Attention Triggertrap Ada Backers

While it might seem counter-intuitive I was really sad to hear that Triggertrap Ada was canceled. Aren’t they competition for the Camera Axe and shouldn’t I be happy to see them fail? No. I welcome competition and was excited to see what it did better than the Camera Axe. I actually expected it to push the camera trigger market forward. Based on what I’ve read about it I expected it to be a more polished and easier to use unit than the Camera Axe. However, I thought the Camera Axe would probably remain the most flexible and hack-able photography trigger on the market. The people I feel worst for are the Kickstarter backers who are getting only a fraction of their money back. In an attempt to soften the blow I’m offering a 20% discount to anyone reading this page through May 1st, 2015. During checkout just enter the coupon code “Triggertrap” and you’ll see your order automatically discounted. Our UK retailer Proto-PIC will also honor this discount.

Getting Started

The first part of getting started with the Camera Axe is deciding what type of photography you want to do with the Camera Axe and then pick the correct sensors and cables you need to buy to capture those photographs. You can always start with just a few sensors or cables an then add more as you get more experienced with the Camera Axe. All the parts below can be found at the Camera Axe Store.

Before we get started I’ll point you to a large library of Camera Axe related videos that covers a ton of topics. Look around there and you’ll probably find a video showing how to do what you are trying to do.

A good starting kit would be the Camera Axe, a flash cable, a camera cable, and one or more sensors. This combine with the camera and external flash you already have should be everything you need to start taking amazing photos.

Camera Axe

There are two options when buying a Camera Axe. You can either buy the fully assembled and tested Camera Axe 5. Or if you are experienced at soldering you can assemble your own Camera Axe 5 Shield Kit. Both versions use the same software and can use all the same cables/sensors. The Camera Axe 5 does come with a nice case and is fully assmebled. The Camera Axe Kit shield doesn’t have those and needs an Arduino Uno board to function, but is much less expensive for the DIYer.

Flash Cables

Most high speed photography is done in a dark room and then the flash is used to light the event being photographed. This avoids large lag times and slow speeds of physical camera shutters found in modern cameras. This means most people buying the Camera Axe should really get one or more flash cables. You can consider either the Hotshoe Flash Cable or the PC Sync Flash Cable. Get the cable that matches your flash. The Camera Axe has two ports for flashes, but if you plan to use more than two flashes you should consider the Multi-Flash Board.

Camera Cables

This is a cable that let’s the Camera Axe trigger your camera. See the flash cables above to see why high speed photography often triggers the flash instead of the camera. That said there are lots of cases where you want to trigger the camera with the Camera Axe. Below is a list of our different camera cables. Each link has a list of cameras supported by that cable.

Sensors

Here are some of the most popular sensors from the Camera Axe store.

  • Valve Sensor – This is the best sensor for taking pictures of liquid droplets.
  • Projectile Sensor – This is the best sensor for taking photos of high speed projectiles.
  • Microphone Sensor – This sensor detects loud noises such as a popping balloon or shattering glass.
  • Light Sensor – This sensor detects changes in lighting such as lightning strikes.
  • Laser Sensor – This sensor when combine with the light sensor above can make a light trip beam.
  • Motion/Distance Sensor – This sensor detect the distance of an object. It is also useful for detecting motion of objects such as pets or wildlife.
  • There are a lot of other sensors so if this guide doesn’t have a sensor that fits your needs take a closer look at all the sensors in the store or search the forums since there are even more sensor ideas there that people have built.

Other Resources for Help

  • This page has links to the Camera Axe user manual and links to some of the episodes from TechPhotoBlog which is a weekly video podcast I publish that answer a lot of common Camera Axe questions.
  • The Camera Axe Forums are a great place to ask questions.