Pixel X800C Review


The Pixel X800C is a speedlite that rivals Canon’s top of the line flash by offering ETTL, a powerful Guide Number of GN60, and wireless optical & radio transmission. Pixel Enterprise Limited sent me two sample units on firmware ver:F4T 002 for the following review.

 

Pixel X800C on the Canon 5D Mark II

Pixel X800C on the Canon 5D Mark II

Included in the box is X800C Speedlite, diffuser, flash stand, and padded case. The case is well thought-out with a slot for belt strap and a pocket for the flash stand. I do not think the case was meant to accommodate the speedlite with the diffuser on but I manage to squeeze it in.

Shooting against the sun with a single camera mounted Pixel X800C.

Shooting against the sun with a single camera mounted Pixel X800C.

The speedlite is very intelligent. Not only does it have ETTL, it also detects when the flash head is pointed up or down to adjust exposure accordingly. The zoom head can be set to auto or adjusted manually. The zoom range covers most common focal lengths with the biggest gap between 135-200mm. In ETTL, you can manually compensate EV and apply Flash Exposure Bracket (FEB) in 1/3 increments for up to 3 stops. In Manual mode there is simply 1/1 to 1/128 power in 1/3 increments. Power is controlled the same way in Mult mode and you can fire up to 100 times in up to 500Hz. The flash is powerful enough to get good exposure on a medium portrait shooting directly against the sun.

To use the flash as a slave (SL), you hold down the *RMOT button. Once in SL mode, I found it counter-intuitive that you press the left button once to access the left function icons, but you have to hold the right button to access right function icons. Pressing the right button accesses the slave modes: normal, S1, and S2. This is a minor nuisance that I will probably get used to.

The key feature of this speedlite is the wireless triggering. I can have one speedlite to fire the other or have the camera’s built-in flash trigger multiple speedlites in optical transmission. With optical transmission, I got a line of sight range of about 15 feet on a bright sunny afternoon. With radio transmission, I got reliable shots up to a range of about 90 feet.

Optical triggering two X800C with the built-in flash from about 15 feet. Radio triggering a X800C from about 90 feet away.
Optical and radio triggering the speedlites from about 15 feet and 90 feet away, respectively.

Overall, I found the speedlites to have solid build, plenty of power, and reliable range. The automatic settings make the flash super easy to use and there is a extensive amount of manual controls available. The only issue I have is that the controls can be laid out a little more intuitively but this is something I can probably get used to after a few shoots. In general, l I found this to be an excellent alternative to Canon’s RT flash and at a great value considering that it cost a fraction of Canon’s equivalent.

Studio headshot with one Pixel X800C radio triggering another behind the subject.

Studio headshot with one Pixel X800C radio triggering another behind the subject.

Do you have any questions regarding the Pixel X800C? I will be glad to answer them. Please post your questions and comments below.

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