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Author Topic: ST-E3-RT mini review  (Read 1718 times)

FunPhotons

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ST-E3-RT mini review
« on: August 08, 2012, 06:55:41 PM »
After waiting MONTHS my ST-E3-RT has come in from B&H, meanwhile I've been using 3 600RT's on a 5DMKII.

  • Now with the complete package I'm completely flabbergasted and happy with how well these work.
  • The ST-E3-RT is much smaller than I expected, it doesn't add much of any weight to the camera and I'm glad to not have a monster heavy flash up there!
  • I like that the display is horizontal - easy to access and tweak while shooting
  • It was an issue to know which of my flashes was the master, with the ST-E3 it's obvious
  • I don't miss the focus assist light at all. Your milage may vary, but for me that was never very useful anyhow (doesn't help in full darkness, and takes too long in partial)
  • I still have my 580 which is the flash I throw up there when I just want a shoe mounted flash (not often hopefully, just a little fill when outside)
  • Of course it works flawlessly

Knee jerk reaction you see to the Canon RF system is along the lines of too expensive. My take is sure you can get cheaper setups, but find one that is this minimalistic, feature filled, and reliable. I'm not paying an assistant so putting out a little more for a tiny kit I can put in a small bag pays for itself, and it always works.

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ST-E3-RT mini review
« on: August 08, 2012, 06:55:41 PM »

gmrza

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Re: ST-E3-RT mini review
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 07:00:26 PM »

Knee jerk reaction you see to the Canon RF system is along the lines of too expensive. My take is sure you can get cheaper setups, but find one that is this minimalistic, feature filled, and reliable. I'm not paying an assistant so putting out a little more for a tiny kit I can put in a small bag pays for itself, and it always works.

We just got an ST-E3 and first 600-EX-RT last weekend, and I have only had a little time to tinker with it, but on first impression I absolutely concur.  Setup is easy, it's reliable.   My wife shoots without an assistant, so there is no time to walk over to a light stand to change the output of a flash unit.  Not having to attach a receiver to a flash is another big help. - You can have a light stand and brolly or softbox set up in no time.

I was quite impressed with the radio setup - Canon seems to have done a good job to ensure that you won't have interference with anyone else using their system in your vicinity. - You do need to take the time to set a radio id, which hopefully nobody else will be using.
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veraphoto

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Re: ST-E3-RT mini review
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 08:22:37 PM »
The Canon radio gear is super reliable. We tested the water initially with just two 600s, and we were so happy with it, that we are at 4 600s and the ST-E3.

At this point we have more than 3 months of extensive experience with the system and the verdict is clear: Absolutely recommended.

Pros/Cons of the Canon Radio Setup:

Pros:
1) Super Reliable. Compared with previous radio option: Pocketwizards (MiniTT1/FlexTT5) controlling 580EXIIs. The interference problem on the 580 seems to be gone on the 600.
2) Controlled directly from the camera. Canon doesn't advertise this as much as it should, since this is a killer feature (External Speedlite Control Menu).
3) Allows for 5 different groups, with up to 16 flashes overall. This allows for complex lighting setups. I believe Nikon only goes up to four groups (if you use the master as the first group, from the mcnally sketching the light book)
4) No line of sight requirement: As with every radio solution, of course.
5) Compatible with previous Canon flashes, using optical transmission. Optical works OK indoors, but is very tricky outdoors, specially if the sun is hitting hard.
6) Good Range: Canon's range estimate is very conservative. You can get more range.
7) You end up carrying less gear and weight around. For events, this is critical.

Cons:
1) Expensive?. Typically, this is the first complain (it was mine complain at first), but compared with the previous option, a 580 plus a pocketwizard, is about the same. I guess, the Canon marketing guys did their math right.
2) Still, you end up spending thousands of $, when you purchase multiple flashes (For events, is indispensable to have at least 3 600s to rotate them as they overheat)
3) Not compatible with other lighting equipment. I don't know of a way to control and fire other lighting gear (strobes) with the canon system. (If anyone knows of a creative way, please let everybody know)
4) Overheating: When pushed hard, I see very similar behavior as the 580s. Not sure if the way the 600s handle heat is a major improvement over the 580s
5) Can't think of other cons.

Please feel free to add pros and cons to this list.

I would love to read opinions from neuro, spokane and all of the excellent participants of this forum, the real value of this forum.

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Re: ST-E3-RT mini review
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 08:22:37 PM »