CowboyStudio NPT-04 Cactus V4 Flash Triggers – First Impression and Review

I got these babies on Thursday but since it was the start of the weekend I got caught up with other stuff and couldn’t take them out to try some Strobist shots. Basically the V4 is a wireless flash triger and receiver set. It allows you to use off-camera flash techniques and give your photos a new look. Theres a whole website dedicated to it, you can read about it here [link]

These sets are commonly called ‘E-bay’ triggers or Chinese Triggers coz they’re mostly made in China and cheaper than pro-grade brands. I bought mine from Amazon for 6.4 KD and the additional receiver cost another 4.5 KD. The total cost including shipping was 17 KD. This is much cheaper than a Pocket Wizard set which would have cost at least 65 KD. Now on to the review

Whats in the box:
Well this is probably the most basic camera accessory I’ve purchased, the packaging couldn’t get simpler than this and they didnt even include a booklet or usage instructions. The box contains 1 transmitter, 1 receiver and a PC sync cord. The white box you see is the additional receiver that I bought.

You remove the hotshoe flash cover on your camera and slide in the transmitter and use the adjustment screw to secure the set to your camera. There are 2 DIP switches on the transmitter which operates in binar mode so you get 4 possible channels to choose from. Theres also a Test button which sends a test signal to the receivers on that channel  and the LEDs flash so you know if they’re getting a signal. Use the same combination channel on all your receivers and you’re all set. The recivers use 2 AAA batteries each while the transmitter comes with a built-in battery. On the receivers you’ll find the same 4 channel selecter and a power toggle switch. They can be mounted onto a tripod or a light pole and the other end has a hotshoe which can accomodate any flash module. I have a Nikon SB600 and a National PE 201M and they fit like a glove.

From online reviews I’ve seen people use them from as far as 10 meters but I didnt go that far. What I did find out that you dont have to be in ‘Line-of-sight’ for it it to work since the FM signals can travel easily in your room. I managed to trigger the flash while we were in two separate rooms.

I just shot two sets to see how well they light up different areas and they performed better than I expected.

What I like:

Amazing value for money
Easy to set up and use
Good range
4 channels (so you dont interfere with other photographers who may be using the same setup nearby)

What I don’t like:
Cheap quality, one of the battery doors sometimes feels a little shaky and you have to jiggle it

Cowboy Studio website [link]

Cowboy Studio NPT-04 on Amazon [link]

7 Replies to “CowboyStudio NPT-04 Cactus V4 Flash Triggers – First Impression and Review”

    1. Commander mode is not available for entry level D series like D60, D3000, D5000, D40x etc 🙁 but fortunately this trigger doesnt break the bank 🙂

      1. Ah-So!! (from Mind your language).
        I’ve always used the CLS system starting from my first dSLR (D70) to D200 and now D300. It is really quiet a clever system that allows you to control 3 banks of speed lights (A, B, C) with each bank holding any number of speedlights – and you can control the output of each bank separately.

        I had seen one example where one guy hooked up dozens of these speedlights for some crazy action.

        Anyway, this looks like a very good option on the cheap. Good luck!!.

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