Alongside EOS 5D Mark III are some other important additions. The 600EX-RT Speedlight is the most interesting to me. It seems to have caught up with the competition in some ways, and moved a touch forward in others. But the price?
Anyway, lots for EOS shooters to get excited about. Here are the details:
Shoot with freedom – Canon unveils new range of professional accessories
United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 2nd March 2012 – Canon today extends its range of acclaimed accessories, unveiling a number of new models designed to offer enhanced flexibility and new creative control to its professional and mid-range EOS Digital SLRs.
Sitting at the top of Canon’s range, the Speedlite 600EX-RT is Canon’s first flash unit to feature inbuilt wireless radio connectivity and replaces the advanced Speedlite 580EX II. Partnering with the new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, this new model offers enhanced opportunities for photographers wishing to explore creative lighting techniques. In addition, Canon is also launching the BG-E11 battery grip, Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 and GPS Receiver GP-E2, which complement the newly-announced EOS 5D Mark III – offering increased versatility across a range of shooting situations – from studio portraits to field-based shoots – with a compact lightweight and affordable configuration.
Speedlite 600EX-RT – Taking creative flash further
The Speedlite 600EX-RT is a high-performance TTL flash unit designed to meet the expanding creative needs of modern professionals. Integrated radio frequency triggering, in addition to standard infra-red wireless flash control, allows photographers to achieve exciting results with complex on-and-off-camera lighting set-ups. Using one master 600EX-RT or the new ST-E3-RT radio-frequency wireless Speedlite transmitter, up to 15x 600EX-RT flash units, positioned up to 30m away, can be remotely triggered – offering great potential to experiment with more creative lighting techniques and effects. EOS cameras with a connected Speedlite 600EX-RT can also be triggered remotely by either model, allowing photographers to explore more extreme shooting angles to produce surprising and inspiring creative results.
Subjects over a wide range of distances can be lit creatively or evenly exposed, thanks to an increased guide number of 60m (ISO 100 at 200mm setting ) and wide lens coverage of 20 – 200m. For wide-angle shots, a diffuser adapter can also reduce the focal length to 14mm and the bounce-and-swivel flash head creates more flattering, shadowless effects. Ideal for shooting portraits, a catch-light panel produces natural catch-lights in the eyes of a subject when shooting with bounce flash. Additionally, custom flash coverage options provide more creative scope by using guide number priority to light the subject, while creating slightly darker edges to the frame.
Like its predecessor, the Speedlite 600EX-RT communicates white balance settings to the camera through the hot shoe connection. However, to further balance flash and ambient light, a new colour filter adapter and two supplied colour gels can be fitted to balance the temperature of the flash and create a more natural effect when shooting around tungsten or mercury lighting. When shooting in dark conditions, photographers can also employ the AF-assist beam for accurate autofocus with lenses of 28mm or longer, ensuring the subject remains in focus when the flash fires.
Designed for professionals, the Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT feature a robust, weatherproof design matching that of the EOS-1D X, with a clear LCD display making it easy to select settings and switch between normal flash mode and wireless modes. Powered by four AA/LR6 batteries for added convenience, the Speedlite 600EX-RT offers fast, silent recycle times, allowing photographers to keep shooting and exploring creative lighting effects in all conditions.
WFT-E7 – High-speed wireless control
The WFT-E7 is a new wireless file transmitter for a wide range of EOS models. For those who need to transfer their images quickly and easily, for example, photojournalists or sports photographers, the new WFT-E7 provides enhanced versatility through high-speed Wi-Fi and support for wired connectivity over Gigabit Ethernet. Featuring 802.11a/b/g/n support for file transfer speeds of up to 150mbps, and Bluetooth for linking to external GPS units, the WFT-E7 offers super-fast image transfer direct to an FTP server or even to a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance ) -enabled HDTV.
When creative shoots or harsh conditions require the photographer to control the camera from a distance, the WFT Server function of the WFT-E7 allows the camera settings and the scene framed in the viewfinder to be accessed and controlled through a web page on any internet-enabled device, such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. Camera settings can also be changed remotely via EOS Utility, allowing photographers to control and trigger the camera over a wired or wireless LAN connection.
The WFT-E7 has a lightweight design and can be attached to the bottom of the camera, to the new bracket AB-E1 or even to the strap. For added versatility, it also supports Linked shooting with up to ten other cameras, with Wireless Time syncing ensuring that the time across all slave devices is aligned with the master camera in order to maintain consistency across multiple units. During Linked shooting, the WFT server function can also be activated to allow easy remote access to the master and slave cameras for even greater creative control of lighting effects during multi-camera shoots.
GP-E2 – Geo-tag your images with compact, lightweight GPS
Also launching today is the GPS receiver GP-E2 – a new compact, lightweight, high-performance hot shoe GPS unit which makes it easy for photographers to geo-tag their images. Compatible with the EOS-1D X, EOS 7D (Via firmware update – connection via cable only) and new EOS 5D Mark III, the GP-E2 tags photos with longitude, latitude and altitude data as well as the direction in which the shot was taken, adding information to the EXIF file of the image.
A GPS Logger function also allows photographers to track their route by downloading GPS data at regular intervals, whether the unit is attached to the camera body or stored in its case. Once back in the studio, photographers can tag their images with the GPS data stored in the log files and their route can be displayed using Google Maps or the bundled Map Utility software.
For improved accuracy and precision when recording the time of image capture, photographers can also synchronise the clocks of their cameras with the global atomic clock via UTC information downloaded from the satellite. This is particularly useful for professional photographers shooting with multiple EOS 5D Mark III bodies, who may wish to process all the images together and sort them according to the time each was recorded.
BG-E11 – Improved handling for the EOS 5D Mark III
For photographers who want to shoot for longer with the EOS 5D Mark III, the new ergonomic battery grip BG-E11, doubles the battery life with two additional LP-E6 batteries, with the added flexibility of using AA batteries as an emergency back-up. For those who frequently shoot vertically, such as sports or portrait photographers, duplicate AF start, Focus point and AE-lock controls in addition to a second Multi Controller and Control Dial make shooting vertically more comfortable and intuitive.
In keeping with the premium design of the EOS 5D Mark III, the BG-E11 is made of durable magnesium alloy and offers the same high standard of weather-proofing – ideal for harsher shooting environments.
Speedlite 600EX-RT Key features
Guide number 60 (m, ISO 100, at 200mm)
Radio triggering with 30m range
Use up to 15 units together
Infra-red wireless functionality
Remote camera triggering
Bounce-and-swivel head with zoom control
White-balance correction filters
Fast, quiet recycling
Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT Key features
Radio frequency remote flash trigger.
Fire selected Speedlites from 30m away.
Controls up to 15 flashguns.
Remote camera triggering.
Weather sealed against dust and moisture.
Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7 Key features
Supports IEEE 802.11n
Built in Bluetooth
Easy Wi-Fi protected Setup
FTP server transfer
Remote control functions
DLNA media server compatible
GPS Receiver GP-E2 Key features
Hotshoe-mounted GPS unit for compatible EOS cameras.
Embeds location and altitude data into each file’s metadata.
Digital compass records heading information.
Data logging mode.
Portable design, powered by 1xAA battery.
Accurately set camera’s time using UTC time.
Battery Grip BG-E11 Key features
Improved handling for EOS 5D Mark III
Duplicate controls for vertical shooting.
Larger grip for bigger hands.
Use two LP-E6 batteries, or four AA/LR6 cells as an alternative.
Pricing and Availability
The SpeedLite 600EX-RT is available from end of March 2012, priced at £679.99 / €809.99 RRP incl. VAT.
The SpeedLite 600EX is available from the end of March 2012, priced at £639.99/€761.99 RRP incl. VAT.
The SpeedLite Transmitter ST-E3-RT is available from the end of March 2012, priced at £309.99/€369.99 RRP incl. VAT.
The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7B is available from the end of April 2012, priced at £789.99/€939.99 RRP incl. VAT.
The Battery Grip BG-E11 is available from the end of April 2012, priced at £329.99/€389.99 RRP incl. VAT.
The GPS Receiver GP-E2 is available from the end of April 2012, priced at £299.99/€356.99 RRP incl. VAT.