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Chinese aftermarket guns

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dlleno:
We're seeing a very interesting explosion of capable and affordable after market alternatives to the genuine article. Yonguo, phottix, oloong, and triopo come to mind, all in fierce competition with each other -- all are playing leap frog as regards feature sets. Phottix is combining Nikon and Canon capabilities in one unit, I presume to cut mfg cost.  The more Canon-oriented Yonguo just announced an on-board radio receiver/trigger in their very affordable (560 iii) manual gun.  Oloong is said to be producing a full-featured flagship clone this year, and triopo just announced another HSS gun competing directly with Yonguo's newest 568 HSS capable gun. 

With the chinese guns, speedliters  can affordably  fill an apollo orb or a parabolic umbrealla, for example, with three or even six ETTL/HSS guns without breaking the bank.    Yonguo in particular has an aparently large market share and reasonable reputation for acceptable reliability, from what I can tell.  Their "flagship" HSS/ETTL capable gun is presently $170.

Yonguo appears to be the chinese gun of choice for canon users, or at least they are the emerging darling.   with such fierce competition it wouldn't surprise me if they produce a 568 mark ii soon, by adding the radio recever of their model 560 iii.  Its an interesting show to watch, with HSS, ETTL, and integrated radio trigger capabilities appearing in the after market.  And with Canon themselves asserting true radio control with their new flagship system, the days of Pocket Wizards or other expensive radio ad-ons (for speedlites), appear to be numbered.

Frankly I'm tempted not to invest any further in the Canon guns, but just keep my 580ex ii and invest in a bunch of Yonguo guns and tranceivers.  The capability you get per dollar is astonishing, and the affordable reduncancy mitigates the reliability risk.      Sadly I expect Canon's next move will be some sort of digital key authorization mechanism  to lock down the hot-shoe ETTL and HSS communications, preventing the chinese from reverse-engineering their stuff and selling  at 1/4 the cost.   

RLPhoto:
I've always felt once you get to the point of stuffing 3+ Speedlites into one softbox...

Why not just use a Alienbee + Vagabond mini? Its about the same $$$, has more power and you only have to take one battery, not 3 packs for each speedlite or a box full of AA's. Sure its manual flash, sure it doesn't have HSS, and sure its alittle more heavy but It can take some serious modifiers.

Marsu42:

--- Quote from: dlleno on January 29, 2013, 11:59:19 AM ---Sadly I expect Canon's next move will be some sort of digital key authorization mechanism  to lock down the hot-shoe ETTL and HSS communications, preventing the chinese from reverse-engineering their stuff and selling  at 1/4 the cost.   

--- End quote ---

I'd expect Canon to upgrade to ettl-3 sometime (with 2nd curtain remote sync) so that there's a new protocol to reverse engineer - but I doubt even Canon would get that aggressive to encrypt their camera to lens or flash communication.

Enough people with cash will still buy Canon because of reliability and cps, no matter how good the competition is - 3rd party products and Magic Lantern serve more as a buffer to prevent budget users jumping ship to another manufacturer. And if Canon cannot grab the money, they'd rather see it go to Yonguo, Sigma, ... than to Nikon instead.

dlleno:

--- Quote from: RLPhoto on January 29, 2013, 12:08:11 PM ---I've always felt once you get to the point of stuffing 3+ Speedlites into one softbox...

Why not just use a Alienbee + Vagabond mini? Its about the same $$$, has more power and you only have to take one battery, not 3 packs for each speedlite or a box full of AA's. Sure its manual flash, sure it doesn't have HSS, and sure its alittle more heavy but It can take some serious modifiers.

--- End quote ---

yea,  I rather agree if the goal is manually controlled power output, if the subject distance is not that dynamic, its a prolonged shoot especially,  and you don't care about ETTL or HSS, groups, and ratios all controlled via the camera LCD.   Its also true that modifiers really suitable for speedlites are fewer than many realize, i.e. many of them (especially the parabolic umbrellas) rely on true bare bulb their results. 

speedliters are a different breed.  they enjoy the flexibility of using multiple guns either together or assigned to different groups,  they take advantage of ETTL and HSS, put guns in odd places, use small attached modifiers like flags/snoots, and they enjoy controlling everything using the camera LCD.    I just think its fascinating to watch the emerging after market, which only recently is coming seriously close to duplicating the Canon flash system in areas such as ETTL and HSS and radio triggers

cayenne:
I'm still saving my nickles and dimes...and waiting and watching and trying to research.

I'm thinking at some point, I will buy my main unit, Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash.....and then maybe look into the Yonguo lights...to supplement for other off camera lighting, in hopes the 600EX-RT can control them all...ETTL, groups  and all that good stuff.

I'd think it would be good to get the canon one as the main controller...and then save a bit of money on all the additional slave speedlites...

cayenne

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