Over the years, Cactus has wanted to make a flash with all the essentials of a studio strobe, powerful yet portable like a speedlight. They wanted a light that can pair up with various kinds of modifiers and which photographers can use on location.
The Cactus RQ250 fits that description, according to Henry Chan, the head of R&D at Cactus. It is small, versatile, fits all kinds of light modifiers and addresses all location shooting needs. The RQ250 is designed, engineered and will also be assembled in Hong Kong. The unit sits on the palm of your hand and is barely larger than a speedlight, yet it comes with 250Ws of power and a range of 10 f-stops, from 1/512 to full power.
What makes the RQ250 unique is its special flash head design. The 63-degree optical optimised reflector, which is equivalent to a speedlight zoom setting of 35mm, not only makes it good to shoot with on its own, but it is also a perfect match with a lighting umbrella.
Inside the flash head sits Cactus TubeOne, the proprietary bare bulb that can be put instantly in a softbox. Coupled with the aluminium flash reflector and Cactus bayonet mount, changing instantly from a round head diffusion disc flash to bare-bulb requires only one click.
The built-in magnets on the RQ250’s reflector head allow for clip-on light modifiers to be snapped into place and easily stacked to create a lighting effect. An optional kit will include a barn door, a colour gel set, a diffuser dome, a honeycomb and a snoot.
The RQ250 maximises the power of its 4-cell battery pack using a proprietary UltroED transformer. Cactus says it recycles in 1.1 seconds and fires 520 full-power flashes on a single charge.
Cactus also claims the RQ250 is the only monolight of its size that is equipped with an integrated cooling fan and thermal sensors for optimal cooling in any environment.
The RQ250 has a colour mode. With it, the RQ250 is able to produce consistent colour temperatures across the entire 10-stop power range and over hundreds of shots.
In speed mode, fast flash duration at low power outputs allows photographers to freeze the fastest of movements. With power adjustment steps as fine as 0.1EV, the 10-stop power range from 1/512 to 1/1 enables full manipulation of the RQ250 power band.
Of course, and true to Cactus’ philosophy, the RQ250 is a wireless TTL monolight for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony when triggered by a Cactus V6 II or V6 IIs. It supports TTL, high-speed sync (HSS/FP) as well as manual power control and works simultaneously with any portable flashes compatible with the Cactus V6 II or V6 IIs.
A modelling light – a feature of professional studio lights – has been added, despite the small body of the RQ250. The RQ250 not only has one, but it is a 20W one, making it powerful enough to light any subject and allowing photographers to work freely in any environment. The modelling light can be used as an AF-assist.
The new RQ250 with an MSRP of 699 USD and its accessories is available on Kickstarter for a pre-sale discount beginning August 6, 2018.