Canon Announces New Flagship Speedlite and Macro Lens With Built-In Flash

Canon has announced the Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash and EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens. The 600EX II-RT improves upon Canon's flagship Speedlite with faster recycling times and other features, while the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 offers a unique new feature and gives us some very interesting insight into the future of the Canon brand. 

Speedlite 600EX II-RT

I love my Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT. It's powerful, the capable AF assist beam is a huge boon in low-light situations, and the wireless technology is straightforward and has yet to fail me, even once. Call me weird, but I also love that it uses AA batteries. They're cheap, I have lots of them, and because they're not proprietary, I know I can always track some down in a pinch. If I could improve anything, though, I would start with the recycle time. It isn't bad, but faster is always better.

Canon seems to have answered that request in addition to some other new features. Check out the full specs of the new Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash:

  • Flash head coverage of 20-200mm (14mm with the built-in diffusion panel) with a guide number of 197 ft (60 m) at ISO 100
  • Continuous flash performance speed improvement of 1.1-1.5x or up to 2.0x with the new optional CP-E4N battery pack (also compatible with older models)
  • Radio communication range of up to 98.4 ft (30 m) with up to 5 groups and 15 individual Speedlites
  • Tilt range of -7 to 90° and 180° rotational range in both directions
  • Dust and water-resistant sealing
  • Flash Exposure Compensation of -3 to +3 EV
  • Stroboscopic mode and high-speed first and second curtain sync 
  • Battery life of approximately 100-700 flashes with AA batteries 
  • Custom Function and Personal Function settings

Check out more images in the gallery below!

EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM

The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 is an incredibly interesting lens for Canon's mirrorless system. Featuring a pair of built-in flash units that act as a ring flash, the lens packs a punch. I personally think it's a very clever move on Canon's part, as the appeal of their mirrorless system is its compact size coupled with sensors with surprisingly good image quality. Building the ring flash into the lens keeps that portability intact, as you can see in the above video. It also features the same awesome hybrid IS of the EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. Furthermore, it's a good sign for the EF-M system, which many have questioned Canon's commitment to. Check out the specs of the new EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM:

  • Equivalent full-frame focal length of 44.8mm
  • Minimum focusing distance of 3.7 in
  • 1:1 reproduction ratio with a new "Super Macro Mode" that allows magnification of up to 1.2x
  • Hybrid IS
  • STM motor for smooth and quiet autofocus, particularly for shooting video
  • One UD element and two aspherical elements to reduce aberrations
  • Specially designed tapered lens barrel to avoid casting shadows at close working distances
  • Built-in Macro Lite LED with two brightness settings that can light one side or both

Check out more images in the gallery below!


Are you interested in pre-ordering the new Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash and EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens (both available in June)? Get them at the links below:

Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT

Canon CP-E4N Compact Battery Pack

Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM

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Trevor Gerzen's picture

I'm somewhat new to using flashes. I can't seem to find the actual sync speed of the flash ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Is that the right terminology? I wanted to know if its (what seems common) around 1/250s? Am I just missing it or is there something that if you know what you're looking for will tell you?

Anonymous's picture

The sync speed actually depends mostly on the body not the flash. The flash will have a flash duration in normal mode which only applies to syncing with the camera if you've got a leaf shutter (and none of the Canon's do AFAIK). This flash has a high-speed mode that should sync up to 1/8000 shutter but at the cost of a stop or more of power. Does that help?

Trevor Gerzen's picture

That is helpful. Thank you. I had no idea. So the Canon 5D Mk II is only capable of 1/200s it seems.

Trevor Gerzen's picture

This was helpful for me as well

Hadn't really understood how High Speed Sync worked before.

user 65983's picture

That's why I am upgrading to a Yongnuo 600EXRT so I can have HSS and TTL.

Lance Montgomery's picture

Huge +1 on the Yongnuos. Never used them for TTL but their HSS is totally fab.

user 65983's picture

I have never use either as I have only ever had manual flashes without HSS.

Prefers Film's picture

If you're using a 580EX or 600EX, you can sync at much higher speeds by putting the flash in HSS mode.

Trevor Gerzen's picture

I haven't been able to find a way to put my 580EX III into HSS mode.

Prefers Film's picture

Is it from the future? For the 580EX II, here is a link.

Trevor Gerzen's picture

My bad I got confused. I'm using a Yongnuo.

Randy Smith's picture

Just bought a 600EX yesterday. Feeling like maybe I should have waited...

Prefers Film's picture

Don't fall into that trap. The 600 EX is still an awesome flash.

Lance Montgomery's picture

I've been using a Yongnuo flash and radio system for a year now. They have never failed me, and even at full power they recharge WAY faster Canons. And can get 3x that distance.

robert s's picture

YEP! sold my OEM flashes. now only using shanny and yongnuo flashes. 622n slaves. it just works. $600? piss off..