Canon speedlight choices

Anton Largiader

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Canon has dropped the 600 from their website. For conventional flashes, only the 430EXiii-RT lives on from the EX series. Everything else is the newer EL series:
  • EL-1 - the big daddy. $1099, and sold out!! GN 60m fully zoomed, rechargeable LP-EL battery, modeling light, super fast recycle time. 5-pin foot; needs the AD-E1 for use with a camera having only the multifunction shoe.
  • EL-5 - same GN, modeling light and battery as EL-1. Radio slave and master. Only has the multifunction shoe contacts so will not work with cameras having only the 5-pin shoe. $350.
  • EL-100 - GN 21~26m, seems to be a smaller version of the 430. AA batteries, 5-pin foot. IR slave and master. Only $150!
The macro flashes MR-14EX ii (ring) and MT-26-EX RT (twin) are still sold.
 
Another thing to notice is that whilst the EL-1 retains an input connector for an external battery pack, such as Canon’s CP-E4/E4N Compact Battery Packs, the EL-5 does not have this connector, it can only run off the internal battery.

Dennis
 
Anton Largiader said:
EL-5...Only has the multifunction shoe contacts so will not work with cameras having only the 5-pin shoe.

Hmmm...while there is lots of used Canon flash on the market, with the traditional hotshoe connector layout, it appears that Canon is taking an active role in the obsolescence of the dSLR lineup by making it difficult for dSLR owners to buy a brand new compatible flash unit with the Canon name, only the low powered EL-100 is available for users with traditional hotshoe.
 
Hmmm...while there is lots of used Canon flash on the market, with the traditional hotshoe connector layout, it appears that Canon is taking an active role in the obsolescence of the dSLR lineup by making it difficult for dSLR owners to buy a brand new compatible flash unit with the Canon name, only the low powered EL-100 is available for users with traditional hotshoe.
Oddly, the R100 (one of the most recent R models) has only the 5-pin shoe. So it's in the same boat as those DSLRs: either the EL-100 or the EL-1. And at this point, only the EL-5 has a real compatibility issue because the AD-E1 deals with everything else. But I agree that there's an issue brewing because when the 430 goes away the EL-5 will be the only traditional flash as far as performance and cost go, and it won't work on some cameras period unless you use radio.
 
will an ST-E3-RT fire an EL-5? I'm guessing no?

i rarely put the flash on the camera itself, so using the ST-E3-RT would become my work around (R6 does not have intelligent hot shoe)
 
Hmmm...while there is lots of used Canon flash on the market, with the traditional hotshoe connector layout, it appears that Canon is taking an active role in the obsolescence of the dSLR lineup by making it difficult for dSLR owners to buy a brand new compatible flash unit with the Canon name, only the low powered EL-100 is available for users with traditional hotshoe.

wonder how much of that is about sales numbers (or lack therof)
 
I don't see why it wouldn't. To the best of my knowledge there is IR and there's radio, and all of the radio stuff should work together. I don't think there's been a change in radio protocol.
 
... only the low powered EL-100 is available for users with traditional hotshoe.
I missed this before. The EL-1 and the EL-100 (and the 430 while it's still around) work with that shoe. Only the EL-5 is MF shoe only. But the EL-5 essentially replaced the 580/600 series as the $300-$500 flagship conventional flash, so yes that's a big part of the pie to lose access to. People with $400 cameras aren't going to spend $1100 for an EL-1. For now, fortunately, they can still buy the 430. Or buy the EL-5 and the ST-E3-RT and go handheld.
 
The El-1 is suffering from “ Link Drop” like the Canon 600 EX-RT. What was once a very reliable System, the 600 EX-RT is suffering from “Interference“ today. Canon has not isolated the situation even though they want you to ship units to Costa Mesa.
Very unfortunat.
 
There are plenty of options for DSLR owners at much better prices than what Canon has offered. If I were starting over I would go directly to Godex/Flashoint and start working with a flash system, rather than just a flash from Canon.

I've been thinking about getting a small flash to use for indoor family candid photos. It was an overcast day yesterday and I was way up there in ISO trying to keep shutter speeds high enough to catch kids moving about. Any recommendations that aren't enormous?
 
For on-camera? My 430EXii has been a fantastic workhorse. I bought it for exactly what you say (general family use) because it was smaller (and less expensive, but definitely smaller) than the 580. The 430 has, over time, seemed to be more reliable than the 580 series in general.

Any of the Canon 5-pin flashes will work with your two cameras, and the current 430 can be a Canon radio master for other flashes. If you want to expand into remote strobes later on, the 430 can be triggered directly by certain 3rd-party systems, or by a receiver for certain others (like Godox). With some studio lights, I'm currently using my 430 as a hair light with PocketWizard triggers.

Quite possibly the even smaller EL-100 would be appropriate. I don't have experience with any of the smaller Canon flashes. Some of the smaller EX series flashes were limited in rotation, but I don't think the EL-100 is.

A lot of people like the Godox system that Bob mentioned for the integration. Depends where you think you are going to go with lighting; this may or may not be meaningful for you. If you think you are going to be sticking with on-camera E-TTL, you don't need all of that.
 
There are plenty of options for DSLR owners at much better prices than what Canon has offered. If I were starting over I would go directly to Godex/Flashoint and start working with a flash system, rather than just a flash from Canon.
It used to be that one could select from quality aftermarket brands (rather than Canon brand) for flash units, and these were supported post-sales with repair/parts support by the companies distributing these products. Sadly, now the aftermarket of 'compatible' flash units seems primarily consisting of companies which (in the US) have zero repair/parts availability in the post-warranty period, with follow-on limited to post-warranty extra cost (optional) policy by retailer.
 
Well I consider myself pretty knowledgable AND HAVE MUCH EXPERTISE shooting professionally when it comes to speed lights for Canon cameras. I have used them all as a wedding photographer. Its hard to beat the canon 600's, 580's and 430's for flash need if your mounting to a hot shoe and using as a solo flash. Very few misfires. The drawbacks are AA battery use and the huge draw back is extended use..... at +1 will cause flash tubes to fry. Thats a $200 repair. The advantages are very reliable TTL

Profoto's A10 is excellent but it was $1100 a few years ago which is now canons standard price. I found it very reliable for in Manual mode. However, I rented it to try and had a hard time trying to get it to work with TTL use. Difficult enough that I only used in in M mode and I was not impressed with battery life

Godox V860's and round heads are a good deal for the price point. They are excellent in Manual mode HOWEVER terrible and not reliable with extended TTL use. They misfire like crazy and you get a lot of BLOW OUT shots with TTL use. This was my big pet peeve with the godox light line up. So much so, that I ended up using a AD200 and a small portable stand for reception flash needs. Battery life for godox is by far the best in the industry for speedlights..... and they work well in A,B,C use when you want to fire light i at different directions....the AD200's are superior in every way for multiple flash use needs ( at receptions ) with the 2.4 trigger. Its flawless. I never had a single misfire in the 7+ years that I used them, however......THEY ARE NOT A SPEED LIGHT THAT IS GOING TO SIT IN A HOT SHOE for reception and getting ready needs. A speed light that sits in a hot shoe in invaluable, especially when you can bounce.

Canons 600's are the best speed lights to get for single hot shoe speed light use. You have to put up with AA battery use but they are extremely reliable for TTL needs. Rare to get a misfire until the flash tube starts to fail. when you start seeing misfires and blow outs in TTL use with the 600's then its time to send it to Canon for repairs

My light set ups since 2014 were Godox 600 strobes for outdoor lighting and Godox AD200 for sunset low lighting needs and reception lighting needs and I used theV860's a lot as well as the Canon 600's. I stopped using the 600's because I use TTL a lot at receptions and I was constantly sending in flashes for the $200 repairs. So I put up with the V860 misfires.

I have been a wedding photographer since 2007..now retired....over 800 weddings...Single use hot shoe speed light needs were my biggest headache for reasons I listed above. However, for OCF needs, there is no better lighting to use than the Godox strobes. I used 600's and 200 with the 2.4 trigger since 2014 and I used the 360's and 180's prior to that. I think they came out around 2011.......probably close to 500 weddings with Godox strobes.....never had a single misfire with Godox strobes....excellent choice for OCF strobe needs. Reliability is a must for wedding needs. You cant miss shot opportunities.

FOR Single use flash Hot shoe needs- If I were shooting PROFESSIONALLY today then I would bite the bullet and get canons current top of the line speed light or I would bite the bullet and get profoto A10.....PERSONAL USE...GET THE GODOX SPEED LIGHTS
 
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It might be time for the Title fairy to acknowledge Michael's appearance here. Or maybe we now need to earn new titles?

Michael, are the 430s really as prone to blown bulbs as the others? Back when I bought mine, it just wasn't a thing with 430s whereas the 580s seemed to be known for failing when pushed hard for a long time. IIRC there were some overheating concerns with both that and the 600, but maybe the 430 generally wasn't used as hard.
 
For on-camera? My 430EXii has been a fantastic workhorse. I bought it for exactly what you say (general family use) because it was smaller (and less expensive, but definitely smaller) than the 580. The 430 has, over time, seemed to be more reliable than the 580 series in general.

Any of the Canon 5-pin flashes will work with your two cameras, and the current 430 can be a Canon radio master for other flashes. If you want to expand into remote strobes later on, the 430 can be triggered directly by certain 3rd-party systems, or by a receiver for certain others (like Godox). With some studio lights, I'm currently using my 430 as a hair light with PocketWizard triggers.

Its hard to beat the canon 600's, 580's and 430's for flash need if your mounting to a hot shoe and using as a solo flash. Very few misfires. The drawbacks are AA battery use and the huge draw back is extended use..... at +1 will cause flash tubes to fry. Thats a $200 repair. The advantages are very reliable TTL


FOR Single use flash Hot shoe needs- If I were shooting PROFESSIONALLY today then I would bite the bullet and get canons current top of the line speed light or I would bite the bullet and get profoto A10.....PERSONAL USE...GET THE GODOX SPEED LIGHTS

I have honestly never taken a photo with a flash (on or off camera) so I'd assume I'd be doing TTL first with some power compensation at the beginning and for the foreseeable future.

One thing that is surprising to me is how big all of these flashes are. I'll keep looking around and maybe rent one before buying...
 
I wish I had a brick & mortar camera store near me so I could see these new ones in person. All we have now is Best Buy and Crutchfield, and they stock very little. I'm hoping to get down to Raleigh in the next few weeks and I will drop in at Peace Camera and Southeastern Camera.
 
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