Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

for Canon digital SLRs

  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT


  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

    Back, with LCD display illuminated and displaying information

  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

    Back, with nothing on LCD display

  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

    Front, straight-on

  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

    Left side view

  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

    Right side view

  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

    shown with colored gel (not included) in supplied holder


Our take on the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

by Woody Sherman

Nothing gets in its way

Canon's 600EX-RT speedlite flash unit was born to be a good commander. Many currently available flash units coordinate with each other by optical transmission and need a good line-of-sight in order to sync their activities. The 600EX-RT sets the standard for a new generation of wireless flash systems by incorporating a new radio-controlled mode that uses the 2.4GHz frequency band. Now physical obstacles won't affect your lighting plot, because this flash will control 5 groups of up to 15 individual Speedlites from up to 98.4 feet away.

The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flash

The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT delivers detailed information on its backlit LCD panel

It knows what you're thinking too

The '600EX-RT is also good at reacting with you. Because it's designed to communicate with Canon DSLRs on many levels, it can do things like set its own zoom range to match the sensor size on the camera to which it's attached. And it's got some remarkable range: The Speedlite 600EX-RT features a maximum guide number of 197 ft./60m at ISO 100. It offers a great coverage range of 20mm to 200mm, and when you pull out the extendable wide panel, you can evenly illuminate angles as wide as 14mm. And it swivels a full 180-degrees to the right or left, and 90-degrees up/7-degrees down.

Solid and sturdy

Many build details have been tweaked from those of its predecessors. The hot shoe's contact area has been redesigned for better reliability and weather resistance. The flash head itself is noticeably rugged and solid. All moving parts and displays are also weather-sealed for better performance in adverse circumstances.

Easy updates

The 600EX-RT keeps you informed on every step of your setup with a reimagined backlit dot-matrix LCD display panel. The input buttons are backlit as well, so you'll be ready for shooting in any lighting conditions. And the menu is designed to communicate more useful, detailed information than previous Speedlite models.

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  • dust- and water-resistant construction
  • redesigned hot shoe contact ensures uninterrupted communication
  • E-TTL flash exposure control
  • E-TTL II for compatible Canon EOS cameras and EF series lenses
  • autofocus assist beam compatible with 61-point High Density Reticular autofocus systems
  • white balance info transmitted to compatible Canon SLRs
  • stroboscopic flash setting
  • manual setting
  • flash head swivels 180 degrees in either direction
  • flash head zooms automatically to match the imaging sensor
  • wireless E-TTL flash operation as a "master" or "slave" unit
  • color filter holder accommodates Canon and third party gelatin filters for proper ambient light matching
  • unit features two-way wireless communication on the 2.4GHz frequency band in addition to traditional optical wireless transmission, for flexibility when shooting around physical obstacles
  • maximum guide number (ISO 100) 196.9 ft./60m
  • uses 4 "AA" batteries (not included)
  • weight: 15.0 oz. (without batteries)
  • 3-1/8"W x 5-5/8"H x 4-3/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Speedlite 600EX-RT Electronic flash
  • Vinyl case
  • Stand (stored in case)
  • 2 Color Filters (SCF-E10R1 and SCF-E10R2)
  • Color Filter case (clear)
  • Color Filter holder (SCH-E1)
  • Color Filter holder case (black)
  • Instruction Manual (Eng/Fren/Span)
  • Warranty sheet
  • Regions of Use and Restrictions sheet
  • Sheet regarding wireless flash
  • Sheet regarding flash resetting

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Power Requirements


Overview: The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT is designed to provide top level performance and reliability for professional flash photography with today's most advanced DSLR cameras. Using 2.4 GHz radio frequencies, the 600EX-RT can drive a wireless multiple flash system of up to five groups of flashes. The Speedlite comes with a stand, a color filter holder for attaching Canon or third-party color gelatin filters, and a handy storage case.

Compatible Cameras: The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT designed for use with Canon EOS cameras that are compatible with E-TTL II, E-TTL, and TTL autoflash and external flash metering systems. It can be used as an on-camera flash that attaches to the hot shoe of the camera, and as a master or slave unit during wireless shooting.

LCD Display: The dot matrix LCD display (172 x 104 dots) shows information on the flash's status, wireless configuration, and all flash settings with more detailed information, compared to previous Speedlites. With the improved display and backlit operation buttons, the unit is easy to operate in the dark.

Shoe Mount: The 600EX-RT flash mounts to the hot shoe on the top of the camera. Flash trigger, exposure setting, and focal length (zoom) setting are transferred to the flash via the intelligent shoe.

Wireless Performance: The Speedlite 600EX-RT operates on traditional optical wireless transmission, as well as 2.4 GHz radio controlled wireless flash transmission. IT can control up to 15 individual Speedlites in 5 groups at up to nearly 100 feet (98.4'). Radio transmission does not have the same directional limitation of traditional wireless optical transmitters, whose signals can be interrupted by physical obstacles. Up to 15 transmission channels are available, manually or automatically selectable, with radio transmission IDs to prevent misfiring due to signal interference.

Flash Coverage: The zoom flash head covers a wide range (20-200mm). with a maximum Guide Number of 197 ft/60m at ISO 100. When the extendable wide panel is pulled out, the flash coverage widens to 14mm. The Speedlite 600EX-RT can be directed to zoom in accordance with the camera's image sensor size (full frame, APS-H, and APS-C).

Improved Reliability: The Speedlite 600EX-RT has been constructed for improved durability and reliability. The flash head is more rugged than previous Speedlites, with improved seals around all moving parts, the mounting foot, and the display for better dust and water resistance. The hot shoe contacts have been redesigned to prevent communication signal loss.

AF (Auto Focus)-Assist Beam: If the focal point lacks sufficient light or contrast to achieve focus, the 600EX-RT's AF-Assist Beam will light automatically to help the camera autofocus. The AF-Assist beam is compatible with 28mm and longer focal lengths, and is effective from 0.6-10 meters (2 feet to 32.8 feet) in the center and 0.6-5 meters (2 feet to 16.4 feet) in the periphery.

Wide Panel: The 600EX-RT flash has a fold out wide panel which covers the lens to extend the flash to cover a 14mm wide angle lens. EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye and EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM angles of view are not supported.

Catchlight Panel: The catchlight panel, a thin white plastic panel that pulls out of the top of the flash head, enables you to reflect light in a person's eyes to create a more vivid expression. The catchlight panel is most effective within 4.9' of the subject, and when the flash head is pointed at 90° (straight up) and aimed toward the front.

Bounce Flash: When the flash is aimed directly at the subject, a harsh shadow may appear behind the subject. Using the vertical and horizontal adjustments on the flash to bounce the flash off the ceiling or wall can reduce or eliminate the shadow for a more natural looking picture.

Variable Angle: The firing direction of the flash is adjustable. The vertical angle ranges from -7° (down) through 0° (straight forward) to 90° (straight up). The horizontal angle has a 360° range (180° left or right).

Color Filter Holder: The Speedlite 600EX-RT comes with the SCH-E1 color filter holder for attaching Canon and other brands of color gelatin filters. By placing a color filter over the front of the flash head, the color temperature of the flash can be made to match that of the ambient light. Two filters are supplied with the flash: SCF-E10R1 (low density tungsten light) and SCF-E10R2 (high-density tungsten light).

Stand: The 600EX-RT comes with a portable stand that allows you to stand the flash upright anywhere for wireless flash usage. The stand stores conveniently in the vinyl case.

Power Requirements

Batteries: The 600EX-RT flash uses 4 AA batteries. Alkaline, Lithium, or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeables are recommended. Based on Canon's testing standards, new alkaline batteries yield approximately 100-700 flashes. Recycling time is approximately 0.1 to 3.3 seconds for Quick Flash or 0.1 to 5.5 seconds for Normal Flash.

Auto Power Off: To save battery power, the flash will turn off automatically after approximately 90 seconds of idle use. During radio transmission wireless master flash shooting or during linked shooting, the auto power off time is extended to 5 minutes. As a slave unit, the power off time is 60 minutes.

External Power: On the side of the flash there is an input for an external power supply (CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack).


  • Guide number: Approx. 60m/197' (at 200mm flash coverage, ISO 100)
  • Flash Coverage: 20-200mm (14mm with wide panel)
  • Effective Flash Range:
    • Normal Flash: 1.6 to 98.4 feet
    • Quick Flash: 1.6 to 36.4 feet (min); 1.6 to 68.9 feet (max)
    • High-speed Sync: 1.6 to 49.2 feet (at 1/250 sec.)
  • Flash Exposure Compensation: 3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
  • Flash Time: 1.8 ms or less (normal flash); 2.3 ms or less (quick flash)
  • Weight: 15 oz. (without batteries)
  • Dimensions:
    • Width: 3.066"
    • Height: 5.602" (7.652" flash head at 90°)
    • Depth: 4.375" (2.426" flash head at 90°)
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Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Love the radio control!

Written By Anonymous, Jefferson City, MO on Saturday, March 15, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This is the 3rd one of these I've bought along with the ST-E3 controller, that should tell you something right there! It's great that all 3 are adjustable right from the camera.
A little pricey, but worth it.
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4 out of 5

great speedlite

Written By David, Guam, USA on Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I bought this speedlite after being frustrated with cheaper third party flashes. After purchasing the 600EX-RT i have not had any issues with on camera or off camera usage. The 600EX-RT links up with the Canon ST-E3-RT transmitter fairly easy and with the radio transmitting capability you can put your speedlite behind walls or up to 90 feet away and still get a reliable flash. 4 stars only because of the price.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

Written By John, Illinois on Monday, December 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Works well. Really lights up a room. Good job of bouncing light off the ceiling to light up the background. Like the way the white card pulls up to reflect light on the subjects face.
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5 out of 5


Written By SCY, Texas on Saturday, November 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I was looking to shoot effortlessly in the sun and with the 580's it is hard to do. With the 600's it can now be done easily! now having said that here comes the "bad' news...you have to have 2 of them and the st-e3 which is another 300 bucks. BUT if you want to really control the light and have spectacular results this is the only way to go. Now most people will not spend this much to achieve this result I get that. but if you wan to get into multiple flash units and control the situation this is a must have flash. I love the 430's as well for a less expensive route and for simple slaves. great job Canon for this flash.
easy to set up and there are quite a few expanded books if the manual is a little confusing. great powerful flash!
manual could be a little better.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

canon speedlite 600 ex-rt

Written By tlfquincy, quincy, ohio on Monday, October 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
The best of the best, works as it should , remember it is canon, for canon, why would you buy anything but canon?
The completion of the Canon 5d Mark III, it is made for it. I think I got what I payed for, QUALITY=CANON
I can't find one
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5 out of 5

Very Satisfied - Best Speed-lights Yet!

Written By Tom from Heirloom, Illinois on Monday, July 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
The Canon Speed-lights 600EX-RT work perfectly in Radio Transmission Mode both indoors and outdoors... even in bright sunlight and behind obstacles. The user interface is Canon's best yet. Having lots of experience with the 580EX speed-lights, the learning curve was really easy. As a plus, these units also work great in Optical Transmission Mode with our older 580EX speed-lights. We more than made back the purchase price in our first day of shooting with our new speed-lights
ETTL via radio, great user interface, works fine in optical mode and with older optical transmission sleed-lights, easy to learn
all features don't work with older Canon cameras
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5 out of 5

New workhorse

Written By GTaku, Pearl City,HI on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Glad I got it even though I own several other Canon speedlites. It has great features, menus, and controls that are really easy to learn and use, especially if you already own Canon lights(check out the Canon website or YouTube for some fast learn tutorials, although the manual is good). I recently used it as a main light and a 580ex2 as a fill off camera with Elinchrom triggers, and shot several hundred shots without missing a beat. Also used the 600ex on my 5DM3,(also bought at Crutchfield), ETTL mode indoor group and individual shots, (about 250), again without fail. Great battery life, fast recycling and no overheating which is so nice when shooting events and the grandkids. (I use Enloop rechargeables in all my lights). Got a chance to trigger my 600ex with a friends 600ex, so easy to do and very reliable. Set my light about 80 feet behind a tree and fired it without a problem. I plan to further test its range. I will be getting at least a couple more of the 600ex. The built in radio triggers make the difference. And as usual, Crutchfields was great and fast in getting my 600ex-rt to me with free shipping to Hawaii.
Easy menu system and features, reliable, built in radio triggers
Expensive, radio trigger range could have been further, would have been nice to use ALL the features on prior 2012 cameras,(which are my back ups).
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5 out of 5


Written By jimerb, Long Island, NY on Saturday, February 23, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very powerful flash. Good controls. As good as it gets for a speedlite.
Good lighting Versatile
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  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
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  • 5 out of 5: In Stock
  • The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT offers
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    • more detailed backlit LCD panel and menus
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  • 5 out of 5: In Stock
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  • Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
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