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4.7 out of 5 stars59
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 April 2012
I took the plunge on a pair of these without too much hesitation, having been on the verge of buying a set of radio triggers for my earlier Canon flashes. They really are a revelation- gone is the hit or miss triggering in bright sunlight provided by infra red, along with the mind-boggling complexity of the 580ex II control system. 'Press that, then hold it down, then turn that'... all a thing of the past.
These flashes are elegant, durably designed, intuitive and reliable. Although I haven't had them long enough to testify to how long they stand up to prolonged wear and tear, I can say that they represent all of the good points of the Mark I and II and none of the bad.
Niggles would include the new colour filter holder only coming with two gels (one of which is almost pointless) and the lack of remote second curtain sync. A slightly more major point is that the newly designed multiple flash group system does not work with pre 2012 cameras, so unless you have a Mk III or the latest 1D you're out of luck. The old ratio controls are still there of course, but the groups are a major improvement. Shame.
Overall though, highly recommended.
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on 30 November 2012
I originally owned a Canon 40D with a pair of 580EX MKII's.
I had a lot of fun with these and created some great pictures with one on camera or on a short lead and one in a softbox, but they (the flash's) do have limitations when used with the built in infrared triggering.

The ones I had issues with were;
Occasional failed trigger (line of signt in a softbox doesnt always work well)
Long duration of flash (infrared commands plus ETTL, plus main flash) - models eyes start closing
Making setting changes to flash in softbox difficult - a major gripe for me when using non-ETTL setup

Appart from the above I was very happy!

I was building up to buying (or designing myself) a radio trigger system, however the overall cost for an add-on, plus the agro of setting up, additional kit, additional batteries etc. seriously put me off, particularly with reports of issues with some radio triggers combined with the 580's.

I replaced my 40D with a 5D MkIII earlier in the year and when the 600EX-RT came out I bit the bullet, sold my 580's on ebay and purchased 2x 600EX-RT's and an ST-E3-RT to go with my new 5D MKIII. My wife still has not forgiven me, but the Canon Christmas cashback offer (£105 for buying 2 600EX's plus the good price for the 580's lessened the blow).

Yes I have spent a small fortune however what a difference!

The 600EX-RT is a very powerful flash, in manual on full power it is stronger than the 580's.
There are many write ups on the new features, but here is what I noticed and liked.

-Once setup, when you switch on the flashes / St-E3 the radio links up in about 0.5 sec, then its ready to go!
-The ability to set the on-camera device to bleep when all flashes are recharged and ready to flash is awsome when using 2 flashes in softboxes out of view.
-I have full control of the flashes! :) I can adjust each radio connected flash independantly - switch one to manual and adjust the flash power through the full range of 1/1 - 1/128 whilst setting another the full ETTL all from the camera without touching the remote flash's in their softboxes - magic I love this!
-Overal setup time on site is now much quicker.
-HighSpeedSync works on all on/off-camera flashes to full speed of the camera (2012 camera's only).
-With no additional cables (2012 camera's only) I can trigger the camera remotely from the off-camera devices (remote flash or ST-E3) if either another ST-E3 or 600EX is on-camera. This means I can leave the camera on a tripod with an ST-E3 fitted and play with the positioning of a softbox whilst triggering the camera from the softbox flash - then return to the camera and see what the images look like - again no additonal cables remote trigger devices.
-No bolt-on devices to the flash, no additonal cables, no additional batteries, all built in...
-Additional zoom to 200mm provides much better creative control
-The filter holder is a little quirky, but works and is much tidier than velcro and straps

Overall,... was I happy before? Yes
Would I have been happy adding the 600EX's and an ST-E3 to the old 40D? Yes'ish although some features would be limited and I and I might have considered some second hand radio triggers.
Am I happy with the new camera, flashes and controller? YES YES YES. I have eliminated a lot of add-ons, cables, remotes, batteries and stuff.... My setup time is reduced and my ability to adjust on the fly is much improved.

If I just wanted on on camera flash I would buy a second hand 580MkII and be very happy, as soon as you want to add speedlites and go off-camera particularly with a recent compatible camera (if the price doesnt put you off) this solution is excellent!
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on 3 September 2013
I have just taken delivery of my new flash , upgrading from a 430EXii. First impressions were as per previous reviews, that it is an awesome piece of kit.

Very well made and nice features such as the enhanced dust/ water resistance. It looks complicated but it is not and the menu system is easy to navigate round.

I had previously downloaded a copy of the manual so had an idea how it all worked before I got mine and if you are used to Speedlites it should be an easy learning curve to appreciate the full capabilities of it.

Expensive but worth every penny for Canon users.
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on 24 December 2012
I used 2 580exII's for a few years and bought the 600 as one of the 580's was being serviced. What an improvement! The zoom range covers 200mm which is ideal for conference photography, the recycle time is much faster and the controls are far more logical. Improving the user experience significantly. I'll definitely be buying more. . . Good job Canon.
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on 17 February 2013
I'm sure you've all read ooddles of reviews on these things all over the web, so I won't bore you techie stuff as I'm sure this is probably your final read before you commit to hitting the 'order' button..

Having used 430EX II's for the last few years, I was hesitant about upgrading due to what I thought would be complicated set-up menus. How wrong was I?

The menus are quite in-depth but very quick to pick up on (I don't read instruction manuals by the way..). The output of light is better suited to what I use speedlites for (outdoors and some indoor stuff with Ezybox Softboxes which, has to be said, is now a lot better)

My camera at the moment is a 60D and the weight balance when in the hot shoe is perfect. Tilt and full 360 degree flash head swivel along with a retractable light bounce card are an added bonus.

All the usual stuff you know about, output, master, slave options etc are all there plus some minor well documented downsides for pre-2012 Canon DSLR's which, to be honest, aren't enough to put most users off. 6D users will benefit the most at the moment due to the inbuilt wireless control menus in their cameras. No doubt, the forthcoming 7D mk 2 or the rumoured 70D will also benefit from such new wizardry.

To go totally wireless rather than rely on Infra red, I bought an ST-E3-RT (again, superb and is identical to the 600EX control panel) to go with it. It really has broadened my creative world so much that I bought a second 600EX-RT. My 430's aren't redundant by any means, they still form part of my flash set ups when using a 600 as a master which is an added bonus.

On a quick side note, I've used a 600EX-RT on a Canon Powershot G12 just for curiosity and the picture results were fantastic, but obviously, the flash does look daft sat on a G12 :). Also tried the ST-E3-RT on the G12 and it worked really well and is handy to know that it can be used if the occasion ever called for it!

Next up, 5D Mk3 when funds allow...
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on 21 July 2014
It's great, simply great - so easy to change settings on it, I'm used to an older 430 II - which was good, but this is amazing - when coupled with the Trigger (or other 600 on master) it allows for much more creative lighting.

The line of sight required for the 430 remote flash basically made it useless for anything other than very carefully arranged studio type shots.

My only complaint is now I want more of them, and they're pricey!

Theres some people who have complained about the over-heating, but I can't say i've experianced this. I rarely shoot at 1/1 or on strobe mode for extended periods. If you want to shoot at 1/1 for a long time you may get hit by a forced longer recycle time, or compulsory cool down period if it continues to get hotter.
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on 6 February 2016
I received my flashgun in good order, because of the low price I had concerns about the warranty. I contacted the seller with my concerns, but I was assured that I would get the full Canon warranty. Everything came through okay, all the paperwork seems correct so I'm really pleased with the product, and the seller. I would not think twice about purchasing from this seller again.
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on 1 February 2016
Excellent flashgun full of features. Delivered ahead of scheduled date. I also bought a Yonhnou YN-E3-RT to give full functionality with my Canon 7D mark II. The flash works brilliantly. Can highly recommend it The packaging was excellent and protected the flashgun very well . Would happily recommend this retailer too
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on 2 May 2014
You don't buy something like this without knowing what you're getting. It's the most expensive speedlight on the market and if it wasn't perfect, there would be reason to complain. It is perfect, but I knew that when I ordered it.
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on 1 December 2012
great flash but has its flaws, it could be a combination between the 1dx or the 5d3 but the focus beam has very little affect on focus acquisition in low light situations, this is where the beam is supposed to help with focus but it is so faint i and the camera can hardly see it so camera struggles, sorry canon but think it needs a firmware update and soon please...
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