Back in February this year (12-Feb-2014) Canon released an updated version of their ring-flash; it was called the “Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX”. The new version is the “Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II”, they must have been up all night to come up with that name :).
Canon states the following:
Canon today expands the EOS System with the launch of a new flash, the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II. Designed for specialist DSLR shooters who are passionate about macro photography, it provides incredible flexibility to light and shoot a diverse range of subjects, and features a range of new updates including independent flash head operation, increased responsiveness and enhanced custom functions.
You can read the entire press release here if you wish.
As you can see, they have moved the cable coming out of the controller to the opposite side, it was on the right and is now on the left (when viewed from the photographer side of the camera); this stops the LCD, shutter-release and buttons of the camera being obscured by the cable:
Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II key features:
- Ring-flash design for versatile lighting
- Independently variable dual flash tubes
- Powerful performance – guide number 14 (ISO 100)
- Trigger other flashes wirelessly
- LED modelling lamps improve low-light focusing
- Easy-to-use controls
- Fast, silent recycling
Although the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II can be used as an optical wireless master in a multi-flash lighting set-up, it cannot trigger (or be triggered by) radio signals such as from the 600EX-RT or the ST-E3-RT which is surprising as I thought they would be adding this to all of their flash devices now.
On the subject of the display, it (like the 600EX-RT and the ST-E3-RT) is now a dot-matrix LCD so is more intuitive, it also has a host of new features from the hot-shoe contact cleaning system to the fact that it can be controlled from the camera.
Pricing and availability
Although it was meant be available from April it has only been ready to purchased in the last few weeks; the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II has a SRP of £599.99 which is about £150 more expensive than the mark 1 version.