Your camera’s built-in flash may seem enough for now but wait until you’re faced with serious professional photography! In that case, you’d realize that you need extra power. Talking about power, for Canon users, finding a compatible flash would be a really great accomplishment.
But while at it, always insist on the following factors:
- The GN value
- Recycle time
- Battery type & consumption rate
Let’s get practical by highlighting our top most preferred flash options.
Quality Flash For Canon Reviews – Comparison Chart
Too busy to read through several paragraphs of reviews? Below is a simple comparison chart we’ve prepared just for you.
|1||AmazonBasics DF500 Electronic Flash||2.01 x 2.01 x 7.01 inches||9.5 ounces|
|2||Canon 430EX III-RT Speedlite Flash||4.1 x 4.2 x 2.9 inches||10.4 ounces|
|3||Yongnuo YN560 IV Speedlite Flash||8.27 x 3.74 x 3.15 inches||12.3 ounces|
|4||Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT||4.8 x 3.1 x 5.6 inches||20.64 ounces|
|5||Neewer TT560 Canon Flash||4 x 8.7 x 3.15 inches||10.6 ounces|
|6||Altura Photo AP-UNV1 DLR Camera Flash||8.55 x 6.12 x 4.48 inches||24 ounces|
|7||Powerextra Professional DF-400 Camera||8 x 3.2 x 3 inches||12.8 ounces|
|8||ESDDI Flash Speedlite||9.4 x 4 x 3.2 inches||18.4 ounces|
|9||Neewer 10018281 Speedlite NW670 Flash||8.46 x 5.98 x 0.98 inches||2.22 ounces|
|10||Flash Diffuser Universal Softbox||10 x 6 x 1 inches||2.4 ounces|
1. AmazonBasics DF500 Electronic Flash
Designed to be compatible with Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, the DF500 from AmazonBasics is a top choice. It provides you with 3 flash modes meaning it’s highly versatile.
In a nutshell, you can play around with the Manual (M), Slave Mode 1 (S1) as well as Slave Mode 2 (S2). That’s pretty much all the freedom you need to capture some awe-inspiring shots.
Moving on, this unit boasts a standard PC synchronous port input. This comes in handy in off-camera connection. That’s alongside the fact that it has a wireless sensor which allows you to trigger flashes from a distance.
Yup, you’ve read that right. This unit has a wireless sensor for triggering remote shots. That’s in addition to the ability to tilt for up to 90 degrees as well as rotate up to 270 degrees.
- Wireless sensor
- Versatile flash-brightness control
- Incredible mode versatility
- Highly user-friendly
- Pretty low GN
2. Canon 430EX III-RT Speedlite Flash
If you’re looking for a Canon flash with a pretty decent guide number (GN), the Speedlite 430EX might just be the deal for you. Why so?
This rugged flash is designed with a maximum GN of 141ft (equivalent to 43 meters). However, that high guide number only kicks in at ISO 100.
In other words, you can only make good use of it when light sensitivity isn’t an issue. Otherwise, you’d struggle to work with it in poorly lit conditions.
Moving on, this flash comes in handy with its user-friendly control panel. That’s in addition to the fact that it comes with wireless controls.
As you know, wireless usability only tends to work with high-end flashes. Therefore, we’re glad to note that this is truly a value-packed piece of equipment.
- Nice, compact size
- Comes with a built-in diffuser dome
- Offers you a pretty fast recycle time
- Extremely user-friendly
- Lacks weather sealing
- Limited zoom range (14 to 105mm)
Also read: Top 10 Best lenses for shooting video on the Panasonic GH5
3. Yongnuo YN560 IV Speedlite Flash
What’s the best low-priced flash for canon that money can buy? We think the Yongnuo YN560 provides a superb choice.
First off, it has a compact body which provides you with space efficiency and also a sense of style. What’s more? In TX mode, this unit provides you full control over power and zooming abilities.
In RX mode, this one works like just any other piece of equipment from the same company (the YN560iii in particular).
Of course, you can also use this unit as a camera flash when necessary. On the flipside, though, this unit comes with controls that are relatively difficult to control.Its range, likewise, isn’t anything worth writing home about. It, however, seems to work just fine when used for shooting in mid-sized reception halls.
- Above average power
- Solidly built
- Affordably priced
- Great battery life
- Limited range
- Not the most reliable one in the pack
4. Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
Don’t mind forking out a few more dollars for good quality? This unit from Canon is one of the high-end ones on offer.
It boasts a superior recycle time which means you can comfortably use it even in fast action situations. What’s more? It has the power to accommodate multiple flashes with up to 5 groups of flashes.
In a nutshell, we’re talking about 100-700 flashes. And above all, this unit enjoys an incredible zoom flash range.
And with a guide number of 197feet (approximately 60M), this is certainly the most powerful unit reviewed so far.
It’s, however, worth keeping in mind that this powerful GN only kicks in at ISO 100. So, if you’re working in dimly lit conditions, the flash may not surprise you with its GN.
- Great performance even when continuous flash is used
- Great GN capacity
- Relatively good battery consumption rate
- Responsive performance
- Equipped with wireless communication
- Boasts a dust- and water-resistant body design
- Inconsistent speedlight when pushed to the limits
5. Neewer TT560 Canon Flash
Is it possible to find an under $50 canon flash? Well, if that’s the question bugging your mind right now, we’d like to introduce the TT560 to you.
First off, the unit has a humble guide number of 38. This is a bit low but not too bad considering its price.
One thing we particularly liked about it is that it is designed to offer a great rotation. Its vertical rotation currently stands at 0 to 90 degrees.
On the other hand, its horizontal rotation currently stands at 0 to 270 degrees. That’s a lot of freedom which also translates to better photo capture experience.
With a remarkable recycle time and a color temperature of 5600K, we think this would be a great system to use at any day.
- Great flash diffuser
- User-friendly design
- Great horse shoe stand, compatible with different DSLR cameras
- Affordably priced
- Lacks a battery power indicator
- Uses 4 AA batteries, wish it used AAAs
6. Altura Photo AP-UNV1 DLR Camera Flash
Yet another cheaply priced flash, the Altura is reputed for its ability to offer good value for money. It presents you with a GN of 38.
Of course, that’s not the highest we’ve come across so far but it’s still pretty decent. Best of all, you can always play around with its 3 modes.
These are the manual, S1 and S2 modes. We were, however, concerned that this flash didn’t deliver great results on TTL mode. The manufacturer also acknowledges this on all their sales copies.
Last but not least this unit is backed by a 1-year warranty. That’s alongside a 90-day money back guarantee.
That perhaps makes up for the fact that Altura isn’t really a popular name in this niche.
- Affordably priced
- Reasonably good GN rating
- Highly user-friendly
- Decent speedlight
- Great choice canon flash for beginners
- It’s clunky and you may require time to get used to it
7. Powerextra Professional DF-400 Camera Flash
This Speedlite flash beats all the odds by retailing at an under $30 price. So, yup, it’s possible to find a good camera flash under 30 – without breaking a sweat.
But as you’d expect, it’s low price means you have to sacrifice on a few things. For instance, even at an ISO 100 level, the best GN you can achieve is 33.
That’s the lowest GN we’ve come across so far. However, to make up for it, the PowerExtra boasts a recycle time of 3 seconds. That’s pretty fast and also power saving.
- Superior recycle time at its price
- Affordably priced
- Great hot shoe design
- Great rotation freedom
- It’s a beginner unit and lacks the bells and whistles needed for professional excellence
- Low GN rating
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8. ESDDI Flash Speedlite with Standard Hot Shoe
With a GN rating of 35 at ISO 100, this unit represents a good deal at its price range. We particularly like the fact that it provides great flexibility.
Picture this – the unit boasts a 0 to 270-degree tilting head. That’s in addition to a 7 to 90-degree vertical rotation.
Its recycle power is also pretty decent at 0.5-5s. Of course, it could have been better, but we weren’t expecting much at this price range.
So, will this suffice for professional use? No. We’d recommend it for entry-level photographers or those on a really tight budget.
Otherwise, everything else about it looks perfect. That’s from its flash duration, color temperature, power consumption, and power output.
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- Comes with a reliable flash diffuser
- A protection pouch is included
- Great battery consumption rate
- Above-average recycling time
- Great color temperature
- Low GN rating
- Doesn’t support TTL
9. Neewer 10018281 Speedlite NW670 Flash
If there’s one thing the NW670 is good at it is diffusing the flash. In fact, it comes with a well-thought-out softbox.
This goes a long way toward providing an evenly distributed light which also gives you the freedom to capture perfect shots.
On top of that, this flash boasts the ability to convert harsh light making it softer. In other words, this is your go-to device if you want to tame your light sources.
Moving on, this unit is quite easy to use. You only need to unfold the diffuser, attach a few fastening tapes and you’ll be ready to go.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that this is mainly a softbox. You’d need to invest in a speedlight and camera separately.
This explains the extremely low price of the entire unit.
- Great at softening shadows and reducing image sharpness
- Fits on top of most camera shoes
- Provides you with a handy, fastening tape
- Made from durable material
- You’d need to invest in a speedlight separately
- Only seems to work when used by real professionals
10. Flash Diffuser Universal Softbox
Your native flash (the one that your camera came with) may not have all the power needed to excel. This is where this softbox comes in handy.
We particularly like it because of its ability to soften shadows and reduce harshness. Another plus with it is that it’s pretty well built.
It’s simple and compact. That’s in addition to it coming with an integrated Velcro strap. This attaches securely around the flash head for additional convenience.
Another plus with this unit is that it’s compatible with a wide variety of camera shoes. It’s no wonder it’s dubbed a universal system.
- Extremely easy to use
- Durably built
- Can help enhance your native flash so you don’t have to buy a new one
- Its design is simple and accommodative
- Backed by a 90-day money back guarantee
- Further secured with a Velcro strap
- May not rival the kind of power offered by higher-end flashes
The Buying Guide
One thing that built-in flashes lack is versatility. So, if you really want to take your creativity to a whole new level, it might make sense to invest in an external flash. In that case, here are some pointers for you.
Basically, the higher the GN value of a flash, the greater its power. In general units with a GN of 40 and above are considered as pretty high-end ones. A GN of 30 and above is deemed tolerable. Anything below that might be a bit too low for professional photography.
This is the rate that dictates the pace at which any two flashes pop. Usually, this is expressed in two different numbers e.g. 0.1-10s. Basically, the lower the highest number, on this display, the stronger the recycle rate. In that case, we’d recommend going for 0.1-5s and below.
If you’re looking to go fully professional, you want to make sure your machine has a good auto zoom. This way, even if you zoom closer, your flash will also be able to fine-tune its beam accordingly. That will, therefore, provide you with the light you need for optimal coverage.
The Swivel and Title
Moving on, it’s important to consider how flexible your flash is. This is where the angles of rotation come in handy. In this case, we’d recommend going for a good ability to tilt upwards and downwards. In addition, it’s always a good idea to find a unit that allows for left-to-right tilting.
This is a pretty advanced feature that’s generally found on high-end flashes. You’d need it to add onto your versatility as your profession grows. So, if you’re looking for the best flash for canon, we’d suggest going for one with this kind of feature included.
Why not use the In-built Flash for Canon?
The inbuilt flash for any camera including Canon is not completely worthless. It can still perform a decent job at lighting up your subjects in different scenarios. However, it is only good enough for just general photography.
Therefore, if you want to improve your photography skills, you should definitely get an external flash. Also, if you would like to take on paid projects, an inbuilt flash won’t be of great help to you.
One of the major issues with inbuilt flashes is that they don’t offer great versatility. Once activated, they tend to flash straightforward in only one angle. They, therefore, don’t offer enough room for creativity, an element that is important for taking professional-looking photos.
However, by using an external flash, you get to have better control of your output. It allows you to manually control the ISO noise, contrast, lighting pattern, motion, and exposure.
Key Flash Features for Canon
All the features below are usually standard inclusions in the majority of modern camera flashes. Therefore, it’s good to understand how these features work. They include:
TTL and Manual Mode
Flashes are available in two modes including TTL and manual. TTL simply means through the lens and refers to a camera’s ability to automatically control the flash settings. Therefore, you literally don’t have to do anything. However, you may still tell the flash in case you need more or less light. The disadvantage of cameras using TTL flash is that they are more expensive but worth the money.
Manual mode, on the other hand, requires you to dial the zoom and strength of the flash. This gives you full control of your camera flash. However, it takes time and experience to get the correct exposure. The good thing is that it can help improve your proficiency as a photographer. Besides, manual mode units tend to be cheaper compared to their TTL counterparts.
Camera flashes may become hot when used extensively. When this happens, some units will either shut down or simply work at a lower power. Therefore, when choosing a flash for your canon, you should ensure it has a great temperature control feature. This is especially essential if you will be using the flash to shoot for many hours.
Auto-Focus Assist Beam
The majority of external flashes for canon feature an autofocus assist beam. Compared to the camera’s internal autofocus, the feature is more effective, less intrusive, and brighter.
The assist beam allows you to focus more clearly in almost zero light settings. Besides, you don’t have to worry about the unwanted effect of blinding your subjects caused by an invasive flashing beam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let’s take a quick look at some of the questions photographers frequently ask about the best flash for canon.
How do I know what type of Canon camera I have?
You simply check for the serial number that is located on the camera’s bottom in white numbers.
What is D in Canon camera?
It simply stands for digital since canon used to manufacture SLRs cameras before DSLRs were introduced in the market.
What’s a Speedlight?
Also known as a hot shoe flash or a flashgun, a Speedlight is an add-on flash that emits only a short burst of light.
Which One Is The Best?
We’d go for the Canon 430EX III-RT Speedlite Flash. That’s because it presents you with a pretty decent GN value, and is also quite reliable. We also happen to think that at its price, it represents good value. We’d particularly recommend it for intermediate and advanced photography experience. The second runners-up position would go to the AmazonBasics DF500 whose only downside is a below-par GN value.
By investing in the right kind of flash, you’d certainly be in a good position to improve your performance. Essentially, by investing in this kind of photography gear, you’d always be taking a cheaper route for achieving professional results.