Bruce Dorn

Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT: Introduction

In this series of lighting tutorials, I’ll take you through four different scenarios in which a professional would be able to fully leverage the radio functionality of the Speedlite 600EX-RT and the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT units. I’ll also show you how to create and balance fill and ambient lighting using the included color correction gels included with the Speedlite 600EX-RT units.

In this Introduction video, I go over the series as well as the features of the Speedlite 600EX-RT and the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT

To view the rest of the series on the Canon Digital Learning Center, and browse through the photo gallery for inspiration and to see the final resulting images from each set-up, click here:

For more of my tutorials on portrait lighting with the Speedlite system, click here:


  1. I committed to the new RT system from Canon. I do however wish they didn’t hobble the ST-E3-RT by not adding an optical transmitter as will as AF assist. Also i am upset that they don’t allow an optical and radio signal to be broadcast at the same time, that is a huge pain in the neck.

    By investing in the new RT system, I basically thew thousands of dollars out of the window because my 4- 580EXII’s and 2 430 exII’s that took me so long to afford became obsolete over night.

    I think they should of put a PC sync port on the ST-E3-RT so you can easily add a secondary radio transmitter to incorporate the speedlights with big strobes. Also I think Canon should of released a new Radio Receiver that would allow you to use the older speedlights and the ability to trigger studio packs like a Pocketwizard.

    Canon is shrewd when it comes to business, they are no different then the rest who hobble gear in a strategic way as to squeeze ever penny that can from you regardless of the impact to the loyal base of customers. I love the new system, don’t get me wrong. I hate that they intentionally limited the technology to render previous flagship offerings obsolete.

    Thanks for your videos, they were the push I needed to buy into the new system. I guess I am bitter that all of my money spent in the past was wasted because it only works together in a limited way.

    • Hi Tom,

      Yeah, it is a shame that the new radio system isn’t backward compatible with the optical system. I suspect it has less to do with hobbling and more to do with trying to keep a semi-reasonable price-point while adding all of the radio components. I was deeply into the older system too and I feel your pain.

      That said, I was never a huge fan of the original optical system and hated to having to buy Pocket Wizards or Radio Poppers to get reliable operation at anything over 15-20 feet. I’m super impressed with the new radio set-up, though, and will be peddling off my large collection of EX430s, EX550s, EX580s, and EX580IIs to folks who can get some good usage out of them in simpler speedlite set-ups. I used the earlier versions to make back their cost in pretty short order so I’m not too bitter.

      I fondly recall the Good Old Days when I could buy something of quality and still be using it ten-to-fifteen years later. Digital and the relentless progression of technology has changed that forever. Now I concentrate on making bank quickly and upgrading quickly. I try not to ride my old ponies into the ground as doing so usually just results in my getting a lower resale price than I would have gotten if I had upgraded it sooner. Bummer.

      Folks always assume that as a Canon Explorer I would naturally get tons of “free-bees” from Uncle Canon. Not so, unfortunately. I just bought six EX600 RTs so I’ll be moving a dozen or so of the awesome-for-their-era earlier models down the road very soon. If anyone is interested in some used versions of the earlier models, please let me know. – B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: