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What is Speedlite?


Poewrfull flash gun .

Heavy, expensive .

Recommendable Yes:

24 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (100%):
  1. weetoon
  2. Paul-E-Rocket
  3. snake_plissken
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What Speedlite is? It's a range of Cannons flash guns designed to use with Canon EOS SLRs and DSLRs. Not suitable for any other cameras but Canon. The Canon Speedlite 420EX is an autozoom flash unit equipped with a wireless sensor for E-TTL wireless autoflash (E-TTL stands for Evaluative Through The Lens).

Quick description

Canon Speedlite 420EX has been around for about 5 years and been recently replaced with new model 430EX (£199, designed for use with digital cameras). It's comes to support the whole range of Canon EOS cameras to achieve the most of your exceptional camera, which is Canon EOS XXX. It uses 4 AA batteries to operate. When you connect the flash to your camera the small built-in flesh, on your camera, is getting cut-off and the Speedlite comes to the power. You can move the head of the flash 270 degrees vertically and 110 degrees horizontally. Operating the flash is quite easy, but you need to go through the manual first. Speedlite 420EX is only for those who want to take the most of their Canon EOS cameras. Do not recommend for people who bought their cameras because of the Canon's name or because someone else recommended it to them. No, do not bother. It will not change anything in your live! But if like taking pictures of flowers in your garden, well lit in the morning sun, or if you want to take pictures of your kids with all details well exposed…. Yes, you should consider this or similar flash gun.


The flash is made of black plastic, with all buttons on the back of the flash and one on the side (right). There are 8 buttons in total and description (what they do) below or above them. But hold your horses; the only one easy to understand at first is: on and off button. Above it is high-speed sync switch - do not use it before going through the manual (unless you are pro). Next to main switch there is a pilot button - is indicates if flash is ready. Above all you have the autozoom position indicator for the corresponding lens focal length. It contains 6 lights matching the exact focal length of your lens. Two buttons to move the head and another switch to use the flash as master or slave unit. Now if you do not understand most of it - do not buy the flash, stick with the unit built-in your camera.


The best results would be achieve when use the flash with lenses of long focal length i.e. 70- 300, for taking photos for portraits and micro photography, i.e. flowers or quick moving creatures (including children). When used with lenses of short focal length would suggest moving the head of the flesh up to bounce the light from ceiling. The light reaching your subject will be defused and better lighting the subject. Direct light could be to strong and make unwanted results with the subject coming to bright.


When I bought my flash, the Speedlight 420EX 3 yeas ego, I paid for it the same price you would need to pay for new 430EX, £199. Now you could get it second hand for as low as £50, which is excellent price.


The speedlight 420EX and whole range of canon flash guns is to support EOS cameras. But buy it only if you are the kind of person who is never 100% happy with the quality of pictures you take or you have to much money or you are pro, then you don't need to read my review.

Good luck and thank you for reading.
Pictures of Canon Speedlite 420EX Hot-shoe clip-on flash
Canon Speedlite 420EX Hot-shoe clip-on flash Picture 3349477 tb
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Comments about this review »

snake_plissken 07.04.2006 23:45

I understand what you mean....... but I'm a T32 man myself. Great review ;-)

docpov 02.04.2006 12:14

Think I am more of a point and click merchant lol

Digbycat 30.03.2006 12:25

I stole my Dad's, way cheaper (Nikon version obviously) M xx

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The Speedlite 420EX is sure to appeal to EOS users everywhere with its combination of power, features and affordabi...


MPN 4590A010AA, 4590A020, 420EX, C50-0781, 4590A010, 4590A009AA
Width 7.1 cm, 7.2 cm
Depth 9.9 cm

Camera flash

Type Hot-shoe clip-on flash
Guide Number (m / ISO 100) 42
Lens Coverage 24mm - 105mm

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Review Ratings »

This review of Canon Speedlite 420EX Hot-shoe clip-on flash has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. weetoon
  2. Paul-E-Rocket
  3. snake_plissken

and 38 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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