Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by seanmichaelpritchard
It is a common belief that the best flash for your camera is not the built-in one. External flashes are needed for best effects.
The best camera flash for Canon will give far more control over lighting. Speedlite’s or strobes are capable of much more than simply illuminating dark areas; they help with giving better lighting and freeze framing the action.
However, several different manufacturers produce numerous flashes, ranging from well-known brands to third-party manufacturers that produce some competent devices. The critical element is that they are all ‘special’ flashguns, built to connect with and work with specific camera brands.
At a glance:
- Canon Speedlite EL-1 – Canon’s flagship flashgun
- Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT – Best Canon flash for professionals
- Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT – Best for enthusiast-level cameras
- Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II – Best low cost Canon alternative
- Godox V1 Flash for Canon – Best Godox flash for Canon
The specific camera brand in this article is Canon. So, grab your Canon and get ready to make your choice.
Here are, in my opinion, the top five flashes for Canon in 2022:
Canon Speedlite EL-1 – Canon’s flagship flashgun
The Speedlite EL-1 is designed to match the capabilities of Canon’s interchangeable-lens cameras and features the same weather resistance as the EOS-1D X series.
It is the first flash capable of sequentially firing up to 150 flashes and includes an upgraded active cooling process that uses an internal fan to supply consistent flash performance over extended durations of photography shooting. Additionally, it features a 0.9-second recycle time, and an adjustable bi-color LED modeling lamp that enables photographers to visualize where and how light will fall on their subject.
Photographers using the Canon Speedlite EL-1 flash can change output throughout a 14-step range, including a new low-power setting of 1/8192th of total power. This flash may be connected to up to 15 other flashes for studio-level performance, and the radio wireless transmission mode selection includes second-curtain synchro.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack LP-EL provides around 335 flashes at maximum power or up to 2320 in the lowest output mode. The addition of a joystick control and an upgraded LCD screen creates a more intuitive interface that enables photographers to swiftly explore the menu settings.
- Weather-resistant. Get creative with your flash photography whatever the conditions!
- Easy-to-use interface with joystick control.
- Strong enough to turn an overcast day into a bright night.
- Integrated cooling system.
- A little oversized.
Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT – Best Canon flash for professionals
Canon’s top-of-the-line Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash now features faster continuous fire for high-frame rate shooting and burst photography. While the gadget keeps wireless shooting capabilities via radio and optical communication, it enhances flash firing times using AA batteries by 1.1 to 1.5x and when using the new CP-E4N add-on battery pack by up to 2x. Continuous firing has improved due to improved heat dissipation and firing algorithms.
Photographers will chase the Speedlite 600EX II-RT flashgun due to its increased number of continuous flashes.
The flash has a guide number of 197ft/60m, identical to its predecessor, and the zoom flash head has a range of 20-200mm. It can control five groups (or less) of compatible flash units, has a simplified button and dial operation, and is weather and dust resistant.
The Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash is designed to work with most Canon EOS cameras.
- Effective wireless flash photography support.
- Resistant to water and dust.
- Excellent for creative flash photography.
- Full-power flash recycle can be a bit slow.
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT – Best for enthusiast-level cameras
Canon is bringing radio flash functionality from their flagship models to the mid-range Speedlite 430EX III-RT, which has a wireless triggering device (2.4 GHz) with master and slave technology.
The addition of 150° right has enhanced bounce, 180° left rotation capabilities, a 90° upward tilt, and features a dot-matrix LCD and multi-dial aid in the menu navigation.
Along with the newly integrated radio technology for wireless flash photography, optical slave transmission remains an option for enhanced functionality. The electronics of the Speedlite 430EX III-RT have been accelerated, with a recycle time of 0.1 to 3.5 seconds and a quick mode that reduces this to 2.5 seconds. Additionally, it includes better flash exposure compensation and light distribution options for fine-tuning the output settings.
This flash unit is very versatile, with first, second, and high-speed curtain sync modes and a range of custom options for customizing the Speedlite to your specifications, helping you focus on your photography and being creative. A bounce adapter and color filter features are included for fine-tuning the flash’s brightness and color temperature for stable lighting.
- TTL metering is highly accurate.
- Extremely quick, yet silent recycling.
- Infrared autofocus illuminator integrated.
- There is no mode for usage with non-TTL cameras from the past.
- Does not interface with early 35mm EOS or FD cameras.
- There is no stroboscopic repeat mode.
Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II – Best low cost Canon alternative
At first appearance, the Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II resembles a Canon flash, with the swivel flash head and button arrangement, with the exception of some details.
The Yongnuo can function as a master or slave unit and features wireless flash shooting for triggering additional Canon 600EX-RT II or Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II flash units. This will help take you flash photography to new creative levels.
Other camera bodies and prior generations of Canon flash units may perform differently, so be sure to compare the Yongnuo to what you prefer. If you require an off-camera setup, you can get a Yongnuo radio trigger for it. These will also vary depending on the flash units and camera you use, so always double-check before buying.
Although the Yongnuo seems quite sturdy, it looks so fragile that a little fall might spell its end, unlike the Canon. By looking at the build quality, it’s easy to see how Yongnuo achieved the lower price point for the same level of features.
The Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II provides TTL/M/Multi flash modes in addition to a slew of Canon-like capabilities, including high-speed synchronization, auto and manual zooming – 20-200mm, and firmware upgrades. Although nearly identical, the light emitted by each unit may occasionally vary slightly.
- Protection against overheating.
- Energy-saving mode.
- Recently used settings are automatically saved.
- Firmware updates via USB.
- AA battery usage.
Godox V1 Flash for Canon – Best Godox flash for Canon
Looking for the best Godox flash for Canon?
The Godox V1 is an add-on flash that works with all mainstream camera systems and outperforms the offerings of first-party manufacturers. Its round head produces light similar to that of a studio strobe, and its long-lasting rechargeable battery eliminates the need to fiddle with AA batteries. It’s a capable performer that can be used off-camera with the optional wireless remote.
All versions are visually identical, but the difference is in the foot. The connectors on each version correspond to the contacts on your camera’s hot shoe, enabling automatic TTL metering. Manual power control is also available if desired, as is high speed sync (HSS) at 1/8,000-second if your camera’s shutter is capable of firing at that speed.
Weighing 1.2 pounds and measuring 7.8 by 3.0 by 3.7 inches, its flash head revolves and tilts, allowing for direct or indirect illumination. The light falloff is smoother, and there is no hotspot in the center, as with a fresnel head speedlite.
The Godox V1 is equipped with a brand-new battery, the VB26. This is a 2600mAh 7.2volt battery.
Charging is carried out through the included USB-C charger, which is smaller than its predecessors. However, this device just has one LED, which is red when charging and green when completed. Kudos to its compact size which helps when moving.
- Multi-system TTL support.
- Best Godox flash for Canon.
- Cool round flash head.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Runs with and without a camera (with transmitter).
- 1/8000-second high-speed synchronization.
- Firmware is upgradeable.
- Charger is not compatible with all USB-C cords
- Wireless transmitter available for purchase separately
Hopefully you enjoyed this breakdown looking for the best camera flash for Canon.
The use of flash in photography can really help you get creative! Don’t forget to have fun!
Which of them are you picking for your next shoot or trip?
Check out this article on the top Canon RF lenses for some more inspiration!
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