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off camera flash is the easiest way to better photos. But the idea of being attached to a flash via a long cable is very unappealing, the canon st-e2 wireless flash trigger is a perfect product that always seems to be forgotten compared to the more reliable but more expensive radio triggers like pocket wizards.
It is an old product, i'm not sure if jessops used to stock it and canon don't really advertise it, but it has just been replaced with a new version- the st-e3 which I think uses radio triggers?
The st-e2 uses IR as it's trigger mechanism, which means it's working best with line of sight (or with a solid surface to bounce off). It works fine for everything except bright sunlight, and areas where the front IR window (the red part) of the flash is covered up.
The reliablity of the trigger is great- maybe 1/20 flashes don't fire- that's fine for me but if you need 100% reliability you need to spend more.
Build quality is great, it's plastic but it's solid and i've dropped mine many times with no issues. The best thing about the st-e2 is that it supports ettl, so exposure is automatic and you can alter flash settings from the back of your camera, the worse part is that it does make the camera much more bulky- but the unit is lightweight and it doesn't get in the way too badly.
Canon is an industry leader in professional and consumer imaging equipment and information systems. Canon's extensive product line enables businesses and consumers worldwide to capture, store and distribute visual information. Cannon provides a wide range of accessories that are fully tested and 100% compliant with the corresponding equipment. All accessories are noted for their high reliability and superior quality.
Type: 550EX-dedicated, clip-on Speedlite transmitter with direct contacts;
Compatible Cameras: Type A EOS cameras (E-TTL, autoflash); Type B EOS cameras (Manual flash);
Flash Ratio Control: For A: B ratio: 1: 8 to 8: 1, in half-step increments or 13 steps;
High-Speed Sync (FP flash): Enabled with high-speed sync mode;
Slave operation confirmation;
Flash exposure confirmation;
Wireless slave SE mode cancellation;
Wireless Transmission: Infrared pulse;
Transmission Coverage: ±40 degrees horizontal and ±30 degrees vertical;
AF-assist Beam: Compatible with EOS-3's 45-point Area AF and 28mm and longer lens focal lengths;
AF-assist Beam Effective Range: Approx. 0, 6 to 10 m/2.0 to 16.5 ft along the periphery (in total darkness);
SE Feature: While the power switch is set to I or HOLD, the transmission turns off automatically after about 90 sec. of non-use.