’s some shots of the range test I performed. I started out at approximately 300 feet line of sight from the receiver and flash, and the CyberSyncs fired reliably from that distance. I then put on the Cactus V2s system and tried again. You will see in the shots below that I had to move up quite a bit to get the Cactus V2s to fire reliably. All shots were taken at a focal length of 16mm.


CyberSync @ approximately 300 feet; it fired just fine.


Cactus V2s finally fired…

As you can see, I had to be considerably closer to the Cactus V2s to get it to fire reliably. This is a big concern if you shoot outdoors often. The Cactus V2s triggers had fresh batteries too, so there was no issue with power. The transmitter is just not nearly as strong as the CyberSync CST.

The other issue I mentioned above, I hadn’t noticed until I started shooting with the D90. The specs on the D90 say that the maximum flash sync speed is 1/200th of a second. At 1/200th of a second while using the Cactus V2s triggers, the shutter would start to creep into the shot. This was caused by latency in the signal transmission from the Cactus V2s transmitter to it’s receiver. This was the main reason I ordered the CyberSyncs to begin with.

Check out the shots below to see what I mean. I shot a piece of white foam core lit by an SB800 to help illustrate this issue:


Cactus V2s @ 1/160th of a second shutter speed


Cactus V2s @ 1/200th of a second shutter speed


CyberSync @ 1/160th of a second shutter speed


CyberSync @ 1/200th of a second shutter speed; no shutter creeping in the frame!

All in all, I am really happy with the CyberSyncs and I don’t think they will let me down. I bought one transmitter and two receivers for now, which will allow me to utilize the receiver’s Repeater Mode should I need to trigger a flash at a really long distance. The units are well-built, and are powered by everyday batteries that you can get at a drug store or Wal-Mart. The transmitter takes a CR2450 battery and the receiver takes 2 AA batteries.

My only dislike (and it’s really minor) is the fact that once the receivers are on, they stay on for an hour after the last time they received a signal from the transmitter or the On/Test button was depressed. This can become an issue if you’re traveling with them in your gear bag and the On/Test button is continually getting depressed. However, to combat this I simply opened the battery cover and swapped the polarity of one of the batteries. This will take care of the issue with minimal trouble.

A transmitter/receiver set for the CST and CSRB models will cost you $130.00. This is $60.00 less than it costs for just one Pocket Wizard! PWs are supposed to be great, but I’ve heard the same things about the CyberSyncs and I’ll keep some of my hard-earned money in my pocket.

I’ll post a full review after I’ve had a chance to really work these little guys over. I hope you enjoyed the video and found it helpful. Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more of those types of videos! The D90 makes it pretty easy to shoot and with a little editing in Final Cut Express on the Macbook Pro, I’m good to go!

That’s it for this week. I’ll see you back here on Monday for some more great stuff from the world of photography! See you then!


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6 thoughts on “CyberSync: Mini-Review and Initial Testing

  1. For you full review I am interested in how they work inside buildings and around corners. This is a real problem with the Cactus triggers.

    Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Review: CyberSync CST & CSRB « Stephen Zeller | Photography

  3. Hi Stephen: This info. on the CyberSyncs was fantastic. I plan on purchasing some soon and we’re going to need them for a wedding my wife and I are shooting in Ireland this year. So I wanted the most portable lighting system I could get without spending an arm and a leg. I plan on purchasing the D300 soon and I have an SB800, SB600 and just ordered an SB26 on ebay.
    Do you know where I can find out about any rules or restrictions of the frequencies that can be used in Ireland?? I was told I need to be careful about this??
    I called Paul Buff and spoke to a tech. and he said they were certified to use in Europe but I want to be sure.

    • Hi Tom,

      I haven’t found any documentation that says you wouldn’t be able to use a 2.4GHz wireless device in Ireland. That’s the frequency band that the CyberSyncs operate in. I don’t think the folks at Paul C. Buff would steer you in the wrong direction either. I would trust their advice.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,

      Stephen

      • Hi there should not be any problem with you using cyber syncs in Ireland. Because the cyber syncs and all the e-bay triggers use the 2.5 GH band so you should not a any problems with your cyber syncs

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