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Thread: Canon flash 580 vs 600

  1. #1

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    Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Dear frieinds:
    Is it wise to get more 580 EXII while it will take over by 600 series.?

    I got one 580EXII already and thinking that 580EXII price will drop , at least will not raise.

    any idea?

    Bill

  2. #2
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Hi Bill,

    As far as I know the guide number on the 600EX is higher because it can focus the flash beam for lenses up to 200mm compared to 120mm for the 580EX. So the output is basically the same but it uses it better.

    The advantages of the 600EX are the better interface with the LCD matrix panel. This can display a much more varied set of graphics than a fixed LCD on Canon's other flashes. It also has a dedicated button for switching between slave and master, something that was removed from the 580EX version 2.

    If these updates do not mean much to you then the 580 will be a cheaper option.

    If you want radio-control then the 600EX RT is the only option from Canon. But the RT version is more expensive so you have to commit to it from the start.You cannot upgrade a 600EX to a RT version. Possibly Canon will release an update to the 430EX with radio function. But they'll wait until people slow down on buying the 600EX RT. I doubt they will ever release a module to stick onto old flashes that add RT functionality. Some third party company like Phottix might do though. They tend to build a lot of flash stuff by copying others' ideas.

    Alex

  3. #3

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Hi Bill,

    I sold 4x 580EX II's to and bought 5x 600EX-RT's and a ST-E3-RT - would do it again in a heartbeat.

    The 580EX II was a great flash, but the 600 series is "night and day" when it comes to the interface and radio communication. If you're going to use more than 1 flash, I've strongly suggest working your way towards an ST-E3-RT and a couple of 600EX-RT's (and sell the 580EX II).

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I sold 4x 580EX II's to and bought 5x 600EX-RT's and a ST-E3-RT - would do it again in a heartbeat.
    The only problem with doing that, is then you have to buy a brand new Syl Arena book!!

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    The only problem with doing that, is then you have to buy a brand new Syl Arena book!!
    Nah - I've already got a zillion books on flash

  6. #6

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Colin:
    while you upgrade all your 580 to 600 plus the ST E3 RT, what if people still using pocket wizards or radio hopper?
    Is it the radio hopper will down the road more adaptabe to different brand of flash?( like what if I add another Elinchrom flash to my580 EX?)
    While I am thinking ST E3 mainly aim for Canon flash.
    I am totally comtortable keep on Canon camera and lens. But at the same time using different brand of tripod (video from Manfrotto and camera tripod and mono-pod from Gitzo) . ......

    Bill

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Hi Bill,

    I'm not sure I'm totally understanding what you're asking, but when I had the 580EX IIs I used to attach them to TT5s, and trigger them from a TT1. For me it worked "OK" and I was "happy" with them (after I got over the learning curve - and a few revisions of firmware), but I did find them quite "unforgiving" - the TT1/TT5 had to be setup correctly (and only supported 2 configurations being loaded at any one time) - the 580EX IIs had to be set correctly - and even then, sometimes it wouldn't fire - or it would fire and go nuclear - or fire and get the power output completely wrong. And then it had a few "personality disorders" like not synchronising correctly in HSS mode at 1/4000th (but quite happy 1/3 stop above or below).

    Add to that the "mind warp" one had to do when mixing with studio strobes (different config due to incompatability with pre-flash if triggering via magic eye etc).

    So it was always somewhat of a "marriage of convenience". The 600EX-RT came on the market here in NZD $880, but I was able to sell my 580EX IIs at an average of around $500, and the TT5s at an average of around $250 (keeping in mind that both were 2nd hand) - so to be able to upgrade 2nd hand old technology to state of the art new technology - for only a relatively small price made it somewhat of a "no brainer" for me.

    Having used them a bit now, I can say that "I'm in love with them" - the radio comms (that we should have had built in years ago I might add) is darn near bullet-proof - I can't recall a single mis-fire or even miscalculation - I recall taking a couple of shots of my couch with the flash just sitting on the coffee table - one shot at 1/200th and one at 1/8000th - and there was NO difference in the exposure of the flash illuminated portion - DARN that was impressive. Since then I can honestly say that I find it almost impossible to trip up - it just works. And add to THAT the fact that 2012 series cameras can use the ST-E3-RT in GROUP mode, where I can run up to FIVE zones in off / ETTL / Manual / Ext modes - and no reconfiguring required.

    So - a LOT of "pleasure", and no "pain" - which is why I heartily recommend them. Going back to a 580 series after using the 600 system would be like going back to blocks of ice after using a fridge!

  8. #8

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    thanks, Colin\:

    For your detail explanation and patience in feedbacking on this issue.
    yes, I keep coming back for more question is: I learned from before that: loss of value in using sigma lens with canon camera when I upgrade the camera. I no longer can use maze's flash after switching to 580 EX...on and on...
    while I for sure will stay with my 7D, 24-70 L and 70-200L for many years ( FOr sure on the lens,) I just don't want to waste any more money unwisely in wondering around different flash, or different brand of flash and transceiver....
    As you understand pocket wizard and radiohopper also present very convincing product under their brand too. and sometimes make user confused.
    thanks, at least, I know what direction I should heading down the road.\\
    thanks
    Bill

  9. #9

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Hi Bill,

    All I can say is - if you need flash - then the 600EX-RT series is vastly superior to PocketWizards. The former is designed by Canon to work with Canon equipment (and is later technology) - the latter was a great "stand in" until the real hero arrived.

  10. #10
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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    This is just me, but if you're already not worried about getting a 580EX II, then a 600EX-RT is probably worth the additional money, particularly, as Colin says, if you're going to eventually go multiple lights off-camera. It's not like the 580EX II is particularly cheap, and the advantages of the 600EX-RT on UI alone are probably worth it. I'd recommend taking a look at Syl Arena's side-by-side videos of the two units so you can get a feel for the differences.

    OTOH, if you're on a low low budget, and even a used 580EX or 580EX II seems completely out of your reach, then maybe looking at Nissin DI-866, Metz AF 58, or Yongnuo YN-568EX might be more your speed. And there are the new Yongnuo YN-622c radio triggers, which allow for eTTL, HSS, rear-curtain sync, remote commanding (on menu-controlled flashes), and hypersync for about US$85 a pair. But don't fool yourself this is anything like using the Canon proprietary system.

    The biggest advantage to the Canon system is that you don't have to bring additional units/batteries along. Your radio wireless is just there with you, and the built-in digital channel encoding means you won't ever have to worry about using the same channel as someone else.

  11. #11

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    thanks for the side-by-side video.
    Interesting is 600EX only fully suported by camera of 2012 onward.
    Any chance or whether it will help when Canon upgrade the firmware of 7D? which I will keep my 7D for few more years.
    i totally buy the convenience of the latest 600EX especially it canremote control 5 groups of flash.
    Need a lot of courage,money to change the camera body because of the latest flash technology!!

    Bill

  12. #12

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    Re: Canon flash 580 vs 600

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Yeung View Post
    thanks for the side-by-side video.
    Interesting is 600EX only fully suported by camera of 2012 onward.
    Any chance or whether it will help when Canon upgrade the firmware of 7D? which I will keep my 7D for few more years.
    i totally buy the convenience of the latest 600EX especially it canremote control 5 groups of flash.
    Need a lot of courage,money to change the camera body because of the latest flash technology!!

    Bill
    Hi Bill,

    Most photographers only need to control 1 group as they'll normally be augmenting ambient light. If you add a 2nd flash then you may want to control 2 groups - eg have separate control of a fill light. Just remember though that if you're needing FIVE groups then you'll have to buy at least FIVE flashes! It would also be a pretty complex setup.

    Chances of Canon updating the 7D firmware to fully support the 600EX-RT / ST-E3-RT ... practically zero. Interestingly though, Canon do say that if you don't have a 2012 series camera then you x-sync speed is "what it is now, minus 1 stop", but what most (including myself on my 1Ds3) have found is that although the flash/controller flashes up a warning, it behaves just fine regardless -- all the way up to 1/8000th ... so really not sure why Canon are saying that (and keep saying that).

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