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Author Topic: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT  (Read 23566 times)

msatter

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2013, 04:47:40 PM »
Thanks for the replies and I agree that PocketWizard should have introduced their units with the remark that there could be a reduced range with certain flashes made by Canon.



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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2013, 04:47:40 PM »

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2013, 04:54:23 PM »
Very nice review and great pics ... but isn't it kinda late

Better late than never?

Sometimes reviews take me a few weeks to write, sometimes it takes a few months. If late means I had more time with them and thus, more experience using them and putting them through the paces, that could, theoretically, make that a more thorough review, no?

Either way, nobody's obligated to read them - and I'm sure it's new to *someone* out there ;)

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2013, 05:09:56 PM »
Very nice review and great pics ... but isn't it kinda late

Better late than never?

Sometimes reviews take me a few weeks to write, sometimes it takes a few months. If late means I had more time with them and thus, more experience using them and putting them through the paces, that could, theoretically, make that a more thorough review, no?

Either way, nobody's obligated to read them - and I'm sure it's new to *someone* out there ;)

Absolutely.  Not everyone buys gear day one.
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infared

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2013, 05:32:49 PM »
Very nice review and great pics ... but isn't it kinda late

Better late than never?

Sometimes reviews take me a few weeks to write, sometimes it takes a few months. If late means I had more time with them and thus, more experience using them and putting them through the paces, that could, theoretically, make that a more thorough review, no?

Either way, nobody's obligated to read them - and I'm sure it's new to *someone* out there ;)

It is obvious that you put a lot of time into this....I am grateful...why would anyone complain????  Jeeeeeeeeezzzz...
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FunPhotons

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2013, 06:17:54 PM »

I like Syl.  He's a good guy and has great advice for using Speedlites.  But about this, he's wrong. 

You just have to be right, don't you? But then you are always right I guess  ;D

OK fair enough.

hyram

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2013, 06:20:31 PM »
So... do I understand correctly that the "RT" is WiFi? And Canon won't integrate it into the 6D because it would obsolete the $300 controller? Then what's to keep some enterprising geek from adding this feature via something like Magic Lantern?

Just wondering ;)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2013, 06:26:08 PM »

I like Syl.  He's a good guy and has great advice for using Speedlites.  But about this, he's wrong. 

You just have to be right, don't you? But then you are always right I guess  ;D

OK fair enough.

Actually, I like being wrong (it happens  :P ), because when someone corrects me, I learn something new!
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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2013, 06:26:08 PM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2013, 06:33:51 PM »
OK, I read (semi read + skimmed) the review and I found it well done.  Thanks!

Unfortunately, the new Canon RF flash system still leaves me underwhelmed/disappointed because I think there are so many things they could have done and didn't.  It seems fairly rudimentary and limited for the money they are charging.  An incremental upgrade considering what is already available from RadioPopper, PocketWizard, YN, etc.

Integrated camera wireless control is what I want and halfway expected from Canon after all this time.  I want a small Canon RT flash alternative like the compact SunPak RD2000 form factor that I can hand hold or use on camera without the need for wires or another large on camera primary flash.  I want simple wireless flash zone control like the PW AC-3.  Instead we get another expensive, complicated menu driven master/slave dedicated flash design that simply replaced TTL light communication with TTL RT communication.  Wow.  Yawn.  Canon wasn't even kind enough to keep backward compatible TTL light communication on the ST-E3-RT controller so you could keep using all of your now obsolete and soooo 2010 pre-600 series flashes.  The 600 series flash stuff just seems more like a small incremental way to take a lot of my money than a true innovation or evolutionary RF flash system to really wake things up.  And WiFi is not the way to do anything other than low priority network data transmission.  To use it for much else where fast response is mandatory will result in delays, latency and interference.

Sorry to be such a stick-in-the-mud here but I think I'll pass and just keep using all my old 430/550/580 series (now junk I guess) stuff with YN radio triggers that work like a champ.  And the YN triggers even have AF assist lamps and a hot shoe on top, unlike the single function ST-E3-RT.  Take that Canon!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:55:40 PM by RustyTheGeek »
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

iso79

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2013, 06:43:17 PM »
I picked up three 600EX-RTs and the STE-3 transmitter. They work great. Totally worth the money. I don't miss my 580EX II, Lumpro flashes, Cybersyncs with synch cable hell at all.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2013, 06:52:59 PM »
I realize that if the 600 series flash system solves problems or works wonders for someone, they should be happy to have the new features.  I just think that for the combined price of 3 x 600 series flash units + a transmitter I would rather keep what I already have that works (about the same) and get a 70-200 f/2.8 IS L v2 or something that adds more overall value to my kit.  But that's just me.  We all buy what's important to our individual needs.  It's all good in that regard!   :)
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

iso79

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2013, 07:03:36 PM »
An efficient light weight lighting kit is more valuable than an expensive heavy lens that you will rarely use.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 07:15:01 PM by iso79 »
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Jel_55

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2013, 08:37:16 PM »
Speaking as a novice (and newbie to the forum) I'm personally delighted with the 600EX-RT system.

For a long time flash photography was something of an enigma to me. Reading the likes of this forum and even Syl's excellent Speedliter's Handbook, often left me more confused than before. Because of this, I was always reluctant to spend the cash on a decent set of Canon speedlites.

Till now, I had used the Meike 580 (canon copy) and Pixel King wireless triggers. If I'm honest, I only ever successfully managed to the get the things working on one occasion. The painful process that several reviews describe of trying to eliminate where the problems were with third party equipment was something I was very familiar with and simply exacerbated my frustrations and difficulty in developing my understanding of flash photography. As an aside – I whole heartedly do not recommend either of the above – you get what you pay for I’m afraid!

I won’t lie, given the expense of the new 600’s and the likely amount of use I would get from the product, it was not a straightforward decision and purchase for me to make. I’ve spent the last 4 months reading every article on the web, every Youtube clip and every review before convincing myself to make the investment.

I’m pleased to say that I finally picked up two 600’s very recently and I can’t speak highly enough of them from my relatively inexperienced perspective. I defer to those more seasoned and experienced pros and semi pros on this forum in terms of highlighting the weaknesses of the system, but for my photography needs (and understanding), I think they are a great tool. 

The mysterious black art of trying to understanding flash settings, wireless and camera control is completely removed. When working with my 5d Mk III, you just switch it all on and it works. The LCD screen on the back of the speedlite is intuitive and informative so I can understand what the equipment is doing at a simple glance.

What all this means to me is I can now concentrate my efforts on learning about the effect of light and composition rather than get embroiled in the often unfathomable world of flash gear techno jargon.

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RGomezPhotos

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2013, 09:56:15 PM »
I think the new flash system is great if you work primarily with flashes. It certainly makes using them remotely a little easier. But I want the flexibility and possibly more advanced functions 3rd party units can offer.

I too was a little underwhelmed with the new 'upgrade'. I still wonder why they didn't incorporate WiFi on the flashes? Do you know the crazy stuff you could do? And the simplicity of doing it all with a laptop. The applications that can be developed for controlling them? The near limitless zones you can set... And it would only cost the manufacturer $20 to implement it....  Heck, Phottix can develop units with this functionality...  Better replacing a TCU and Rx units than entire flash units...

If I was getting brand new flashes, the 600's are the way to go. Otherwise, older units work just fine too if you're okay with 3rd party systems.

OK, I read (semi read + skimmed) the review and I found it well done.  Thanks!

Unfortunately, the new Canon RF flash system still leaves me underwhelmed/disappointed because I think there are so many things they could have done and didn't.  It seems fairly rudimentary and limited for the money they are charging.  An incremental upgrade considering what is already available from RadioPopper, PocketWizard, YN, etc.

Integrated camera wireless control is what I want and halfway expected from Canon after all this time.  I want a small Canon RF flash alternative like the SunPak RD2000 that I can hand hold or use on camera without the need for wires or another flash.  I want simple wireless flash zone control like the PW AC-3.  Instead we get another expensive, complicated menu driven master/slave dedicated flash design that simply replaced TTL light communication with TTL RF communication.  Wow.  Yawn.  Canon wasn't even kind enough to keep backward compatible TTL light communication so you could keep using all of your now obsolete and soooo 2010 pre-600 series flashes.  The 600 series flash stuff just seems more like a small incremental way to take a lot of my money than a true innovation or evolutionary RF flash system to really wake things up.  And WiFi is not the way to do anything other than low priority network data transmission.  To use it for much else where fast response is mandatory will result in delays, latency and interference.

Sorry to be such a stick-in-the-mud here but I think I'll pass and just keep using all my old 430/550/580 series (now junk I guess) stuff with YN radio triggers that work like a champ.  And the YN triggers even have AF assist lamps and a hot shoe on top, unlike the single function ST-E3-RT.  Take that Canon!
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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2013, 09:56:15 PM »

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2013, 10:52:42 PM »
Speaking as a novice (and newbie to the forum) I'm personally delighted with the 600EX-RT system.

For a long time flash photography was something of an enigma to me. Reading the likes of this forum and even Syl's excellent Speedliter's Handbook, often left me more confused than before. Because of this, I was always reluctant to spend the cash on a decent set of Canon speedlites.

Till now, I had used the Meike 580 (canon copy) and Pixel King wireless triggers. If I'm honest, I only ever successfully managed to the get the things working on one occasion. The painful process that several reviews describe of trying to eliminate where the problems were with third party equipment was something I was very familiar with and simply exacerbated my frustrations and difficulty in developing my understanding of flash photography. As an aside – I whole heartedly do not recommend either of the above – you get what you pay for I’m afraid!

I won’t lie, given the expense of the new 600’s and the likely amount of use I would get from the product, it was not a straightforward decision and purchase for me to make. I’ve spent the last 4 months reading every article on the web, every Youtube clip and every review before convincing myself to make the investment.

I’m pleased to say that I finally picked up two 600’s very recently and I can’t speak highly enough of them from my relatively inexperienced perspective. I defer to those more seasoned and experienced pros and semi pros on this forum in terms of highlighting the weaknesses of the system, but for my photography needs (and understanding), I think they are a great tool. 

The mysterious black art of trying to understanding flash settings, wireless and camera control is completely removed. When working with my 5d Mk III, you just switch it all on and it works. The LCD screen on the back of the speedlite is intuitive and informative so I can understand what the equipment is doing at a simple glance.

What all this means to me is I can now concentrate my efforts on learning about the effect of light and composition rather than get embroiled in the often unfathomable world of flash gear techno jargon.

EOS 5D MK III, 24-105 f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.8

Not much higher praise can be given then that I think. You can also control the settings from the "Flash Control" Menu in-camera, but why when it's on the top? Options, I guess.  I highly recommend the ST-E3-RT transmitter to get the other flash off the camera, you can use it in tandem with the other to get more power, or start playing around with two-light setups.

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2013, 11:52:02 PM »
"Canon wasn't even kind enough to keep backward compatible TTL light communication so you could keep using all of your now obsolete and soooo 2010 pre-600 series flashes."

Nobody cares if you are a stick in the mud, or if you can't realise the value of a manufacturer supplied option, to you it might not be high, to others it is good value. When compared to a 580 EX II and a PW the 600 is a bargain.

But where on earth did you come out with that rubbish? The 600 is 100% compatible with all previous optical ETTL flashes.

Well, I'm not sure how illustrating the obvious on my comments about myself and value perception is productive but whatever. 

As for the backward compatibility, that actually isn't rubbish.  I just neglected to be more specific because something came up and I had to run.  (I'll edit the post right away.)  The ST-E3-RT controller (which was my mental focus at the time) is NOT backward compatible with optical and WON'T control anything but the 600EX-RT.  The 600EX-RT as a master is supposed to control everything according to specs but I've read in some places where folks have had some issues or group/zone limits or something with the older flash models mixed in with 600 units used as optical slaves.  Since I don't own a 600, I can't really speak to that, that's just hearsay.  At any rate, it does sound realistic that if one wants the 600 series stuff to work best, one should not try to mix old and new and that seems to be a pretty common opinion.  So backward compatibility is probably a moot point anyway and that's too bad.

So with that said, I would expect upgrading to a 600 series only flash system to be quite expensive.  Well over $1000 at least for just two units and nothing else.  Everyone has their own priorities and budgets.  As I said before, not a big deal and it's all good for them if that's their choice.  Just not good for me.  I don't think I ever said others wouldn't benefit.  But if one already owns 580 units and some kind of satisfactory RT solution, PW, RP, YN or whatever works, I don't see much value in replacing it all with a minor upgrade such as the 600 series.  It's just not that much of an improvement in that scenario, which happens to be my situation and likely many others'. 
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2013, 11:52:02 PM »