Remember when we were kids searching for shapes in the clouds? Okay, I still do it, but looks like I’m not the only one. Michael Shainblum’s recent image shows a dragon approaching – and “the dragon” is made of storm clouds. I was blown away by the photo, so I chatted with Michael a bit about how he took it.
This only seems to be coming out now, which isn’t much of a surprise as the popularity of Cactus triggers and lights has taken a bit of a beating the last few years – what with Godox bursting onto the scene covering everything from entry-level budget speedlights to honking big location strobes. So Cactus has kind of fallen by the wayside.
But Cactus, the company that failed to crowdfund the Cactus RQ250 strobe – a competitor to the Godox AD200 – a couple of years ago has now left the building. According to an email response sent out to one of their customers recently, Cactus actually ceased trading in December 2020, but they just didn’t tell anybody and nobody seemed to really notice.
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.
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.
Pentax users seem to have been neglected when it comes to the world of flash. There’s been very little 3rd party support at all. Pretty much their only option, if they want TTL or High-Speed Sync is to go the Cactus route if they don’t want to go with Pentax branded speedlights. Ok, you could go with Metz, but your options become even more limited with those if you want to combine it with strobes.
It seems, though, that Godox may have listened to the cries for help from Pentax users. According to a listing on the Godox UK online store for the dual AD200 kit, Pentax TTL support is coming sometime in June. Yes, this month. Or, maybe next year.
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.
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.
One of the reasons I love shooting with Sigma camera bodies is the combination of the Foveon sensor that delivers great color and image detail with high quality and large aperture lenses like the Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 “Art.” that let me isolate a subject while turning the background into dreamy bokeh-filled canvas like this shot of my daughter.