I shoot fitness, sports and action. After I ditched my Profoto B1 (long story), the only viable replacement was PocketWizard’s Hypersync feature.
Though Hypersync works differently to Profoto’s HSS functionality, it does not limit you to just one strobe (The B1… with max 500w/s output).
In my experience the pros and cons of each (Profoto HSS vs PW Hypersync) are as follows:
(Note, I am not talking about the B1 as a unit, just the HSS function).
|Profoto B1 (pros)||Profoto B1 (cons)||PocketWizard Hypersync (pros)||PocketWizard Hypersync (cons)|
|Built in function||Limited to the B1 power||Universal system||Effectiveness varies with equipment used|
|No settings or tweaks to make||HSS saps the output power||Can use an PW as the receiver||Works best with slow flash duration|
|Allows upto 1/8000s shutter||Only works on level 8 or above power setting||Potentially unlimited poweroutput||Requires manual setup in PW software|
|Requires no thought to activate||Customizable settings||Need a computer to change settings|
|Only works with Flex TT1 or TT5 as transmitter|
|With fast strobes, banding appears at higher shutter speeds.|
So, neither are perfect. In an ideal world I would have a Hasselblad H6D with a leaf shutter (go look that up) that I can use with any flash at any shutter speed… However, I don’t have $35k (plus taxes and lenses!) to buy one of these.
So what can you do with Hypersync. Well, first, you can freeze action much better outdoors. Traditionally 1/250s was your sync speed limit, so with strong light (such as we get here in Miami), will cause motion blur. Even with a short flash duration.
The other use, that will probably apply to more photographers, allows shooting in bright sunlight, with a strobe and a very shallow depth of field.
Think about it; before you were limited to 1/250s shutter. Even at a low ISO, you would still have to sit at around f7 or above on a very sunny day. Unless you used just natural light and remove the shutter speed restriction… But what fun is that?!
A quick shoot with Ms Shireen Sandoval last weekend allowed me to try just this. It was 2pm in Miami. The sun was high and it was hard dirty light. I whipped out my 70-200mm, zoomed all the way in at f2.8 and 1/800s. Set my strobe to full power (640w/s) with a silver beauty dish and white diffuser attached.
The results as you can see, give a really interesting look.
Model: Shireen Sandoval
MUA: Odette Hernandez
Location: My house
Wardrobe: Prada, Alapel and Filomena Fernandez