The Lightning Trigger is compatible with many digital and film cameras. All that is required is that the camera has an electronic shutter release connection, a flash shoe for mounting and a fast shutter lag time.
The chart below provides a guide for camera lag time compared to a typical lightning flash sequence. You don’t have to have the fastest camera to capture a lightning flash. Depending on the storm, lightning flashes can last for several hundred milliseconds and contain dozens of strokes each occurring approximately 40 milliseconds apart.
Typical Lightning Flash Sequence - Stepped Leader Followed by Subsequent Ground strokes,
adapted from Lightning courtesy of Martin A. Uman
What if you don't see your camera listed? If the camera has been recently introduced, the information may not yet be available. Also, the Lightning Trigger requires a camera that utilizes an electronic release connection. On older cameras, the mechanical plunger style release was used. However, with newer cameras manufacturers may choose to use the old mechanical plunger style to reduce cost or may not provide a release connection at all.
What if your camera has an electronic shutter release connection, but it is still not listed? The shutter lag time of the camera is the second consideration when photographing lightning. The shutter lag time of a camera is the inherent period between when the shutter is told to fire and when the shutter is actually released. Some camera manufacturers have published shutter lag times while others consider the information proprietary.
What if your camera is listed in the table, but it has a long shutter lag time? The longer the camera's shutter lag time, the more lightning flashes that will be missed. Sixty milliseconds or less shutter lag time is ideal. A general rule to consider would be that a camera with shutter lag time of 120 ms or less will produce good results on photogenic lightning flashes, that is to say flashes with a duration adequate to yield a good image. Short duration lightning flashes of less than sixty milliseconds or so tend not to be very photogenic. Each thunderstorm is different and quality of the lightning flashes will vary.
* With camera set to RS or RT modes.
** Using Mirror Pre-release
*** Cable with sub-min/miniature connector available for use with these cameras
**** Minolta FS1100, or Pearstone FSA-SM standard flash shoe adapters recommended
***** Requires addition of jack for release of shutter solenoid
*** *** Use of a hot shoe adapter recommended to extend distance above shutter button