Rotolight’s Neo 2, Aeos and Anova Pro 2 LED lights have a built-in Elinchrom Skyport receiver that allows them to be triggered via the Rotolight HSS Transmitter. Helpfully, this also enables them to be used in high-speed sync (HSS) mode. That means that they will sync at shutter speeds faster than the normal 1/125sec, 1/160 or 1/250 sec limit with flash. In fact, they can sync at shutter speeds up to 1/8000sec. That’s the highest shutter speed available with the mechanical shutter in cameras like the Canon EOS R, Fujifilm X-T3, Nikon Z 6 and Z 7, Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, Panasonic Lumix G9 and Sony A7 III.
HSS mode is useful when you need to freeze very fast movement or if you want to shoot at wide apertures. It’s ideal for capturing things like water splashes or balloon bursts.
It’s also worth noting that the power of the output from the Neo 2, Aeos and Anova Pro 2 increases when they’re used in flash mode. For example, the Neo 2’s output increases by up to 500% in flash mode when it’s connected to mains power. With battery power, the output increases by up to 250%.
Rotolight HSS Transmitter Features
The Rotolight HSS Transmitter is made by Elinchrom for Rotolight. It slots into the hotshoe of a camera to wirelessly trigger Rotolight NEO 2, AEOS and Anova PRO 2 lights. However, it can also be used off camera to adjust the lights.
Rotolight offers the HSS Transmitter by Elinchrom for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Fujifilm cameras.
When it’s activated and wirelessly connected with a Rotolight LED like the Neo 2, it will trigger the flash when the camera’s shutter release is pressed.
It can control up to 10 lights in four groups over a distance of up to 200m(656ft). Furthermore, it can trigger a mixture of Rotolight lights. I’ve used it to trigger a couple of Neo 2’s and an Aeos for shots, for example.
In addition to acting as a trigger, the Rotolight HSS Transmitter can be used to adjust the light power and colour temperature of the lights. That’s in both flash or continuous mode. It saves you walking to and from your camera to make adjustments. That’s especially handy with multiple light arrangements and when the lights are in hard to access areas.
Shooting in HSS Mode with the Neo 2
- The first step is to make sure that your Rotolight LED unit is in Skyport mode and that it’s set to the same channel (frequency) as the Transmitter.
- With the Neo 2, you then select the flash mode and set the flash duration to 1/50sec. The Neo2 automatically adjust the duration when you use a faster shutter speed.
- Now slip the Transmitter in your camera’s hot-shoe and power it up before selecting ‘Scan’. This starts the Transmitter searching for any Rotolight LED units using the same channel, once it finds them, it connects to them.
- Now ensure your camera is set to work in manual flash mode. The Rotolight HSS Transmitter will trigger the Neo2 to fire a flash when you take a shot.
Cameras like the Fujifilm X-T2, which were introduced before a compatible Transmitter became available need a firmware upgrade to enable them to function with the Transmitter. This is issued by the camera manuafcturer.
The Rotolight HSS Transmitter quickly finds and connects to Rotolight lights once they are in Skyport mode. And provided no settings are changed, it very quickly reconnects after either it or the light (or both) have been turned off and on again.
It also trips the flash consistently. I haven’t experienced any misses or dark images.
The two button/dial control of Rotolight’s lights is simple to use, but it can sometimes be a little frustrating going through the menu structure. If you find that the Transmitter isn’t triggering the light, it’s simplest to reset the LED unit and then go through setting it to work in HSS mode. To reset the NEO 2, for example, hold down the left red control button while powering-up the light. The word ‘ZERO’ will be displayed and you need to select Y to confirm the reset to factory settings.
While the Rotolight HSS Transmitter can control the power and colour output of the lights for video, it’s real strength is for controlling them in flash mode. If you’ve bought a set of Rotolight Neo 2, Aeos or Anova Pro lights for shooting stills, then a Rotolight HSS Transmitter makes a great addition to your kit. As well as enabling the lights to be used in HSS mode with no recycle time, it effectively boosts their power.
And if you have a multiple light set-up for video, the Rotolight HSS Transmitter will save you time walking around the set adjusting lights and returning back to the camera to assess the impact.