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Canon wireless flash with built in radio control

From: The Practicing Photographer

Video: Canon wireless flash with built in radio control

Hi, I'm Ben Long. With this controller, I can control up to five groups of flashes or

Canon wireless flash with built in radio control

Hi, I'm Ben Long. And this week on the Practicing Photographer, we're going to talk about a very specific Canon flash model, the Speedlite 600EX-RT. If you've seen my Foundations of photography, Flash course, you have seen examples of the importance of getting your flash off your camera. Once your flash is out here floating around the world, you can do cooler lighting effects, you can eliminate a lot of the problems that flash photography often creates like red eye and harsh front lighting. The problem is to get you flash off camera, you've got to have a way of connecting it to the camera.

There are very inexpensive alternatives for that, such as off-camera sync cords. There are also, radio options. In the Foundations of Photography flash course, I look at some Cowboy Studios little radio transmitters. I like those a lot. But, they're not always completely reliable. Sometimes, I have find that I turn them on and they're not finding each other, and they're not syncing properly. More importantly, the transmitters that I had while, though inexpensive. Did not transmit TTL information from the camera to the flash.

So I had to work with the flashes in a full manual mode. These Canon 600EX-RT's have built-in radio transmitters, that's the RT part. And I'm loving this. It's making a lot of things possible that I couldn't do before. And giving me a huge range of flash flexibility. So I just wanted to show you this system because if you do a lot of flash work, a lot of off camera flash work, and a lot of off camera flash work with multiple flashes, this is a great solution. Now, Canon flashes for years have had built-in infrared communicators in them.

This means, that when the flash on my camera or special infrared transmitter on my camera, I could have wireless flash capability because information could be transmitted through infrared pulses. The problem is in broad daylight, those infrared pulses often didn't work. They got drowned out by sunlight. They don't have great range, and they don't work through walls. With radio, I get 360 degree transmission for tremendous distance, through walls. It's just a much more reliable way to go when it works. And what I'm finding with the 600 RTs is that it works more often than the third-party transmitters I've had work.

There's another part of that sentence in there that I just couldn't find, but I think that's what I was trying to say. So, for all of this to work, I've got a few options. I can put one of these flashes on my camera, and use it as a transmitter. To control another one of these flashes. So, I've got two here. So, this can become a master, this can become a slave. But now, I've got my flash back on my camera. What I usually want to do, is put these on stands off of my camera. For that, I want to go to a dedicated radio transmitter. This is the Canon Speedlite ST-E3-RT.

So this goes on here and becomes just a Master. It's basically a Master Flash without the Flash. I can easily put these in Slave Mode, and now I've got full wireless ETTL2 compatible flashes. These are big beefy powerful flashes. They've got a guide number of 60. That means, they've got a range of 60 meters, it works out to be somewhere between 85 feet and 196 feet. Depending on the zoom setting that I have on the flash. My radio range from here is huge. I've got like a 100 foot range.

Normally, the only way to get that would be with a, with a PC cord sync cable that would be very long and a hassle to carry. And so, this is great. I have got 100 feet, some of that through obstacles and that kind of thing, so I am really liking the radio range on it. With this controller, I can control up to five groups of flashes or 15 individual flashes. Now, a group of flashes means, I can have three flashes over here as one group. Three or four flashes over here, as another group. And I can control all of that ratioing from right here, so I can say I want this group to be a third again, as strong as that group.

Or I can do all of that by controlling individual flashes, again up to 15 of them. I, as I said I get full ETTL2 compatibility. What's great about that, is that I can set flash exposure compensation on the camera, and it gets transmitted to the flashers. Or I can set it up here, or I can define groups and ratioing on here. All of that gets transmitted. In my Flash Course, you saw me constantly having to run over to flashes to dial in power adjustments. I don't have to do that anymore. I get all of that transmitted from my wireless controller here. And by the way, I get full manual control if I want it.

I can still work that way. Another thing that I really like about this system, is I also get high speed sync. So, I can shoot with shutter speeds beyond 1, 200th of a second. That gives me the ability to turn down the sun basically when I'm outside, and have the flash overpower it. So, if you are looking to upgrade your flash system, if you're looking into buying a flash system from scratch and you're a Canon shooter, I really recommend this. It is expensive. These are more expensive than buying older non-radio capable flashes and adding on third party transmitters, but I get this ETTL compatibility and I get reliability.

My only complaints about them are, they lack a PC cord socket. So if I did have that 100 foot cable and wanted to use it, I couldn't. I expect Canon left that off because they figure, well, we're giving you a 100 feet of radio transmission. How much do you really need? So I haven't actually missed that. That's, that may not ever turn out to be a problem. It's just my flashes have always had those, so I feel picky about it. Also, the foot on this flash has this rubber seal around it. Which is great for inclement weather. It, it feels like it really goes in there and is sturdy.

The problem is attaching it to third party shoes, can be difficult. I'm having trouble wedging sometimes the shoes on other flash mounts. And flash down adapters and things on to here. I've been finding that if the rubbers soft enough, I can just squish down and mash it in there. If you're a really dependent on a lot of different kinds of mounts, this maybe an issue that you want to look into. Check some forms, see if other people are using the same type of gear with these flashes. So again, that's the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, a really great wireless flash solution.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for The Practicing Photographer
The Practicing Photographer

80 video lessons · 48524 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 4m 54s
    1. Understanding how to compose with an empty sky NEW
      4m 54s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 7h 49m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 55s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s
    65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s
    66. Using your iPad as a second monitor
      5m 46s
    67. Understanding exposure with a leaf shutter camera
      3m 28s
    68. Photography practice through mimicry
      8m 8s
    69. Canon wireless flash with built in radio control
      5m 59s
    70. Posing and shooting pairs of people
      5m 35s
    71. Shooting with a shape in mind
      3m 15s
    72. Shooting tethered to a laptop
      4m 40s
    73. Softboxes vs. umbrellas
      2m 55s
    74. Getting your project out into the world
      6m 25s
    75. Exploring how to think about shooting a new environment
      3m 56s
    76. Discussing the book "The Passionate Photographer" with Steve Simon
      6m 4s
    77. Highlighting iOS 8 updates on the iPhone5S
      10m 46s
    78. Exploring manual controls with iOS 8 and ProCamera
      5m 30s

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