Cactus LV5 Laser triggers Review


“Image Note: Stands not included”

I was given the opportunity to be a tester of a new product from Cactus Imaging. Cactus definitely has a will to create the most useful and best product for photographers, putting their product through its paces, and getting additional must have features and fixes implemented before they go production. I am truly amassed by how they worked with us testers to come up with solutions that we suggested.

The new Cactus Laser Trigger LV5 is an laser trip trigger. It is compatible with basically any trigger/ or shutter release that takes an pc or 3.5mm connection for triggering. This can be attached to flashes or other radio triggers. In addition to this one over unique feature is the fact that cactus imaging decided to integrate an Cactus v5 transmitter directly in the laser trigger. This means that if you have an Cactus V5 flash trigger already no cable needed to trigger the flashes or the camera if you have an cable for the v5 to use as a remote shutter release. You can also connect the LV5 directly to your camera via a compatible cable for your camera.

This trigger opens up a whole new world of possibilities from wild life photography to High speed photography. It is left up to your imagination on what you can do with it.

Main Features:

  • Duo Mode Triggering (DMT) Cactus LV5 can be
    triggered by: (1) blocking the transmission between the
    laser Emitter and Sensor; or (2) removing the object
    between the laser Emitter and Sensor.
  • Works wirelessly with Cactus V5 and
    subsequent V5-compatible models. Cactus LV5 combines
    laser and radio frequency (RF) technology in a single
    device. With a built-in Cactus V5 transceiver module in
    the Sensor, LV5 allows you to take instant camera trap
    photos with an unlimited number of portable flashes,
  • Long working distance, the laser Emitter and the Sensor is up to 150 meters.
  • Works under sunlight. The LV5 not only works under
    ambient light, its intelligent design also allows it
    to work under sunlight.
  • Supports single and continuous shots. Supports bulb
    shot. The LV5 offers endless possibilities for your
    creative works.
  • Shutter Delay and Freeze: Shutter delay and post-shutter frese period adjustable in 15 divisions

Package Contents:

  • 1x LV5 Emitter
  • 1x LV5 Sensor
  • LV5 hood
  • 4x AAA batteries. 2x needed per component
  • 3.5mm to 3.5mm and 3.5mm to pc cables
  • User manual and Poster, along with Delay/Freeze information stickers.



I have always wanted to mess around with high speed photography however the problem was normally you had to MAKE a device or buy an expensive multi trigger device where normally you have to rig up your own laser pointer.  The cool thing that cactus did is make their system  with a emitter, and an sensor, both are adjustable, can mount on a cold shoe mount, or any standard 1/4-20 thread!  This means instead of making some awkward setup with tape and clamps and what not. You can already use the light stands, and tripods you already have and have a full adjustable placement.  Another very cool feature is along with 3.5mm port used to trigger your flashes, flash trigger, wireless shutter release or camera through shutter cable you are able to wireless trigger you cactus v5 flash triggers because it has a built in v5 transmitter in the sensor. When I first got the triggers I did not realize this and was attaching one of my v5 transceivers to the 3.5mm port. Then I realized it had it built in, I was very pleasantly surprised with that bonus.


Strawberry fun

High Speed Photography Testing:

Because it is winter time I was unable to test the wild life photography examples. However I was able to test what I really want the trigger for and that is high speed photography.

When it comes to high speed photography you really need to be dealing with the flash duration normally and not having the laser trigger actually trigger the camera. The way I set it up is that you have the Cactus LV5 transmitting the signal to an Cactus L5 transceiver connected to the flashes. You can also have the flash directly connected, or have a third party wireless trigger attached to the Cactus LV5 to trigger the flashes. At this point you put the camera in bulb mode or setting you shutter to stay open for 1-3 seconds. You trigger the event by something passing through the laser beam and the flash will freeze the subject.

Cactus from working with testers added features that improved the creative capabilities of the laser triggers. Theses features were the delay adjustment and the freeze time. The reasons for this was so that we could set up the laser above or in front of where we want the picture to be taken. This way we are able to time things like splashes and to prevent the laser from being seen in the picture. The freeze time is so the flash would not trigger again right after the initial trigger. That way it would not trigger multiple times for a single exposure.

To set the freeze or delay there is a switch on the sensor. You can set it to delay or freeze then you use the adjustment dial to change the time. They include a nice time table for adjustment.


Testing delay:

This is the picture showing what happens with no delay set.
no delay

This is an example of a 30 millisecond delay. You can tweak this so you can get your object in the right place.
with delay


The Cactus LV5 is a interesting product. It has opened up opportunities that I never would of been able to do in the past. I have always been very interested in high speed photography and now I am able to dabble in it. In addition to that it opens up an wide variety of photography projects from wild life photography to basically anything. I hope to in the spring to be able to capture things like bees and birds around my yard. Also I want to do things like mid air self portraits. Pricing is not yet announced however they are trying to keep the price point as low as possible.

Pricing and Availability:
Gadget Infinity:

Price is 89.95$US.

User Manual for complete reference:

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  1. […] more info, see Brian’s tests, or the Strobist Flickr Group […]

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  1. Sounds like an interesting unit….but in the field (for example in a cave or tree top) it can be difficult/impossible to position a transmitter and sensor opposite each other and it is easier to use a device that has the transmitter and sensor side by side to trigger off light reflected from a target such as a bird or bat flying in front of them. So questions: (i) will this unit trigger off its own reflected light (and if so over what distances) and, (ii) can Cactus make it so that the red laser blinks off while the flash/camera triggers? By all means share these comments and questions with Cactus.

    Posted February 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  2. andrea

    quanto costa? dove acquistarlo?

    Posted February 18, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink
  3. Larry

    Looking forward to the Cactus LV5 finally coming out and seeing what the price is.

    Posted February 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  4. @K Fletcher:

    It has an sensor and laser transmitter. So the laser transmitter has no sensing ability.. They need to be targeted at each other. The laser will not blink off. However if you position the laser transmitter on the opposite side of the subject no laser would be seen. Also if you use a delay the laser would not show on the subject.

    Posted February 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  5. @andrea:

    If I translated this correctly. Price should be sub 100$ however it has not been announced yet. You will be able to get it from the following site. I will list the link once its there.

    Posted February 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  6. Joaquim

    I’ve been testing the TriggerTrap V1 laser trigger ( , and it’s terribly painful to line up in the studio – let alone for my intended use in the field where I imagine it would be nearly impossible to line up the laser. I have had much better luck lining up the infrared beam on the PhotoTrapper unit (, although that can still be frustrating in the field. How much wiggle room do you have in lining up the beam on the Cactus unit, and how difficult is it to align over say a 5-10 foot distance? Thanks!

    Posted February 23, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  7. Joaquim


    I saw that you answered this question on the Flickr discussion – thanks!

    Posted February 23, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink
  8. I have just purchased and used the Cactus LV5 triggers, and found them not very sensitive to water droplets passing through the laser beam. Has anyone else discovered this?

    Posted May 1, 2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink
  9. Try feathering the laser on the edge of the receivers lens. So like put the laser right on the edge of the black plastic and the clear plastic. You can see in this video how I feathered it.

    Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  10. Jack

    I just purchased the LV5 and in testing found that when the V5 flash trigger is connected to my Canon 7D or 40D via the cable, the rear LCD screen is rendered inoperable. I have to unplug the cable to resume using the LCD. Anyone else run into this? Other than that the LV5 seems like a slick unit and I’m looking forward to getting it outdoors.

    Posted June 11, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink
  11. Mim

    I’m interested in this product, but have a question.
    I plan on using it for indoor sports and Im wondering if the laser would be considered to put off competitors? Is the laser dangerous if a competitor was to look directly at it? Is there any option to make the laser not visible?

    Posted May 13, 2014 at 4:05 am | Permalink
  12. You can put the laser on the opposite side of the runner. Also no the laser is low enough power it will not hurt the eyes of course I would not purposely stare at it.

    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

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