CACTUS RQ250 – Compact TTL HSS Cordless Strobe Announced



Cactus Image have announced the RQ250, a compact “palm sized” cordless flash unit providing radio wireless TTL and HSS with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sigma, camera systems.

The Fan cooled RQ250 provides a built in LED modelling light, and removable reflector which exposes the RQ250’s custom designed flash tube for bare bulb use.

The RQ250 will be compatible with Cactus’s V6 II radio trigger system, and RF60X speedlites.




UPDATE – Cactus have supplied some more images. These are just computer renderings, and subject to change via the final version.

Cactus have the first prototype in hand at the moment, and will be showing them at the CP+ 2018 camera, photo and imaging show in Japan.








Hong Kong, February26, 2018 – Photographers always want a high output portable flash with consistent light quality for location shooting. Cactus set out to create one of its own carrying the motto – if we do it, we will have to do it right. It has to be compact in size, outputs high quality of light, and versatile.

Today Cactus announces the RQ250 Wireless Monolight, a lithium-ion battery powered wireless monolight with 250 Ws of power, which will be available THIS SUMMER.


Cactus TubeOneTM

“We could not find any off-the-shelf flash tube that meets our requirements for power output and uniform distribution of light in a built-in light modifier, so we designed one from the ground up for the RQ250,” said Henry Chan, head of Research and Development at Cactus.

What makes the RQ250 unique is its special flash head design. When paired with the optical optimized reflector, the TubeOne flash tube is able to deliver power with maximum efficiency. Hot spots are kept to a minimum, producing a pleasing and very usable, consistent light straight out of the included reflector.


Engineered for location shooting

When engineering the RQ250, Cactus always had location shooting in mind. Versatility is the key.

The detachable built-in reflector in reflector produces the best light possible with minimum hot spots even without an external light modifier. With the frosted glass lens, the RQ250 produces a beautiful and evenly spread of light. Remove the reflector and you will have a bare-bulb flash that excels in even light distribution when paired with soft boxes and studio umbrellas.

Despite its compact size, the RQ250 is fan-cooled which means it can be pushed without being stressed even on a hot, sunny day.


The perfect balance between size and power

Designed from the ground up, Cactus completed various design iterations and many rounds of testing to create the perfect balance between size and power.

Housed in its palm-sized body, the RQ250 is lithium-ion battery-powered, 250 Ws, and can fire 400 full-power flashes on a single charge. The extremely compact design comes with an on-axis LED modelling light, which also functions as an AF assist.


Builds on cross-brand platform

Like Cactus’s triggering system, RQ250 also builds on a cross-brand platform that works with Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony cameras. Wireless TTL and HSS are all supported.


Product highlights

1. 250 Ws produces more than 3 times the power of a typical GN60 portable flash

2. Special designed reflector with frosted lens produces a powerful yet consistent and beautiful spread of light

3. Bare-bulb ensures the best possible distribution of light in large modifiers

4. Uni-body design with detachable reflector means compact and easy storage

5. Lithium-ion battery powered

6. 400 full-power flashes on a single battery charge

7. Modelling light and AF-assist powered by on-axis LED modules

8. Fan-cooled protects flash in harsh shooting environments

9. Wireless TTL, HSS and manual power control supported on Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma and Sony camera systems*

10. Built-in wireless receiver works seamlessly with CactusV6 II and V6 IIs for Sony


Cactus RQ250





The Cactus RQ250 is currently scheduled to be available in SUMMER 2018, and price is to be advised.


Cactus – Website


  1. Joel Richards 3 years ago

    Not enough to tempt me a away from Godox but a very compelling product!

    • gee 3 years ago

      Totally Agree!

  2. John Wilson 3 years ago

    “3 times the power of a typical 250 Ws GN60 portable flash” should be “3 times the power of a typical GN60 portable flash”

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Ok thanks, I’ve corrected that.

      • Lamartiny 3 years ago

        It is realy not true. GN measure the Power in a especific condition (ISO, zoom, reflector type/angle, aperture), because of It is so dificult to compare compact flash power and bate bulb flash. 3x times would be about 600Ws, like Godox AD600. So its a lie, please correct. O remenber when MagMod said “10x more Power in your portable flash using MagBeam Tele Lena”, a completly fisics lie.

  3. John Wilson 3 years ago

    Hope they get the on axis modeling light to work better than the one on the AD600.

    I wonder how they will fit modifiers. It’s too small to mount a Bowens modifier directly. Perhaps they will have something like a Godox S-Type bracket where the RQ250 connects on one side and the modifier on the other.

    Will be interesting to compare price with the AD200.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      I think Cactus will have to make an S-type bracket, just as SMDV eventually did for the BRiHT 360.

      That shouldn’t be an issue, though what concerns me a bit is that everyone are now basically creating their own proprietary compact mount (for direct mount modifiers like the RQ250’s included reflector).

      We need a common standard for a compact mount that fits in between the S-type, and smaller Lumedyne mount. I’ve suggested the Godox compact bayonet mount to other manufacturers, though its hard to gain traction when its not even established that well with Godox as yet.

      I like the way they are thinking with the flash tube design though, and fan cooling etc.

  4. Lloyd 3 years ago

    Wonder what it’s recycling time is. For my sort of work it’s practical to have it under a second so the power of a light to me is only up to what it can recycle to in under that.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Loyd,

      Apparently they are aiming for around 2 second full power recycle time. So you would be looking at 1/2 power.

  5. FiZ 3 years ago

    This looks pretty neat for people already in the Cactus ecosystem, though I think I’ll stick with my Godox/Flashpoint setup for now. For onc, the AD200, while slightly lower in power, can be stacked into a dual-head bowens bracket for ~400Ws. It doesn’t look like this can be doubled-up in the same way. Also, I like that Godox has speedlights that are also Li-on battery-powered as opposed to AA (in the case of the Cactus RF60X) for reduced total recycle time when mixing speedlights with their AD200.

    But still, this is a neat step up in game for the Cactus fam, the more, the merrier.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Fiz,

      If they could possibly plug a cord into the strobe in place of the flash tube, then a number of these could possibly be combined into a corded remote flash head.

      You could make an S-type remote head that could easily fit 4 of these flash tubes.

  6. Author
    Flash Havoc 3 years ago

    UPDATE – Cactus have sent some more images, which I have added to the post.

    The flash is still in development (they have the first prototype in hand) so they are not sure of the price and full details yet. They are aiming for around 2 second recycle time though.

    I’ve suggested (as seen here) they consider the compact bayonet mount (AD600 style) with a solid metal mount and attached base plate for solid connection from stand to modifier. (At least I’ve tried).

  7. Martini 3 years ago

    Love this design and size.

  8. Brian 3 years ago

    Seems they have a demo of at lest the prototype at a show in Japan. Wish I understood Japanese. Also 480p cant see the strobe. However you did see when they turned on the modeling light.

    BTW Hi Elvis its been a while. 🙂 I’m getting back more into photography again. It will be nice to see how this goes since I have some V6II’s..

  9. Mark 3 years ago

    This temps me to switch away from the godox system.

    Godox makes great lights but the triggering interface is poor, it’s extremely slow to use in comparison to the cactus triggers since there are buttons for each group on the V6 and flashes. At wedding receptions I end up mounting my godox flashes on cactus v6 triggers for the sake of how fast you can turn on and off groups when changing shooting directions and adjust power and only use the built in radio/x1 system for parts of the day where speed isn’t as critical.

    • Author
      FLASH HAVOC 3 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      The new Flashpoint transmitter shouldn’t be far off now, and the interface is designed around being fast to operate.

      I’m not sure about the master flash situation though.

  10. William Chan 3 years ago

    Hmmm, still no pricing yet, I’m hoping for a lower price then the ad200, seems compelling enough for anyone who doesn’t already own ad200s.

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