A while back I wrote a post about the awesome new Atlas trigger from Phottix. I have had some time to test the triggers in some tough conditions over the past month, so I can feel confident about making some assertions about the quality of this product.
As I previously mentioned, one of the biggest advantages to this unit over other imported systems is that it uses the same frequencies as the industry standard Pocket Wizards. This is important because it means that if you do end up going the PW route, as many of us do, you will be able to seamlessly transition to the new system with 100% compatibility of the Atlas units. That being said, I think that the Atlas triggers have several advantages over the PWs.
1st: Metal Foot. This is a no brainer for me, the plastic ones break very easily and the whole point of the transceiver system is that every unit can be used both on the camera and the flash end. Once that plastic foot breaks you can no longer use the PW as a transmitter and that kind of ruins the flexibility of the whole system. 1 Point P.A.
2nd: Hotshoe mount: Personally, I like to use a sync cord to connect the trigger to the flash, but I do like that I have several options for connecting them. Cords break ALL THE TIME, and some flashes do not have a sync port, especially cheaper ones (and the SB-600s/700s, wtf Nikon?). At the end of the day, I have come to appreciate the added flexibility of this feature and end up using it more then you would think. 1 Point P.A.
The Atlas' have a 1/4 20 bolt hole on the side opposite the hotshoe mount. This means that you can essentially use the transceiver in place of a umbrella swivel when using a bare flash.
Several people have mentioned that there is "not that big of a price gap" between the PW's and the P.A.'s, so they would rather save a little more for the "real thing", whatever that means. Maybe those people need a math lesson because 3 P.A.'s cost $335 shipped to my door while 3 Plus II's cost $510 before shipping. That seams like a pretty big difference. Not to mention, the P.A.'s ARE the real thing! I have yet to have a misfire in the months that I have had these and the range is on par with the PW's, in some cases they even have worked when the PW's had trouble.
I am not knocking PW, they were the first, and they are certainly a professional product in the highest sense, but I am very happy with the Atlas' and will continue to use them without hesitation in any situation where a radio trigger is required.
I can even vouch for their durability. I have had several fall or been dropped hard enough that the accompanying flash was damaged or even a total loss. In every case the Atlas unit was in perfect working order. To be fair, I have only lost 2 PW's from falls, but the durability of the Atlas triggers coupled with the $60 savings over the PW's make them winners for me.