liupublic wrote in post #14289992
You are comparing new price vs old. Hardly fair.
It's like saying an 2008 Infinity is $20k cheaper than the brand new Lexus, since they can both drive fine, there is no real functional difference. We all should buy the 08 Infinity.
How about this comparison?
2 580ex II = $500 x2 + Phottix Odin w/ 1 transmitter and 2 receivers $450 = $1450
Compares pretty easily to $1580 for the new Canon system.
Did I say we should all go 3rd party? Don't put words in my mouth. What I did say was that "there are certainly benefits to the Canon system", and that means functional (refresh/readiness indicator for slaves at the master controller) as well as other benefits such as warranty, the peace of mind of new equipment, etc.
Sorry, but it is fair. The whole point is to see if you can save any money going 3rd party (otherwise why bother, right?), and the 580EX is a great bargain right now. Might even be the case that you could get a 550EX to do the job, although it's been a long time since I've looked at the 550EX's specs while I know that the 580EX is very close to the 580EX II so you're not giving up much going that route.
You can't get a used 600EX-RT right now so the only comparison is new vs. used. Yeah it's uneven, but again the whole point is to see how much money can be saved going 3rd party. In a year when you might be able to pick up the 600EX-RT used and/or the new price goes down to a more reasonable level the value proposition will change, but for now the best bang for the buck is in 3rd party. Notice that I priced the Odin new and not used. Although I picked mine up used I know how rarely they go up for sale so I picked what I considered the most realistic comparison scenario.
But now that I think about it let's look at it from an upgrade perspective and I'll put it in the best light possible. Say I already have 2 580EX II flashes and an ST-E2. Used market resale value on that is about $900. That means the upgrade to 2x 600EX-RT and ST-E3-RT is only $680. I consider that very reasonable because adding the Odin system to those existing flashes would cost $325 ($450 minus $125 from the sale of the ST-E2 to bring the cost down). That's getting into more palatable territory for me. If one has 580EX or 550EX flashes instead then the numbers tilt back in favor of 3rd party because the Canon upgrade route becomes more expensive at $930 and above.
One benefit of the Odin and similar systems that may or may not matter to you is that they can also be used to wirelessly trigger studio strobes. I'll be using that functionality too, so that's a plus for 3rd party that Canon will never match.
Don't forget that Canon's RF system only offers full functionality on the 5DIII and 1DX. There's conflicting info on whether that's actually true but Canon's official literature says so, so until there's overwhelming user review proof to the contrary it's safe to say that's a big strike against Canon's RF system.
Canon's RF trigger system will start to drive down prices for all the other ETTL triggers. The only way to keep price up for 3rd party vendor is to offer useful additional features. For example, an AF assist lamp would be nice on the controller.
I hope you're right that competition spurs improvement in price and/or functionality. That would be the best outcome for all of us.