With so many new methods for creating images, photography has gone beyond just shooting. This new device from MIOPS brings the photographer closer to the images he envisions by simplifying the process.
The MIOPS Flex is a new variant of the brand’s smart triggers. Their first camera trigger, the Smart+ which we reviewed a while ago, offers many features that help automate several exposure processes such as time-lapse, star trails, HDR and many more. ‘others. It also has various sensors for sound, lighting and motion that offer a wide range of possibilities.
The MIOPS Flex offers many of the same features as older versions of the Smart Shutter, however, this one also comes with unique features that can be very useful especially for photographers who need to shoot under unusual angles or with unusual configurations. as for those who shoot a lot of HDR and exposure bracketing, as well as time-lapse.
Build and design
The Flex is a unique device that can be mounted on the camera hot shoe or other cold shoe locations. It connects using a different set of ports depending on the actual use and the camera that will be used with it. The Flex has a very minimalist design. This all black has a single backlit button to simply turn it on and off and it’s accompanied by two LED indicators on the side that signify the status of the connection. Besides power-up, all operations are controlled through the MIOPS mobile app. On the right side is a micro-SD card slot which will be used to store the output of the processes involved, as well as copies of images taken with the device. Although the design is sleek and minimalistic, the all-plastic construction raises questions about durability, especially when used in extreme conditions.
One of the most basic functions of this smart shutter is full control for long exposure shots. Just like the other variants, the MIOPS Flex offers a smartphone-controlled way to trigger lock and shutter release. The long exposure timer can hold a long exposure for up to 99 hours with an additional timer delay option. For landscape photographers doing a long exposure with ND filters, the app also has an ND filter calculator built into the remote timer function that will automatically enter your resulting exposure time and allow you to take photos. directly from the settings recommended by the ND filter calculator. .
The MIOPS Flex offers all the time-lapse functions seen in the MIOPS Smart+ and Remote plus. A standard interval shooting mode can be used for manual time lapse shooting functions with adjustable parameters such as exposure time, interval time and a total number of exposures. It also has more advanced time-lapse features such as the “holy grail” time-lapse mode that allows the shutter to help you adapt to changes in ambient light, perfect for day-to-night transitions and vice versa. Other time-lapse functions work hand-in-hand with built-in sensors such as “Storm-lapse” mode which triggers exposures using the light sensor which detects lightning and triggers the camera to take a photo. The Road-lapse feature works with the laser sensor which triggers the camera to shoot when an object passes in front of the sensor, which would be perfect for capturing moving vehicles from the side of the road. The HDR time-lapse feature captures bracketed exposures instead of single exposures to produce more dynamic and detailed clips.
However, the most notable time-lapse feature of the MIOPS Flex is the fact that it can generate previews of your time-lapse clips with the use of dedicated storage and the mobile app. The app can stitch the time-lapse clips on the fly without having to download and process them with a computer. Although previews aren’t as flexible in terms of speed and frame rate, they offer tremendous value by ensuring that clips can be put together and show a preview of the result.
HDR and focus stacking
Just like other versions of the MIOPS camera triggers, the Flex has an automated multiple exposure process for HDR and focus stacking. Various HDR modes have customizable bracketing modes ranging from 3 to 9 different exposures with intervals of 1/3 to 3 stops each. However, like the time-lapse feature, the Flex can create real-time previews or simulations of the resulting combined and blended HDR images which should help the photographer gauge the success of the final output or even use them. as samples.
The MIOPS Flex also has an automated focus stacking mode that allows the camera to navigate the frame to focus on different parts so it can cover the ranges needed to create a highly detailed result.
Live view mode
The MIOPS Flex uses both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity present on both the camera and the smartphone used. This allows the device to send video information and use the smartphone (or tablet) as a secondary display. This can be very useful in situations where the camera angle is not optimal for viewing the camera screen, such as at very high or very long angles. Although there is about a second of delay, which makes it less desirable for high-speed shooting, this feature can certainly be useful in providing a more efficient and comfortable shooting experience.
The MIOPS Flex has more immersive functions compared to other camera triggers, which justifies why setting up the device requires a few more tedious steps. If the camera is to be used for standard trigger functions such as shutter release and interval shooting, as well as the use of the smart sensors, it would only require the usual cable compatible with the camera Photo. However, for more advanced functions that use the PC remote function and leverage storage, the setup process can be more complicated and individualized by camera model. MIOPS has provided a specific guide which can be found here. These steps include disabling smartphone control functions, changing USB mode, disabling USB-C charging, and more. All of these settings need to be set each time you use the Flex with the advanced features, which can take a little longer than usual if you switch between these features often.
Once fully configured, the Flex becomes a device that allows your smartphone to control almost every aspect of the shooting process from a controlled distance. Shooting more complicated workflows for time-lapse, landscapes, special effects and many more becomes easier thanks to the automation offered by the camera. The user can also have better monitoring of the process and the output through the remote live view function as well as the real-time previews of time-lapse and HDR. All in all, after successfully tinkering with camera settings, the MIOPS Flex can be a great tool to simplify the workflow of different types of photographers.
What I liked :
- Features for long exposure, time-lapse, special effects, etc.
- Instant time-lapse and HDR preview
- Remote shooting
What I did not like
- Complicated setup process
- Full plastic material
- Micro USB charging