The Canon Flash System: Speedlites, Macrolites and Accessories - Canon EOS Technoclopedia

Speedlites
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Zoom1 (mm) Guide No.1 (m) Auto Metering2 AF Beam (m) Manual Features3 HSS4 RPT (Hz) Flash Duration (s) Reload5 (s)
Standard | Rapid Fire
Head Movement (°)
vert. | horiz.
Master6 Slave6 Groups/Ch. Trigger Input Size (mm) Weight (g) Power7 Production Comments Tests/Reviews
Canon Speedlite 160E         35 16 TTL 5 -/- no   ≤1/1000 0.3 - 1.7 yes no   no no -/-   83 x 59 x 52 85 1x 2CR5 1988 - 1990    
Canon Speedlite 200E Snapshots of Canon Speedlite 200E     (28) 35 (14) 20 TTL 5 -/- no   ≤1/1000 0.3 - 1.7 no no   no no -/-   104 x 64 x 41 130 4x AA 1990    
Canon Speedlite 200M           20 built-in* -/-   no             no no -/-           *features built-in metering sensor; this flash was exclusively designed for the Canon EF-M ; can be used with all other EOS models in manual mode  
Canon Speedlite 300TL*       24 - 85 25 - 40 TTL/A-TTL -/- 2CS, M (≥1/16) no   1/20000 - 1/700 0.2 - 6/13 no 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no no -/-   120 x 94 x 81 395 4x AA 1986 - 1991 *a Speedlite only according to its manual, not labeled on the unit itself; was designed for the T series, but is fully compatible with A-TTL EOS models too  
Canon Speedlite 480EG     (20) 35 (135) (24) 48 (68) TTL/built-in -/- M (≥1/16) no   1/20000 - 1/850 0.2 - 6/17* yes 0 - 90 -180 - 115 no w/ Slave Unit E -/- PC 291 x 257 x 115 1065 4x AA or TP-E 1993 *with Ni-Cd Pack TP/C-size alkalines; Nickname: Potato Masher; features built-in (non-TTL) metering and a handgrip that can plug onto a hot shoe; uses wide angle diffuser 480 EG-20 and tele attachement 480 EG-135  
Canon Speedlite 300EZ       28 - 70 22 - 30 TTL/A-TTL 6 (Center AF) 2CS no   ≤1/1000 0.3 - 6/8 1 no   no no -/-   101 x 89 x 66 215 4x AA 1987 - 1995 not compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 420EZ Snapshots of Canon Speedlite 420EZ     24 - 80 25 - 42 TTL/A-TTL 8 (Center AF) 2CS, M (≥1/32), Z no 1 - 5 ≤1/667 0.2 - 6.5/13 1.5 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no no -/-   122 x 106 x 75 350 4x AA 1987 - 1989 not compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 430EZ     24 - 80 25 - 43 TTL/A-TTL 10 (Center AF) 2CS, M (≥1/32), Z, FEC no 1 - 10 ≤1/667 0.2 - 6.5/13 1/1.5 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no no -/-   122 x 106 x 75 365 4x AA or TP-E 1989 - 1994 not compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 540EZ   (18) 24 - 105 (16) 28 - 54 TTL/A-TTL 15 (5 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/128), Z, FEC no 1 - 100 ≤1/833 (1/435) 0.2 - 6/12 0.2 - 1.5/2 -7 - 90 -180 - 90 no no -/-   138 x 112 x 80 405 4x AA or CP-E2 1994 - 2005 compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 90EX   24 9 E-TTL (II) preflash only*   no     5.5   no no optical pulse** no -/-   65 x 52 x 44.2 50 2x AAA 2012 *can only be activated on bodies with Speedlite control menu (500D, 5DII...); **working distance 5-7m; dedicated to the EOS M, yet not enough info available to tell whether working with other EOS models at all  
Canon Speedlite 220EX   28 22 TTL/E-TTL 5 (Center AF)   yes   ≤1/714 0.1 - 4.5 no no no no no -/-   92 x 65 x 61.3 160 4x AA 1996 - 2009 not compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 270EX   28 + 50 22/27 E-TTL (II) 4 (preflash only*)   yes**   ≤1/1000 0.1 - 3.9 0.1 - 2.6 0 - 90 no no no -/-   72 x 65 x 64 145 2x AA 2009 - 2011 *can only be activated on bodies with Speedlite control menu (500D, 5DII...); **officially supported are bodies 1000D, 450D, 40D, 5DII, 1DsIII and newer, 400D is reported to work too; capable of APS-C readjustment Photonotes
Canon Speedlite 270EX II   28 + 50 22/27 E-TTL (II) 4 (preflash only*) M (≥1/64) yes   ≤1/1000 0.1 - 3.9 0.1 - 2.6 0 - 90 no no IR wireless E-TTL 1grp, 4ch   77 x 65.8 x 65.2 155 2x AA 2011 *can only be activated on bodies with Speedlite control menu (500D, 5DII...); capable of APS-C readjustment  
Canon Speedlite 320EX   24 + 50 24/32 E-TTL (II) preflash and LED 2CS, M (≥1/64), Z, FEC yes   ≤1/714 0.1 - 2.3 0.1 - 1.8 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch   115 x 78.4 x 70 275 4x AA 2011 video light function (75 Lux, 4500 - 6500K)  
Canon Speedlite 380EX   24 - 105 21 - 38 TTL/E-TTL (II) 10 (Center AF) 2CS yes   ≤1/714 0.1 - 4.5/7.5 no 0 - 90 no no no -/-   114 x 104 x 75 270 4x AA 1995 - 2001 compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 420EX   24 - 105 23 - 42 TTL/E-TTL (II) 7 (7 Point AF) 2CS yes   ≤1/833 0.1 - 4.5/7.5 no 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch   123 x 100 x 72 300 4x AA 2000 - 2005 compatible w/ lithium cells  
Canon Speedlite 430EX Snapshots of Canon Speedlite 430 EX (14) 24 - 105 (11) 25 - 43 TTL/E-TTL (II) 10 (9 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/64), Z, FEC (±3), CFn (6) yes 1 - 100* ≤1/714 01 - 3.7 no 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch   122 x 101 x 72 300 4x AA 2005 - 2008 *wireless only; compatible w/ lithium cells; capable of APS-C readjustment Jörg Napiwotzki's Vergleichstest
Canon Speedlite 430EX II Snapshots of Canon Speedlite 430 EX II (14) 24 - 105 (11) 25 - 43 TTL/E-TTL (II) yes (9 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/64), Z, FEC (±3), CFn (9) yes yes* ≤1/714 01 - 3.8 no 0 - 90 -180 - 90 no IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch   122 x 101 x 72 320 4x AA 2008 *wireless only; capable of APS-C readjustment  
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT       (14) 24 - 105 - 43 E-TTL (II) preflash + IR 2CS, M (≥1/128), FEC yes     3.5   0 - 90 -150 - 180 IR + radio IR + radio 3g/4ch + 5g/15ch   113.8 x 98.2 x 70.5 ~295 4x AA 2015 capable of APS-C readjustment; Color Filter SCF-E2, Bounce Adapter SBA-E2 and Color Filter Holder for SBA-E2 optionally available  
Canon Speedlite 550EX   (17) 24 - 105 (15) 28 - 55 TTL/E-TTL (II) 10 (45 Point AF*) 2CS, M (≥1/128), Z, FEC (±3), CFn (6) yes 1 - 199 ≤1/833 (1/435) 0.1 - 8 0.1 - 4 -7 - 90 -180 - 90 IR IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch   138 x 112 x 80 405 4x AA or CP-E2 1998 - 2004 *does not cover the upper and lower AF points of 7 point AF cameras; compatible w/ lithium cells; NOT capable of APS-C calculations Photonotes EF-500 DGS vs. SL 550EX
Canon Speedlite 580EX     (14) 24* - 105 (15) 28 - 58 TTL/E-TTL (II) 10 (45 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/128), Z, FEC, CFn (14) yes 1 - 199 ≤1/833 (1/435) 0.1 - 6 0.1 - 3 -7 - 90 -180 - 180 IR IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch see Gen.Note 4.) 134 x 114 x 76 375 4x AA or CP-E3 2004 - 2007 compatible w/ lithium cells; capable of APS-C readjustment: *with some APS cameras this function is buggy (vignetting at 24mm and below)  
Canon Speedlite 580EX II   (14) 24 - 105 (15) 28 - 58 TTL/E-TTL (II) 10 (45 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/128), Z, FEC, CFn (13) yes 1 - 199 ≤1/833 (1/435) 0.1 - 5 0.1 - 2.5 -7 - 90 -180 - 180 IR IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch PC 137 x 117 x 76 405 4x AA or CP-E4 2007 compatible w/ lithium cells; capable of APS-C readjustment; dust and moisture sealings, metal mounting foot  
Canon Speedlite 600EX   (14) 20 - 200 (15) 26 - 60 TTL/E-TTL (II) yes (61 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/128), Z, FEC (±3), CFn (18) yes 1 - 199 ≤1/555 (1/435) 0.1 - 3.3 0.1 - 2.5 -7 - 90 -180 - 180 IR IR wireless E-TTL 3grps, 4ch PC 142.9 x 125.4 x 79.7 425 4x AA or CP-E4 2012 dust and moisture sealings, metal mounting foot Lighting Rumors on 600EX & w/ Pixel King
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT   (14) 20 - 200 (15) 26 - 60 TTL/E-TTL (II) yes (61 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/128), Z, FEC (±3), CFn (18) yes 1 - 500* ≤1/555 (1/435) 0.1 - 3.3 0.1 - 2.5 -7 - 90 -180 - 180 IR + radio IR + radio 5grps, 15ch* PC 142.9 x 125.4 x 79.7 425 4x AA or CP-E4 2012 - 2016 *in radio mode - for IR wireless capabilities refer to the 600EX specs above; max. radio working distance is ~30m; dust and moisture sealings, metal mounting foot; a counterfeit warning was issued in 06.2015 Lighting Rumors on 600EX & w/ Pixel King
Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT       (14) 20 - 200 () - 60 TTL/E-TTL (II) yes (61 Point AF) 2CS, M (≥1/128)   1 - 500*   0.1 - 3.3 yes -7 - 90 -180 - 180 IR + radio IR + radio 3/5grps, 4/15ch yes 143.2 x 122.7 x 78.7 435 4x AA or CP-E4N 2016 *1 - 199 as optical slave; capable of APS-C readjustment; dust and moisture sealings; ships with SCF-E3 color filter set  

Macrolites
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Zoom (mm) Guide No. (m) Auto Metering2 AF Beam (m) Manual Features3 HSS4 RPT (Hz) Flash Duration (s) Reload5 (s)
Standard | Rapid Fire
Head Movement (°)
vert. | horiz.
Master6 Slave6 Groups/Ch. Trigger Input Size (mm) Weight (g) Power Production Comments Tests/Reviews
Canon Macro Ring Lite ML-3     -/- 11 TTL 1       ≤1/667 0.2 - 6/13 no head rotates 360° no no -/-   see comments 365 4x AA 1989 not compatible w/ lithium cells; engineered for C/AF macro lenses; size of Control unit: 107 x 74 x 61, size of flash unit: 123 x 106 x 25  
Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX   -/- 24 TTL/E-TTL (II) yes 2CS, M (≥1/64), FEC (±3), CFn (7) yes   ≤1/714 (1/38) 0.1 - 7 no head rotates 360° IR no 3grps, 4ch   see comments 430 4x AA or C/TP-E 2000 compatible w/ lithium cells; size of control unit: 126 x 98 x 74, size of flash ring: 126 x 113 x 26  
Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II   -/- 24 TTL/E-TTL (II) focusing lamb 2CS, M (≥1/128), FEC yes     5.5     IR no 3grps, 4ch   see comments 455 4x AA or CP-E4 2014 IR max. transmission range of 3m outdoors, 5m indoors; size of control unit: 69.6 x 118.8 x 71.4, size of flash ring: 129.6 x 112.1 x 25.3  
Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Snapshots of Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX -/- 1x 26 or 2x 12 TTL/E-TTL (II) yes 2CS, M (≥1/64), FEC (±3), CFn (7) yes   ≤1/714 (1/38) 0.1 - 7 no yes yes IR no 3grps, 4ch   see comments 585 4x AA or C/TP-E 2001 compatible w/ lithium cells; size of control unit: 126 x 98 x 74, size of flash heads incl. mount ring (Ø58mm): 235 x 91 x 49  

Accessories
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Compatibility & Functions Size (mm) Weight (g) Power Production Tests/Reviews
Canon MacroLite Adapter 52C     allows the use of macro flashes ML-3 & MT with filter Ø52mm lenses (MR compatible anyway)          
Canon MacroLite Adapter 58C     allows the use of macro flashes ML-3 & MT with filter Ø58mm lenses (MR compatible anyway)          
Canon MacroLite Adapter 67C     allows the use of macro flashes ML-3, MR & MT with filter Ø67mm lenses          
Canon MacroLite Adapter 72C     allows the use of macro flashes ML-3, MR & MT with filter Ø72mm lenses          
 
Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E2         for 430EZ, 540EZ, 550EX, 580EX, MR-14EX & MT-24EX     6x AA    
Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E3       for 430EZ, 540EZ, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, MR-14EX & MT-24EX; compatible AA magazine is CPM-E3     8x AA    
Canon Compact Battery Pack CP-E4     for 580EX II with special sealing, but also fits the others; compatible AA magazine is CPM-E4     8x AA    
Canon Transistor Pack E         for 430EZ, 540EZ, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, MR-14EX & MT-24EX; either supplied with Battery Magazine TP for C cells or with Ni-Cd Pack TP (told to be better than CP-E2, but not as good as CP-E3)     6x C or Ni-Cd    
 
Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2   serves as IR master for slave capable Speedlites; supports E-TTL II (incl. HSS); AF assist beam (10m, fits 45 Point AF, does not cover the upper and lower AF points of 7 point AF cameras); 2 groups, 4 channels; 10 - 15m working range 80 x 62 x 51 100 1x 2CR5 1998 Lighting Rumors: Canon vs. YongNuo
Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT   serves as radio master for RT Speedlites (no IR!!); supports E-TTL II (incl. HSS); no AF assist beam; 5 groups, 15 channels; manual settings include 2CS, M (≥1/128) and FEC; 30m working range; can be used as remote shutter release; dust and moisture sealings 77.4 x 67.4 x 61.5 110 2x AA 2012 The Digital Picture Review
Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2       sometimes referred to as "OC-E2"; supports all EZ and EX series flashes as well as 480EG, but does not work with the EOS 600 and RT length=60cm 75     The Digital Picture
Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 3 [OC-E3]     identical to OC-E2 in compatibility; features some improvements like metal shoe and foot, dust and moisture sealings to fit 580EX II, 1D MKIII etc. concepts length=60cm       The Digital Picture
Canon Slave Unit E         small wireless trigger accessory for the Canon Speedlite 480EG (non-TTL) and other flashes featuring a PC port          
 
Canon Bounce Adapter SBA-E2         dome type diffusor cap for Speedlite 430EX III-RT          
Canon Bounce Adapter SBA-E3         dome type diffusor cap for Speedlite 600EX II-RT          

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General Notes:
1.) Lithium batteries: In 12.2014 Canon released a product advisory stating the incompatibility of lithium cells with all of their Speedlites, Macrolites and Battery Packs due to possible overheating. Kinda curious case, since at least the manuals for some of the models included in the advisory clearly state the opposite. Further it's not clear how it took them 27 years of Speedlite manufacturing for EOS to recognize this or what made them release such an advisory at this time. Unlike somewhat misleadingly stated by Canon USA to be valid for USA and Puerto Rico residents only, this advisory was posted globally on various regional Canon pages including DE, NZ, HK and others.
2.) Canon ML 1 & 2 are TTL-flashes, but they don't work properly with EOS models. ML 2 works with T90 only.
3.) Canon's classic wireless TTL system (communication via IR bursts) finds some compatible models among aftermarket offerings. Those are the Metz Mecabounce AF-1 series and all Sigma Remote capable flashes (reported to work buggy), the Genesis Speedlight SP692C, Nissin's Digital Speedlites Di700, Di866 and Di866 II and their MG8000 Extreme, the Phottix Mitros+, Voeloon's 330EX/331EX, V200 and V600 Speedlights, the Voking Speedlites V550 and V580, the Yashica Speedlight YS9100 and a bunch of YongNuo Speedlites including the YN500EX, YN565EX, YN568EX and YN568EX II (they have even more compatible models among their E-TTL slave capable but otherwise manual only flashes, i.e. YN510EX). Just to name a few.
4.) Canon's more recent radio based wireless TTL system also got some company in the likes of YongNuo's Speedlite Transmitter YN-E3-RT and their upcoming YN600EX-RT Speedlite.
5.) FlashZebra is a company (?) focusing on manual flash gimmicks. They offer a modified replacement foot assembly for the 580EX Mark I containing a 3.5mm mini jack sync port.
6.) See the processing log. Additions are welcome.