Steve's Digicams

Phoenix 66S
Pro Slave Flash
User Review

Review posted Jan 22, 2000

Phoenix 66S Pro Slave Flash

We're always looking for better ways to enhance the flash capabilities of our digicams because they all have pathetically underpowered built in flash units. I recently ordered and received the $29 Phoenix 66S Pro Slave flash unit (stock number 12-0369W) from Porter's Camera in Iowa. Here's their description of it:

    It's a slave flash. It's a manual flash. It's a stand alone remote slave flash. It's a slave or manual trigger for any attached hot shoe flash. It's a pro hand grip. It's for use with all point-n-shoot cameras, SLRs or any other flash set-up. It's more than you bargained for.

    Sporting a useful GN#66 with ISO 100 film, the ProSlave is ideal for a very wide variety of creative flash situations. Use it on your point-n-shoot or SLR as a sturdy, steady hand grip. Or fire your cameras built-in flash to automatically trigger the Pro Slave as supplemental flash illumination. You can also attach a separate hot shoe flash on the Pro Slave's built-in shoe to achieve extra flash power.

    Operates either on manual or as super slave. Shoe rotates through 360 degrees for added light dispersion. And if you don't want to use a camera mounted flash, remove it and let it stand alone anywhere. Or attach to a light stand via built-in 1/4x20 tripod socket. Whatever you do, don't ignore it. Without a doubt, the ProSlave is so useful, unusual and unique.

This external flash unit is perfect for the digicam hobbyist who needs a slave triggered flash for their digicam. It comes with a regular sync cord so it can be used as a regular flash too.

The slave triggers the flash on a single pulse so it works fine with the Nikon 950. Some digicams use a double flash, the first flash is used to set the exposure and white balance. That first "preflash" will trigger the slave and it won't be recycled in time for the actual exposure.

On the back is an On/Off switch, a ready light and a test button. The flash is powered by four AA batteries and either Ni-Cd or NiMH type make it recycle very fast, faster than the 950 is ready to take another shot.

Underneath of the flash head is the slave trigger that lets this thing do its magic without needing a sync cord.

On top is a flash hot shoe that swivels 360-degrees. Another flash unit can be mounted on top of the Phoenix 66S and triggered by the slave.

Shooting at about fifteen feet from the other end of my living room, the Nikon 950's flash just doesn't have enough power. Adding the Phoneix's output to the Nikon's flash is just what is needed to brighten things up.

It's even the ticket for shooting closer range subjects when the 950 is in aperture prefered mode. Here I set the aperture fully closed for maximum depth of field but the 950's flash by itself was not enough. Add the Phoenix 66S slave and voilla, perfect lighting!

Outdoors, at night, distance to fence is about 20 feet. The 950's flash had no problem illuminating the fence but it sure didn't do much for the bushes and flowers.

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