Canon Battery Pack CP-E3 for 550EX/580EX

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by dannylao, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. To improve the flash recycle time, I'm thinking of getting the CP-E3
    ($140) battery pack for the Canon 550EX/580EX flash. Do you think I
    should also get an extra battery magazine, CPM-E3($30)? Is the
    improvement of flash recycle time good enough? Thanks.
     
  2. I have this battery pack for my 550EX, and it really does improve recycle time, I CANNOT manage without it at weddings, taking approx 30-50 shots a minute at peak activity stages during a wedding, I really need the extra juice! I use 2300MAH rechargables and carry 30 on me at any one time. By the way, what is the CPM-E3? How does it work?

    Nicola
     
  3. 50 shots a minute?

    That's like doing sports photography. I've always managed using just a new pack of batteries. Most of the time it's just fill flash and the 550ex doesn't really use max. power. I've been able to get 5-6 well exposed shots in rapid succesion without it being fully charged. That's even including using a sto-fen.

    I guess if your style requires that you need that fast a recycle time then you probably need whatever you can get from whatever battery pack but i've seen a lot of pros just using normal batteries and getting superb coverage of the wedding.

    I just find battery packs a nuisance when it's easier for me to carry a spare batteries and maybe a back up camera with a 420ex fitted. Plus on a stroboframe the battery pack becomes a lot more difficult to handle.
     
  4. I also have the new battery pack (CP-E3)It is perfect. The magazine is simply the part that houses the 8 AA batteries. You preload the magazine with fresh batteries and when you need to change you pop out the magazine with the dead batteries and slide in the next magazine with the fresh ones. extremely useful if you do not have alot of time to take the old batteries out and replace 1 by 1.
    if you have the money get the extra magazine.
     
  5. Wouldn't a Quantum 1 or 1+ battery be a better choice? It's pretty small compared to a
    Turbo, but seems to pack a lot of power into a small package, and can be recharged at any
    point without memory worries. MiH batteries don't stay charged, and good AAs are pretty
    expensive when popping for 8 at a time X how ever many weddings you do a year. Just a
    thought.
     
  6. I use a couple of the previous model CP-E2 (same thing as CP-E3, but 6 AA's instead of 8) and it works very well in terms of decreasing recycle time. More often than not I go through an 8 hour shoot without needing to swap batteries, but that will totally depend on your shooting style (number of shots, how much you mix in ambient light, etc).

    Quantums are a good option too, but more expensive to start. The thing I like about the cp-e2/e3 is that they use AA's just like the flash units themselves, and they are smaller and lighter. If something goes wrong with your only quantum, you are stuck, but with the canon packs, you've got more power configurations. If the pack ever failed, you can fall right back to just using the AA's in the flash directly.

    What I don't like is the belt case (at least on the cp-e2) is cheaply made (Mine fell apart after one event, so now I just attach the cp-e2 directly to my belt with a velcro tool loop) and it is more of a pain to charge multiple AA's than just charge a single quantum.

    For the number of times you typically need to change out the batteries, I don't think the CPM-E3 would be a must have.

    Remember when using external packs that the batteries in the flash unit will run down eventually as well and are needed to run the electronices even if they aren't being used to charge the flash capacitor.
     
  7. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

  8. A quantum 1 is about $50 ~ used..mine has worked perfectly for well over 4 years. The 550 is mainly for fill - situations...so I use rechargeble AA ($20 for 4 with charger) never runs out. Canon claims the 580 even recycles 20+% faster than the 550. I might shoot 50 images in an hour ...so fast is not a necessity. We have the newest QUantum strobe for key light and bounce work...their newest battery will provide power to both your digital slr and their flash!
     
  9. Thanks everyone. Sometimes, good moments during the wedding occurs simultaneously, a faster flash recycle time will help capture those nice successive moments, even though they're not the critical ?must have? shots, it's good to capture them as well. Cheers!
     
  10. Im with marc Quantum turbo is a much better choice I got mine on ebay for 220.00 and its perfect.!
     
  11. Chris - why not just attach your CP-E2 to the bottom of your camera?

    I would love to use the Q Turbo but I bought it (for ?460!!) and it did not work with my 550EX!!! I had all right cables and they even swapped cables and then sent it back to Hasselblad and they found no fault with it! I returned it eventually and got a refund. Think there must be a prob with my 550EX even though it works fine alone.
     
  12. Nicola, I've used a Quantum Turbo with a 550EX, and it worked fine. I suspect there might be something wrong with the high voltage port on the flash. In which case the CP-E3 wouldn't work with it either.

    A Quantum Battery 1 or 1+ is not a good option if you're looking for fast recycles. They are only 6 volt batteries and are just barely faster then a set of rechargable AAs. If you want fast recycles you need something that attaches to the high voltage port. The CP-E3 is nearly as fast as a Turbo, and less than a third the price. As long as you don't need it to power your camera or some non-Canon flash, and don't mind swapping AA batteries, it's the better deal.
     
  13. Chris - why not just attach your CP-E2 to the bottom of your camera?
    It makes the bottom too large to use the portrait controls of the camera if you've got the CP-E2 attached there, plus I like to keep QR plates on the bottom of my cameras.
    I also will put 550's on a light stand or monopod (lighting stick) along with the pack at times, and it's much quicker to move the cp-e2 if you don't have to fiddle with the screw mount.
     

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