Review of the new Paralinx Triton
At the beginning of January, Paralinx released the new Triton series, in order to replace the Arrow+ range. When I first saw the design for the Triton, I must admit that I was kind of sceptical about it, and did wonder why Paralinx would discontinue such an amazing product like the Arrow+. The thing I loved most about the Arrow+ was its form factor, it is so small and can be mounted almost anywhere.
The picture above is a perfect example of the amazing form factor of the Arrow+, but as you can see from the picture, the biggest downfall of the Arrow+ is actually trying to power it! If you look at the back of the monitor you can see a BEC voltage regulator, which is being fed into the Arrow from an external battery source (LiPo battery) to power the Arrow+.
This brings us on to one of the biggest advantages of the Paralinx Triton – the built in battery plates! Paralinx have learnt from the feedback on the Arrow+ and have dealt with one of its biggest issues.
So, lets start with the review.
Paralinx have always packaged their products well and the Triton is no exception, varying from the foam that was in the Arrow case, Paralinx have gone with a moulded plastic insert which holds 1 Transmitter and 1 Receiver, as well as one D-tap to barrel pin power cable and a mains voltage power adapter (which only comes with an american plug), two external antennas for the Transmitter (TX), a hot shoe mount for the Receiver(RX) and a clever tool to tighten up the antennas.
So straight out of the box and the first thing you notice is that both the Transmitter and Receiver both have a small LCD screen and three buttons to navigate the menus. This is a big bonus compared to the Arrow+ as before you had to attach an external IR receiver and use a small remote to view menus on the monitor you had connected it to (which obviously didn’t help if you were having issues getting a signal). Now with the Triton, you can change channels, link multiple receivers and check current battery voltage, all with a click of a button.
They also come with an On/Off button! Which is a Godsend as I couldn’t tell you the amount of times the Arrow+ used to power down because of forgetting to unplug cables and the battery going flat, whereas now one click and it’s off and saving power between shots!
The Triton connects to the video source or monitor via a HDMI cable, both the TX and RX have a female HDMI port in which to connect the cable. Paralinx have also integrated a threaded screw insert just above the HDMI ports, which I assume is for a port protector of sorts. I have not seen anything from Paralinx as of yet but I imagine this will be released soon. You will also notice from the pictures below that there is a mini USB port. This is for firmware updates and diagnostics for Paralinx. The other port is a barrel pin power connector, which is primarily for external power sources and shoots where using a small battery just isn’t practical. It is perfect for using D-tap/P-tap style batteries that will power the units all day, or even using the mains adapter to power the units straight from the wall.
Ease of use
The Triton system has been designed to be as straightforward and easy to use as possible, with units being already paired as they come from Paralinx and adding additional receivers (Can be paired to unlimited receivers) being as easy as pressing a button. As seen in the first picture below, due to the form factor of the Triton the antennas are sunken into the body of the Transmitter, and need a special tool to tighten them up (supplied). You will also notice that there are a number of 1/4″ 20 mounting points on the TX & RX, which makes mounting onto a monitor/strong arm really simple. The Receiver can also be attached direct onto a Sony NP-F battery plate, which can then provide pass through power to the monitor. Meaning one battery can power both receiver and monitor in a clever space saving way.
Onc thing I didn’t understand at first was why Paralinx decided to use two different battery types to power the TX & RX, with the Transmitter using Canon LP-E6 batteries and the Receiver using Sony NP-F batteries. Once I sat down and had a think about it, it started to make sense – most people have LP-E6 packs from their 5D or other Canon camera, and the LP-E6 battery is one of the lightest and smallest batteries in its class that can still provide the performance, meaning that it can keep weight and bulkiness to a minimum. The Receiver can be powered by a much bigger battery (Sony NP-F) which is also a standard on most sets, as weight and form factor are not as much of an issue on the receiver end, and eliminates the need for multiple battery changes throughout the day. This means that the Director or DOP can have the monitor set up all day without the need for them to mess around and change packs, (and in the process damage something!)
So, now onto the important bit! How does it perform out in the field? Well I can tell you that it is a huge step up from the Arrow+. Once the Triton has a battery attached and you push the on button, it powers up straight away and starts searching for the other RX/TX. If everything is connected and the camera is turned on, the sync time is around 1-2 seconds. This is perfect for the times when you are running between locations and you need the equipment to be as quick and easy to operate as possible.
For our test, I rigged the Triton up to a GH4, with a 35mm SLR Magic T1.4 lens, which was outputting to a SmallHD DP4 monitor and then HDMI loop through to the Triton. We then mounted the whole thing in a SmallRig DSLR cage, and used a couple of SmallHD 7″ Strong arms to position everything. This was a really good set up and the Triton fitted in with the rig really well, with the form factor not being an issue at all!
Then on to the receiver side – I mounted the Triton to the DP7 Pro-LCD field monitor with the Directors monitor handles, and another 7″ strong arm to attach the Receiver, I then used a Paralinx 30cm Ultra thin HDMI to HDMI cable to connect the two together.
We then started the range test. First of all, we went for a walk across a field, until we were stopped by a fence! According to the Strava phone app the distance was 140m. Paralinx state 150M as the max range, I think this is conservative, as the picture was still crystal clear at 140M and we were even turning our backs on each other, and obstructing the line of site for the Triton. Still the image didn’t budge!
As we headed back to the office, we decided to do some indoor testing through walls etc. We headed down a hallway, which was approximately 50M, and then down a set of stairs which was through a set of double doors and went off at a right angle to the corridor, with a big wall obstructing the line of sight for the Triton. We managed to keep the signal until we got to the bottom of the stairs, (although it was starting to break up).
We eventually got to the point where we lost signal completely and decided to test the re-connection speed, as this was something that the Arrow+ always had issues with. All I can say is that the pick up time is amazing, and the re-connection speed is almost instantaneous as soon as it gets back into range.
In conclusion, I feel that the Paralinx Triton is a huge step forward in affordable HD video links (Price £1165.00 inc VAT). Paralinx have yet again bought out a revolutionary product range which is going to streamline video monitoring on sets around the world. The Triton can be attached to almost anything, such as Drones, Steadycams, Cranes, Dollies, Jibs, Wirecams, and Tripods. I would have liked for it to have had a slightly smaller form factor, but I suppose with factoring in clever time saving devices such as built in batteries and LCD screens, this would be the first thing to suffer.
Hope this review is helpful, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to post them below in the comments.
– Transmit a FULL-HD signal up to 1080p/60 in REALTIME (less than 1ms)
– Up to 450 feet/140m of range
– Manual Channel Selection within 5.1-5.8GHz spectrum (8 channels)
– Transmit to unlimited receivers
– LCD displays signal strength, battery charge, and channel selection
– Cold-shoe mount for easy mounting of transmitter on a DSLR
– 1/4-20 mounting option on both transmitter and receiver
– Integrated battery plates for power on both transmitter and receiver
– 6-17V DC power input on transmitter and receiver
– 128-bit AES Encryption
Transmitter (without antennas): 118mm x 52mm x 43mm
Receiver: 118mm x 60.5mm x 44.5mm
Weight (without batteries):
Transmitter: 4.6oz / 130g
Receiver: 4.8oz / 136g
In the Box:
1 x Paralinx Triton transmitter
1 x Paralinx Triton receiver
1 x PTap to DC power cable
1 x AC Adapter
2 x 2dbi antennas (for transmitter)
1 x Antenna mounting tool
1 x additional cold-shoe mount
**Please note, LP-E6 and NP-F batteries not included**
Link to purchase:
Triton 1:1 system: https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/triton-11-wireless-system/
Canon LP-E6 Extreme batteries: https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/extreme-li-ion-canon-lp-e6/
Sony NP-F batteries: https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/hahnel-li-ion-sony-hl-xl982/
SmallHD DP7 Directors monitor: https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/smallhd-dp7-pro-directors/
Thanks for reading!
Written by Ben Bailey – Flyonix