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Notes on the Canon Speedlite 430EZ Flash Unit. DonationsCopyright © 2000 NK Guy

Some notes on my Canon Speedlite 430EZ dedicated flash. This is a long-discontinued external flash unit that’s compatible with all Canon EOS film cameras, though in TTL and A-TTL modes only. The EOS cameras that can’t use this flash in an automated fashion are all the post-DCS digital EOS cameras, which lack TTL flash sensors and thus require E-TTL flash units and the EF-M, which is barely an EOS camera and which did not include autofocus or TTL flash circuitry. For more details please consult my flash article.

The 430EZ is a pretty solid and sturdy unit that worked quite well for me when I was still regularly shooting film. Top of the line when it was introduced back in 1989. Like most external flash units it uses four AA batteries and fastens to the camera’s hotshoe. It’s probably the cheapest Canon flash unit you can find that has a tilt and swivel head and handles flash exposure compensation. And even though I’m shooting mostly digital now, I’ve still had use for this flash - I set it to its lowest manual output and used it to trigger studio flash units from my digital EOS 10D camera.

If you’re reading this because you’re thinking of buying one you should probably take a look at Dave Herzstein’s EOS flash comparison table, which compares the various models Canon has introduced over the years. Or look at PhotoZone’s Canon flash page.

Note that much of the information here also applies to this flash unit’s predecessor, the Speedlite 420EZ. (though not the 420EX) However, the 420EZ has slightly different specs and certain features - most notably flash exposure compensation - are missing. One or two buttons are labelled differently as well. If you have a 540EZ you may want to consult Jim Strutz’s manual.

For more information about using flash gear with EOS cameras I encourage you to have a look at my Flash Photography with Canon EOS article. It goes into considerable detail and explains a lot of things that I briefly mention in this review.

Stuff I like about the 430EZ.

Stuff I don’t like about the 430EZ.

- NK Guy,

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