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Author Topic: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT  (Read 24610 times)

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2013, 12:30:44 AM »
An efficient light weight lighting kit is more valuable than an expensive heavy lens that you will rarely use.

I guess I'm not sure how two or three 600EX-RT flash units along with possible stands, light modifiers and batteries can be considered "light weight" compared with a lens but you're right if compared to a bunch of studio strobes.  As for subjective value or assumed rarity of use compared with a lens, my flashes come out a lot less than my lenses in the types of walk around journalistic shooting I do.  And these large flashes are actually larger than most lenses, the 70-200/2.8 being one exception.  (I use a small RD2000 flash most of the time but I would love to have something similar in size from Canon that was controlled ETTL wirelessly directly out of the camera.)  YMMV.  My flashes would be used a LOT MORE if I could control one off-camera flash straight from the camera and not be forced to have a big ass flash attached to my hotshoe for the sole purpose of controlling another big ass remote flash that was the only one I wanted to use in the first place.  (Carry two large flashes just to use/control the single active large off-camera flash = stupid PITA to me.)  The ST-E3-RT controller is about the size of the RD2000 flash I use now but still requires me to hand carry the 600 flash because I can't mount the 600 anywhere.  That's dumb.  At least put a hotshoe on the controller.  But no!  Find a pocket, backpack or between your knees for that flash when you can't hold it all the time in your other hand when focusing, etc.

Hence the natural thought progression of ... lose the ST-E3-RT controller all together and put that functionality into the camera itself.  Now just carry one flash and let it live on the camera when not used off camera.  One flash, multiple uses.  Simple but for some reason not within Canon's grasp to offer.
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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2013, 12:30:44 AM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2013, 12:58:47 AM »
Hence the natural thought progression of ... lose the ST-E3-RT controller all together and put that functionality into the camera itself.  Now just carry one flash and let it live on the camera when not used off camera.  One flash, multiple uses.  Simple but for some reason not within Canon's grasp to offer.
Putting ST E3-RT funtionality into the camera is a great idea and I think it is "within Canon's grasp to offer" ... but IMO it would have negative imapact on the camera with:
  • decreased battery performance of the camera (as it also needs to provide additional power for that function)
  • If they produce new powerful batteries to support the camera with the in-built ST E3-RT functionality, the cost will add up not only for the camera but also in having to buy spare batteries (going by Canon's recent pricing strategy, I bet it will be very expensive) ... also those who are not interested in wireless flash photography will have to pay for a feature that they do not want.   
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 01:04:48 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Marsu42

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2013, 02:15:44 AM »
decreased battery performance of the camera (as it also needs to provide additional power for that function)

The rt control needs only short bursts of radio activity, I doubt it'll be such a wifi drain as constant wifi operation with high data rates (eos remote).

The real drawback would be that like the 6d, there has to be some part of the camera w/o metal casing to reach enough distance/power and/or low battery consumption - but unlike gps this part hasn't to be where the built-in flash is (Rebels) or would be (6d).

denton

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2013, 07:06:16 AM »
Hi all:

Have been accumulating the system as I can afford it, I now have the ST-E3 controller and four flashes. A couple of comments after the review:

-The price of the flash has actually been slowly falling. The last two I paid $529 from Adorama in person.

-One thing I'm unhappy with is that if you're shooting in low light you really need a 600 as a controller if you want the IR focus assist. Of course you can turn off the flash on the shoe if you're using it as a controller with other flashes off camera.

-It's easy to mix with studio strobes. If you use the ST-E3 to trigger a 600EX being used as a hairlight or something, the 600EX will then optically trigger a studio strobe in a softbox or whatever. I use it together with my older Elinchroms like that.

-As far as the filter issues, I use a Honl speed strap along with their filters. I'm sure there are other workarounds as well.

-It definitely took time with the manual to figure it all put, plus looking at Neil's Tangent site, and some of the videos at canonlearning, but I'm quite comfortable with the system now and love it.

-I wounder why a controller can control just about anything on a slave, but not the zoom range. That would have been cool.

Overall am very happy with the 600EX-RT system.


Marsu42

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2013, 07:44:49 AM »
Fyi: Celebrating the first anniversary of the 600ex-rt I put up a poll about the rt successor of the 430ex2: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13229.0

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2013, 08:37:56 AM »
Hence the natural thought progression of ... lose the ST-E3-RT controller all together and put that functionality into the camera itself.  Now just carry one flash and let it live on the camera when not used off camera.  One flash, multiple uses.  Simple but for some reason not within Canon's grasp to offer.
Putting ST E3-RT funtionality into the camera is a great idea and I think it is "within Canon's grasp to offer" ... but IMO it would have negative imapact on the camera with:
  • decreased battery performance of the camera (as it also needs to provide additional power for that function)
  • If they produce new powerful batteries to support the camera with the in-built ST E3-RT functionality, the cost will add up not only for the camera but also in having to buy spare batteries (going by Canon's recent pricing strategy, I bet it will be very expensive) ... also those who are not interested in wireless flash photography will have to pay for a feature that they do not want.   

1.  Wireless flash RF wouldn't affect battery life that much.  It doesn't seem to affect the 600 series flash's battery life much does it?  The flash only uses four AA batteries, no special high capacity batteries there.  Although now that I think about it, perhaps an integrated high capacity battery system on a full size flash might be a good thing with even faster recycle time and longer life.  Let me think... use the same LP-E6 battery in the flash too... hmm.  That might be something cool...  Eh, Nahhh.
2.  Cost is rarely a reason to not do things in photography.  Canon charges somewhere around 10 million percent profit margin already and everyone seems to pay it for whatever they choose to release lately.  Just look at the 1D-X, 1D-C or 1D 4K or even the 5D3 as examples.  Not to mention the newest lens prices lately running into the stratosphere.  Somehow I don't think integrating flash control into the camera will make much of a diff.
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2013, 09:38:45 AM »
1.  Wireless flash RF wouldn't affect battery life that much.  It doesn't seem to affect the 600 series flash's battery life much does it?  The flash only uses four AA batteries, no special high capacity batteries there.  Although now that I think about it, perhaps an integrated high capacity battery system on a full size flash might be a good thing with even faster recycle time and longer life.  Let me think... use the same LP-E6 battery in the flash too... hmm.  That might be something cool...  Eh, Nahhh.
2.  Cost is rarely a reason to not do things in photography.  Canon charges somewhere around 10 million percent profit margin already and everyone seems to pay it for whatever they choose to release lately.  Just look at the 1D-X, 1D-C or 1D 4K or even the 5D3 as examples.  Not to mention the newest lens prices lately running into the stratosphere.  Somehow I don't think integrating flash control into the camera will make much of a diff.

Or Canon would rather sell the same body worldwide and deal with the flash separately.  Different countries have different RF regulations.

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2013, 09:38:45 AM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2013, 09:55:30 AM »
Well, good point and you may be right but don't they already have different models for different countries?  That's just part of the game.  Just a few more hoops for the lawyers to rangle and the design techs to manage.  Shouldn't be a show stopper.  Maybe pick an available freq that works in both countries?  Or have two freq.  Pretty easy to manage two different freq or RF modules at the assembly level I would think.
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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2013, 09:57:46 AM »
Although now that I think about it, perhaps an integrated high capacity battery system on a full size flash might be a good thing with even faster recycle time and longer life.  Let me think... use the same LP-E6 battery in the flash too... hmm.  That might be something cool...

Not a good idea to use the camera battery.  Li-ion chemistry is optimal for sustained, moderate-current discharge, and a flash needs brief, high-current discharge to fill the capacitor.  A Li-based battery in a flash means long recycle times (that's one reason why the popup flash on a Rebel/xxxD is very slow to recharge, whereas a 430EX II with NiMH batteries can keep up with the first part of an 8 fps burst.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2013, 10:42:09 AM »
Although now that I think about it, perhaps an integrated high capacity battery system on a full size flash might be a good thing with even faster recycle time and longer life.  Let me think... use the same LP-E6 battery in the flash too... hmm.  That might be something cool...

Not a good idea to use the camera battery.  Li-ion chemistry is optimal for sustained, moderate-current discharge, and a flash needs brief, high-current discharge to fill the capacitor.  A Li-based battery in a flash means long recycle times (that's one reason why the popup flash on a Rebel/xxxD is very slow to recharge, whereas a 430EX II with NiMH batteries can keep up with the first part of an 8 fps burst.

Yeah, excellent point neuro.  Forget I said it.  Something in the back of my mind was dogging this idea and that's why I did the "eh... naah" thing at the end.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  Plus, more expensive batteries that can't be charged in the field are also a drag.  Since eneloop batteries came on the scene, my flashes work great for a long time and I loooove those eneloops.  Sanyo needs to somehow apply this same reliable and foolproof battery technology to the economy.   :D
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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2013, 03:14:10 PM »

Li-ion chemistry is optimal for sustained, moderate-current discharge, and a flash needs brief, high-current discharge to fill the capacitor. 

True for LiCo cells, you comfortably get about 15W out of something camera sized, i.e. about 5s recycle time.
But change the cobalt for iron phosphate and the tide turns, you'd fry the caps and the flashtube long before the battery gets remotely taxed - cells rated for cont. 30C and peak 100C+ discarge means multiple full pops a second. (Profotos B4 uses such a battery, something 1/10 the size for a 50Ws flashgun?  :o 8) )

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2013, 04:04:40 PM »
Also, I have been buying gels in the UK from FlashGels who have precut a bunch of Lee filters for the new system.

http://flashgels.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=13&zenid=eh3ud620p3jnd0bjjq2702f616

I actually rather like the canon gel holder and the way the gel clips into it. Feels a lot more reliable than the other systems I used on the old 580s.

That's awesome! Long way to send for some gel's - hopefully someone over here will do the same - price is less than Canon's too.  I still want my own die-cut: yes I could cut my own with an exacto blade but who has time for that?

There's really no need to Die Cut filters for the Speedlite 600 filter holder - If you look closely, there are some cut out slits which allow you to use a 3"x3" square piece of gel - Those are pretty easy to cut with a paper cutter or scissors.

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2013, 04:16:17 PM »
Also, I have been buying gels in the UK from FlashGels who have precut a bunch of Lee filters for the new system.

http://flashgels.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=13&zenid=eh3ud620p3jnd0bjjq2702f616

I actually rather like the canon gel holder and the way the gel clips into it. Feels a lot more reliable than the other systems I used on the old 580s.

That's awesome! Long way to send for some gel's - hopefully someone over here will do the same - price is less than Canon's too.  I still want my own die-cut: yes I could cut my own with an exacto blade but who has time for that?

There's really no need to Die Cut filters for the Speedlite 600 filter holder - If you look closely, there are some cut out slits which allow you to use a 3"x3" square piece of gel - Those are pretty easy to cut with a paper cutter or scissors.

Laziest guy in the world right here!  :P

I just have *so* many cut out rectangles with little velcro pads on them. So using them with my stack of Honl straps is just the "old way" of doing things I'll stick to. I kind of like manually controlling my WB anyway.

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2013, 04:16:17 PM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2013, 11:08:56 PM »
Just for the record, my bitching is more about wanting more functionality and redesign than cheaper price.  Just swapping optical for radio communication isn't a big game changer in my book and doesn't deserve my money.  I would like to see Canon do something truly great and shake things up using the big advantage they own... integrated camera functionality together with several models of great performance flashes with reliability and simplicity of use.  After all this time knowing what is out there in the aftermarket and designing the current new camera bodies and new flashes, this is all they came up with?  How unimaginative and incremental.  Yawn.
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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2013, 10:26:20 AM »
Just for the record, my bitching is more about wanting more functionality and redesign than cheaper price.  Just swapping optical for radio communication isn't a big game changer in my book and doesn't deserve my money.  I would like to see Canon do something truly great and shake things up using the big advantage they own... integrated camera functionality together with several models of great performance flashes with reliability and simplicity of use.  After all this time knowing what is out there in the aftermarket and designing the current new camera bodies and new flashes, this is all they came up with?  How unimaginative and incremental.  Yawn.

I don't think it can be done as easily as you think.  Different countries have different RF regulations and it may not be practical/possible to design for all of them in one unit.  Imagine having to a different 5D III model depending on where you live.

Perhaps, the next generation will bring the comm to wi-fi, which is pretty standardized.  Nikon just came out with the WR-1 system -- not a flash, but it still needs to be wired to the camera.  It looks like Canon will have a more elegant system for a bit longer.

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Re: Review - Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2013, 10:26:20 AM »