The external Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N improves flash recycle times significantly and increases the number of continuous flashes. The pack takes the optional CPM-E4 rapid-change Battery Magazine loaded with 8 AA-size batteries. The CP-E4N has quieter operation during recharging.
Along with the updated Speedlite 600EX II-RT, Canon simultaneously is launching a refined external battery pack to provide faster recycle times and more flashes before battery replacement is needed — the Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N.
This new external battery pack will replace the previous CP-E4 battery pack in the Canon line. Like its predecessor, the updated Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N holds eight AA-size batteries, either alkaline or rechargeable Ni-MH type. It uses the same type of connector to the high-voltage input socket on Canon’s 500- and 600-series speedlites, so it can be used with not only the latest Speedlite 600EX II-RT, but the previous 600EX-RT, 580EX II, 580EX, and even the long-discontinued Speedlite 550EX.
Upon first glance, this latest Compact Battery Pack appears identical to the previous CP-E4 version. However, there are some noteworthy changes.
The CP-E4N is designed to be a “best-match” external battery pack to use with the latest Speedlite 600EX II-RT. Among the biggest changes in the updated speedlite are the increased number of continuous flashes that can be fired, and increased reliability in terms of heat resistance. The CP-E4N battery pack mirrors those refinements, offering demanding flash shooters a battery pack that’s designed to match the continuous shooting performance of this latest speedlite.
• Re-designed, heat-resistant circuitry within the battery pack, to minimize internal heat build-up during rapid, continuous flash firing and recycling
• Internal temperature sensors to detect dangerous levels of heat, and prevent circuitry from damage during continuous, high-demand shooting
• Special external power supply detection circuit, which can be read by Speedlite 600EX II-RT — this allows the speedlite to take full advantage of CP-E4N battery pack’s additional continuous shooting capability. (If the 600EX II-RT does not receive this new signal, such as if it’s used with the older Compact Battery Pack CP-E4, the number of continuous flashes is controlled to minimize risk of heat build-up within the external battery pack.)
• Flame-retardant, higher-grade exterior housing and battery compartment cover, to further resist both short-term and long-term risk of damage to battery pack from internal heat
• Both ends of the coiled connecting cord to the speedlite are re-shaped, and stronger to resist bending, flexing, and long-term deterioration or breakage (the actual connector for the high-voltage socket in compatible speedlites is unchanged)
• Quieter operation during flash recycle, compared to previous CP-E4 battery pack
Unchanged is the basic concept of the compact battery pack for high-end speedlites. With its eight AA-size batteries as a power supply, the idea is a pack that can noticeably cut flash recycle time, and extend the length of time a photographer can shoot with flash on-location or in the studio, before concerning him- or herself with needing to replace batteries.
Without risk of damage from truly high-voltage external power (as might be the case, in some instances, with certain third-party battery packs for speedlites), and in a very compact package, the CP-E4N continues the idea of an external power supply that adds to a speedlite’s performance.