Phottix MITROS+ Vs Canon 600EX-RT

The Canon 600EX-RT with built in radio system has certainly been a breakthrough for wedding and event photographers, but there are a couple of fairly big problems many people run into when trying to put together a flash system including the Canon RT flashes.

The main issue – is with Canon RT being a closed system, there is no way to conveniently fire any other manual speedlites or studio lights, which many wedding and event photographers need to use, or at least combine in their set up at times. This means a second transmitter needs to be connected to the camera in some way, usually either by connecting a cord to the cameras PC sync port, or using a radio transmitter with a Pass Through Hotshoe (which you can then mount the flash on top). Neither solution is really convenient, or ideal for serious use, and they both often end up in more problems eventually.

The second whammy – is the Canon 5D MKII (still one of the most popular camera for wedding work) does not allow full function with the 600EX-RT system, so you can’t access the newer group control where you can mix ETTL and remote manual groups. This is a real hassle as many people want to use ETTL for their on camera flash, and remote manual off camera for background lights etc (where you want to keep exposures consistent).

The third issue – is the lack of Second Curtain Sync function for remote off camera flashes. Not so critical, but still a considerable drawback .

Phottix Mitros +

The new Phottix Mitros+ radio based flash provides a solution to these problems. Because unlike the 600EX-RT, the Mitros + integrates with a number of Phottix’s TTL and manual receivers, allowing most studio and manual speedlites to be fired. As well as most of Canon’s EX flashes (not just the 600EX-RT) when connected to Phottix Odin TTL receivers. The Mitros + can then be mounted directly and securely on the camera hotshoe, with no other transmitter units needed on the camera.

And the Mitros + provides full function with most Canon DSLR cameras (not just 2012 onward like Canon’s system) allowing ETTL and remote manual groups to be mixed. And Second Curtain Sync is also supported off camera.

So the release of the Mitros + is really quite significant, as its not just a cheaper 3rd party option to the Canon system, but also a solution to some large shortfalls in Canon’s closed system (which if history is anything to go by, are highly unlikely to ever be addressed with separate receivers).

I’m not sure if many current 600EX-RT flash owners will be selling up their significant investment to switch to the Mitros + just yet. But many people looking to buy into a professional flash system now will be seriously weighing up the options. And I guess its really going to come down to whether there are actually any major disadvantages with the Phottix system which are possibly going to effect their needs.

 

MITROS + Vs 600EX-RT

 

 Advantage MITROS+

 

+ Manual receiver options for firing other manual speedlights and studio lights.
+ TTL Odin receiver option for firing most Canon EX flashes (not just the 600EX-RT).
+ Reliable direct flash on camera mounting, without extra transmitter or pass through hotshoe.
+ Quality reliable manual Strato II receivers from just $50.
+ Quality long range Atlas II manual receivers allow up to 350 meter range.

+ Full function (mix ETTL & remote manual) with most Canon DSLRs (not just 2012 models onward).
+ Second Curtain Sync function for off camera flashes.
+ Remote Zoom function for flash heads.
+ Range between Mitros + units reportedly quite long (yet to be confirmed).
+ USB port for firmware udates.
+ Battery level indicator.
+ memory for 3 user profiles.
+ 3.5 mm sync jack.
+ Can be fired by fully manual Strato II transmitter (which has 4 quick select groups).
+ Cleaner simple LCD screen interface (subjective).

+ Lower price – Mitros + around $400 vs $550 for 600EX-RT.
+ Lower price – Odin TX with a receiver $320 vs $290 for ST-E3 TX alone.
+ 2 year warranty (vs 1 year for the  600EX-RT).

 

 Advantage 600EX-RT

 

+ Power – similar direct, bounced 600EX-RT is up to around 1/2 stop more, depending on flash zoom etc.
+ Recycle time – similar, but current Mitros has heavier overheat protection (may be revised).

+ 20 – 200mm zoom (vs 24 – 105mm for the Mitros +).
+  5 groups (vs 3 groups for the Mitros +).
+ Highly dust and weather sealed.
+ Flash recycle ready feedback on the transmitter from remote flashes.
+ LCD screen backlight color option of green or orange (can be used to indicate master and slave units).
+ Gel holder, with color and exposure information transmitted to the camera.
+ Larger more detailed LCD screen (subjective).
+ No adapter needed for external battery pack socket (as Mitros + requires).
+ 15 channels + an auto channel option (vs 4 channels for the Mitros +).
+ Full Canon 1DX compatibility (Odin and other 3rd party radio systems still have some issues there).
+ Paid repairs are possible at local Canon service centers.

 

So the 600EX-RT does have some other extra features/refinements as well (as you would expect from a top end Canon flash). But most of these are probably not going to be desperately missed by most people.

As far as the radio system and range and reliability go, from previous experience with the Odin system I have no doubt the Mitros + will match (if not exceed) the Canon system there. (I only have the current non radio enabled Mitros flash and Odin system to go by at this stage).

Recycle time and thermal protection - Click to Expand

There has been some discussion about this recently regarding the current Mitros flash, and I have been testing this a lot over the last few days (its really taken that long, as the flash has to be left to cool down completely between tests).

And the current Mitros certainly does have some heavy recycle slow down for thermal protection. The flash has never actually gone into thermal protection mode, but that is because they recycle times are already slowed down considerably before the flash ever gets a chance to heat up that much.

Phottix are reportedly already looking into this, so there is even a possibility this may be revised by the time the Mitros + is available (current Mitros have USB port, so firmware updates could also be possible there). It really depends on how fast, and at what power level you shoot, as to whether this would be an issue or even noticed. But in testing I found a simple way to bypass the slow down if needed is to simply switch the flash off and back on quickly (or release the battery door a little quickly), and the flash is good to go again at full recycle speed.

To give you an idea of the difference, the 600EX-RT will do 40 full power flashes in pretty quick succession with an external battery back –

 

By that stage the flash head would really be close to smoking hot, so its good that it does shut down if you actually pushed it that hard. In comparison the Mitros would not even do half that many shots before the recycle time starts to slow down to 5 seconds, and then successively longer as you keep going (even with an 0.7 second capable battery pack).

So if you push your flash hard, that would be the main practical difference I can see currently see between the two flashes. But as mentioned this could possibly even be revised before release of the Mitros + anyway.

600EX-RT – Amazon – Adorama – B&H Photo

Mitros+ for Canon – B&H Photo – Amazon – Adorama – Phottix

 

Mitros (non radio) – Amazon – Adorama – Phottix Store

If I may have missed any advantages you may be aware of with either flash system, please let me know. Thanks!

.

18 Comments
  1. Tim Henrion 4 years ago

    One advantage that the 600EX-RT has is that its supposed to work flawlessly with the 1DX. Despite having all trigger manufacturers having “1DX” firmware, they pretty much all have problems with the 1DX. Odin is no exception, although Odin has one of the better workarounds in place.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Tim, good point!

  2. DMW 4 years ago

    It sounds as though this Phottix solution is based on the Canon speedlite capabilities available pre-600EX-RT. There are features in the new feature set, most significantly, Gr mode that is also not available on this implementation.

    Until third party manufacturers can implement the complete 600EX-RT feature set its more appropriate to compare the capabilities to the optical feature set available on 580EXIIs et al.

    In that regard this sounds like a nice solution, especially for those already with Phottix TTL triggers wanting to incorporate monolights.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi David,

      Thanks, I’m not sure what you mean there though. The Mitros + is (like the Odin) is showing all the groups at once, and allows you to use manual or TTL on any group. Also TTL group FEC is adjustable in stops not the old ratio method. Apart from having 5 groups instead of 3 I’m not sure what more the Canon GR mode offers (apart from nice LCD graphics)?

  3. John 4 years ago

    Canon advantage: “+ Flash recycle ready feedback on the transmitter from remote flashes. – See more at: http://flashhavoc.com/phottix-mitros-plus-vs-canon-600ex-rt/#sthash.30rBtPT4.dpuf

    Mitros+ seems to have a feedback beep too. What is the difference?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi John,

      I only have the regular Mitros and Odin just now so I’m not 100% sure about the remote flash recycle feedback. But as far as I understand the Mitros+ does not have any ready feedback for the remote flashes, just its own recycle ready. The Odin transmitter does not have any feedback for remote flashes recycle ready.

      One positive side to that though, is they shouldn’t have the fault the Canon system has in not allowing you to fire any flashes until all flashes are recycled. That really should be optional as one remote flash can cripple the system and important shots can be missed. Thanks.

  4. John 4 years ago

    Oh, one more thing… Canon 600ex-rt can lock their heads while Mitros+ cannot? I am thinking about using for example a Rouge flash bender on it, but will Mitros+ head stay in place?

    (Ps. Not sure why “– See more at: http://flashhavoc.com/phottix-mitros-plus-vs-canon-600ex-rt/#sthash.30rBtPT4.dpuf – came up above. I did not enter that…)

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi John,

      No the Mitros+ does not have a head lock. The head tilt swivel action is very smooth and fairly tight, but something like the original Lightsphere could possibly pull it down if placed on an angle. I don’t think a flash bender would be an issue, except for when bending the shape you would likely need to hold the flash head with the other hand.

      WordPress automatically adds that link for you any time you copy and paste any text from a WordPress blog. If you don’t want the link you just have to delete it manually. Thanks again.

      • John 4 years ago

        Hmm I’m thinking about changing my three Canon 600ex-rt and one ST-E3-RT, to three Phottix Mitros+ and a separate Odin transmitter and receiver.

        a) I would like to trigger my Godox Witstro AD360 (using an Odin receiver) with my on camera flash to get extra power in dark venues. I guess that would work well with Mitros+, including using high speed sync on the AD360 when being outdoors?

        b) I would love to be able to trigger and control the power on both the Mitros+ and the AD360+Odin receiver with my Sekonic LITEMASTER PRO L-478DR, but I assume that it will not trigger Odin receivers?

        Thanks

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 4 years ago

          Hi John,

          Part “a” is easy, you don’t even need an Odin receiver for the AD360, a $50 Strato II, or Atlas II will also work even with HSS. ODS in the Odin transmitter could even get some more light for you in HSS with the AD360.

          Part “b” is no go. The only trigger you can control the power levels through with the Sekonic L-478DR is the PocketWizard TT5. In that case you could just add the TT5 to the 600EX-RT’s you have. But they won’t control the power level of the AD360, you would need to hold the FT-16 transmitter in hand to do that. HSS should work with the AD360 then, but you would need to check with PocketWizard for the best settings.

          With the Odin as transmitter the only option for a light meter is using the test fire button. I’m not sure about the Mitros+ there as yet. Odin and Mitros+ would control each others power levels, and again the FT-16 would need to be held in hand to control the AD360.

          Just my speculation, but I would say at least within 12 months Godox will have their own TTL radio flash that would control the AD360 etc as well. Thanks.

          • John 4 years ago

            Would I be able to control the power output from a Mitros+ on the AD360 if using the Odin receiver ?
            (Interesting if Godox joins that race too)

            Cheers

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 4 years ago

            Hi John,

            Sorry no, the FT-16 transmitter is the only way currently to change the power levels of the AD360.

            Again you can use Odin receiver to fire the AD360, and the FT-16 held in hand (or strapped to the Camera or Odin Transmitter somewhere) to change the AD360 power levels.

            I’m sure Godox are heading towards an integrated system like this, but they have a bit of catching up to do first. Thanks.

  5. This is a great site. Lots of good speedlite info. Thank you for that.
    Scenario Question: using radiopopper px transmitter & receivers all around, can I use this mitros ttl canon master in ettl, and 430ex slaves in manual, all through the “external speedlite” menu in my 5dii?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for that. You can use the Mitros as a master, just like a 580EX II or similar, and control that through the cameras flash control menu.

      The flash control menu and Canon optic wireless system prior to the latest RT radio system is limited though, in that you can’t mix TTL and remote manual groups.

      Its been a while since I’ve used the Canon optic wireless system (now that there are many radio options) so I’m not sure off the top of my head if you can set a manual power level directly on the slave flashes while the master is in TTL. But there’s definitely no remote manual power control with other groups in TTL. With Nikon you can mix TTL and remote manual because their optic master system allows that.

      You can use Radiopopper JrX receivers on the Canon slave flashes for remote manual control, but the PX has a difficult interface to control that. You’d be better off with a JrX transmitter connected to the camera PC sync port. (For the price of the JrX triggers though you could get Godox V850 flashes with remote manual control) Thanks.

  6. pwp 3 years ago

    I just fried one of my 580exII’s and was looking to get a couple of 600ex-rt’s but these did catch my eye, especially as I already have the Phottix Odin system. I power my speedlights from a Quantum Turbo T2 battery. How fiidly is the adapter that is required on the Mitros?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi pwp,

      The Adapter actually holds quite well, which is surprising the way it sticks out further from the flash. I haven’t really heard any comments on how it holds up for extended on camera use though. Off camera I think its fine.

      One issue is always going to be the possibility of simply loosing it. Another person mentioned to replace it you have to buy a pack of 3.

      I think Phottix would have the intention of makine their own battery pack at some point. We can only hope that would have a cable with a standard DIN plug that could then be used in other packs like the Quantum or Godox etc. That may be just wishful thinking though.

  7. Dale 3 years ago

    Hi I am looking where to buy an adaptor for my Quantum Turbo cable that I used to use with my old Canon 580 EX Speedlight. I need that little adaptor that will fit my Quantum Canon cable to use with the Phottix Mitros Speedlight power input. Did you mention they sell a three pack in the comments.

  8. Photolight Photolight 3 years ago

    The 600 speedlites were designed for the 5d III and later models and not for anything previous. I own 4 of them and the transmitter…
    very nice system and of course you can control manual and Ettl as you chose on all the speedlites you want to connect to this system.
    I have done many videos on youtube showing this system in action.
    thanks for all the great comments here and is always enjoyable to read the reviews and issues people are having,

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