Flash for Canon – Speedlites with ETTL

A flash for Canon must be compatible with ETTL (II) for automatic exposure control. To get this you don’t have to buy a speedlite from Canon. Alternatives include flashes from Nissin, Yongnuo, Metz, Sunpak, Sigma or Vivitar, to name the main manufacturers.

Flashes for Canon with ETTL

Below are 2 lists of brands and models with approximate cost, power (guide number), wireless features and links to full specs and in-depth reviews to help selecting your Canon camera flash.
 
   Contents

   Flash for Canon – Current ETTL Models
   Discontinued ETTL Speedlites (buy used)
   Recommended Flashes For Canon

Flash for Canon – Current ETTL Models

Which flash for Canon should you buy? There’s choice between the speedlites from Canon covering entry-level to professional use, but there are also great and sometimes really cheap alternatives. In the table below, click on the ‘specs’ link for detail information, or on ‘review’ for test results and evaluation.
 
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Discontinued Flashes For Canon Digital

External flashes don’t get old and obsolete as quickly as camera bodies. In fact, they maintain their usefulness and value quite well over the years. Just note that Canon has modernized their ETTL (II) protocol over time and there are incompatibilities sometimes. In many (but not all) cases firmware updates can be made.
 
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Recommended Flashes For Canon

There are some cheap alternatives to Canon flash units on the market and there’s no necessity to buy from Canon. The recommendations below are based on value within a defined price range. In addition, speedlites are only recommended if also practically usable for off-camera flash with low-cost radio triggers like RF-602.

   Speedlite < $100
   Yongnuo 465, Yongnuo 468

   $100-$200 range
   Nissin Di622 Mark II, Yongnuo 565EX

   $200-$300
   Canon 430EX II, Nissin Di866, Canon 430EX

   $300-$400
   Nissin Di866-II, Metz 58 AF-1, Canon 580EX

   Above $400
   Canon 580EX II (Metz 58 AF-2)
 
The above tables don’t claim to be 100% complete, but they list the main alternatives to consider when buying a speedlite for Canon in August 2011. Pricing information is approximate.

Pls understand there can’t be any warranty for the accuracy of information provided here. Leave a comment or send an email to fransener (at) speedlights.net if you find any mistakes.


4 Responses to Flash for Canon – Speedlites with ETTL

  1. Max says:

    Hello fransener,
    thank you for this great site and nice reviews (keep them coming:)
    I’m buying 3rd flash (already I have 2 sunpak 383 which are great),
    and in the shorten list for the third are: Nissin Di622 Mark II (at 205$, it this getting expensive or what),
    Metz mecablitz 50 AF-1 (for 230$) or Canon 430EX II (at 284$). 90% of the time I will use it off camera. Can u please give me some friendly advice because you worked with all tree of them (guess 48af1 and 50af1 are almost the same). Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,
    Max

  2. Bhasin says:

    Please recomend a Yongnou flash compatible with Canon SX30 IS
    Thanks

  3. Ampuh says:

    I’am newbie on strobish,… would you help to to decided which one the best for master, and witch one for the slave..? (I use Canon 7D…)
    Thanks

  4. Reece says:

    Nice site. This has made my choice a lot easier to make. I’m still kind of unsure If I should get the Canon 430ExII or the Nissin Di866. I’m really leaning towards the Nissin because of the Commander mode and I wanna get into off camera flash photography. I probably won’t buy anymore flashes though until I master it but I think it would be better to get one that can act as a master unit if I could under $400.

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