To me, one of the coolest types of photographs are the ones that are able to capture lightning as it strikes. There is something about the sheer power of the bolt as it connects to the earth or some structure, and even when it spreads out across the sky with tendrils that grasp clouds in almost a death grip, it can make for an awesome shot.
Now, there are a number of ways to capture lighting and take a great shot, like having a very fast trigger finger – a.k.a being extremely lucky, but chances are you will not capture very many bolts going off and if you do, they are likely to be blurry since the camera will be moving as you push the trigger. You can set your camera on long exposure, but that tends to not work during the daytime and even at night it can be hit-or-miss on the quality of shots you capture.
If you really want to take reliable high quality lighting photographs, what you really want is a Lightning Trigger. It is an optical device that attaches to your camera and will trigger your shutter for you. It contains an extremely sensitive optical flash sensor that can respond to lighting flashes up to 20 miles away during the daylight hours and up to 40 miles away at night.
The Lightning Trigger is compatible with 175 different camera models from 12 major manufacturers. The only thing required is that the camera have an electronic shutter release connection, a flash shoe for mounting the unit, and a fast shutter lag time. If you want to see if your camera will work, check out the camera compatibility page. Keep in mind that if your camera is a newer model, it still may work – the site may not have the latest information.
The unit itself is 4.95 in x 2.75 in x 1.38 in (126 mm x 70 mm x 35 mm) and weighs 5 oz (142 gm) with the battery. It uses a standard 9V alkaline battery which comes with it, and it has a nice roomy carrying case that holds the trigger as well as the cable, detailed instructions, and a five-year guarantee.
The one needed extra purchase is a cable to connect the trigger to the camera. One of the nice things about this system is that if you change camera brands, or a new model comes out that has slightly different electronics, you don't have to purchase a new trigger, just a new cable. Again you can check out the camera compatibility page for which cable is right for your camera.