Phottix Cleon I/II Wireless Camera Triggers

cleon-1 I am a big fan of using a cable release on a camera to make sure you aren’t introducing any camera shake into the image. Phottix has recently released their Cleon Wireless Remotes and being a user of the previous model for almost two years now, I was really looking forward to seeing what they did with the new designs.

Summary

With modern DSLR’s, these cable releases have become electronic triggers with the remotes being able to perform all kinds of additional functions. More often than not, all I need is just a simple push-button remote to fire my camera and so I have used a Phottix Wireless Remote for almost two years now. In fact, the only reason it wasn’t featured in recent photo shoot tutorials is because the battery in the transmitter is dead and I have been too lazy to go buy a replacement.

Fortunately, Phottix has come to the rescue and come out with an all-new wireless remote, saving me the hassle of buying a simple battery.The Cleon I and Cleon II are newer wireless remotes to replace the original one. We need to see if the new systems are better than the original.

Features

cleon-4 The Cleon I and II are very similar with the primary differences (more on this later) being that the Cleon II has a 2 second delay timer built in and the Cleon II uses the same receiver for each camera with interchangeable cables for the specific camera you are using. The Cleon I had the camera cable hardwired to the receiver.

Specifications

Transmitter Receiver
Power 12v 3v
Battery Life ~ 3 Years 20,000 cycles
Channels Smart Code System with 16,000,000 codes
Range 100m (320ft) unobstructed
Monitor Lights Two Color LED Two Color LEDs
Frequency 433 Mhz

Differences between Cleon I and II

As I said there are some other differences between the Cleon I and Cleon II, the following chart will outline all of the differences between the two models.

Cleon I Cleon II
Frequency 315Mhz 433Mhz
Channels 16 (Dip Switches) 16,000,000 Smart Code System
Receiver / Camera Connection Hard wired cable Removable cable w/2.5mm plug
Transmitter Antenna Length 75mm 125mm
2 Second Delay On Receiver On Transmitter
5 Frame Burst Not Available On Transmitter
Receiver Power Switch 4-position slide switch Push switch for 3 seconds
Exit bulb mode 1/2 Press on transmitter 1/2 or Full Press on transmitter

Setup

cleon-3 The Cleon II should be ready to go right out of the box which mine was. If you need to synchronize the transmitter and receiver you just need to follow these simple steps:

To synchronize the receiver to the transmitter:

  • turn receiver on by holding down “set/power” button for ~3 seconds until RHS LED turns on
  • press “set/power” button on receiver 5 times until LED on left hand side flashes red
  • press shutter button on transmitter
  • LED on left hand side of receiver should turn off

Usage

cleon-2 As much as I have liked having a wireless remote for the past two years, more often than not I was using it within a foot of the camera. With the Cleon remotes, the receiver can be used as a wired remote. The nice part about this configuration is that the receiver does not have to be turned on for the wired function to work. For me, I will use it in the wired configuration quite a bit which should significantly improve the battery life.

To use the wireless mode you hold down the set/power button on the receiver for three seconds to turn it on. On the receiver, move the slide switch to the desired position:

  • S/B – single exposures or bulb mode (hold transmitter button down for 3 seconds to lock the shutter open in bulb mode)
  • 2S – single exposure with about 2 second delay
  • multiple exposures – Automatically takes 5 exposures

Once set, push the button 1/2 way to focus and all the way to take the picture. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Results

The Cleon system simply works great. At about $36 its hard to beat the price for a wired and wireless remote system. It doesn’t have some of the features of higher end remote like interval settings, longer delay settings, and time lapse, but that’s not what it is designed for. The only negative thing I have to say at all is that I simply could not get the advertised range out of it. The best I could get was about 120 feet. Now granted, I have never needed to be 120 feet from my camera when taking a picture and if that would have been the advertised range I would have accepted it. However, since the claimed range is around 300 feet, I am going to drop the final score down in the ratings for that. Otherwise the system is flawless and I would highly recommend it.

Score Card

Features 5.0
Setup 5.0
Usage 3.0
Results 5.0
Price 5.0
Overall 4.5

Phottix Website: http://phottix.net

KerryG

Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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12 Responses

  1. johnbergsing says:

    Is there a US distributor or do we have to order these from overseas?

  2. KerryG says:

    The best is usually to by them from HK Supplies’ eBay store. They still ship from Hong Kong but to California only takes 3-4 days.

  3. Martin says:

    FYI, the transmitter battery is 12v, not 1.2v.

  4. The receiver can be used via the infrared remote control or by hand. You can monitor the wireless transmissions from the camera on a TV, LCD, etc and record the transmissions.

  5. kgarrison says:

    I'm not sure what you are referring to. The wireless system is done over radio frequency not IR (hence the antenna) so what is there to monitor on a TV? There is nothing being broadcast from the camera.

  6. Erick P says:

    I have the PHOTTIX Cleon I and at first it was working just fine and then from one moment to another the LCD on my Nikon D300 would not work. It seems like everytime I connect the PHOTTIX Cleon I to my D300 it disables the LCD screen. Now it takes the photos and works fine but I can't see the images that I'm shooting unless I disconnect the cable. Any idea's?

  7. Erick P says:

    I have the PHOTTIX Cleon I and at first it was working just fine and then from one moment to another the LCD on my Nikon D300 would not work. It seems like everytime I connect the PHOTTIX Cleon I to my D300 it disables the LCD screen. Now it takes the photos and works fine but I can't see the images that I'm shooting unless I disconnect the cable. Any idea's?

  8. Thanks for the reviews that you do Kerry. It's good to get an honest perspective from a real world user like yourself.

    I have listened to your podcasts for a long time. I think you do a great job getting information out to your listeners and your interviews are really interesting / entertaining. Just wanted to let you know that your work is appreciated very much.

    Joe Gazzarato

  9. rgoble says:

    Does this work with a canon 7d and can you use it and a speedlite at the same time?

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