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News: Canon 600EX Flash – Built-In Radio Wireless! – CameraTalk w/ Matthew Saville

By Matthew Saville on March 2nd 2012

Pre-order the Canon 600EX HERE on B&H!

Not to be lost in the excitement of the 5D mk3, Canon has also announced a new speedlite flash today, and WOW does it come close to stealing the 5D mk3’s thunder!

This is the holy grail of hotshoe flashes, ladies and gentlemen.The Canon 600EX-RT.Built-in radio wireless control.People have been begging for this for years now.No more fidgeting with crazy piggyback trigger systems, worrying about batteries in three different devices instead of just one, etc.And, my favorite part-no more walking all the way over to your remote flashes just to bump the power up a stop!Now you can adjust the remote power of all your flashes from the back of your own camera, effortlessly, all wht the reliability of radio communication instead of infra-red.FINALLY!

…Got $630?Holy hotshoes, Batman!Yes, that’s right, the Canon 600 EX costs $630.I suppose that’s a good deal, if you take the price of a Canon 580EX mk2 and add the price of a Radio Popper PX transmitter. $440 + $250 = $690, so you’re saving….$60?Of course for those who don’t need TTL wirelessly and have assistants to go change their remote flash power, a 580 EX mk2 and a new Pocket Wizard 3 is just $440+ $140 = $580.Now the 600EX is kinda looking a liiiiittle over-priced, if you overlook the plethora of other new features the 600 EX offers.(20-200mm flash zoom, a little extra GN flash power, and that’s about it…)

And okay, even if we assume that there’s a slight savings compared to the 580 EX mk2 plus a Radio Popper or PW Flex TTL System, …what about the fact that MOST people use cheap “dumb” flashes as their remotes?A Nikon SB28 is just $120 or so used on Amazon, and again a Pocket Wizard 3 is just $140.For $260 you have a great, hard-working remote flash.So if you ask me, the only way that this radio system is going to work out for Canon is if they have some sort of 430EX mk3 up their sleeve to replace the 430 EX mk2, (440EX-RT?) …with built-in radio remote capabilities for “ONLY” $300-$350 or so.It might not be a savings compared to a “dummy” remote and a PW3, but at least it would be a great savings compared to getting a 430EX mk2 and another Radio Popper as your remote.($270 + $250 = $520)

So really, it just depends on how you price it out, with a little “assuming” thrown in about Canon’s plans to release additional radio flashes.Of course you know what happens when people assume, so for now I’ll just say that this new Canon system is “of interest” to us here at the studio.Actually if you were to ask our absolute honest opinion, I would have to say that we’re probably still more excited about the Pocket Wizard 3.Mostly because we’re already heavily invested in the PW system, and “dummy” remote flashes with 580 EX mk2 on-camera flashes.This new Canon system would have to be FLAWLESSLY RELIABLE to really get our attention.

 

By the way, Canon has ALSO announced the ST-E3-RT radio transmitter, which is a stand-alone device so you can trigger off-camera flashes without the need of a 600EX-RT.The ST-E3-RT is $470.I’m not sure how much of a deal that is, again compared to a $250 Radio Popper Canon is asking quite a high price here…

So, only time will tell what Canon is up to, but it could be exciting!

 

Take care,
=Matt=

 

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Reji Berrouet

    I think I’ll wait for the Yongnuo version…

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  2. Joe Gunawan

    Just like The Strobist’s David Hobby said: “Official price was set at: 1 Paul Buff 640 WS Einstein + 8″ hi-output reflector + 2-grid set + 64″ soft silver PLM + 64″ diffusion fabric”

    Hehe =)

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