My current flash setup is a standard shoe mount but I've been thinking about getting a remote.

I've been drooling over the Speedlite 600EX-RT. It uses radio to control slaves, which is nice (longer distance, doesn't require line of sight, etc.).

One thing I don't understand: do slaves also have to be 600EX-RTs or do other flash units use radio to communicate already? Can any (cheap?) flash slaves can be used with a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT or do I need to buy the 600EX and a ST-E3-RT transmitter in order (or multiple 600EX-RTs) to have a radio-controlled remote flash setup?


3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, no.

As of today (October 17th, 2012), built-in radio-controlled wireless flash setup with Canon 600EX-RT speedlites limits you just to two options:

  • 600EX-RT master with 600EX-RT slaves
  • ST-E3-RT master with 600EX-RT slaves

Optical wireless mode, on the other hand, allows 600EX-RT master to trigger non-600EX-RT slaves, but that's not what you are after.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify that last statement, are you saying that a hotshoe mounted 600EX-RT could trigger a slave 430EX II ?? Thanks :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mike
    Oct 19, 2012 at 9:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mike: Via optical triggering - yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – insignum
    Oct 19, 2012 at 10:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There's now a welcome third option, the 430EX III-RT. It's hard to believe it took almost three years to get here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Jul 9, 2015 at 5:34

If you want to use the built-in Canon RT radio system, then you need a unit that speaks the Canon RT radio protocol.

The only gear, aside from Canon's ST-E3-RT, 600EX II-RT, 600EX-RT, and 430EX III-RT that does so, are clone units from Yongnuo, Shanny, Phottix, and two studio strobes and speedlights from Jinbei's RT system (aka the Westcott FJ and the Rollei Freeze HS systems). Yongnuo have clones of the 600EX-RT and ST-E3-RT, and both are compatible with Canon's gear, but have slightly different feature sets. Shanny and Phottix at this time only have ST-E3-RT clones, the SN-E3-RT and Laso transmitter, respectively.

In addition, Yongnuo has also released the YNE3-RX receiver and Phottix has released the Laso TTL receiver that can be used with eTTL-compatible flashes. These units handle the ID codes and groups, and provide eTTL, and HSS. Early reports also say that the YNE3-RX supports Gr mode group control, Supersync (aka tail sync, HyperSync), and 2nd curtain sync like the YN-622 triggers. The Laso triggers do not do 2nd curtain sync.

If you are new to Yongnuo gear, do some research, and learn about how to read manufacture date codes, and who the reputable retailers are with good return policies. I'd say keep an eye out on the Flash Havoc blog, and the POTN messageboard's thread on the YNE3-RX. Phottix's reputation is a bit better than Yongnuo's in terms of reliability and build quality, but they have pricetags to match.


There are thirth made radio transceivers like PocketWizard Plus III , or Phothix odin , that perhaps could be used to trigger previus versios of canon flashes having as master the 600EX-rt no ?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's kind of what he was asking in the first place. Do you know if these work? If you don't know, this is probably best left as a comment rather than an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Oct 25, 2012 at 0:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the question is about entire speedlites (slaves) rather than triggers. But this answer would be more helpful if it could say "yes, I know this unit xxx works or doesn't work" instead of asking another question. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2018 at 22:46

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