[Gear] Canon's New 600EX-RT Speedlight Uses Radio!

[Gear] Canon's New 600EX-RT Speedlight Uses Radio!

Along with the 5D Mark III just announced, Canon announced a new speedlight, the 600EX-RT. The 600EX-RT is Canon's first speedlight to introduce a wireless radio capable of communicating with up to 15 other units at a range of 30m. Just as impressively, the flash features the same weatherproofing standard as Canon's flagship 1D X. Pre-Order the new speedlight at B&H.

The 600EX-RT, which serves as a transmitter itself, is compatible with a new dedicated speedlight transmitter also released today, the ST-E3-RT. For the price, it may still be worth looking into the arguably more capable PocketWizard Plus III units, but having these options in a new, top-end Canon speedlight will be more than welcome for Canon shooters looking for a more robust system.

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Seshan's picture

Please tell me that Canon didn't completely fail and was smart enough to integrate the ability to trigger the flash wirelessly with the new canon 5D mkiii

wow...so canon decided to put in a wireless radio transmitter/receiver in the already-so-good speedlites huh? Now that is one thing i wished the put in the 5D MKIII...if canon did that they would have beaten the D800 and 800E...basically Nikon all together!...and probably radio-popers, pocket wizard, and everything single wireless radio companies out there. Canon needs to jump on this before nikon does.

Wrong - the both of you! ^^

Sorry, but Canon clearly intends to sell as many ST-E3-RT units as possible. So it's damn sure they won't integrate the transmitter into the 5DIII... even the top-of-the-line cameras probably won't get it integrated. Just remember the GPS units, same old story again.

Yeah, let's not forget these companies aren't raking in the big bucks from these product lines these days... Not as much as they used to, anyway. Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, more floods, hurricanes, and more floods aren't really helping the situation either...

Patrick Hall's picture

So wait, these flashes now use Radio to trigger them?  Even if you have to buy a new remote trigger, this is a HUGE advancement vs the Infrared system that Canon and Nikon previous (or still) used.  If it's radio based, I assume Pocket Wizard and Radio Poppers can create their own triggers.  But basically if you could use a master flash on camera and config the whole system like the CLS Nikon currently has then that would be great....the weakness with CLS is IR triggering.  This is getting exciting

Yeah! I really am impressed. I don't see a 'repeater-like' option as with the Plus IIIs, but not many people shoot beyond 90ft away from subjects they're lighting. It's nice to see this built into a speedlight for once!

NIgel King's picture

Does anyone know what the top sync speed is? 

$630 is a lot for flashes; you could get cactus v5 triggers ($60) or even pocketwizard plus 3's ($300) plus some 3rd party flashes for the same price as 1 of these :T

Remy Musser's picture

That system looks great but overpriced but, you won't be able to use older flashes or trigger studio strobes

The only system which does everything  and works flawlessly from manual, TTL, high speed sync and second curtain is the Phottix Odin.

And No Adam the new PW plus III is nothing worth considering if you want to have TTL

Wow that sure looks like a great flash, but I can't seem to find anywhere, does this flash let us use full manual mode on flash? what I mean is on the 580 EX II it had Manual but you were only able to power down the flash ratio, can this new one let us input the ISO, f-stop, and flash power like on the Nikon speedlights? thanks

Patrick Hall's picture

on Nikon this mode is called AA and it is helpful at times when you are moving the flash around and need your flash to meter itself.  Not sure if this new Canon has that mode

Graham Marley's picture

It looks like it does, yes. At least as far as punching in actual output instead of simply on a ratio output level. Here's a hands on preview:


That's a killer feature for me, totally worth the bump in price.

Michael Kormos's picture

With a "range up to 30m"...  it's safe to say the range will be more like 10-15m with obstacles in the way.  I'm glad to see someone in the industry finally implementing a more reliable OEM triggering other than infrared, but I'm also curious to see how well it fares in tests.

Love the improvements of the canon's flash in and of itself. But for $650 I'd rather purchase an Einstein strobe. I got hotshoe flashes already.

Graham Marley's picture

Yeah, the einstein is really appealing price to price, but weather-sealing? I can actually shoot with killer lighting quickly in crappier weather? That's a major, major plus.

Graham Marley's picture

FINALLY a 200mm zoom. I've been waiting for radio in these for a long time too. I want 3 of these yesterday. Although, I still think Wifi would be killer. TTL + radio= my life is awesome.

The big fail on the ST-E3-RT is the lack of IR. I loved using the ST-E2 to help focusing in low light when using a 50 1.2 or 85 1.2. The lack of it makes it a major pass for me. 

WTF? You need the ST-E3-RT to shoot wirelessly? Nikon do that with TTL since D70 (2005) :S

gp's picture

I'll definitely wait to see this tested in the wild before making up my mind, I'm all for the strobist way (own three 580ex2's right now) but this has to be a lot better at what it does for a price that's about $130-$150 more than a brand new 580ex2 flash.