Nero Trigger for Nikon review


This Nero Trigger for Nikon ($194) review is by Alex Sarna:

The Nero Trigger is a device that can trigger your flash and cameras through 6 different modes. These include lightning, sound, timelapse, laser, HDR and DIY. These features can certainly makes photographers more creative with their off camera lighting techniques.

I received the product in the mail and once I opened the package, there were a few concerns that immediately stood out to me. To start off, I was surprised the trigger did not have pins on the hot-shoe. Instead, it had a flat plastic surface. When mounting, it seemed as if I was pushing the trigger into the cameras hot-shoe. It did not come off easily either.

Secondly, the hot-shoe on the device must have been accidentally glued on a slant. This was very strange to see and also made inserting it on the camera very difficult:


Nero Trigger flipped over to see the plastic mount and awkward slant

I decided to test the unit on both my Nikon D40 and D300, just in case it was my D40 that had some incompatibility issue. The Nero Trigger did not even fit into my D300’s hot-shoe and I was not about to push it in. Plastic gripping to metal just doesn’t work and isn’t worth the risk of getting it stuck.

Additionally, the included cables did not properly connect to both units. One side of each cable fit inside the camera and trigger, but the second end on each did not match the connection ports in either device. This was rather frustrating to play around with.


Nero Trigger cables

As a result of these major issues, apart from turning the Nero Trigger on and flipping through the menu screens, I could not fully test the product to its full potential.

On a positive note, the trigger did come with the 2 cables (mentioned above) for camera and flash connectivity and 2 AAA batteries ready to use. The menu systems seemed to be clear and simple enough to read.


Nero in the box

In conclusion, I think Nero Trigger needs to revisit their product design and functionality. Incorporating a real, metal hot-shoe and making it straight, would be the biggest fix.

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  • Ernesto Quintero

    $200 fail.

  • AM I Am

    I always wondered if anybody bought that stuff as it always came across as useless. Now I know it’s really useless.

  • Nick

    Geez, well that’s pretty crap then.

  • mikeswitz

    Thanks for the heads up alex!

  • Jeff Hunter

    I’ve been using the “Lightning Bug” by MK Controls for fireworks and lightning and have been very happy with the product.

  • John_Skinner

    I’m one of the people who got stuck with one of these also…. I picked it up across the lake for about £130 or so at a chain store.. I had not the chance to use it, so it sat for quite a bit on the shelf.. The day I decided to give the lightning trigger a whirl it was a complete shite show out of the box. Foot came undone from the bottom, cables were hard to insert, and after hours (well past the storms) partial menu failure. I was miffed. I had set it aside to return it, but got too busy and left for home leaving it there.

    I asked someone to look and post it… But as all garbage usually ends up in the bin, I think this did too.. It was placed in the skip and trashed. I’m really angry about this and it never dawned on me until I read this piece. I WOULD NOT recommend this item to anyone.. I don’t know what their customer service is like (I didn’t get a chance), bit if it’s anything like their building technique.. You’re better off finding another device out there.

  • Nikola

    Hmmm, that’s not really a review of the product, is it? No mention how does it work once connected etc.

    1. Depending on the distributor/retailer, you have to choose appropriate cable. Not all cameras have the same ports/connector, and clearly, whether through the fault of purchaser, packer or retailer, wrong cables came in.
    2. I paid close attention to the guide on manufacturer’s website and ordered the correct cable. While I too found the fit between hotshoe and the item snug, I was not surprised not to find connectors, perhaps because I read the manual and/or understood that flash does not, typically, fire a camera;). Many devices optionally mount on hotshoe for convenience
    3. Once I got the trigger hooked up, I found that it was a bit finicky to get going, but mostly because I was inexperienced – if I set the sound trigger to be insensitive, it wasn’t capturing the action; if I set it sensitive enough to trigger on a coin dropping into water and similar, I had to be super careful with touching the camera, walking, making noises etc, because it would take a shot.
    4. Finally, I had to tinker with delay/lag, because for some short-timed events (balloon exploding and similar), the lag between detection and camera firing had to be finely tuned.

    All of these however were “within expected parameters”. I don’t have a feeling poster read what devices like this do at all – considering that until yesteryear, this kind of rig was a ridiculously-expensive custom job, getting light/laser/sound functionality in under $200 was obviously going to be a “cheap & cheerful, functional but not sophisticated” device.

    In the end, it seems like purchaser did not research, did not bother reading, did not have clear expectations, and then decided to present a “box opening / cables missing” personal annoyance as a “review of a product”.

    • Nikola

      For what it’s worth, I shot this the night I got the trigger, after about an hour tinkering with the trigger, camera, lights and position [the darn coins never seemed to want to go where I aimed:]. Not exactly an artsy masterpiece, but it was *fun* to do, which is all one can really expect at this price point 🙂

      • Pat Mann

        Fun shots! Thanks.

    • Nikola

      And finally, I just checked the manufacturer’s website. There are three types of cables for Nikons, depending on the camera; none of them are specced for d40 – perhaps they just missed out, but given that d40 is an entry level camera, I don’t think it *has* a cable release (I know it has an IR release). Quick Google indicates it’s only Video-Out and Mini-USB.
      ….. So, err, not sure what the author was trying to plug it into, or trying to accomplish… :->

    • John_Skinner

      If you’re trying in some small way to say people posting their findings are all boobs… I would disagree. I’m pretty sure after 30+ years in this racket I can successfully purchase, un-box, and use the equipment I’ve purchased. In 3 of the limited posts here, people have all found some type of build issue with this product. The numbers speak for themselves.

      Of course there will be tweaking of settings when dealing with a unit like this. It’s ALL about timing and catching it. That would be expected. But if you have housing failures, cable issues.. and in my case, an entire menu issue..

      These guys are bunko artists at the worst, and just plain silly buggers on the better end selling poorly made items like this.

      • Guest

        Hi John

        “If you’re trying in some small way to say people posting their findings are all boobs […]

        1. Absolutely not – but there’s different venues for different type of contribution. If a user is unsuccessful in using product, typically the venue is a manufacturer or retailer review system (for example, Amazon reviews), or a photography forum. For a title page of a major website, the expectation (rightly or wrongly) of a “review” is different. We’ve had tons of great reviews of products on Nikon Rumors, which include tips & tricks, samples, and detailed how-tos. There were few reviews on Nikon Rumours, that I’m aware of, with no actual samples or results and utter failure to get product to work; if we end up seeing more going forward, expectations will eventually be adjusted in the appropriate direction.

        2. Typically, I’m not impressed by folks claiming experience, awards, and expensive equipment they own; in my mind authority is based on authority and correctness. If you do choose to make a claim on your experience & expertise, that my apologies, but what the heck were you trying to accomplish plugging Nero into the d40? Which port were you even trying to plug it into? You also have not addressed which retailer you’ve procured it from, and which cable [of the several available] you have ordered, or which criteria you’ve applied to order the cable. Finally, have you attempted gaining support from manufacturer, retailer, or internet communities?

        In other words, is there anything you can put forward that would make me believe you did not simply order/receive wrong cable, made no attempt to get correct cable, and then gave up?

        In conclusion:
        – I’m not making any claims that “all people posting their findings are boobs”, on the contrary.
        – I am making a claim that this particular post, given the prominence, is more of a rant than a useful, detailed review of a product; in particular, in the great hierarchy of things, I don’t see a failed attempt as worthy of a front page placement; others will of course disagree 🙂

      • Nikola

        Hi John

        My post was not in reference to yours [the placement is incidental and you’ll note it was not written as a reply], but to the original reviewer (Alex Sarna).

        I see absolutely nothing wrong in posting opinions and experiences of a product on manufacturer’s or retailer’s review systems, forums, comments, etc (as you have done).

        I was surprised, given the quality and usefulness of the previous Nikon Rumours posts, that what is essentially a failed attempt would get a prominent placement on the front page of a major website; as far as I can tell, the author did not have correct cable (whether through their own failure to investigate and order correct cable, or retailer/shipping mistakes), did not quite know what to do with product (I’m curious where they were trying to plug it into d40 and what they were hoping to accomplish), and seemingly gave up without contacting manufacturer or retailer for the correct cable or troubleshooting advice. None of which is unusual, but also none of which is particularly fascinating to read.
        Is there a value in posting such experiences? Absolutely.
        Do I think they’re deserving of front-page placement and characterization of “review”?
        Nope, especially given the tremendously useful, interesting, and detailed reviews we’ve seen on these pages before.

        [note, I had a different reply written/posted before I realized you were not in fact the author of the review and this exchange was based on a misunderstanding]

  • LarryC

    The product may have some issues, but this is not much of a review. It reads more like Amazon feedback. Did the reviewer even bother to try contacting the company?

    • He’s more friendly than I would have been. Sounds like it was nothing BUT issues.

      • Pat Mann

        This was a user fail. He had no business posting this as a “review” until he had a testable system in hand.

        • John_Skinner

          Pretty sure that if a new product out of the box won’t fit on your hotshoe as it was designed to do.. It had noting to do with a ‘reviewer’.. He did his part by purchasing it. it was up to these dolts to deliver what was on the box.. Google it and see if you feel the same way.

  • Mansgame

    This is useless. It’s the Sigma of radio triggers.

    • Pat Mann

      Is that based on your own experience with it? If so, please describe. Because this reviewer never got to the point of testing it, through what seems to me to be user error.

    • Nikola

      That is probably a fair assessment, not the least because zillions of people quite enjoy their Sigma lenses, while others have had sour experiences.

  • Review Fail

    Worst review ever. Maybe the author was really unlucky with his product. Probably he didn’t even check the cable compatibility with his camera, which can be easily found on the Nero Trigger website, and blame the constructor for his own mistake.

    You can easily find serious reviews instead of reading this crap :

    • Jeff Hunter

      Worst trigger ever!

      • Deer Hunter

        Worst comment ever!

        • Jeff Hunter

          Do you seriously want to buy one after reading this?

          • Deer Hunter

            After reading what ?
            The crappy amazon comment disguised as a review or one of the several good reviews you can find on google ?

            • Jeff Hunter

              I always consult Amazon user reviews when considering a product purchase. Professional reviewers may have only used the product the brief amount of time necessary to write the review and, depending on circumstances, they might be inclined to pull punches when potential advertising dollars may be at risk. The more user reviews the better. Some folks are better at writing those things than others. Reading about the long term usage of a product is something you rarely get from a paid reviewer.

            • Richard Hart

              unfortunately you can’t always trust online reviews as manufacturers have people adding comments as if a purchaser. Amazon is a good place to look for reviews and it is good that you can ask questions. B&H seems to have basic yes/no reviews that I feel are pretty much pointless

  • NBMZ

    Wow, the shitty hotshoe looks like it won’t last a month…I mean for $200, you get something that looks like it was moulded by hand?

    Thanks for the review. Wallet is safe. 🙂

  • Sean Needham

    I’ve reviewed one of these previously, and didn’t get the build issues as mentioned here or find it too problematic to use at all; however it’s a different class of thing to the dedicated kit or if you build your own for purpose. I’ve found things like this do have inherent weakness as they are being a jack of all trades, but that’s part of the parcel but these are more aimed at the casual dabbler not someone who is wanting to go in depth with it.
    Would I use one of these in a critical situation (like when a storm is bearing down), probably not apart from perhaps the time lapse functions I’d go for the dedicated to purpose stuff that I’ve got; but if a friend was wanting a go at doing something like droplet photography or if the nieces wanted to pop balloons all afternoon then I’d dig this out.

  • Pat Mann

    B&H lists a variety of cable combinations, including a 10-pin cable that should work with D300. D40 has no wired remote capability – just IR, so this test was a user fail from the get-go, tells little about the product except be careful what you order, and return if not correctly packaged with the right cables for your camera.

  • Kynikos

    I bought this three months ago with mixed results. I bought direct from the company in Turkey. $200 BUT they sent it Fedex ($20 to ship) when I had asked them to just send it regular mail. And of course since it went Fedex, Fedex stitched me up for $60 in customs and “brokerage” fees.

    Despite me choosing the proper cables they sent the wrong ones (Canons I think…I ordered for D800 and D90, and the two originally sent fit neither. Fortunately I paid no extra shipping charges.

    The lightning and time lapse features both work well. The trigger-by-noise is very inconsistent, which is a bit of a pity because there’s no way to trigger an exposure by pushing a button or some such.I guess the button functionality might be thought by some to be redundant (erm, just push the shutter release button, Son?) but there’s no reliable way to take a picture on-command other than noise (there’s the laser pen way, but that’s even trickier than the noise command). The noise is too hit-or-miss to count on.

    The DIY mode looks like it could be very useful, but there’s no explanation in the very skimpy manual on how to DIY anything. There is a warning “don’t use this mode unless you know what you are doing!” but since they don’t explain what you’re supposed to do, I’m not sure I’ll ever know.

    Overall, a grade of C or 3/5 because the lightning and time-lapse stuff work as advertised. The rest is very poorly executed. The company did not follow my shipping request. If you buy, buy from a reseller who can handle customer service issues.

    • Spy Black

      Just like to point out that when doing any kind of audio triggering, you need to have the pickup device (i.e., microphone) close to the sound source. This is not only important not just to have the source sound triggering it (allows you to turn the gain down so environmental noises won’t falsely trigger it, assuming your trigger device has gain control), but because the speed at which certain activities can happen at (e.g. bursting balloon) can be fast enough that the critical photographic moment is missed by the time it takes the sound to reach a further-placed pickup.

      This may sound crazy when you’re only 5-10 feet away from the subject, but depending on the speed of the action recorded it can be more than enough. On the flip side, you can also use the pickup distance to your advantage to capture the arc of an action recorded, such as begining of balloon pop, middle of pop, or total disintegration of balloon.

      • Kynikos

        Oh for sure. I was very careful to use the noise source (a horn) right beside the trigger, and to try to properly adjust the threshold. I was alone, in a reasonably silent room in my apartment. I guess it could have been a little more silent, but in some sense it has to function in a real-world setting, right? I couldn’t get it to fire reliably (fire when and only when I wanted it to). I ditched the novelty horn and tried a clapping hand, then banging a book with a stick. In all cases, it fired occasionally, but only occasionally.

        The lightning and time-lapse modes do work fine.

  • Christopher Eaton

    Owned one of these as a backup to my Lightning Trigger (twice the price, 100x the quality), and the lightning sensor was less than half effective at triggering the camera. Ended up selling it and buy an second Lighting Trigger.

  • Bob

    I can’t argue with the poor mount for the hot shoe he got but I can say the one I bought was aligned correctly. I ordered the cable listed for my D300, the unit & cables worked properly and was not hard to insert or remove. I have shot some lightning with it & tested it in the studio so it seems to work as advertised. I will say I have not used it all that much but that is a case of not having the correct conditions to use it. As for no pins on the hot shoe, it’s not a flash so I see no reason to have them.

  • charlie

    hhhm, interesting. I bought the product last year for taking lightning photos with a d80. so far no lightening, but at new-years I used the lightning mode to take photos of the fireworks displays and later create a stacked image. for this it worked perfectly. I have also used it for time-lapse and here it did what I wanted too. the plastic foot fits the hot-shoe perfectly and the cables fit the d80 properly. seems that the reviewer got a dud unit. talk to the manufacturer and get it swapped. for me a plus is the usage of AAA batteries as they last long and are easy to source.

    • Richard Hart

      for lightning shots (at night) you can sit with the shutter open on bulb then close the shutter after the lightning has taken place.

  • John_Skinner

    As a follow up to this review and thread, I have contacted the maker of this device and supplied the link to the article.

    I’m quite surprised given the nature of the comments that they have not chimed in to offer up anything by way of explanation, or support for anyone that may have encountered issues.. Case in point would have been DroBo when Scott Kelby called them out over failed hardware. So given the facts as people have posted, the maker was made aware of the thread, nothing in response to anyone’s concerns. I think it quite telling of the manufacturers willingness to see a product and it’s shortcomings through. Even more of a reason to RUN away from the makers goods.

  • Steven Lam

    This is a terrible “review”. It’s like doing a review for a car when you’ve only driven motorcycles. I have one of these and it’s a great product. The author doesn’t sound like they have ever done a studio flash set-up.

    The slant on the “shoe” has no impact on the function of the unit. Having contacts on the shoe would serve no purpose. The flash units you use will be a slave to the Nero Trigger. I don’t think I’ve ever put the unit on my camera. I use a flash stand to position the trigger.

    You need to do some homework before you use one of these things. Once you do, you get some pretty amazing photos:

  • Guest

    I’m pretty alarmed at some of the reactions to this “review”, which is really just a review of the packaging, and not about the function of the product.

    The hotshoe attachment isn’t necessary for the trigger. In fact, I rarely use it. Metal contacts on it wouldn’t serve any purpose since the camera doesn’t need to control the Nero trigger like a flash unit.

    The cables supplied fit well on my D800.

    I mainly use it as an acoustic trigger. So I can’t say how good it is in lightning mode. Here’s an example photo I took with it. Works out great.

    I do agree the external construction looks iffy, but I’ve dropped this thing a few times on a concrete floor, and it still held together.

  • Steven Lam

    (oops, I double posted, now tripple posted). I tried deleting my 2nd post, but it ended up changing the name to “guest”.

  • This is the same ast the Patchmaster patchmaster, same company from Turkey.

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