The Canon ST-E2

As a follow-up to my post from yesterday, let me back up a little and set the stage for a multi-faceted question, in the hope that perhaps someone will know some of (or ideally all of) the answers. Recently I purchased an ST-E2 from Canon which allows you to trigger a flash without cables or wires. It uses a radio signal an infra-red signal and when mounted on your camera, pressing the shutter, trips the sensor in the ST-E2 which in turn fires the flash. This ST-E2 uses a fairly common battery type, the 2CR5, and is readily available through any number of vendors.Since it has become a battery associated with my camera gear, I am trying to piece together a battery system of rechargeable batteries and a dedicated charger that can accommodate all the batteries in my bag. This includes the camera batteries, the flash batteries, and now this 2CR5. While I have found the NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries to be of far superior performance (also as indicated on several websites like Imaging Resource and others), I am unable to find the 2CR5 with any retailer as a NiMH battery. They only come in the Lithium format. So, my question is threefold:

  1. Can a Lithium battery be charged in a charger built for NiMH batteries?
  2. Is the 2CR5 format capable of being produced as a NiMH battery?
  3. If so, what type of time frame are we looking at before something like a NiMH 2CR5 is available in the marketplace?

If the NiMH 2CR5 is something that will likely come to pass…it may be a good idea for me to use disposable batteries in the interim. Otherwise, I will have to adjust my battery purchases to include a NiMH system and a Lithium system. I would love to hear what any readers happen to think on this, so please feel free to make a post in the comments, or as always, you can email me.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend. Happy shooting and watch those apertures!

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2 comments for “The Canon ST-E2

  1. March 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    First of all, thanks for a great blog. I really enjoy reading your posts.

    Second, interesting thoughts on the battery. I own an ST-E2 and have the non-rechargable lithium version of the 2CR5. I doubt it comes in a rechargable NIMH, simply due to demand (there isn’t as much for these as say, AAs). I suppose I could be wrong there, though.

    In my opinion, it’s a moot point. The lithium works plenty well. The ST-E2 doesn’t require much juice and the battery lasts a LONG time in it – for thousands and thousands of shots. I’ve had mine for 6+ months and haven’t changed it yet. I’d say you could have a primary in the unit, one backup battery in your bag and probably call it good. That would help avoid the recharging issue altogether.

    Also, as a small note to your original post, the ST-E2 isn’t radio-based, it is infrared. Radio transmitters, like PocketWizards allow much further distances and don’t require line of sight. The ST-E2, though, has a somewhat limited range (especially outdoors) and needs either a line of sight, or a room where the infrared pulses can bounce around and make their way to the flash. That being said, I LOVE my unit – it works very well.

  2. March 14, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the post Brian – I hadn’t thought of the minimal output required for the ST-E2, that does kind of mitigate the ned to consider rechargeables given the cost and, as you said, does probably explain why the R&D has never gone into making a NiMH version of it.

    As for the radio vs. infrared, good catch…I was noticing the limited range outside and had thought “too bad it’s not RF”, and for some reason that stuck in my head when writing the post. I’ll make an update later tonight.

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