02 March 2016

The Cognisys Sabre


I finally got a chance to go out and play with my new Cognisys Sabre. The Sabre is a camera trigger that uses a LIDAR (light and radar) based sensor which emits a pulse of light and then measures the time it takes to return. When something breaks the beam it fires the camera.

_D4S7110One of the beauties of the Sabre is it acts as the transmitter and the receiver all in one package, so there is only one component to keep out of the shot. Although the Sabre is fully configurable with a computer or smartphone, this image was made on auto, virtually right out of the box. In fact setting up for this shot took a grand total of 3 minutes! The Sabre was so sensitive it was actually tripped a few times by larger snowflakes.

Back in the day, a shot like this would have required a fake background, multiple flashes, a trigger, and a receiver. With equipment like the Sabre, combined with the amazing high ISO performance of today’s cameras, shots like this are significantly easier then they were just a few short years ago.

Good Luck and Good Light!

Image: Blue Jays, Kensington Metropark, Milford, MI Image cropped 20% for final composition.
Nikon D4S, 200-400mm, 1/2000 @ f6.3, ISO 1250, Cognisys Sabre Trigger


  • Steve
    Thanks for the tips on the Sabre system. I have a question about how to create the photo itself in so far as camera and flash settings. Do you have any information on how to balance exposure between camera and flash to create sharp photos of the birds with good depth of field?

  • Hi Bill
    The image in this post was created with only natural light. I just kicked up the ISO and shot fairly wide open to get the fastest shutter speed I could to freeze the action.
    If you were to use flash. The flash would need to be your main light source completely over-powering the ambient light.


  • Hi there

    I was just ordering if you could give a rough time the batteries last on a charge? Thinking for trail system. Love the pictures.



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