CACTUS RQ250 TTL HSS Strobe – Launched On Kickstarter

Cactus RQ250

 

Cactus Image have launched the RQ250 compact cordless TTL and HSS enabled strobe on Kickstarter.

The 250Ws RQ250 providing radio wireless TTL and HSS, compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sigma, camera systems.

And also compatible with Cactus’s own V6 II radio trigger system, and RF60X speedlites.

The fan cooled RQ250 features built-in LED modelling lights, stated as 20 watt output, and a removable reflector which exposes the RQ250’s custom designed flash tube for bare bulb use.

Recycle time is stated as 1.1 seconds at full power, and the Lithium-ion battery provides up to 520 full power shots.

Color consistency and short flash duration modes are also included. As well as a 10 stop power range going down to 1/512, with fine 0.1 stop graduations.

The RQ250’s modifier mount is a proprietary Cactus bayonet design. With Proprietary magnetic accessories also available.

 

Cactus RQ250

 

Cactus RQ250

 

Cactus RQ250

 

Cactus RQ250

 

 

 

 

Cactus RQ250

 

 

 

The RQ250 are designed, engineered, and will also be assembled in Hong Kong.

 

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

 

The Cactus RQ250 have launched on Kickstarter, with introductory offers from $524 (regular MSRP $699.00).

 

Cactus – Website

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17 Comments
  1. Steve 2 weeks ago

    I’m glad more people are getting into the market for location strobes, but I just can’t justify the price of this compared to the Godox products. A light that’s supposed to retail for $700 and it only 25% stronger than the Godox AD200, yet nearly twice the size…ouch.

    I’m not the foremost expert in strobe technology, but I’m going to need someone to explain to me why this light should cost more than 2x the AD200 before I back it.

    • roberts 2 weeks ago

      I couldnt agree more. the days to pay large amounts of money for flash is over. $300 for the ad200 is great. but $700? nah. the ad360 with battery pack is $550. and its 360w/s so this cactus is underwhelming

  2. John Wilson 2 weeks ago

    The modelling light doing AF assist is a good idea – I haven’t seen that before.

    Some people will really like the 0.1 stop steps.

    The colour consistency mode differentiates if from the AD200 (AD200 Pro in the horizon?)

    Seems that they are intending to make a range of modifiers for their proprietary mount – not a positive in my books. They need a Bowens adapter from day one.

    Does it justify the price? Not to me; perhaps to someone invested in the Cactus range.

    • Brian 2 weeks ago

      Seems they will be adding a bowens adapter. However yah having that ready at release will be a good idea.

  3. Sam 2 weeks ago

    They have a Bowen S-type bracket listed right now.

  4. Ron S 2 weeks ago

    Well, it’s supposed to be 1.1 second recycle time at full power, vs. 2.1 for the AD200. That’s something off the bat to indicate there’s more under the hood that might justify a higher price point. It also has a cooling fan, which adds to the impression it might be in a slightly different league than the Godox. The AD200 is a very versatile unit, but its thermal cutoff potentially kicks in after 30-40 HSS shots at around full power (as my colleague discovered using it for outdoor family group photos at weddings), especially if it’s sitting out in the sun during this time.

    Not a fan of the flash tube design; it may not be as effective in some modifier types as the horseshoe style more typical in monolights (note that Godox changed this in the 600 Pro redesign).

    • Tim 2 weeks ago

      @Ron S
      What makes you think a horseshoe design is better?

      The deeper the tube reaches into the modifier, the more even lighting I would expect.

      • Ron S 1 week ago

        Tim: from some discussions and user experiences I’ve read, it seems a ‘stick’ type tube that extends on-axis away from the flash has a different off-axis light spread characteristic than a horseshoe style. The latter has a tighter off-axis focal point in reflector/parabolic type modifiers and is potentially more efficient and even light spread. Light emitted from a ‘stick’ type tube reflects off modifier surfaces with a greater range of angles (a broader focal point) that is potentially less efficient.

        How far the horseshoe tube protrudes is relevant to whether the modifiers available for it are designed for its specific configuration. For example the Elinchrom Quadra tube sits very close to the body of the head. To use them in regular Elinchrom modifiers, you use the Quadra mount adapter, which has a shallow reflector built-in. It duplicates the flash tube placement found in standard size Elinchrom lights, thus allowing the Quadra heads to be used with good efficiency across the line of Elinchrom modifiers.

        • Author
          FLASH HAVOC 1 week ago

          Personally I think Cactus are doing a lot of good things with this flash, though I can’t see the flash tube extending far enough into S-type mount softboxes. The tube projects all the light to the sides, where its caught in the tunnel of a S-type speedring insert.

          Another propitiatory mount is not good either, they could have made it the same as the Godox bayonet.

          Built-in Godox compatible bayonet, properly designed for S-type adapter, and 360Ws, and this would have had a far larger audience, even at this price point. Focusing on their own closed system is just fighting a losing battle.

          • Tim 1 week ago

            @FLASH HAVOC

            Yeah, adopting a quasi-standard as the mount would have been a better idea. If the S-type doesn’t cut it for some reason then the Godox mount would have been the next best choice.

            On the subject of their own closed system I see what you mean regarding light modifiers but it has to be said that they are the most inclusive when it comes to supporting other brands. They support more camera brands than Godox and allow third-party light sources to be included with their trigger system.

        • Tim 1 week ago

          @Ron S
          A parabolic light modifier is the only modifier where you’d ideally need a point source. Typical modifiers should benefit from having their reflective surfaces excited from more than one spot. In any event, I think the differences would be marginal. The main important attribute is a bare-bulb characteristic, i.e., to avoid any kind of beam that would result in a center hot-spot.

    • Motti 1 week ago

      All this is true. We will have to wait for a real life review. The recycle time is excellent and if it can keep up the color consistency with such a rapid fire it definitely has more than Godox has to offer. However, many will have no problems buying two AD200’s with the adapter to mount both and get much better recycle (if taking it down to 3/4 power). Also, I tested both my AD200’s and had it shoot 3/4 power 10 shots in a raw at a white wall. I saw no color shift at all. It was not a scientific test, I used my eyes and not a color meter,, but there was no difference or color shift.

  5. Carlos 2 weeks ago

    Steve, I agree with you, I do have Godox flash and they are greate.
    I would include tho this the Jinbei Mars 3TTL (Europe) or ORLIT Rover RT TTL 300ws, an amazing 300ws flash that you can buy at Adorama for $449.00 and it comes with an amazing bluetooth trigger.
    So my question is, does this guys have done any research about market offers and prices? I don’t think so and they are not a Profoto to put that high price base in the name of the brand.
    Just ridiculous.

  6. David 1 week ago

    Some interesting design features but, at this point, I don’t think anyone is going to catch Godox. Certainly, with an MSRP of $699 there’s no way I would opt for this Catus RQ250 over the new Godox AD400 which carries a $649 price of admission. Yes, the AD400 is physically somewhat larger and 1kg heavier but it’s also more powerful and supposedly recycles to full power in .9 sec.

  7. Earle 1 week ago

    The Kickstarter route is a great way for Cactus to figure out if there’s actually a market for this flash, before committing to production. Given that they’re one-third of the way there with 27 days to go, it’s too soon to say if there is a market here.

    Power/recycle time and color consistency would be the major selling points. And I guess the whole magnetic fastener system is intriguing but like others here, I’d opt for a Bowens adapter and existing soft boxes vs. buying a whole line of specialty softboxes to use with something like this.

    I have a feeling there’s not enough here to justify the premium over the Godox AD200 for photographers inclined to go that route; and no track record to sway photographers who would pay more for color consistency and recycle time out of the chute, but are worried about other durability of the project, or staying power of the line itself for second and third batteries and such.

    Given the functionality of Cactus’ brand agnostic Cactus V6II triggers, it could lure people who shoot with OEM speedlights but want more oomph.

  8. Becker 1 week ago

    I‘m using both systems (Godox and Cactus) on Olympus MFT and think that Godox gives you more bang for the buck generally speaking. So if you want and easy to use and cheap system the Godox world is great.
    If you are more into options, the Cactus system is unmatched for flexibility and also for their support! I don‘t know ans other company who is doing so fine in terms of customer communication, updates and general support like Cactus!
    After reading the specs for the RQ250 I think this is typical cactus. Not as cheap as others, but better in several details. Like stated above: if you want the standard, cheap, working solution go with Godox. If you want something more look for the Cactus.

  9. Matty 1 week ago

    New requirement for a portable flash setup and found this Cactus system via this site and similar. Thanks to the helpful comments here though, went looking at the Godox AD400 and will be buying that instead. Had considered the Elinchrom ELB500 (despite the price), but the Godox is much better value and there’s no cabling to mess with. Will suit my needs nicely.

    Now I’m armed with some better information – thank you Commenters! – decided this RQ250 system is WAY too expensive in comparison to the Godox AD400 and I would guess the although the Cactus KickStarter campaign MIGHT just succeed, the price of these units in say, January/February, will be lower than the current ‘Super Early Bird’ discounts.

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