PocketWizard Launches Major ControlTL Firmware Update

PocketWizard users are responding more and more to using off-camera flash at incredible shutter speeds — speeds photographers have been dreaming about since the dawn of flash photography itself. From stopping powdered snow surrounding a professional snowboarder to freezing water droplets as a diver enters a pool, shooters around the world are exploring new worlds of creativity with PocketWizard’s HyperSync technology.

In the recent past, the PocketWizard blog has showcased photographers like Tom Bol, Dave Black, and Chris O’Connell, all of whom are exploiting HyperSync to get shots impossible with any other system.

©Dave Black

HyperSync allows using faster than normal flash x-sync speeds, sometimes up to 1/8000th second, with full-power studio flash units as well as compact speedlights. Used with portable studio flashes, HyperSync enables setting action-stopping shutter speeds for images that previously could only be achieved with high-speed flash sync and multiple sets of ganged-speedlights. As you can see by the amazing results of photographers who have been on the cutting edge of this new PocketWizard technology, this is going to change the way sports photography is shot.

With the new firmware detailed below, PocketWizard has improved HyperSync operation to provide improved x-sync speeds right from the start, and a simpler software setup has been developed to get the most out of your camera and flash system. Read the following press release for full details and links to further resources.

©Dave Black

PocketWizard Photo Products Launches Major ControlTL Firmware Update

New features and upgrades available now for MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios,
both Canon and Nikon versions

South Burlington, VT — September 1, 2011 — PocketWizard, the industry leader in wireless control and synchronization of cameras, flash and light meters, announces a major new update to its ControlTL firmware for both Nikon and Canon versions of its MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios. Available now, version 3.0 for Nikon and Version 6.0 for Canon include several new features and updates to make the system more powerful than ever including HyperSync Automation, SpeedCycler and Off Camera Power Control. Any current owner of the ControlTL system can install these new features and updates for free using the PocketWizard Utility.

“We’re excited about these new features for the ControlTL system and the creative potential they represent for photographers,” said Dave Schmidt, Vice President of Marketing at LPA Design, the company that manufacturers PocketWizard photo products. “Firmware upgrades such as this are a benefit for photographers who invest in PocketWizard radios. HyperSync Automation will be a game changer in that it opens up the amazing capability to use blazing fast sync speeds with flash units — creating amazing potential in sports or portrait applications.”

About HyperSync Automation
A number of enhancements have been made to the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5’s HyperSync feature. These changes can improve the performance of HyperSync and make it easier to configure. This new method adjusts HyperSync timing in two separate places — on the transmitter and on the receiving ControlTL radio. The transmitting or on-camera MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 automatically adjusts HyperSync to compensate for changes made to shutter speed. Photographers can further refine HyperSync via the PocketWizard Utility.

The receiving ControlTL radio can additionally compensate for shutter speed and flash power level by automatically making adjustments to achieve the fastest possible sync speed for supported configurations, such as a FlexTT5 with speedlights, an AC9 AlienBees Adapter, a PowerST4, or a PowerMC2. Some configurations require adjustments via the PocketWizard Utility.

HyperSync can now be customized on a per-flash basis. When using multiple flashes of different makes/models, HyperSync adjustments can now be made individually on each receiving FlexTT5 unit. If using an AlienBees flash with an AC9 AlienBees Adapter, users simply specify the flash under the Sync Timing tab in the PocketWizard Utility and the radios will automatically use the best timings for every shutter speed.

About SpeedCycler with an AC3 ZoneController
Previously only seen with PocketWizard’s MultiMAX radios, this new mode is designed to rapidly cycle through multiple flash units fired individually in sequence. This allows photographers to fire a camera in sync with flashes faster than a single flash unit can recycle. It can also be used for triggering remote cameras sequentially. SpeedCycler is engaged on a transmitting MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 via the PocketWizard Utility.

SpeedCycler mode requires an AC3 ZoneController in the top hot-shoe of the on-camera PocketWizard radio. Zones A, B, and C will be triggered sequentially and individual zones can be disabled by setting the AC3’s Zone Switch to the off position. Both TTL and manual flash controls are supported.

Receiving MultiMAX radios can be used instead of FlexTT5s provided they are set to a standard channel between 17 and 32. Users need to set the Standard Transmit Channel on the transmitting ControlTL radio to match the receiving MultiMAX unit.

About Flash Power Control without a Camera
Photographers can now take their AC3 and transmitting radio off-camera and use it to set power levels for any flash with a ControlTL receiver, making it more convenient to use an optically triggered light meter, or control the power levels with just a MiniTT1/FlexTT5 and AC3 in their hand while another photographer takes the pictures. Previously, an AC3 ZoneController on a MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 needed to be on camera to send manual power levels to remote flashes. Now, when connected to a MiniTT1 or FlexTT5, manual power levels are transmitted to remote flashes when the TEST button is pressed even when the transmitter is off the camera. This affects both speedlights connected to receiving FlexTT5s and larger flashes like AlienBees and Elinchrom RX units with ControlTL receivers.

For more information on how to update visit the PocketWizard Download Page.

©Dave Black

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7 Responses to “PocketWizard Launches Major ControlTL Firmware Update”

  1. Mark Griffin says:


    Just a quick email to say thanks for the firmware update. I had a shoot here in Country Western Australia at a Wind Farm and was wondering how I was going to achieve the look I wanted and came across the update for the Flex and Mini the day before my shoot. Worked like a dream and let me shoot at 2.8 at 1/1600 sec with great results…

    Thanks again.. Mark

  2. Gary says:

    With the MiniTT1 and AC3 controlling power output used off-camera via pressing the TEST button, what options and mechanisms are there for the camera to trigger the flashes?

    • admin says:

      None. A Mini or Flex must be in the camera shoe to send a shooting amount and trigger signal to the remote Flex and flash. The purpose of this feature is to enable power control and metering from the subject position.

  3. After upgrading to version 6 the PW Utility does not show the Hypersync tab. actually it only shows on Configurations-Channels Transmit and receive options nothing else… Am I missing something? I updated the utility and the firmware and still not get all the tabs I used to get…

    • Ron Egatz for PocketWizard Blog says:

      Not really.

      The system designed to show the simplest software operating steps first as not all photographers are interested in using all of the advanced ControlTL technology. To view the all operating tabs, simply click on the “Advanced” box found at the bottom left of the Utility Software screen.

  4. Kevin says:

    I am trying to configure my lighting setup using a mini tt1 on transmit & flex tt5 on receive via p2 port to trigger Elinchrom Quadra’s. Camera is Nikon. What I’m confused on and could use help is on what side and/or both do I configure the HyperSync? On the Transmit or receive?

    I notice if I use standard settings, the option to adjust the flextt5 on receive is greyed out, am I understanding that correctly?

    If using the ControlTL channels though, it seems I can adjust both on the Mini TT1 for transmit & on Flex tt5 for receive. I could use some help since else that’s a LOT of test scenarios for timing offset.

    Maybe I’m missing something! Thanks!

    • Ron Egatz says:

      Hi Kevin – great question! I’ve forwarded your message to Tech Support so that they can help you with your particular setup.