Canon updates its popular Speedlite Transmitter, with the new ST-E3-RT(Ver.2)

privatebydesign

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Just a mediation on where things stand today. Most readers here know of Canon's important contributions to the development of flash photography--but what signs do you see that more will follow? How long can a company, or a division of a company, sustain itself on past achievements?

What conversations would we be having now if Canon had just kept making incremental upgrades to dSLR's instead of going so deeply in on mirrorless? Are there any rumors of similar boldness with lights?

Harsh or not, it's Canon that will have to determine how to compete in a market where reverse-engineered--or even stolen--tech can be produced quickly in mass quantities. (I believe lighting is less complex and difficult to manufacture cheaply than today's camera bodies and lenses--but that too might quickly change. It would take a lot to convince me that Yongnuo and other such companies aren't backed by silent partners with very deep pockets.) Or Canon might decide to throw in the towel and tolerate dwindling sales of Speedlite systems that look run-of-the-mill and overpriced in 2021.
The point is, I suppose, Canon don't compete in the lighting market in any depth and they never have, so why should we expect any different now?

Canon make monitors, but they are not in the market of bulk consumer TV's and never have been, why should we expect anything from them in the field?

As for "harsh", that wasn't about your desire for more (which I feel is misplaced), it was pointing out your comment of no innovation simply isn't factually accurate. I believe it is misplaced because there are a myriad of specialist lighting companies covering every range of prices, power, accessories etc etc already and Canon have never tried to compete with them.

When all his said and done there is more range of flash systems and capabilities than ever before, I look to Profoto, Broncolor, PCB, Godox, Yongnuo et al to give me the flash products I want and need, meanwhile I look to Canon, FujiFilm, Nikon etc to give me the cameras I want and need.
 
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Michael Clark

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Anybody who maintains a yard knows that there are always areas a wee bit neglected. Canon's lighting division, for example. Rather than responding to competition in this area, they seem to be ignoring it.

Almost as if the original innovators have all left Canon. Did some bean-counter conclude that Yongnuo was just the first of a juggernaut of copycats that would undermine anything new? Did they look around and think there just wasn't enough profit margin with more powerful lights that could work seamlessly with EOS bodies, that there wasn't enough volume to compete in the portable studio-lighting sphere?

There has to be a sad, interesting story behind the current state of Canon's lighting business, though maybe it was never much to begin with. "Here are some flash for the top of your camera. See what you can do with them. What? Off camera? Oh bother. Alright, HERE. Now let us get back to bodies and lenses."

I'm not seeing that the new transmitter has added AF-assist. Would Canon be right to claim this is because they haven't been able to find something as discreet as infra-red that would still work for mirrorless AF systems?

I do know many amateurs grew to hate speedlights because of complexity, and because they slowed down the fun, and because the easiest way to use them was the worst way (blasting straight at the subject from the hot-shoe). And I know a lot of photographers who converted reluctance to learn (or lug around) into a distaste for "artificial" lighting, turning their incompetence into a virtue by brainwashing themselves into believing only available light was good light. Some of this attitude gets reinforced by the great improvements of digital cameras, of course. But I don't think Canon has done enough to educate their market about good light vs. mediocre or poor light.

Did Canon come to believe that the most lucrative segment of a shrinking market simply didn't care about lighting, and the smaller segment that did care didn't offer enough volume to overcome thin margins being challenged by copycats?

Can anybody point to some statistics which show how many photographers purchase more than one speedlight? Perhaps the great majority of photographers who use dedicated cameras see a flash as something like a tripod: "I thought I would need it, but I haven't taken it out of the closet since 1999."

In the current business world, will Canon try to regain some ground with lighting?

Since the EOS system rolled out in 1987, the emphasis at Canon has been on sports/action shooting. That's where Canon overtook Nikon in the early 1990s due to the superior AF performance of USM focusing that was enabled by the all-electronic communication between the camera body and lens. It's been ingrained in their corporate DNA for the last 40+ years that they build cameras for sports and action where flash often is not allowed.
 
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Michael Clark

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I’ve had two Yongnuo ST’s and neither were close to the Canon for range and reliability. I don’t like the Canon model but have two of them because they just work.
Sell them and go for the mid-grade Godox stuff. You'll never look back.
 

Michael Clark

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I have the Yongnou as well. It’s better than the Canon at like half the price.

I never had any trouble at all with the YN622 system transmitters and transceivers. But Yongnuo flashes tend to crap out at just over one year old if you ever try to use them for more than 2-3 HSS shots per hour. I've been much happier with Godox. It just all works better, together, and I haven't had any Godox/Flashpoint lights crap out on me from using them hard.
 

YuengLinger

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Since the EOS system rolled out in 1987, the emphasis at Canon has been on sports/action shooting. That's where Canon overtook Nikon in the early 1990s due to the superior AF performance of USM focusing that was enabled by the all-electronic communication between the camera body and lens. It's been ingrained in their corporate DNA for the last 40+ years that they build cameras for sports and action where flash often is not allowed.
Interesting. I never thought of their focus in this way.

Perhaps it is unrealistic to think of them getting deeper in a big way into lighting, and therefore "harsh" to criticize them. Still, I can't quite see the point of the new $1000 Speedlite!
 

privatebydesign

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Sell them and go for the mid-grade Godox stuff. You'll never look back.
Why? I’m very happy with the results I get from 7 600EX-RT’s (which can be bought for well under $200 used) the two ST-E3-RT’s and four PCB Einsteins with a big lithium pack for when I need considerably more power. The nice thing is I can use them all at the same time too all with remote power control.

I must be honest, if I was starting out buying flashes now Godox is a compelling solution, but I started with the 600’s when they came out and the third parties simply didn’t have the range and QC they have now.

It is certainly a golden age for flash equipment!
 
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