Whether you are doing it for fun or as a profession, photography needs the ideal set of accessories for you to get the perfect results that you were looking for.
One such item is a camera flash, and it is the part that provides the light necessary for a photo to be taken. It does not matter how much of a pro you are, but if you mess up in this part, then you can only expect a horrible end product.
An external flash not only offers more light, but you could also expect better battery life since it comes with its power source.
In this article, we are going to focus on how you could get the best flash for Canon DSLR since there are many different brands in the market which would confuse you.
For instance, we shall answer the question, “What factors should I consider when I go shopping for an external flash for my Canon Camera?”. These factors include:
- The guide number
- Recycle speed
- The automatic zoom
Recharge time, and so on. Let’s break down the details further for you.
Canon Flash Models: A Comparison Table
Before we get to these factors, let’s start by analyzing some models of external flashes which we believe are some of the best available.
|1||Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite||4 x 8.7 x 3.15 inches||10.6 ounces|
|2||Canon Speedlight 600EX II-RT||10 x 8.5 x 6.9 inches||47.04 ounces|
|3||Altura Photo Flash Diffuser Light Softbox||10 x 6 x 1 inches||2.4 ounces|
|4||Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlite||4.33 x 3.54 x 8.27 inches||18.4 ounces|
|5||AmazonBasics Electronic Flash||2.01 x 2.01 x 7.01 inches||9.5 ounces|
|6||Canon 270EX II Speedlite Flash||3.03 x 2.59 x 2.57 inches||5.5 ounces|
|7||Altura Photo AP-UNV2 Bundle Flash||8.54 x 6.34 x 4.61 inches||18.88 ounces|
|8||Neewer NW-670 TTL Flash Speedlite||4.33 x 3.35 x 8.27 inches||13.6 ounces|
|9||Neewer Translucent Softbox||8.46 x 5.98 x 0.98 inches||2.22 ounces|
|10||Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash||4.1 x 4.2 x 2.9 inches||10.4 ounces|
|11||ESDDI Flash Speedlite||9.4 x 4 x 3.2 inches||18.4 ounces|
|12||Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash||2.8 x 4.8 x 4 inches||11.6 ounces|
1. Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
If you are a beginner, it would be wise if you go for a simple flash that would not pose significant complications.
An excellent example of such a flash is the Neewer TT560 which is quite affordable, and besides Canon, it is also compatible with Nikon DSLRs.
This flash features very basic features including a wide-angle diffuser as well as a typical bounce card.
What’s more is that the power is adjustable in eight simple steps while the flash coverage is quite even, with minimal corner vignetting.
The flash can rotate up to 270-degrees plus tilts to 90-degrees. You may also appreciate the slave mode feature whereby you can set the flash to fire automatically as soon as it detects light from a different Speedlight.
The Neewer TT560 has simple and straightforward controls which would not pose any challenge to a beginner.
- Very affordable
- Features simple controls
- Has the slave mode feature
- Has no zoom head
2. Canon Speedlight 600EX II-RT
Are you a professional photographer looking for the ideal flash for your Canon camera? Well, the Speedlight 600EX II-RT is here form you.
It has an extremely fast recycle time, a feature which you may find useful in social events, model shoots and a host of other sessions that require high-speed photography.
The 600EX II-RT has highly advanced features, including the wireless system in both the RF and Infrared modes.
The RF mode has a range of 30m and is capable of working through objects as well as around corners.
You may also appreciate the motorized zoom with a range of 20 to 200m. Another useful feature is the repeat mode which is always close-by.
All these features are contained in a weather-resistant body that ensures the flash survives harsh environments.
- Weather-resistant body
- Has a wireless system
- Fast recycle time
- Too expensive
3. Altura Photo Flash Diffuser Light Softbox
This is another entry-level camera flash that you should try. For starters, it is a compact unit that folds down when not in use. This makes it very easy to store and transport as it would fit comfortably in your bag.
It features an integrated Velcro strap that ensures there is a secure fit around the flash head.
An impressive quality of this flash is the fact that it is compatible with most of the shoe mount flashes in existence, including Sony, Nikon, Nissin, Olympus, Panasonic, among others.
Then, the body is made out of high-quality materials that ensure you have a sturdy product that would last you for a long time to come.
We believe you are going to like the even lighting that minimizes harshness as well as softens the shadows. There is even an extra internal diffuser for a better wrapping around the light.
Let’s not leave out the rubber mounting grip that holds the diffuser firmly in place.
- Universal compatibility
- Foldable and portable
- Easy to use
- The sides are not well made
4. Neewer 750II TTL Flash Speedlite
Powered by 4 AA batteries, the Neewer 750II is a powerful flash with a high guide number of 58. It has a recycle time of three seconds, and this makes it well-suited for covering various social functions.
It is relatively easy to operate, and this makes the flash ideal for beginners. Then, the LCD allows you to make accurate settings of various aspects, including the brightness.
The Neewer 750II has a horizontal rotation angle of 0 to 270-degrees and a vertical rotation angle of 0 to 90-degrees.
Other notable features include overheat protection and automatic temperature detection. Let’s also mention the power saving mode that helps in preserving battery life.
Lastly, the flash also supports Multi-flash and TTL auto-flash mode.
- Easy to operate
- Has the overheat protection feature
- Has no high-speed sync
5. AmazonBasics Electronic Flash
Just as the name suggests, this is a very basic camera flash with an unbeatable low price.
It has a guide number of 33 plus it allows you to have full control over the light output courtesy of the built-in diffuser, eight adjustable brightness levels as well as the rotating and tilting flash head.
The three flash modes, Manual mode, Slave mode 1 and Slave mode 2, make this flash quite versatile. Let’s also mention the wireless sensor whose purpose is to trigger flashes from a great distance.
This electronic flash can work with a host of cameras, and this compatibility is even greater when in manual mode.
- Reasonable price
- Easy to use
- Comes with a carrying bag
- The slave mode is not consistent
6. Canon 270EX II Speedlite Flash
The Canon 270EX offers the perfect combination between compactness, light weight and performance. At 155g, this is a lightweight unit that would not make the camera too bulky when mounted. This makes it comfortable for long hours of use.
What’s more, is that it is relatively compact so that it would easily fit into your bag whenever you are on the move.
When it comes to power, only two AA batteries are necessary for the job.
Although the flash head is not movable, it offers a vertical bounce of up to 90-degrees, which gives you a range of options when it comes to taking photos.
We shall conclude by mentioning the guide number of 22m at 28mm as well as the flash coverage that you could easily interchange between Normal and Tele.
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to use
- Needs only 2 AA batteries to power it
- Could have come with an English manual
7. Altura Photo AP-UNV2 Bundle Flash
Do you have a friend who is into photography? If you do, then make a point of surprising him/her with the Altura AP-UNV2 as the person is likely to appreciate the extra items that the flash comes with.
The flash has a vertical rotation of 90-degrees and a horizontal rotation of 270-degrees. Then, the guide number of 38 should be enough to tell you that you are dealing with flash with a great capacity.
Another useful point is that the AP-UNV2 flash has three different modes, which include Manual, Slave 1 and Slave 2 modes.
You may also appreciate the infrared remote control that you could use to set your camera’s shutter and autofocus feature.
When you purchase this flash, some of the extra items in the package include a flash stand, four Polaroid batteries, a wide-angle flash diffuser, and a drawstring pouch.
- A very powerful flash
- Comes with bonus items
- Ideal for different types of environment
- Flimsy construction
8. Neewer NW-670 TTL Flash Speedlite
It is no surprise that Newer makes it to our list again since the brand has made its name over the years for producing high-quality and affordable photography gear.
Well, the NW-670 TTL does not deviate from the high standards set. First, it has a high guide number of 58, and this should be an assurance of how powerful this flash is.
Then, you may also be impressed by how this flash is compatible with most of the cameras in the market.
On top of that, the NW-670 TTL features an LCD that allows you to manage the settings more effectively.
Most of the functions are easy to operate, and this makes this flash suited for the beginners.
Other handy features include the power saving mode that enhances longer battery life and overheat protection.
- Fast recycle time
- Easy to use
- Not durable
9. Neewer Translucent Softbox
This model from the Neewer brand is popular with professional photographers, especially from the modeling industry due to the high-quality and clear images that it produces.
We can attribute this to the softbox action of creating an even lighting, and this brings out the clear images.
Once the harshness is reduced, and the shadows softened, then you can expect nothing less than outstanding photos.
The flash is made out of high-quality materials, and this should ensure that it serves you for a long time to come.
Another benefit of this flash is the simplicity that it brings. The assembly is quite easy, and once you are done, you should appreciate the foldability of this flash since it would give you an easy time in storage and transportation.
Lastly, we have minimal complaints about the pricing as it seems to be very fair.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Durable construction
- Foldable for easy storage
- Too small for some
10. Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash
It may be pricey, but it should be easy for you to see why we believe the Speedlite 430EX is worth every cent it costs.
For starters, it is incredibly versatile, and you could use it in most environments, including poorly lit areas, weddings, portraits, parks, and so on.
Then, it is extremely powerful with a maximum guide number of 141ft at ISO 100 and 105mm. Additionally, it only needs four AA batteries for powering and may even last up to 1200 flash triggers without replacing the cells.
This flash has a very user-friendly control panel, and a fast recycle time of between 0.1-0.33 seconds.
The Speedlite 430EX is a compact unit that can tilt upwards by 90-degrees, 150-degrees to the right and 180-degrees to the left. As a result, it is capable of covering more directions.
- Fast recycle time
- Very expensive
11. ESDDI Flash Speedlite
This is another budget-friendly option with a set of impressive features which ensure that it delivers a decent performance.
Let’s start with the guide number of 35, which means that you will be having a pretty powerful unit in your hands that you could subject to different uses.
Then, it features four different modes, which are manual, standard, S1, and S2 modes. The flash allows you to control the power output manually and you would do this via the keypad buttons as well as changing through the eight power levels available.
The LCD panel makes it easier for you to access the controls and information for proper operation of the unit.
What’s more, is the fast recycle time that ranges between 0.5 to 5 seconds, and it depends on your ideal power output.
There is also the power saving mode that is handy in enhancing battery life. On top of that, the ESSDI flash has overheat protection to keep your product safe from excess temperature.
- Has three flash modes available
- Fast recycle time
- Powerful with a guide number of 35
- Battery life not that good
12. Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
The last item on our list is the Speedlite 430EX II which is a versatile flash that any professional photographer would appreciate having.
First is the guide number of 43, which is pretty decent. It also features a 24-105mm zoom head with silent operation.
The unit is well-built, including the metal foot to make it sturdy and durable.
Speedlite 430EX II is powered by four AA batteries and is extremely lightweight and compact to ensure it does not drag you down when you carry it around with you.
You may also appreciate the recycle time, which is quite fast and this makes the flash ideal for weddings and modeling shoots.
What’s more, is that the Speedlite 430EX II has a one-touch lock mechanism that would make it easy for you to attach/detach the flash from the camera.
Lastly, all the flash settings can be accessed and adjusted from the camera menu.
- Sturdy construction
- Easy to attach/detach from the camera
- Easy to use
- The buttons are hard to press
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The Buying Guide
Once you understand that there are countless brands of external flash available in the market, then you would know why the process of selecting the best among them may not be as straightforward as you would like.
Therefore, you need to narrow down your search, and you could do this by focusing on several important factors. We have discussed them below.
The Guide Number
The GN is what describes the light intensity of a flash, and you could tell the distance which you can take photos.
That being said, ensure you get a flash with a high guide number as this would be an assurance that you are dealing with a high-quality product that would deliver the best results.
This feature is affected by factors such as the power source, electronic filling, etc.
A high recycle speed is always ideal and would be especially handy for photographers who take a lot of photos in quick succession, for example, news photographers, wedding shoots, model shoots, among others.
Before you purchase any external flash, you need to be sure that it is compatible with the camera you are using. Some flashes are only compatible with single manufacturers, while others can be used with different cameras.
The ideal flash should take minimal time to recharge before you get to use it again. There are advanced flashes that can take numerous photos without the need to recharge, while some need a couple of seconds after every shot taken.
Although most of the best flashes tend to be extremely pricey, you could always find budget-friendly options that would still deliver a decent performance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The following queries and their responses should give you a better understanding of the Canon camera flashes.
What is a Guide Number?
This is simply a way of measuring how bright the flash is. A high guide number is an indicator of a powerful flash, and it is measured differently in different brands.
What factors should I look out for when I go shopping for the ideal flash for my Canon Camera?
Some of the factors that would boost your chances of landing the best product include the recycle speed, recharge time, the build quality, compatibility, the flash output, among others.
What gives a flash the universal compatibility feature?
The main reason that a makes it possible to use a flash on different cameras is the special mount that you could use for attaching to different brands.
The Best Overall
In the end, we have settled on the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite as our top pick. It is well-priced and easy to use such that anyone would be comfortable in using it.
We hope that our article has given you all the information that you need to make an informed choice next time you go shopping for a flash for your Canon DSLR. Above all, we wish you nothing but the best experience capturing those incredible shots.