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CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04

Reviews Views Date of last review
7 7,939 Wed November 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $31.71 8.43
CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04

CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04
CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04
CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04
CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04
CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger NPT-04

Remote FM Trigger & Receiver
Includes Trigger, Receiver, battery for trigger, and cable
Up to 30ft range
Shutter Sync Speed: Up to 1/250th Second
4 Control Channels, Frequency: 433MHZ
Compatible with most flash units
Receivers use 2 AAA batteries
Transmitter Power Source: 23A/12V (battery included)
Receiver Power Source: AAA Alkaline battery (not included)
Sync Speed: 1/500sec
Size: 55 x 61 x 43mm / 2.2 x 2.4 x 1.7in (L x W x H)
Sync Cord Compatible with following flash units: Canon: 580EX II, 580EX, 550EX, 540EZ, 520EZ, 430EX, 430EX II, 430EZ, 420EX, 420EZ, 380EX... Nikon: SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-28, SB-27, SB-26, SB-25, SB-24 Pentax: AF-540 FGZ, AF-360 FGZ, AF-400 FT, AF-240 FT Olympus: FL-50, FL-40, FL-36 Vivitar: 285HV (Older Vivitar 285/283 works only with PC sync)
Other: Flash models with a trigger voltage of 12V or lower
Price History:

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Junior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Md
Posts: 33
Review Date: November 12, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Everything Already Stated, Great Learning Tool
Cons: Reliability

As another member posted, I have issues with mine and umbrellas. On occasion, the receivers won't fire with the transmitter mounted in the camera's hotshoe. Clicking the test button always works regardless of its location. The first time I noticed was at a paid event I was covering (yes I used them for a paid gig - I like drama). It was a large venue with lots of concrete and steel. The second time was in my dining room. Batteries were good and I checked the dip switches and connections.

Both times I was 6 feet or less from the receiver that didn't fire. My favorite umbrellas are 32" and have a silver lining. The flash is mounted in the receiver's hotshoe on a light stand. I haven't tried PC sync cables yet. Hanging the receivers below the umbrella may solve the problem. For future paid work, I plan to order Cactus v5s or upgrade my flashes to YN 560 IIIs and get the wireless controller.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2006
Location: North Face of Mount Shasta
Posts: 120
Review Date: September 18, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $32.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Simplicity of use, reliability, cost
Cons: for the price, nothing

I was beginning to play around with strobist setups and wanted a remote RF trigger system with one transmitter and two receivers. What I didn't have was much money. After much research, I chose the Cowboy Studio (CS) NPT-04 kit. I also purchased a couple of budget stands, brackets and 30" umbrellas. The complete system ... less than $100.00.
It was very easy to setup and start shooting. I have done portraits, product shots and floral photos with this setup and the CS trigger system has yet to fail. After an estimated 3500 shots, not one misfire.
To be fair, this trigger system is not sophisticated, it doesn't provide much in the way of features ... what it does provide is a very reliable, inexpensive solution to remotely fire your flashes.

Important Note: this system does not support any type of camera controlled TTL metering, including P-TTL. This is a 100% manual system. However, don't let that scare you away from this approach. It is simple to learn and have outstanding results shot after shot.
See Strobist Blogspot for tutorials and other information.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Prince Edward Island
Posts: 193
Review Date: July 24, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, size, easy to use
Cons: None for the cost

Was excited when it got here. I couldn't wait to try it. Worked right out of the box -I mean I took it out and tested 4 different flashes with it right away- I got the one with two receivers in the box.

Flashes Tested with:
Pentax 340 FGZ
Pentax AF 240
Vivitar 283
Image - 70

I am an enthusiast and will be shooting a wedding for a niece later this month. I wanted a pocket wizard set up but the cost is too much for a non pro.
All the flashes listed above worked great in pairs and individually.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 582

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 23, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cheap, Easy to use, reliable
Cons: No P-TTL

With setting up the worlds dodgiest home studio, I found if I wanted to do anything semi-worthwhile, It would need more than one flash.
However having sunk all my beer money this week into one decent flash (a Sigma EF-530); spending more money on another was always going to just put me in the doghouse.
The other thing is that the Sigma still relies on the pop-up flash as a trigger; and thats just messy.
So I went looking for some wireless triggers so I could use my nice new Sigma, and my rubbish old Nissin off camera. What ever i bought had to:
  1. Work reliably
  2. Not cost the earth
  3. Be in Australia (because I'm impatient, and what my new toys now, NOW, NOW!!!)

So off to Fleabay!!
All I could find, in Aus were; Yongnuo 603's (which dont work on Pentax), a couple of 602N's (which again, supposedly dont work on Pentax; and you wondered why I was thinking of changing brands?), and these CowboyStudio NPT-04's (which supposedly *DO* work on Pentax).
So Tuesday night I order a set of NPT-04's and they arrived on Friday.
Now I never assumed P-TTL was going to work across the wireless, because... well, P-TTL doesn't work with anything (Thank you Pentax for using a closed-source system)

Now; I've had experiences with the 602's - and I found them to ..... *mostly* work.... mostly. *Personally* I think its the use of that tiny little half-sized AAA battery (what ever its called) that simply doesnt give them enough grunt. But I'm not expert.
These CowboyStudio receivers on the other hand use a pair of AAA's each (The transmitter gets power from the hotshoe). And they simply *Just work*.
No Messing around, no waiting for the stars to align just right, whilst the wind is blowing in the right direction.

Overall: 10/10 (for the money)

Registered: November, 2010
Location: Hueytown, Alabama
Posts: 1,507
Review Date: February 1, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $32.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price,Functionality
Cons: None

Bought the two receiver kit and so far they have worked flawlessly. Very simple and easy to operate build quality is not bad and it is nice they have a base that has a screw and cold shoe makes them very versatile.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 390
Review Date: October 19, 2012 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Cheap, simple
Cons: A bit inconsistent in triggering, access, slightly unusual battery for trigger

This is definitely a case of you get what you pay for. In my case, I got the set with the extra receiver.

The trigger/receivers work fine when you're close and have line of sight. But if your LOS is obstructed in some way, for some reason they are very inconsistent in firing. I KNOW this should not be the case, since they are radio triggers, but that's been the case for me. I thought maybe it was a battery issue so I got a new battery for the trigger unit and freshly charged the Eneloop AAAs for the receiver. That didn't really fix the problem. It's possible that it's some sort of interference due to the metal tines of the umbrella that I was using. DIP switches were set properly and everything was on. It could be that I just got a bad copy, who knows. My camera shutter speed was set to 1/180 or below.

When a flash is mounted on the receiver, it's a bit difficult to turn on the receiver.

The trigger takes a A23 12V battery. These are available at any store that sells electronics, as I think they are fairly common, but I would've preferred a unit that takes standard batteries like AAAs, like the Cactus V5s. Also, you have to unscrew one screw to access the trigger battery compartment, and when you do that, you have access to the bare circuit board. You gotta be careful because a bit of mishandling and you could break solder joints or otherwise mess up the board.

But really, it's $30 for a trigger and two receivers. This has allowed me to begin learning off-camera lighting for cheap. They still do fire most of the time when they have LOS, for me anyways (perhaps operator error). Therefore in spite of my low rating, I still recommend them for beginners to off-camera lighting. I myself plan on getting a Cactus V5 duo as soon as I have the money, but do plan on keeping these around as backups.

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 12,243
Review Date: August 17, 2012 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $28.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Inexpensive, work right out of the box, receivers use AAAs
Cons: somewhat flimsy, transmitter uses 23A/12V battery

First, I purchased the 1 Transmitter + 2 Receiver kit so for an extra $6 I got a second Cowboy Studios NPT-04 receiver because the 1+1 kit costs $22. Given their price I am really rather amazed at their build quality. Don't get me wrong they are not top quality built units but for $28 for all three they're good. All three units worked and were in good shape.

This trigger system has no camera setting sync capability. I used the receivers with tripod attachments and with my AF16 and Tumax 680 flashes. The AF16 is a pure manual flash and the 680 is TTL. The triggers worked fine with each.

The up-side to these is that they work, and work right out of the box with AAAs added to the receivers. They're incredibly simple to "install" and the receivers come with tripod attachment points and hotshoe attachments so they can be used in several ways. The bases of the transmitter and receivers have a "screw lock" to tighten them to what they are attached to. They are also smaller then the RF-603s I mistakenly purchased first.

I haven't tested their range beyond a 12x12 room yet but so far so good.

I just can't find a drawback to these for a beginner. I'm sure the PocketWizard II's are much better but at $340 for a pair there was no contest for me, I got these and am happy. Now I just need to work on my Strobist skills
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