Canon 270EX II Speedlite Announced

Together with 2 new camera bodies – the T3 = EOS 1100D in Europe and the T3i = EOS 600D, Canon announced two new speedlites, the 320EX and the 270EX II.

The 270EX II is announced at $170 in the US (pre-order from amazon) and replaces the current entry-level flash 270EX, sold at around $145 currently. There are 2 new features justifying a price increase:

  • there is now a wireless slave mode
  • the flash unit can be used as a remote for an EOS camera

Wireless Slave Mode

The wireless sensor can be seen above the “C” in the Canon logo in this photo – click to enlarge.

Canon 270 EX II wireless sensor

As you will notice, it’s not in the ideal position for wireless flash since it always faces the same direction as the flash head. In better designs, the sensor is located on the flash body’s side and the head can swivel around.

The slave is always set to group A and responds to master signals from all channels. But still, wireless flash is always better than on-camera, and you won’t find a cheaper wireless ETTL slave, except the Nissin Di622 Mark II which costs about the same.

270EX II With Camera Remote Feature

The second piece of news might be a world-first: the flash now also serves as a camera remote. Looking at this photo, you can see the trigger button with the flash symbol:

Canon 270EX II remote button slave switch

Here’s how Canon describes the feature:
[The 270EX II] includes a new remote firing function and can remote fire any EOS DSLR camera that has a built-in wireless remote control function or Integrated Speedlite Transmitter such as the new Rebel T3i, EOS 60D, or EOS 7D DSLR.

This first seems a bit random, but here’s what it’s intended for:
Flash release function triggers the camera wirelessly from the flash on a 2-second delay, allowing the flash to be repositioned to illuminate the subject

That’s an interesting approach indeed. Put your camera on a tripod, and you can take photos while moving the light source around. Normally, you’d need to walk back and press the camera shutter each time.

Tech Specs

The 2 models Canon 270EX and 270EX II have been added now to the comparison database.

Canon 270EX specs vs 270EX II specifications

Finally, here are two more photos showing the tilt and “tele” feature. Please note that there are no improvements over the 270EX, which offered the same kind of adjustment.

Canon 270EX II tilt

Canon 270EX II tele zoom

Tomorrow, I’ll have a closer look at the other new speedlite, the very interesting 320EX – I’m sure this is only the first model in a new class of light gear to hit the shelves over the coming years.

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