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.
Well, this is a bit of a surprise. The Cactus RQ250 strobe announced shortly before The Photography Show earlier in the year is being taken to Kickstarter. Originally scheduled to ship in September 2018, it looks like it’s seen some slight delays, with the campaign showing backers will now receive theirs in October 2018. Now that it’s on Kickstarter, though, we finally know the price. And it’s not cheap.
It’s been a little over a year now since Cactus first announced their cross-platform X-TTL system. It came with a flurry of firmware updates to let you get HSS & TTL compatibility across multiple brands of camera and flash. These updates added support for Fuji, Sony, Sigma, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax. But you’ll note that there’s a big name missing from that list.
Cactus’ new firmware update adds that name, by offering support for Canon wireless flash. The new firmware for the Cactus V6 II transceiver allows it to wirelessly communicate TTL information between a Canon or Cactus flash and a Canon camera.
Quite a few photographers, particularly Pentax shooters, have been getting very excited about the new Cactus RQ250 battery powered strobe. Announced earlier in the year, and shown off in person during The Photography Show, the RQ250 is a pretty nice and compact little unit. The benefit for Pentax users being that they finally have a strobe that supports TTL and high-speed sync.
Until now, though, a price and release date has not been announced. Well, we still don’t have a price, but Cactus has posted an update to their Facebook page announcing an approximate release date. According to this post, we can expect the RQ250 to start shipping at the end of September.
Cactus has remained quite a small player in the flash scene since Godox came along with their powerful and portable lithium-ion powered strobes. But, small as they may be, they are a mighty force. They have the widest cross-platform compatibility of any brand out there and have become a favourite of Pentax and Sigma shooters the world over.
But Cactus has always had one big problem. They only make speedlights. Well, that’s changed now, with the announcement of the RQ250 battery powered portable strobe. It’s 250Ws and on paper, it seems to compete very well with its direct Godox AD200 competitor. We got to check out a prototype at The Photography Show recently, and have a little chat about its future.
WPPI has been a good one this year for gear announcements. We’ve got the very impressive looking new Sony A7III camera and a whole slew of new E-Mount Art series lenses from Sigma. A couple of new entry level bodies from Canon as well as the new EOS M50 mirrorless. We’ve also seen a new AD200 competitor appear from Cactus who say it’s only just the beginning. Oh yeah, and then there’s that funny robotic speedlight from Canon.
There were a few items we didn’t cover, though. So, let’s have a look at everything that was announced. All the stuff we told you about and all the stuff we didn’t in one place.
Thinking a little more about Cactus’ announcement of their new Cactus RQ250 wireless strobe, I got to wondering just how it stacks up on paper vs the current Godox AD200 unit. Obviously, it packs a little more power, but with the information that Cactus has released so far, what can we glean from it? If you’re thinking about stepping up from a basic Yongnuo speedlight system or want to start getting out on location with strobes, what’s your best option? Should you go Cactus or Godox?
Well, it looks like the portable flash game just got a little more interesting. After a year’s worth of apparent Godox AD200 dominance, Cactus has now announced a seemingly viable competitor. The Cactus RQ250 is a 250Ws portable bare bulb strobe offering TTL, high speed sync and it fits in the palm of your hand. It also has a built-in receiver compatible with the Cactus V6II and V6IIs trigger systems.