Westcott has announced its new flash trigger, the FJ-X3. There are two versions of the shutter release, the FJ-X3 M for Nikon, Canon, Sony (with an adaptor), Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus and the FJ-X3 S specifically for Sony – because Sony likes to be special and different when it comes to their hotshoe.
The FJ-X3 comes with a new removable lithium-ion battery, allowing photographers to swap it out and recharge it as needed without the hassle and cost of single-use AA batteries. It has an all-new button layout with an improved user interface featuring a new multi-selection pad for easy adjustment of power settings, modeling light, beep sounds and more. Westcott says the new interface design allows multiple group settings to be displayed at once so you don’t have to wade through multiple menus to adjust each one.
The new trigger is compatible with Westcott FJ400 and FJ200 strobes as well as FJ80 flashes and FJ-XR receivers for use with third party strobes. When using Westcott’s lights you get full TTL and high speed sync capabilities, but when using the FJ-XR receivers, as they only use a simple 3.5mm sync jack, you don’t don’t do it. In this case you essentially get manual control and have to stay below your camera’s sync speed, but this is quite common for most flash systems when using receivers with third party lights. That being said, Westcott says the trigger also syncs with Canon RT flashes.
They offer wireless triggering capabilities of up to 985′ (300 meters) with “enhanced performance in high interference locations like weddings and events.” They operate on 2.4GHz, which gets pretty heavily flooded these days, so I’m curious to see how well they reject real-world interference once they start falling into the hands of users and reviews.
The shutter releases are compatible with Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic and there is a list of compatible cameras (and whether you get full or just manual compatibility) on Westcott’s website. There is also a mobile app for iPhone and Android that allows you to remotely adjust the power of FJ wireless flashes. Groups are color coded for quick recognition when you need to change settings, and for studio shooters who regularly bounce between different setups, you can also save lighting scenario settings for instant recall in the future.
The Westcott FJ-X3 M is available for pre-order now for $99.90. The Sony-dedicated Westcott FJ-XM S is also available for pre-order now for $99.90 and spare batteries for both are available for pre-order now for $29.90. Items should start shipping in the coming weeks.