Best Canon Flashguns in 2024

Looking for the best flash for your Canon camera? In this guide, we’ll show you the best Canon flashguns in 2024 – from beginner-friendly Canon Speedlites to professional-grade flashes for macro photography.

Canon’s lineup encompasses an array of options, starting with the user-friendly Speedlite EL-100 designed for beginners and extending to the elite-level Speedlite EL-1 and EL-5 catering to the demands of seasoned professionals. Compact yet powerful, Canon Speedlites offer unparalleled maneuverability and exceptional color accuracy, ensuring your shots are always vibrant and true to life.

With advanced features such as high-speed sync, wireless second curtain sync, and wireless radio control, Canon Speedlites provide endless creative possibilities. But with so many options available, choosing the right flashgun can be daunting. That’s where we come in.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best Canon Speedlites on the market, helping you make an informed decision based on your specific requirements and budget. Whether you’re seeking versatility, power, or reliability, our guide will steer you towards the perfect Canon flashgun for your photography endeavors.

Best Canon Flashguns in 2024 – a quick recommendations:

Best Canon flashgun for high performance and action: Canon Speedlite EL-1

Canon Speedlite EL-1 Key Specifications:

  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Radio Transmission
  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Guide Number: 197′ at ISO 100 and 200mm
  • Zoom Range: 24-200mm
  • Bounce: +120°
  • Rotates Left & Right 180°
  • Xenon Flashtube, 1/1 to 1/8192 Power
  • Weather-Sealed, Active Cooling System
  • Bounce Adapter & Hard Color Filters
  • Runs on LP-EL Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 83.8 x 149.9 x 134.6 mm
  • Weight: 686.9 g (with Battery)
  • Store links at B&H, Adorama.


  • Utilizes a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack
  • Achieves super-fast recycle speeds
  • Equipped with a fan-driven cooling system for optimal performance


  • Comes with a significantly high price tag
  • Considerably large and bulky in size
  • Offers more power than necessary for some users

The Canon Speedlite EL-1 stands out as the pinnacle of Canon’s flash lineup, offering unparalleled performance tailored to the rigors of professional photography. Boasting an impressive burst rate of up to 170 full-power flashes and recycle times as swift as 0.1-0.9 seconds, it caters to high-pressure scenarios with ease. Its guide number of 60 (m, ISO 100) and precise manual power control down to 1/8192 power ensure versatility and accuracy in varying shooting conditions.

Designed for endurance, the EL-1 features an active cooling system and weather-resistant construction, making it a dependable companion in any environment. Powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery, it delivers up to 335 full-power flashes per charge, accompanied by lightning-fast recycling speeds, ensuring readiness for continuous shooting.

Innovative features such as wireless second-curtain sync and FE Memory streamline off-camera flash control, enhancing creative possibilities and workflow efficiency. The EL-1’s Xenon flash tube enables precise manual power adjustments for subtle lighting effects, while its comprehensive range of flash modes caters to diverse shooting demands.

Despite its exceptional performance, the EL-1’s premium price tag may deter some photographers, and its sizable build may pose a challenge in certain shooting scenarios. However, for professionals seeking unrivaled reliability and performance, the Canon Speedlite EL-1 emerges as the ultimate choice.

Canon Speedlite EL-1 at B&H, Adorama.

Best Canon flashgun for creative portraiture, weddings and events: Canon Speedlite EL-5

Canon Speedlite EL-5 Key Specifications:

  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Radio Transmission
  • Guide Number: 197′ at ISO 100 and 200mm
  • Runs on LP-EL Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Modeling Lamp; Multi-Function Shoe
  • Zoom Range: 24-200mm (14mm with Panel)
  • Recycle Time: 0.1-1.2 Seconds
  • Extended Control from 1/1 to 1/1024
  • Joystick, Dial, and High-Definition LCD
  • Remote Control with Camera Connect App
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Dimensions: 80.2 x 139.9 x 123.3 mm
  • Weight: 491 g
  • Store links at B&H, Adorama.


  • Long-lasting power with a rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • Enhanced lighting with an additional LED lamp
  • Seamless integration with the Canon Camera Connect app for convenient control and sharing


  • Missing stroboscopic flash mode
  • Limited compatibility with specific camera models
  • Does not include a supplied battery charger

The Canon Speedlite EL-5 emerges as a versatile companion tailored for creative portraiture, weddings, and events, particularly harmonizing with EOS R cameras. Offering a balance between professional-grade features and affordability, it stands as a compelling alternative to the Speedlite EL-1, excelling in performance and functionality.

Equipped with a potent Li-ion rechargeable battery, the EL-5 boasts impressive flash recycle times of 0.1-1.2 seconds, ensuring swift readiness for capturing decisive moments. Its expansive power range, descending to 1/1024, surpasses conventional flashguns, enabling nuanced control over lighting dynamics. Moreover, a robust weather-resistant design and intuitive interface, akin to the EL-1, streamline operational complexities during intense shooting scenarios.

Adapting to the evolving EOS R-system, the EL-5 embraces Canon’s Multi-function shoe, enhancing compatibility with newer mirrorless models. Nevertheless, its omission of a battery charger and limited support for older EOS R cameras warrant consideration.

Despite these drawbacks, the EL-5 impresses with a formidable Gn 60 rating, expansive zoom range, and an integrated LED modeling lamp facilitating autofocus in mirrorless environments. While lacking stroboscopic flash mode, its integration with the Canon Camera Connect app enhances remote control capabilities, enriching the shooting experience.

In conclusion, the Canon Speedlite EL-5 emerges as a commendable choice for discerning photographers seeking a blend of performance, versatility, and affordability, especially within the realm of EOS R-system mirrorless photography.

Canon Speedlite EL-5 at B&H, Adorama.

Best Canon flashgun for everyday photography: Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Key Specifications:

  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Radio Transmission
  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Guide Number: 141′ at ISO 100 and 105mm
  • Zoom Range: 24-105mm (14mm with Panel)
  • Tilts Upward 90°
  • Rotates 150° Right & 180° Left
  • Multi Dial, Bounce Panel, & Color Filter
  • Recycle Time: 0.1-3.5 Seconds
  • High-Speed, 1st & 2nd Curtain Sync
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
  • Store links at B&H, Adorama.


  • Sleek and modern control panel design
  • Great value for the features offered
  • Includes built-in radio trigger for enhanced convenience
  • Delivers excellent exposure in various conditions
  • Offers wireless RF master/slave modes for versatile usage


  • Lacks stroboscopic repeat mode for certain photography needs
  • Requires conventional AA batteries for operation
  • Doesn’t feature an infrared wireless master mode, limiting compatibility with some devices

The Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT emerges as the go-to flashgun for everyday photography, striking a harmonious balance between performance and affordability. Boasting a guide number of 43 (m, ISO 100), it delivers ample power for diverse shooting scenarios. Its AA battery-powered design ensures swift recycling, with just 3.2 seconds needed after a full-power flash, or even faster at approximately 2.5 seconds with NiMH batteries.

Equipped with a tilt-and-swivel zoom head, this Speedlite offers versatile light adjustments, complemented by its capability to function as a sender or receiver in both radio and optical wireless flash setups. The intuitive interface, featuring a backlit screen and smart selection of control buttons and dials, facilitates seamless operation.

Unlike its more basic counterparts, the 430EX III-RT boasts an extended zoom range of 24-105mm and motorized zoom functionality, ensuring precise focal length tracking. Moreover, it includes a diffusion dome for softening light quality and a color filter for color temperature adjustment.

While lacking a stroboscopic repeat mode and infrared wireless master mode, this flashgun compensates with its stylish control panel, built-in radio trigger, excellent exposure performance, and full wireless RF master/slave modes, making it an ideal companion for photographers seeking versatility and value.

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT at B&H, Adorama.

Best Canon flashgun for flash beginners: Canon Speedlite EL-100

Canon Speedlite EL-100 Key Specifications:

  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Guide Number: 85.3′ at ISO 100 and 50mm
  • Coverage: 24mm & 50mm (Full Frame)
  • Tilts Upward 90°
  • Rotates Left 150°, Rotates Right 180°
  • Wireless Slave TTL Functionality
  • Recycle Time: 0.1-5.8 Seconds
  • Stroboscopic Mode,1st & 2nd Curtain Sync
  • Mode Dial
  • Runs on Two AA Batteries
  • Dimensions: 64.6 x 91.7 x 71 mm
  • Weight: 190 g (without Batteries)
  • Store links at B&H, Adorama.


  • Compact, lightweight, and cost-effective
  • Advanced flash modes enhance versatility
  • Master/slave wireless options for convenient usage


  • Basic on-board controls
  • Lack of an LCD information screen
  • Limited maximum power output

The Canon Speedlite EL-100 emerges as the ultimate choice for novices venturing into the realm of flash photography. Its user-friendly Auto mode seamlessly manages flash exposure settings, ensuring a hassle-free experience for beginners. Yet, it doesn’t confine creativity, offering Manual flash control down to 1/128 power alongside advanced features like stroboscopic flash and optical sender/receiver functions for wireless lighting control.

Crafted with simplicity in mind, the EL-100 complements entry-level cameras, offering a significant power boost over built-in flash units. Its intuitive controls and bounce/swivel flash head enable redirection of light towards ceilings or walls, mitigating harsh lighting effects.

Remarkably compact, the EL-100 slides effortlessly into a pocket, ideal for on-the-go photographers. Despite its size, it boasts a versatile bounce head and various flash modes, including high-speed sync and rear-curtain sync. However, it lacks motorized zoom and wide-angle diffuser panels.

While its onboard controls are rudimentary, lacking an LCD screen, the EL-100 compensates with its array of features. Nonetheless, its modest power output and relatively slow recycling times may pose limitations. Nevertheless, its lightweight design and travel-friendly attributes make it a compelling option for beginners seeking versatility and affordability in their flash equipment.

Canon Speedlite EL-100 at B&H, Adorama.

Best Canon flashgun for macro photography: Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II

Canon MR-14EX II Macro Ring Lite Key Specifications:

  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Twin-Tube Design & 12 Custom Functions
  • Guide Number: 45.9′ at ISO 100
  • Coverage: 80° Vertical & Horizontal
  • LED Focusing Lamps
  • Wireless Master TTL Functionality
  • Recycle Time: 0.1-5.5 Seconds
  • High-Speed & 2nd Curtain Sync
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
  • Attaches to Select Canon Macro Lenses
  • Weight: 453.59 g (without Batteries)
  • Store links at B&H, Adorama.


  • Independent control of left and right sides
  • Enhanced lighting with LED modeling lamps
  • Nearly complete circular light ring for balanced illumination


  • Limited power for longer shots
  • Some lenses may require adapters for compatibility
  • Falls slightly short of a full circular design

The Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II stands out as the quintessential tool for macro photography enthusiasts, offering exceptional performance at an affordable price point. Crafted specifically for close-up shots, this Macro Speedlite presents a sophisticated ring-flash design with dual semi-circular flash tubes encircling the camera lens. This unique setup grants photographers unparalleled control over lighting dynamics, allowing for the elimination of shadows and the accentuation of textures through independent tube rotation and power adjustment.

One of its most commendable features is its ability to provide uniform illumination even at extremely close distances, ensuring comprehensive coverage of the subject. Moreover, the inclusion of LED illumination lights further enhances precision during focusing, facilitating the creation of stunning macro compositions.

Beyond its primary function, the MR-14EX II doubles as an optical wireless sender, enabling the seamless integration of multiple flash units for elaborate lighting setups. Additionally, its compatibility with most Canon macro lenses coupled with the option for Macro Lite Adapter attachment threads ensures versatility in usage.

Although it may lack the power for longer-distance shots and require adapters for certain lenses, its innovative design and intuitive controls more than compensate for these minor limitations. With independent left/right control, LED modeling lamps, and a near fully circular light ring, the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II emerges as an indispensable companion for macro photographers seeking both precision and creativity in their craft.

Canon MR-14EX II Macro Ring Lite at B&H, Adorama.

Best Canon flashgun for professional creative macro: Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT

Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite Key Specifications:

  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Radio Transmission
  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Guide Number: 85.3′ at ISO 100
  • Detachable Heads with 60° Rotation
  • Manual Power Control from 1/1 to 1/512
  • LED Focusing Lamps
  • Recycle Time: 0.1-5.5 Seconds
  • High-Speed Sync Support
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
  • Removable Diffusers Included
  • Weight: 570 g
  • Store links at B&H, Adorama.


  • Boasts powerful and versatile functionality
  • Includes both Infrared and RF master modes


  • Lacks the ability to create a ring light effect
  • Carries a hefty price tag

The Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT stands out as the ultimate tool for professional macro photography enthusiasts seeking unparalleled control and flexibility. Unlike its predecessor, the MR-14EX II Macro Ring Lite, this newer model boasts a significantly higher power output, with an impressive guide number of 26 (m, ISO 100). This enhanced power capability proves invaluable when striving for extreme close-ups and utilizing narrow aperture settings to maximize depth of field.

One of the standout features of the MT-26EX-RT is its twin-flash system, allowing for independent adjustment of each flash head’s position to precisely tailor lighting to the subject. Whether you prefer both lights on one side or positioned at a 90° angle to each other, the level of control is unparalleled. Additionally, the ability to detach the flash heads from the ring and mount them to external supports via cords further expands creative possibilities.

Moreover, the inclusion of Canon’s RT flash technology enables seamless wireless control of other Speedlites, offering photographers additional flexibility in lighting setups. The intuitive layout of the main hot shoe-mounting control unit, coupled with robust construction, underscores the professional-grade quality expected from Canon.

However, it’s important to note that the MT-26EX-RT does lack the ability to replicate the classic ring light effect, which may be a drawback for some photographers, particularly those interested in portrait photography. Furthermore, with its premium features and performance, the MT-26EX-RT commands a significantly higher price tag compared to its predecessor.

In summary, the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT excels as the go-to choice for professionals seeking unparalleled control and versatility in their macro photography endeavors, despite its premium price point and the absence of certain lighting effects.

Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite at B&H, Adorama.

How to choose the best canon flashgun?

Choosing the best Canon flashgun (also known as a speedlight) depends on your specific needs, budget, and the type of photography you’re involved in. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right one:

  1. Determine your budget: Canon offers a range of flashguns at various price points, so knowing how much you’re willing to spend will narrow down your options.
  2. Understand your needs: Consider the type of photography you do most frequently. Are you into portrait photography, event photography, or perhaps wildlife or macro photography? Different situations may require different features in a flashgun.
  3. Check compatibility: Ensure that the flashgun you’re considering is compatible with your Canon camera model. While most Canon speedlights are designed to work with Canon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, it’s always best to double-check compatibility.
  4. Evaluate power and features: Look at the power output of the flashgun, which is usually measured in terms of guide number. Higher guide numbers generally indicate more powerful flashes, which can be useful for larger rooms or outdoor photography. Additionally, consider features such as TTL (Through-The-Lens) metering, high-speed sync, wireless triggering capabilities, and built-in diffusers or bounce cards.
  5. Consider size and weight: If you frequently shoot on-the-go or travel often, you may want to consider the size and weight of the flashgun. Some models are more compact and lightweight, making them easier to carry around.
  6. Read reviews and comparisons: Look for reviews and comparisons of different Canon flashguns online. This can give you insights into the performance, reliability, and user experience of each model.
  7. Visit a store if possible: If you have the opportunity, visit a camera store to handle different flashguns in person. This can give you a better feel for their build quality, ergonomics, and ease of use.
  8. Consider future expansion: If you plan to expand your photography gear in the future, consider whether the flashgun you’re choosing offers compatibility with other accessories, such as off-camera flash setups or flash modifiers.
  9. Check for warranties and support: Ensure that the flashgun comes with a warranty and that you have access to customer support in case you encounter any issues.

By following these steps and considering your specific requirements, you can choose the best Canon flashgun that suits your needs and preferences.

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