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.
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.
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.
Nissin Di866-II, Metz 58 AF-1, Canon 580EX
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.