March 9th, 2012
As a Canon shooter, I was glad to see all the cool specs on the new Canon 600EX-RT and companion ST-E3-RT that Canon announced at the beginning of this month. Back before I met Scott Hargis in about 2006 I purchased the old ST-E2 (predecessor to the ST-E3) with a 580EX. They were pricey and the combination didn’t work so many times because the ST-E2 couldn’t talk to the 580EX I lost count. So I still have a bit of a bad attitude about Canon flash gear. I have to say, my attitude didn’t get any better recently when I look up what the price is combo on Amazon. It will cost you effectively $1100 to have one off-camera 600EX and $1730 for two (2-600EX’s plus a on-camera ST-E3).
I haven’t tried these new versions, so I admit, I know nothing about how well they work. Syl Arena has a post about his hands-on experience with the combination and is positive about them. My question is why did it take Canon so long (about 5 or 6 years) to understand that the last version of this combination was a bad idea, wasn’t reliable and needed to be redesigned to use radio frequency communication? In 2008 when I first saw Scott’s presentation on triggering any flash with any camera for $33 I quit using my Canon ST-E2 and haven’t used it since.
I would advise caution and skepticism before running out and buying into this flash solution because:
- Canon has a very bad history of creating flash products.
- There are a variety of other well tested and well understood approaches to get you to the same place as this gear does at far less cost. The most economical is probably the combination of radio triggers and optical slave flash triggering method that Scott Hargis teaches in his eBook and Video series.
- Canon said the last version of these things were wonderful while they were actually total garbage!
Sorry to be so cranky, it just takes me a long time to get over being ripped off by a major multi-national camera manufacturer!