Cactus suspends the RQ250 strobe as Kickstarter campaign falls short of its target

Sep 5, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Cactus suspends the RQ250 strobe as Kickstarter campaign falls short of its target

Sep 5, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Cactus has today announced that the Cactus RQ250 portable strobe has been suspended. The reason, it seems, is down to the fact that the Kickstarter campaign was not fully funded. There just weren’t enough people interested. So, Cactus posted an update to the campaign, as well as to their Facebook page.

The RQ250 was first announced in February this year. We even got to get our hands on a prototype and have a brief play at The Photography Show in March. But when the expected release date came and went, Cactus took to Kickstarter. And now that campaign has failed, causing the suspension of the product.

I would imagine that Cactus didn’t exactly need the money, but they do need customers. The Kickstarter campaign seemed to exist primarily to get an idea of interest in the product, rather than to actually bring in funding. But falling almost 25% short of their goal, that’s a significant shortfall on their hopes.

I would imagine that Godox deciding to support Pentax, the one big advantage Cactus formerly had over the competition, didn’t help much, either. While The Godox XPro-P trigger hasn’t quite been released yet, Godox has started dropping firmware updates to add Pentax X flash support to their existing system. So, it probably won’t be long now.

The only advantage now, as far as compatibility goes, is Sigma cameras. Cactus already supports these, and Godox does not. However, while Sigma’s Art series lenses are immensely popular, their Foveon sensor based cameras… not so much. I doubt there are enough flash-using Sigma shooters out there to justify the release of a product like the RQ250.

It’s a shame. I was hoping another company might rise up to compete with Godox. Not because I want Godox to fail, obviously. I use Godox kit. But because competition is a wonderful thing. And even though Godox has been innovating quite a bit over the last couple of years, we’ve all seen what can happen when an innovative company gets complacent.

But, alas, it was not to be. Or at least, not yet. The RQ250 has only been suspended, not cancelled. So there is a chance that it may still be released in the future. Of course, if Cactus does plan to eventually still release the RQ250, the more difficult it will become to do so the longer they leave it. Because while the RQ250 sits there waiting to go out, the other companies will still (hopefully) be pushing forward with even newer tech.

Cactus says on the Kickstarter campaign that as the camaign was not successfully funded, backers will not be charged.

Since the project did not complete, the amount you pledged will be cancelled automatically and your credit card will not be charged.

I was looking forward to taking one of these for a spin. I wouldn’t have bought into the system, of course. Why? Well, for the same reason that the Kickstarter campaign for the Cactus RQ250 wasn’t successfully funded. It was just too expensive for what it was.

It’s possible that it was worth every penny. However, on paper, it was a little bit better than the Godox AD200, not as good as the AD400 Pro, yet just as expensive.

But I still would’ve liked to compare them side-by-side. Maybe one day.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Cactus suspends the RQ250 strobe as Kickstarter campaign falls short of its target”

  1. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    Said it before when they launched but I think they will do much better if the price isn’t double the AD200 with 1/4 more power.

  2. Troublemann Avatar
    Troublemann

    It’s not surprising to hear another player in the game has dropped out, it’s going to very hard for any company to make a dent in Godox’s position in the market. Godox has released a all new AD-400 to fill in the gaps between the AD-200 and AD-600 and 600 Pro with the AD-400, Godox has also covered the speedlite market also with their V and TT versions of speedlites and battery packs for external and internal and don’t for get the triggers and consent firmware updates and modifiers, soft boxes, brackets and on and on. May the only way another player can get in the market is to offer product options in the same price bracket with compatibility with Godox triggers, but where would a new product fit? Godox appears to have the market covered from top to bottom. I own the 360, TT600 three of them and AD-200 and triggers with battery packs. It’s going to very hard to in this market.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      It’s going to be difficult to convert existing Godox users, but there are always new people getting into it. I wouldn’t say conversion is impossible, though.

      I have a bunch of TT600s, an AD200, a pair of AD360II and an AD600 Pro. And I sold all myy Bowens strobes and Nikon speedlights in order to switch to Godox (I kept my Bowens ringflash, though).

      But I did wait until Godox were on their second generation of kit, with built in triggers before deciding to make the switch. I wanted to see the system fleshed out a bit and a little more mature first. And that took a few years.

      Many people said the same thing about Godox in their early days “Oh, they’ll never be able to overtake Yongnuo, and they certainly won’t compete with the likes of Bowens & Profoto”. And, look where they are now. And where’s Yongnuo? All they’re doing now is ripping off lenses.

      People said it about Kodak and Polaroid once, too. “Oh, they’re too big to fail!” :)

      But right now, I think Godox is at the top of their game, and they’re going to have to become very complacent for new competition to come and muscle in on their territory.