Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.

Started Apr 30, 2013 | Discussions
Jarvis393
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Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
Apr 30, 2013

I  shoot with a Canon 5dMk2.  I would like to upgrade to a Mk3 someday but don't see the imperative right now.  The 5dMk2 is already so much smarter than I am I don't think I would get any better pictures from it.

I would, however, like to upgrade my lighting (skills).  I primarily shoot kitchens that my cabinet shop produces.  The majority of these are shot tethered.  Efficiency is a bigger consideration for me than budget because I usually only have about a 2 hour window to make the whole shoot happen.  This includes setting up the site and taking everything down.

Right now I have two Canon 580EX and three Nikon SB80 speedlites along with various modifiers.  I use pocket wizards to drive the canons and the canons drive the Nikons.

I am intrigued by the new Canon 600 EX-RT.  Specifically what attracts me is the ability to control power output from the camera.  Not having to walk across the room, change a setting, come back, take a shot and see how it worked would save a lot of time.  The problem sometimes when you add one light is it affects the key & fill ratios for the other lights. My lighting skills aren't that good so it would also be useful to be able to turn one light on at a time to see in real time the impact of additional lights etc.

I am pretty well sold on the merits of being able to control light from right where the laptop is tethered.  My questions now have to do with compatibility with the Canon 5DMK2.

Basic Question 1:  Can I use a SE-E3-RT Controller with a Canon 5DMK2?

Other than the loss of one stop of maximum sync speed is there any other other diminished functionality from using a 5dMK2 with these new lights as opposed to stepping up the new MK3?

Canon EOS 5D
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Ohnostudio
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Re: Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
In reply to Jarvis393, 11 months ago

Your features will be limited like no High Speed Sync.

From Canon:

COMPATIBILITY

EOS cameras released since 2012 (such as EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 6D, and EOS Rebel T4i) – full compatibility

EOS cameras released before 2012:

Flash sync speed must be one stop slower than the maximum

No high-speed sync shooting

No group (GR mode) flash

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Jarvis393
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Re: Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
In reply to Ohnostudio, 11 months ago

What is "group" (GR Mode) flash?

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Sailor Blue
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Re: Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
In reply to Jarvis393, 11 months ago

Jarvis393 wrote:

What is "group" (GR Mode) flash?

You can assign different flashes to different groups then control the power of each group individually.  That is how you want to work unless you want all the lights to have the same power.

It doesn't look like you can do what you want with the 600EX RT flash units.

If you want to keep the flash units you have now then I recommend you buy a flash meter.  It will allow you to set the power of each flash to the exact value you want without any guess work or chimping.  I recommend the Sekonic L-358, which is available with a Pocket Wizard RF trigger module.

Sekonic L-358 FlashMaster

If having control of flash power from the camera is important then you really have two other choices.

1.  You can buy a completely new studio strobe setup that has remote RF trigger control of the power of each light.  You can get studio strobes like this from Bowens, Elincrome, and Paul C. Buff (AlienBees).  You will get more power with studio strobes than with hot-shoe flash units, allowing you to shoot at lower ISO values and/or smaller apertures.  The modeling lights will also allow you to see your lighting before you ever press the shutter.

2.  You can go with the Yongnuo YN-622 triggers and use your current Canon 580EX IIs and buy some additional Canon 430EX II, Canon 580EX, or Yongnuo YN-565EX hot-shoe flash units.  This will give you groups and remote control of the flash power of each group.  You still wouldn't be able to remotely control your older Nikon flash units.

YongNuo YN-622C ETTL Trigger Review | FLASH HAVOC

Speedlights.net | Yongnuo YN-565 EX Flash Review (Equiv 430EX II & ETTL-II on/off-camera)

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ScratchDisk
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Re: Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
In reply to Jarvis393, 11 months ago

Hi, Although Canon's RT kit is clever, it has the limitations listed above from a 5DII. Also Canon made it pretty exclusive in that it works with no other brand including Studio Strobes (at least the workarounds are a little challenging). Also it's expensive.

Yn622Cs are tempting. Are your Ex580s the 'non II' version? If so, with 622Cs you get ETTL but not remotely adjusted M flash (you'd still be walking) - the 580ExII gives you both through 622Cs. Also 622Cs cannot have their firmware changed - but I believe they are good with the 5DIII as well as the II.

Consider Phottix Odins (my choice). The deal breaker (currently) for some is that they require workarounds when using an external flashmeter. Their backwards compatibility is complete as far as and including Canon 550Exs (both ETTL & Remotely adjusted M). There is currently nothing that I am tempted to swap them for. Happy choosing! Donald

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Zee Char
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Re: Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
In reply to Jarvis393, 11 months ago

Jarvis393 wrote:

I  shoot with a Canon 5dMk2.  I would like to upgrade to a Mk3 someday but don't see the imperative right now.  The 5dMk2 is already so much smarter than I am I don't think I would get any better pictures from it.

I would, however, like to upgrade my lighting (skills).  I primarily shoot kitchens that my cabinet shop produces.  The majority of these are shot tethered.  Efficiency is a bigger consideration for me than budget because I usually only have about a 2 hour window to make the whole shoot happen.  This includes setting up the site and taking everything down.

Right now I have two Canon 580EX and three Nikon SB80 speedlites along with various modifiers.  I use pocket wizards to drive the canons and the canons drive the Nikons.

I am intrigued by the new Canon 600 EX-RT.  Specifically what attracts me is the ability to control power output from the camera.  Not having to walk across the room, change a setting, come back, take a shot and see how it worked would save a lot of time.  The problem sometimes when you add one light is it affects the key & fill ratios for the other lights. My lighting skills aren't that good so it would also be useful to be able to turn one light on at a time to see in real time the impact of additional lights etc.

I am pretty well sold on the merits of being able to control light from right where the laptop is tethered.  My questions now have to do with compatibility with the Canon 5DMK2.

Basic Question 1:  Can I use a SE-E3-RT Controller with a Canon 5DMK2?

Other than the loss of one stop of maximum sync speed is there any other other diminished functionality from using a 5dMK2 with these new lights as opposed to stepping up the new MK3?

I have 3 and a love RT. When in group mode and flashes are in manual I carry around my

ST-E3-RT use the test button to fire the 600's and adjust output power individually for each flash from the ST-E3-RT. My L-358 is in the other hand.

From the flash manual

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erichard
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Re: Compatibility of new Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights with Canon 5dMK2 camera.
In reply to Zee Char, 11 months ago

HSS works with 5Dmk2, and sync speed is 1/200 just like 580EX. The main thing you lose is the group mode, but you do have the ability to control A, B , and C groups separately in manual. Not too big a deal. These things are great. I went your route and bought lighting equipment rather than going to 5DmkIII. First off, if you buy some softboxes or umbrellas, it's going to be 10X more impactful than getting the 5DmkIII, IMO, unless you are shooting sports or other fast moving subjects that need great AF. I'm waiting till Canon can match Nikon's 800e in terms of resolution before upgrading.

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