Review: Nero Multi Trigger

Nero Multi Trigger
The Nero Multi Trigger is a hardware triggering device for your DSLR camera or flash. It is similar to the Trigger Happy and Triggertrap Mobile iPhone apps I have reviewed, except it’s a stand alone device. The Nero Multi Trigger has 10 built in functions, and of the ones I was able to test, it does them all well. That said, there are a few downsides to the Nero Trigger.

What’s in the box?

The Nero Multi Trigger comes nicely packaged in a cardboard box containing the trigger, a cable to connect the trigger to your camera and an instruction manual. Don’t lose that manual, though, you’ll need it!

The trigger itself contains an on/off switch, a flash output port, a camera output port, a button to change the mode (M), a button to change the active function (C), a wheel to select the sensitivity and a display to show the function and sensitivity level.

What can it do?

Well, it can do a lot. It has 10 built in functions:

  • Lightning Trigger: Uses a built-in optical sensor that will trigger the camera or flash when it is tripped.
  • Sound Trigger: Uses a built-in microphone to trigger the camera or flash when a sound of a certain volume is heard. The sensitivity is configurable via the dial on the side of the unit.
  • Sound Trigger with Lock: The same as above, except it will only fire your camera or flash once, and then pause until you tell it to listen for sound once again.
  • Time Lapse (1-10 secs): Uses a built in timer to trigger your camera at a specified interval between 1 and 10 seconds.
  • Time Lapse (1-10 mins): The same as above, but the interval can be set between 1 and 10 minutes.
  • Laser Trigger with Delay: Uses the built-in optical sensor to detect a laser and then trigger once the laser beam is broken. The delay is the amount of time before the camera or flash is triggered. It can be between 0 and 500 milliseconds.
  • Laser Trigger with MultiShot: The same as above, but instead of setting a delay you set the number of times the trigger fires the camera or flash. You can set Nero to trigger between 1 and 10 shots.
  • Long Exposure: This mode will trigger your camera (set in bulb mode) for exposures between 30 seconds and 4 hours.
  • Super Bulb: This operates similarly to a standard bulb trigger. You press the (C) button once to start the exposure, then once again to stop.
  • Manual Trigger: This is like a standard remote trigger, except on steroids. You chose how many shots to take (between 1 and 10) and when you press the (C) button the Nero triggers your camera the number of times you set.

How well does it work?

Due to time constraints and “Superstorm Sandy” hitting New Jersey I wasn’t able to test as many of the functions as I wanted to. Of the two “specialty” functions I was able to test, it performed well, and I was impressed with the overall speed of the trigger. I’m really looking forward to trying out the Lighting Trigger mode when summer and it’s thunderstorms roll in.

Sound Trigger

I used the sound trigger to photograph balloons popping. I hung a water balloon from a broom clamped to two chairs and set the Nero to sound trigger mode and level 5 sensitivity. I connected the Nero trigger via the flash output to my Canon 580 EX II set to 1/64 power. I then used a sewing needle to pop the hanging balloon which created a loud enough sound to trigger my flash.

The results were pretty cool, but unfortunately I overwrote the memory card containing the images, so I have nothing to show for it. Within the next few weeks I should have some time to recreate the set up and re-take the lost shots. When I do I’ll edit this post to include the images.

Laser Trigger with Delay

To test the laser trigger I purchased a 5 mW red laser from eBay for $2. I set up the laser on a stool and pointed it toward the optical sensor on the Nero trigger. I then connected the Nero trigger’s flash output to my Cactus v4 wireless flash trigger which was set to trigger my two flashes: a Sunpak 383 on 1/8 power with a red gel pointed towards the back wall, and a Canon 580 EX II at 1/64 power positioned on a light stand at camera right.

After everything was set up I stuck a bowl of milk on a box and then started pouring more milk through the laser beam and into the bowl. The results are a little underwhelming… this is not as easy as it other people make it look! A few things to improve upon for next time: better pre-focusing, a better angle and maybe some different colored liquid or a non-white bowl.

What are the downsides?

As mentioned earlier, the Nero Trigger does have a couple of downsides. None of them are too great, but they are something to consider if you are in the market for a triggering device.

First, you need to keep the manual handy, at least in the beginning. The Nero Trigger only has a simple display with only 10 lights. Unless you memorize the function and optional sensitivity setting each light represents you’ll have hard time knowing exactly what you’re doing. A simple one- or two-line LCD panel would work wonders here.

Second, you need a screwdriver to change the batteries. I don’t know about you, but I don’t keep a small screwdriver with me in my camera bag. If I were out in the field using the Nero Trigger and the batteries died I wouldn’t have a way to change them. I would, quite literally, be screwed.

What’s the bottom line?

The Nero Multi Trigger is a very capable and full featured remote triggering device for your DSLR and/or flash. It does have its place among the other hardware triggering devices, like the Triggertrap v1. It isn’t quite as convenient as Triggertrap Mobile, or other triggering apps for smart phones or tablets, for example, but it does have several key features which separate it from the pack.

Where can I get more information?

You can learn more about the Nero Multi Trigger on their website, follow them on twitter, like them on Facebook or find them on Flickr. You can buy the Nero Multi Trigger directly from Nero, on Amazon or from a variety of other worldwide retailers.

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