So I got myself a Canon 70D start of 2014, at the time I still had a pair of Olympus (high end) Speedlights that I used to use with my old E-520. Considering what I spent on them, I decided to try using them with my Canon setup, getting some very cheap Cactus manual triggers.
Since then, I wanted to try High speed sync and at least have a Canon(or compatible) speedlight. As my Olympus units are very powerful, I wanted to get a powerful Speedlight, however, I couldnt justify the costs, being an amerteur/enthusiast, of the high end canon's. I got the Nissin Di700 instead, at a third the price as the Canon equivalent.
It is a very impressive unit! High speed sync, plenty of power, ultra reliable.
1) Ease of use
The menu system is very simple, but also very intuitive. You have a main dial, some presets, and thats about it!
All the modes you need are there. TTL, Slave, Manual, Auto etc... Manual mode the power dial is a pleasure to use.
The unit also supports High Speed sync, in combination with my Phottix TTL trigger set, works like a charm.
The unit comes equiped with sync cord sockets as well as a powerpack input.
It uses 4XAA batteries, and output is rated just below the 600EX, above the 430EX.
Its important to note I shoot manual, I have a frankenstein mix of 2xOlympus (topend) speedlights, one Nissin Di700 that I use as a primary, and one fully manual Yonguo.
For me key features are power output, High speed sync, recycle time and ease of use when manually adjusting.
It accelerates in all these areas, I often fire at half power and even full power when doing outdoor shoots, I cannot recall many times that it went on the blink to cool down at all.
To date I have fired about 2000 shots with the unit, based on the amount of images taken using it. I cant recall it misfiring (due to its own failure, not related to trigger issues).
I often tell people who are in the market for speedlights to look at this unit, you cannot ignore its value and outright power.
It may not be the solution to pro's... but I do believe the canon high power units are way too expensive for an enthusiast on a budget.
PS. I have since bought an even cheaper fully manual yonguo, and its equally as impressive.
Rather invest in a good trigger set, with HSS and reliability if you plan on doing off camera lighting on a budget.
Feel free to have a look at my work below, most of them are illuminated with this setup.