Canon Speedlite Roundup - 2024

1 January 2023

At Ted’s, we believe that artificial lighting is a must if you want consistently good exposures and you want to make the most of your high-quality digital camera. In saying that, we know that flash guns and video lighting are unfamiliar for most beginners, and just looking at available models and all of their features can be overwhelming.

With this roundup, we take a look at Canon’s Speedlite range and try and help you decide on which model is the best fit for you.

Canon Speedlite EL-100

 At the entry-point of the Canon Speedlite range, you find an excellent portable Speedlite, the EL-100. Perfect for beginners, the EL-100 is very lightweight at just 190 grams, while it contains enough features for you to fully embrace flash photography for the first time. This includes a bounce head, an optical receiver that allows you to fire the flash when it is off-camera, as well as stroboscopic and 2nd curtain sync.

The compact Canon EL-100 has a guide number of 26 and its head tilts up so you can experience a bit of bounce flash.

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Canon Speedlite 430EX III

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As its name suggests, the Canon 430EX III has a little history, being the third in its series. It features numerous advancements, resulting in it featuring faster and quieter recycling performance. This flash will be ready to fire again before you know it, and it won’t distract others around you with loud operating sounds.

The guide number of this flash is 43, it can be used as a slave unit in a wireless setup, and it features a swivelling flash head which is more versatile in movement than the entry-level EL-100, so you can explore more advanced flash techniques.

Canon Speedlite 430EX III RT

Like the 430 EX III, the Canon Speedlite 430 EX III RT features a guide number of 43, fast and quiet recycle times, and a versatile bounce head. Where this Speedlite differs from the 430 EX III, is the crucial addition of a 2.4 GHz wireless triggering system which unleashes both master and slave capabilities. This radio flash system allows the flash to communicate effortlessly with other flashes in a wireless setup, with less risk of communication failure. 

Traditional optical-based triggering relies on a line of sight being maintained between the units, which can sometimes lead to performance issues.

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Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI

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The Canon Speedlite 470 EX-AI is home to a unique feature that sets it apart from the rest of the range, and any other flashgun on the market for that matter. This feature is referred to as AI bounce, and it basically means the flash takes measurements of the distance between you and your subject and the ceiling above you, allowing it to set the optimal bounce angle for beautiful, natural-looking bounce flash results. This is a technique that often takes years to master manually, so this innovation is sure to come in handy for many up and coming photographers. 

The 470EX-AI features a guide number of 47, an AF assist beam to help with focusing and an optical receiver for it to act as a slave in a wireless setup.

Canon MR-14EX II Macro Ringlite Flash

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If you are keen on Macro photography, you have probably heard of the usefulness of Ring Lights when it comes to improving your work. The Canon MR-14EX II is the perfect Speedlite for this close-up work, with its flash tubes being positioned around the front of your lens to provide an even spread of light. The dual tubes can be adjusted independently for versatile lighting effects, while the guide number of 14, when combined with the close range of your subjects, allows you to shoot with small apertures to maximise the details within your images. 

Compatible with the full range of EOS DSLRs, this flash unit transmits white balance data to your camera, which improves the accuracy of auto white balance.

Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT

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The classy Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT features radio flash triggering, like the 430 EX III-RT which we mentioned earlier, allowing it to communicate and fire multiple flashes in a wireless setup at a range of up to 30 meters. As a top of the range unit, this Speedlite can be used as a master, controlling up to 15 flash guns in 5 different groups.  Perfect for professional photographers, the 600EX II-RT features a guide number of 60, and it can automatically detect and adjust for a wide 20-200mm zoom range, and an even wider 14mm using the built-in adapter.  

This 600EX II-RT is a vast improvement over its predecessors, which is highlighted by its ability to capture up to 50% more flashes in a continuous burst - you will never miss a shot with this high-end Canon Speedlite.

Canon Speedlite EL-1

Quite comfortably the flagship model in the range, the Canon Speedlite EL-1 is in fact the most powerful and full-featured Canon has released so far. In a first for a flash gun, the EL-1 has been deemed as worthy of L-Series membership - this is not only thanks to its fantastic performance features but also its rugged weather-sealed build. Thanks to this toughness, the EL-1 can be trusted by demanding professionals to light up their most important work, whether that is taking place in the studio or out on location. 

In performance is where the true power of the Canon Speedlite EL-1 can be realised. This lithium battery powered flash gun features a guide number of 60m at ISO 100, with 14-stops of power adjustment. It recharges at a lightning-fast speed and is capable of up to 160 flashes in a continuous burst. A perfect fit for photographers of various types and with various goals in mind, the Speedlite EL-1 features dual LED modeling lights for video lighting, a versatile swivelling bounce head and advanced wireless functionality.

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Canon Speedlite EL-5 Flash

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A recent addition to the Canon Speedlite range, the EL-5 is compatible with the newer EOS R mirrorless camera releases that feature the newest multi-function shoe, which at the time of writing includes the EOS R3, R6 II, R7 & R10. As well as a strong guide number of 60, the EL-5 is notable for its blistering speed, boasting figures such as 0.1-1.2 seconds recharge, and up to 95 continuous flash bursts. These specifications obviously make it less likely that you will ever have to go without flash to capture a split-second image.

The Canon Speedlite EL-5 can automatically adjust its output to match any scene, making it ideal for mixing artificial and ambient lighting for a more natural finished image. It also includes an AF-assist beam and a built-in LED modelling lamp for versatile usage. Rounding up the feature set is a rugged weather-sealed build that allows the flash to be enjoyed in studio settings and on-location and a long-life lithium rechargeable battery.



Canon Speedlite EL-10 Flash

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The Canon Speedlite EL-10 is a compact and reliable flash option for photographers who value both portability and durability. Powered by readily available AA batteries, it's ideal for outdoor use thanks to its weather-sealed construction. The intuitive interface, featuring a joystick, dial, and clear LCD screen, allows for quick and effortless control over settings. Notably, the EL-10 boasts impressive wireless capabilities, enabling control of up to 15 additional Speedlite flashes from distances of up to 98 feet, perfect for creating complex lighting setups.

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Whether you are looking for a flashgun to improve your Macro or Indoor Portrait Photography results, hopefully, this roundup has helped you identify which Speedlite is the most suitable for you and your Canon EOS camera. 

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