Weatherproofing and Build Quality

Speedlite Weather-resistance and Build Quality

If you are planning to be shooting outside a lot then it’s going to be important that your equipment can withstand a bit of bad weather from time to time. Of course, you can just stick your flash (and camera) in a clear plastic bag, cut out holes for the lens and the flash head and hold it on using elastic bands but you are going to look a bit more professional if you use a speedlite (and camera) that has adequate weatherproofing. For the Canon shooter the ideal equipment for shooting weddings or outside portraits is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with an L-series lens combined with a Canon 600EX II-RT speedlite. All have weatherproof seals and can easily survive the odd downpour. However if you are lucky enough to have an assistant helping you then I’d still recommend getting them to hold an umbrella over you to keep out the worst of the weather.

Canon 600EX II-RT weather resistant seals.
Like the previous 600EX-RT, the updated Speedlite 600EX II-RT has a network of weather- and dust-resistant seals and gaskets, giving it a level of protection from harsh environments matching that of EOS-1D series cameras. SOURCE: Canon USA

If you need to get your speedlite off-camera then the Canon ST-E3-RT radio transmitter is also weatherproof.

An off-camera flash on a light stand always has the potential to blow over in the wind especially when fitted with a soft box or, even worse, if you are using an umbrella. If you work alone then you’ll need to weigh the light stand legs down with sandbags but, guaranteed, even though you think you’ve done your best to protect your speedlite it will end up on the floor when you least expect it. My old Canon 580EX II is covered in dents and scratches but it still keeps on going. This is the difference between a budget speedlite and a top of the range one. Having said that I use the Yongnuo YN600EX-RTII out on location plenty of times – I just take a little more care. If it does fall over I don’t really expect it to survive a fall onto a hard surface but due to the fact that it costs less than a quarter of the price of a Canon 600EX II-RT it’s not going to be the end of the world.

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