Canon Patent Application: Hybrid Speedlite Cooling

Canon Rumors Guy

Canon EOS 40D
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In this patent application (2024-039230), Canon is looking at methods of cooling a hybrid speedlite capable of both continuous and flash lighting. As with most speedlites in the modern era, heat is the biggest problem facing speedlites. The flash tube that outputs the light usually runs quite hot; this heat must go somewhere. As we

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JTP

Nov 1, 2019
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It'd be fantastic if they made a speedlite that actually functioned properly wirelessly. I have 5 EL1's right now that won't stay paired for more then 30 seconds, along with several friends who's are doing the same thing. Towards the end of last season our speedlites all began to degrade in connectivity, and upon trying to use mine for the beginning of my season they are unusable now. Even reading the comments from their recently released speedlite, reviewers are constantly saying the same thing - wireless drops.
 
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LDS

Sep 14, 2012
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I suspect that any fixes in that area will break backward compatibility

That depends if it is a design flaw and not some firmware bug. If they need to change frequencies, modulation or protocol it won't be backward compatible. IF the only need to improve the radio/data handling without such changes it could be.
 
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JTP

Nov 1, 2019
31
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It is a fantastic on-camera event flash.
This is truth. I just got some Godox flashes in to test and they are absolute garbage. Not only are the colors inconsistent, but the flash output itself is remarkably inconsistent, particularly in burst. The EL1 is incredibly consistent, especially on burst mode, which I periodically shoot with for first dances when the groom spins the bride. Will be testing Profoto next week after my wedding tomorrow.
 
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koenkooi

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Feb 25, 2015
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That depends if it is a design flaw and not some firmware bug. If they need to change frequencies, modulation or protocol it won't be backward compatible. IF the only need to improve the radio/data handling without such changes it could be.
If it’s a firmware bug, you’d need to upgrade the speedlites, are those user updateable?
 
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LDS

Sep 14, 2012
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If it’s a firmware bug, you’d need to upgrade the speedlites, are those user updateable?
No, the big problem of Canon units is their firmware cannot be updated by the user - that's hard to understand. The recent release of the ST-3 v3 is a little incomprehensible, most competitors have units that can be upgraded, my Elinchrom remote is regularly updated to support new Elinchrom units (and fix issues), with no need to buy a new unit. I understand the need to sustain and increase profits - but not having system with software that cannot be upgraded in 2024. Unless it's an hardware upgrade, of course, because some components have reached end-of-life and new ones has to be used, but sometimes that's an internal change and it doesn't surface as a new version.
 
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JTP

Nov 1, 2019
31
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That depends if it is a design flaw and not some firmware bug. If they need to change frequencies, modulation or protocol it won't be backward compatible. IF the only need to improve the radio/data handling without such changes it could be.
This was posted on Canons repair forum. Not mine, but just reposting.

"
I am posting this information in hopes it is easier to find. It was originally a reply to an earlier post but may not be easily discovered.

I believe I have proven the theory that the Canon ST-E3-RT (ver. 2) / 600EX II RT wireless system is dropping wireless links because of external electromagnetic interference. As I mentioned in an earlier post I ran a number of tests yesterday with the ST-E3-RT sender and three 600EX II RT flashes, trying different channels and ID's. This testing was done in my home office not far from my Wi-Fi router. This home office has a single router and the normal complement of connected wireless devices (a couple of TVs, an Echo Show, one Samsung and one Apple cell phone). In this environment I experienced drops in less than a minute to at most 12 minutes. Some channel/ID combinations were better than others.
This morning I conducted a similar test on the same units. This time, I created a Faraday cage of sorts by placing all units (sender and Flashes) in a metal filing cabinet in my garage. This was in hopes of shielding them from most of whatever electromagnetic interference I have in my home office.
They ran flawlessly for over an hour before the flashes powered down as they were set to do. I then cycled the power on the remote, the three flashes woke up and reconnected and flashed when the test button was pressed. It's been over 30 minutes since the system was powered back up and still no drops. Each flash is in its own group; A, B, and C. A & B are in ETTL mode, and C is in manual mode at 1/128 power.
I believe this series of tests and the experiences that many of you have shared on this forum proves that the Canon flash system is unreliable where low to moderate electromagnetic interference exists. The system appears to be unsuitable for most venues in which it would likely be used where Wi-Fi and cell phones are in the vicinity.
This is an old design, but it's still being sold by Canon. The ST-E3-RT (ver. 2) was introduced a year or so ago and the EL1 & EL5, which use the same wireless protocol and have been reported to also have the same issues, were also introduced a little over a year ago.
Now the question is, how do we get this information and test results in front of Canon so something might be done about this issue. At the very least they should stop selling this system until the problem is resolved in current production units. It's simply an unreliable system for real-world applications.
PS: As I post this note, it's now been 1 hour and 55 minutes, with no dropped links.
PPS: The flashes went through another auto power off as programmed and were again powered up when the ST-E3-RT was power cycled. Their wireless links restored as expected. I concluded the test after 3-1/2 hours with no dropped wireless links. I then removed the units from the Faraday cage (metal filing cabinet) and returned them to my office where they all lost their links in less than 5 minutes. Again, this points to external interference as the cause in a fairly common home Wi-Fi environment. This system appears not suited for its intended wireless use."
 
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JTP

Nov 1, 2019
31
23
With all the really good options in battery powered mono-light portables I've quit using my Speedlight's and moved to the FJ system. Even just handholding a 200 WS light is often easier for run and gun with more than enough power vs Speedlight's. I am sold on them for outdoor studio work.
This would be impressive to see for a 5 hour wedding reception using a Canon R3 and 28-70 f2. I'd love to see that bicep and forearm! You'd look like Popeye!
 
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LDS

Sep 14, 2012
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This was posted on Canons repair forum. Not mine, but just reposting.
It's interesting but without analyzing the actual radio situation in that moment it's one empirical evidence. I routinely use Canon wireless in my home studio, where there is also a WiFi AP, without any issue. But I'm in a detached house and beyond my own WiFi other signals are quite weak. My APs are set to regulate the transmission power as needed, also, and that might help to avoid hampering the Canon signal. Also, wireless flash should not disrupt WiFi transmissions.

A building with a lot of APs filling each and every channel, blasting at full power, the interference can be far worse. Still, being the 2.4GHz band an unlicensed one, interference must be expected, and any design should account for them. Wireless flash has the issue it has to be a real-time signal, with strict tolerances, unlike WiFi which can stand far higher latency. Maybe today using a different band is not a bad idea, since most devices moved to WiFi, although many now uses the 5 GHz band.

Anyway, we don't know if it is a problem at the hardware level - the hardware enter a state when it loses the link and can't re-establish it until power cycled, or it's a software problem, the hardware still works correctly but the software is in a state when it cannot resume operations. The latter might be far simpler to fix than the former, although without software update capabilities Canon units can't be fixed that way.

I hope Canon is working on new, more powerful units and they might need to exchange more data - requiring a protocol overhaul.
 
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