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Canon EOS 33V Manual

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Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
ksavage 12:34am on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 
The enthusiasts camera Canon EOS 33 SLR A quality product. All the controls fall nicely to hand and performance is spot on.
gerrygriffin 11:33am on Monday, April 12th, 2010 
Specification: -35mm auto focus SLR camera with built in flash -aluminium body and metal lens mount (a rare thing nowadays) -weight: 575g -LCD panel -...

Comments posted on are solely the views and opinions of the people posting them and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of us.




4 User-Controlled Shooting.53
S Program AE..54 R Shutter-Priority AE..56 E Aperture-Priority AE..58 Depth-of-field Preview.59 W Manual Exposure..60 Q Depth-of-field AE..62 Depth-of-field AE with a Manually-Selected AF Point.62 Depth-of-field AE with Eye Control.64 Exposure Compensation..67 LAuto Exposure Bracketing (AEB).68 Canceling AEB..69 jAE Lock..70 Bulb Exposures..71 4Multiple Exposures..72 HSelecting the Film Advance Mode.73 D Setting the ISO Film Speed..73 9Silencing the Beeper.74 bLCD Panel Illumination.74 Mirror Lockup..75 KWireless Remote Control..76 Using the Remote Switch.76
6 Custom Functions (C.Fn).83
GSetting a Custom Function.84 Custom Function Settings.85 Reference..89 Basic Photography Terms.89 Feature Availability Table..91 AE Lock Effects.92 AF Mode and Film Advance Mode Combination..92 Program Line..93 Troubleshooting Guide.94 Major Specifications..95 Index..98

Handling Cautions

Camera Care and Storage
The camera is a precision instrument. Do not drop it or subject it to physical shock. The camera is not waterproof and should not be used in wet conditions or underwater. If the camera gets wet, take it to your nearest Canon dealer as soon as possible. If small amounts of water splash onto the camera, wipe it with a clean dry cloth. If the camera is exposed to salty air, wipe it thoroughly with a slightly damp cloth. Do not leave the camera in places prone to excessive heat such as in a car on a sunny day. Excessive heat can cause the camera to malfunction. The camera contains precision electronic circuitry. Never attempt to disassemble the camera. Use only a blower brush to blow away any dust on the lens, eyepiece, mirror, focusing screen, film compartment, etc. Do not clean the camera body or lens with any cleaner containing an organic solvent. For stubborn dirt, consult your nearest Canon dealer. The shutter curtains are extremely thin. Use only a blower to clean them. Be careful not to blow air too forcefully on the shutter curtains. The shutter curtains can be easily deformed or damaged. Also, when loading and unloading film, be careful not to touch the shutter curtains. Do not touch the electrical contacts with your fingers. Otherwise corrosion may develop on the contacts, resulting in improper camera operation. If the camera is not to be used for an extended period, remove the batteries. Store the camera in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place. During storage, press the shutter button once in a while to release the shutter a few times. Avoid storing the camera in a laboratory, cabinet, etc., where corrosive chemicals are present. If you have not used the camera for some time or if there is an important shoot, have the camera checked by your Canon dealer beforehand, or check for yourself that the camera components are working properly.

LCD Displays

LCD displays operate more slowly at low temperatures, and may appear dark at high temperatures. The display will return to normal at room temperature.


Before installing the batteries, wipe the battery contacts to remove any fingerprints and smudges. This is to prevent faulty connections and corrosion. Never disassemble or recharge the batteries. Also, never store a battery in high-temperature places or short circuit the battery contacts or toss a battery into a fire. Although the batteries work well even at low temperatures, battery performance may decline slightly at freezing temperatures. In such a case, keep spare batteries warm in a pocket, etc., and use and warm the batteries alternately.
How Low Battery Levels Affect Camera Operation
On the LCD panel, if the <r> icon blinks or it is not displayed, a proper exposure can still be obtained as long as the shutter releases. However, when the battery level is low, the film advance and auto rewind might stop midway or not work at all and the <r> icon may blink on the LCD panel. After the batteries are replaced with new ones, film advance will be possible and film rewind can resume by pressing the <6> button.

Lens Electrical Contacts

After detaching the lens from the camera, put on the lens caps or put down the lens with the rear end up to avoid scratching the lens surface and electrical contacts.


Quick Start Guide

Install the batteries.

Refer to the battery orientation diagram on the battery chamber cover, and insert two CR123A lithium batteries as shown. (p.18)

Attach a lens.

Align the red dots on the lens and camera and turn the lens as shown by the arrow until it snaps in place. (p.20)

Load the film.

Align the edge of the film leader with the orange mark on the camera and close the camera back until it snaps shut. (p.22) The film will advance to the first frame.

Focus the subject.

Aim the AF points on the main subject and press the shutter button halfway to autofocus. (p.21) Under low-light or backlit conditions, the built-in flash will pop-up and fire automatically. (p.78)

On the lens, set the focus mode switch to <AF>. (p.20)
Turn the Mode Dial to <Y> (Full Auto).
Keep pressing the Mode Dials lock button while turning the dial. (p.28)

Take the picture.

Press the shutter button completely to take the picture. (p.21)

Unload the film.

At the end of the roll, the film rewinds automatically. Open the camera back to remove the film cartridge. (p.24)


Reference page numbers are in parentheses. The camera controls are indicated as icons in brackets < >.
AF mode dial (p.15, 38) **Eye Control switch (p.15, 43, 48) Red-eye reduction lamp / Self-timer/ Remote control lamp (p.32/33/76) LCD panel (p.12) <l> Main Dial (p.16) Shutter button (p.21) LCD panel illumination button (p.74) Remote control sensor (p.76) Grip / Battery compartment (p.18) Back cover release lever (p.22) Built-in flash / AF-assist beam (p.78/29) Flash-sync contact Hot shoe (p.81) Dioptric adjustment knob (p.25) Mode Dial lock release button (p.14) Mode Dial (p.14) Film advance mode lever (p.15, 33, 73)

Strap mount (p.17)

Mirror (p.75) Contacts (p.7)
Lens release button (p.20) Depth-of-field preview button (p.59) Lens lock pin Lens mount

Body cap (p.20)

Eyecup (p.25, 34) Viewfinder eyepiece *Date display panel (p.35) <0> Function button (p.23, 32, 68, 72, 73, 74, 80) <Z> Metering mode button (p.52) Film check window
<u> Quick Control Dial (p.16) <h> AF point selection key (p.41) <w AE lock (p.70) / ***FE lock / Custom Function setting button (p.84) <3> AF point selection button (p.41, 87)
Remote control terminal (p.76) <6 Midroll rewind button (p.24) *<q> button (p.35) *<6> button (p.36) *<7> button (p.36) Tripod socket Quick Control Dial switch (p.16) Battery compartment cover release lever (p.18)
* DATE Model only ** m Model only *** With an EX-series Speedlite.

Nomenclature LCD Panel

<K> Remote control mark Shutter speed (D - K, y) Depth-of-field AE (r) ISO film speed (U - F) Custom Function No. (p - P) **Calibration (u) ***FE lock (o) Metering mode Z Evaluative metering X Partial metering C Center-weighted averaging metering
<V> Custom Function Aperture value (Q - V) Red-eye reduction setting (W, E) Beeper setting (W, E) AEB amount (Z - C) DEP points (E, R) Custom Function setting (W - Y) **Calibration No. (E - Y)
<D> ISO film speed <F> Red-eye reduction <9> Beeper
AF point mark Battery level mark
<4> Multiple exposures <a> Flash exposure compensation <L> AEB

The <u> icon indicates the Quick Control Dial.
The <i> icon indicates the Quick Control Dial switch. Operations with the <u> dial assume that the <i> switch is already set to <1>. Be sure it is set to <1>. The <h> icon indicates the AF point selection key.
The camera control icons and markings used in this booklet correspond to the actual icons and markings found on the camera. Reference page numbers are in parentheses. The symbol indicates that the respective feature can be used only in Creative Zone modes (S, R, E, W, Q). In this instruction booklet, a Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 lens is used for example purposes. The procedures explained in this booklet assume that the Custom Functions are set to the default settings. The (0) and (1) icons indicate that the respective function remains in effect for 4 and 6 sec. respectively after the button is released.

Before You Start

This chapter explains a few preliminary steps and basic camera operations.

Attaching the Strap

Pass the end of the strap through the cameras strap mount from the bottom. Then pass it through the straps buckle as shown in the illustration. Pull the strap to make sure it does not slip out of the buckle. The eyepiece cover is also attached to the strap. (p.34)

Eyepiece cover

Installing the Batteries
In the Americas, batteries are not included with the camera.
The camera uses two lithium CR123A (or DL123A) batteries.
1 Open the battery compartment cover.
the arrow and open the cover. 1
Slide the release lever as shown by
2 Install the batteries. contacts (+ Make sure the battery
and ) are properly oriented as shown. Do not mix old and new batteries.
3 Close the battery compartment cover.
Press the cover until it snaps shut.
For places where CR123A (or DL123A) batteries may not be easily available, take spare batteries with you. Also carry spare batteries for extended shooting sessions.
Checking the Battery Level
Check the battery level after replacing the batteries and before using the camera.
Turn the Mode Dial to a shooting mode.
Hold down the dials lock release
button while turning the dial. camera will then turn on and the LCD panel will display one of the following battery level mark: : Battery level OK. : The battery level is low. Keep spare batteries handy. : The batteries will soon be completely exhausted. : Replace the batteries.

Battery Life

Temperature At 20C At 20C 0% Flash Use 125 (115) rolls 70 (65) rolls

(With 24-ex. rolls)

50% Flash Use 100% Flash Use 38 (33) rolls 19 (17) rolls 20 (19) rolls 10 (9) rolls

The picture-taking procedure is the same as with the <Y> Full Auto mode on page 28. The settings automatically set by the Basic Zone modes are shown in the Feature Availability Table on page 91.

n B a sic Zo

YFull Auto Mode
All you do is point the camera and press the shutter button. Everything is automatic so it is easy to photograph any subject. With seven AF points to focus the subject, you just point and shoot.
1 Turn the Mode Dial to <Y>. 2 Aim any of the AF points on the subject.
The main subject, as determined by
the camera, will be focused by one of the AF points. To focus a subject not covered by any of the AF points, see Focusing OffCenter Subjects on page 50.

AF point

subject. 3 Focus the shutter button halfway to Press the


s When
Shutter speed Aperture value
necessary, the built-in flash will pop up automatically. s The AF point that achieves focus will flash in red. The beeper will also sound and the focus confirmation light <n> in the viewfinder will light.
4 Check the exposure setting. The shutter speed and aperture
value will be set automatically and displayed in the viewfinder and on the LCD panel. (0)

AF point mark

5 Take the picture. and press the Compose the shot

shutter button fully.

If you want to zoom, do it before focusing. Turning the zooming ring after achieving focus may throw off the focus. If the built-in flashs pop-up operation is obstructed, the <r> icon will blink on the LCD panel. Press the shutter button halfway to resolve the problem. When focus is achieved, the autofocus and auto exposure setting will also be locked. If the focus confirmation light <n> blinks, the picture cannot be taken. (p.51) Out of the seven AF points, the one covering the closest subject is selected automatically to achieve focus. If multiple AF points flash in red simultaneously, it indicates that all those AF points have achieved focus. In the Basic Zone modes (except <I> <P> ), the built-in flash will pop up and fire automatically in low-light or backlit conditions. To retract the flash, push it back down.

Intelligent Eye Control

You can repeat the calibration procedure under different conditions such as when you are outdoors, indoors, or at night. The camera can save these additional calibration settings under the same CAL No. By accumulating more calibration settings, the camera can provide more precise Eye Control.
Two or more users must not share the same CAL No. Each user should have his or her own CAL No. If necessary, delete the calibration settings saved under another CAL No. to store another users calibration settings. (p.47)
Deleting Eye Control Calibration Settings
If you want to save new calibration settings under a CAL No. that already has calibration settings, follow the procedure below to first delete the previous calibration settings. You can then do the calibration procedure and save the new calibration settings under that CAL No.
2 Select the CAL No. whose be calibration settings are to


Select a non-blinking CAL No.
the <w> button and 3 Press button simultaneously. <3>
CAL No. will start blinking to indicate that the calibration settings have been deleted.
gUsing Eye Control (m Model only)
With Eye Control, you just look at the AF point where you want to focus. Eye Control can be used in all shooting modes except <Y> (Full Auto). In the <Y> (Full Auto) mode, Eye Control information is also added to the automatic AF point selection program for more precise automatic AF point selection.
the CAL 2 Selectthe <l> No. to select your dial Turn
CAL No. Non-blinking number: Indicates registered calibration. Blinking number: Indicates unregistered calibration.
3 Set the Eye Control switch to <g>. a 4 Selecttheshooting mode. the Turn Mode Dial to select

desired shooting mode.

the AF mode 5 TurnAF mode. dial to select the
the focusing 6 Keep looking atto select and point you want press the shutter button halfway.
<m> icon lights in the viewfinder. sThe AF point you look at will flash in red and focus the subject.

7 Take the picture.

If the camera fails to detect which AF point you are looking at, the <m> icon in the viewfinder will blink and automatic AF point selection will take effect. If Eye Control does not work well, check if you are using the correct CAL No. and see Eye Control Calibration and Operation Tips on page 46.

Eye Control Servo AF

When you use Eye Control in the AI Servo AF mode (or AI Focus AF set to AI Servo AF), you can focus a moving subject continuously just by looking at it. This is called Eye Control Servo AF. If the subject focused with Eye Control starts to move, you can continue to focus-track the subject with your eye by looking at the next AF point covering the subject while holding down the shutter button halfway.

CCenter-weighted averaging metering
The metering is weighted at the center and then averaged for the entire scene.
Partial metering and FE lock can be linked to the active AF point. (See page 87 for C.Fn-08-1.)

User-Controlled Shooting

Creativ e
With Creative Zone modes, you can set the desired shutter speed or aperture value to obtain the exposure you want. You take control of the camera.
be used only in Creative Zone modes (S, R, E, W, Q). Press the shutter button halfway and release, and the exposure setting will be displayed for approximately 4 seconds on the LCD panel and viewfinder. The functions that can be set in Creative Zone modes are listed in the Function Availability Table (p.91). Before proceeding, turn the <i> switch to <1>.

S Program AE

Like the <Y> (Full Auto) mode, this is a general-purpose mode to make picture-taking easy. It sets the shutter speed and aperture value automatically to suit the subjects brightness. <S> stands for Program. AE stands for auto exposure.
1 Turn the Mode Dial to <S>.
the subject. 2 Focus the AF point over the subject Move
and press the shutter button halfway.
3 Check the display.and aperture The shutter speed
value are set automatically and displayed in the viewfinder and on the LCD panel. If the shutter speed and aperture value do not blink, a correct exposure will be obtained.
4 Take the picture. and press the Compose the shot
If the K shutter speed and maximum aperture display blink, it means the subject is too dark. Use flash. If the D shutter speed and minimum aperture display blink, it means the subject is too bright. Attach an ND filter (sold separately) to reduce the light entering the lens.
The Difference Between <S> and <Y>
The shutter speed and aperture value are set in the same way in both modes. The following features can be used in the <S> mode, but not in the <Y> mode. Manual AF point selection Custom Functions Metering mode selection Built-in flash manual firing Film advance mode selection EX-series Speedlite compatibility Program shift - FE lock Exposure compensation - High-speed sync (FP flash) AEB - Flash ratio control AE lock with the <j> button - FEB Depth-of-field preview - 2nd-curtain sync Multiple exposures - Modeling flash

About Program Shift

In the Program AE mode, you can freely change the shutter speed and aperture value combination (program) set by the camera while retaining the same exposure. This is called program shift. To shift the program, press the shutter button halfway and turn the <l> dial until the desired shutter speed or aperture value is displayed. Program shift is canceled automatically after the picture is taken. Program shift cannot be set when the built-in flash is used.

R Shutter-Priority AE

In this mode, you set the shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture value automatically to suit the subject brightness. A fast shutter speed can freeze the motion of a fast-moving subject and a slow shutter speed can blur the subject to give the impression of motion. <R> stands for Time value which is the shutter speed.
Taken with a fast shutter speed.
Taken with a slow shutter speed.
1 Turn the Mode Dial to <R>.
the desired 2 Selectthe <l> dial.shutter speed. Turn

stop increments.

The shutter speed can be set in half-
shutter button 3 Press thethe subject. halfway to focus
aperture value is set automatically.
4 Check the viewfinder display and take the picture.
A correct exposure will be obtained
as long as the aperture value display is not blinking.
If the maximum aperture value blinks, it indicates underexposure. Turn the <l> dial to set a slower shutter speed until the blinking stops. If the minimum aperture value blinks, it indicates overexposure. Turn the <l> dial to set a faster shutter speed until the blinking stops.

Shutter Speed Display

The shutter speeds from D to R indicate the denominator of the fractional shutter speed. For example, S indicates 1/125 sec. Also, H indicates 0.7 sec, and J indicates 15 sec.

E Aperture-Priority AE

In this mode, you set the desired aperture value and the camera sets the shutter speed automatically to suit the subject brightness. The larger or brighter the aperture (lower f/number) the more blurred the background will become. This effect is ideal for portraits. The smaller or darker the aperture (higher f/number), the clearer the focus will be for both near and far objects (wider depth of field). <E> stands for aperture value.
Taken with a large aperture.
Taken with a small aperture.
1 Turn the Mode Dial to <E>.
the desired 2 Selectthe <l> dial.aperture value. Turn
The aperture value can be set in half-
shutter speed is set automatically.
as long as the shutter speed display does not blink.
If the slowest shutter speed blinks, it indicates underexposure. In such a case, turn the <l> dial to set a larger aperture value (smaller f/number) until the shutter speed display stops blinking. If the fastest shutter speed blinks, it indicates overexposure. In such a case, turn the <l> dial to set a smaller aperture value (larger f/number) until the shutter speed display stops blinking.

Depth-of-field AE with a Manually-Selected AF Point
Mode Dial to <Q>. 1 Turn the mode will be set The AF
automatically to <4>.
2 Turn the Eye Control switch to <2>. 3 Select the AF point. and use Press the <3> button
the <h> keys to select the AF point.
If automatic AF point selection has
been set, use the center AF point to focus.
the nearest 4 Focusthe selected AFsubject. the point on Aim
nearest subject, then press the shutter button. (0) sThe focus confirmation light <n> will light, and s will be displayed. In steps 4 and 5, pressing the shutter button completely will not take the picture.
5 Focus farthest. subject. Repeat step 4

will be displayed.

Steps 4 and 5 can also be done in

reverse order.

6 Compose the picture and press the shutter button halfway. (0)
optimum point of focus, aperture, and shutter speed to obtain the desired depth of field are set automatically. When you let go of the shutter button, the display will change to r. The exposure setting is set when the picture is taken.
7 Take the picture. of field will be The desired depth
obtained as long as the aperture value display does not blink. A correct exposure will be obtained as long as the shutter speed and aperture value displays do not blink.
Q Depth-of-field AE Depth-of-field AE with Eye Control (m Model only)
With Eye Control, you can easily set the desired depth of field without having to recompose so much.
1 Turn the Mode Dial to <Q>. 2 Set the Eye Control switch to <g>.

been set. (p.48)

Make sure the correct CAL No. has
3 Focusinthe nearest subject you want focus.
Look at the subject and press the
shutter button. (0) focus confirmation light <n> will light, and s will be displayed. In steps 3 and 4, pressing the shutter button completely will not take the picture.
4 Focusinthe farthest subject you want focus.

Repeat step 3.

Using an EOS-dedicated Speedlite
The camera is compatible with the EX/EZ/E/EG/ML/TL-series EOSdedicated Speedlites. For details on operating the Speedlite, refer to the Speedlites instruction booklet.
Using an EX-series Speedlite
With E-TTL II autoflash (AF point-linked, evaluative flash metering with preflash), you can easily take natural-looking flash pictures centering on the subject in the same way as normal AE shooting.
Using an EZ/E/EG/ML/TL-series Speedlite
With A-TTL/TTL autoflash (AF point-linked, off-the-film flash metering), you can easily take flash pictures in the same way as normal AE shooting.

About E-TTL II Autoflash

E-TTL II is a new autoflash exposure system incorporating improved flash exposure control and lens focusing distance information, making it more precise than the previous E-TTL (evaluative flash metering with preflash) system. The camera can execute E-TTL II autoflash with any EX-series Speedlite. Before attaching an external Speedlite, retract the built-in flash. If you use a flash unit (with multiple contacts) dedicated to another camera brand or a high-voltage flash, the camera may not work properly or malfunction may result. If focus is difficult to achieve, the EOS-dedicated Speedlite (one with a builtin AF-assist light) will automatically emit the AF-assist light (except in <I> <P> modes). With regard to EOS-dedicated Speedlites, this is a Type A camera (compatible with E-TTL II autoflash).
C.Fn-07-3 can disable the EOS-dedicated Speedlite from firing a flash. (p.86) C.Fn-06-1 can set second-curtain flash synchronization for an EOSdedicated Speedlite. (p.86) With C.Fn-09-1, the flash sync speed will be fixed at 1/125 sec. in the <E> mode. (p.87)

Custom Functions (C.Fn)

Custom Functions enable you to customize various camera features to suit your picture-taking preferences. In the previous text, the <V> symbol was used to point out relevant Custom Functions. In this chapter, all the Custom Functions are described in detail.
Custom Function settings are applied in the Creative
Zone modes. They are not applied in the Basic Zone modes.
GSetting a Custom Function
1 Turn the Mode Dial to <G>. The <V> icon and Custom

Function No. are displayed on the LCD panel.
the Custom No. 2 Selectthe <l> dial Functionthe to select Turn

Custom Function No.

Custom Function 3 Set thethe <w> button. setting. The Press
Custom Function setting changes each time you press the button. The W setting is the default. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above to set any other Custom Functions.
4 Finalize the setting. a shooting Turn the Mode Dial to
mode. <V> icon remains displayed on the LCD panel and the Custom Function setting is set.
Custom Function Setting No. Function Setting No.
C.Fn stands for Custom Function.

Custom Function Settings

C.Fn-01 Film rewind speed
Increase the film rewind speed. 0 : Normal (silent) rewind 1 : High-speed rewind
C.Fn-02 Film leader position after film rewind
Prevent the film leader from being rewound in the film cartridge after film rewind. 0 : Rewinds film leader into the cartridge 1 : Leaves film leader outside the cartridge
C.Fn-03 DX-coded film speed setting method
Prevent the camera from automatically setting the ISO film speed when the film is loaded. 0 : Enabled 1 : Disabled
C.Fn-04 Shutter button and <j> functions
0 : AF activation with shutter button pressed halfway, and AE lock with the <j> button. 1 : AF activation with the <j> button, and AE lock with shutter button pressed halfway. Makes focusing and AE lock separate operations. 2 : AF activation with shutter button pressed halfway, and suspend AF operation with the <j> button. During AI SERVO AF, if an obstruction comes in front of the subject, you can press the <j> button to stop the AF operation momentarily. The exposure is determined when the shot is taken.

C.Fn-05 Mirror lockup

0 : Disabled (Normal operation) 1 : Enabled Effective for close-up and telephoto shots to prevent camera shake caused by the mirrors reflex action. See page 75 to use this feature.
C.Fn-06 Shutter curtain sync with built-in flash/EOS-dedicated Speedlite
0 : 1st-curtain sync 1 : 2nd-curtain sync With second-curtain sync and a slow shutter speed, you can create a light trail following a moving subject. The flash fires right before the shutter closes. Second-curtain sync can be set even with EOS-dedicated Speedlites which cannot switch the shutter curtain synchronization. The Speedlite with a shutter curtain synchronization setting will override the cameras setting.
C.Fn-07 AF-assist beam emission / Main flash firing
The AF-assist beam from the camera and the EOS-dedicated Speedlite can be enabled/disabled, and the flash from the camera and EOS-dedicated Speedlite can be enabled/disabled. 0 : Enable AF-assist and flash 1 : Disable AF-assist and enable flash 2 : Enable AF-assist only with EOS Speedlite and enable flash 3 : Enable AF-assist and disable flash

CANON INC. 30-2, Shimomaruko 3-chome, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 146-8501, Japan
U.S.A. CANON U.S.A. INC. For all inquiries concerning this camera, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-OK-CANON or write to: Customer Relations, Canon U.S.A., Inc. One Canon Plaza, Lake Success, N.Y. 11042-1198 CANON CANADA INC. HEADQUARTERS 6390 Dixie Road, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 1P7, Canada CANON CANADA INC. MONTREAL BRANCH 5990, Cte-de-Liesse, Montral Qubec H4T 1V7, Canada CANON CANADA INC. CALGARY OFFICE 2828, 16th Street, N.E. Calgary, Alberta T2E 7K7, Canada For all inquiries concerning this camera, call toll free in Canada 1-800-OK-CANON CANON EUROPA N.V. Bovenkerkerweg 59-61, P.O. Box 2262, 1180 EG Amstelveen, The Netherlands CANON COMMUNICATION & IMAGE FRANCE S.A. 102, Avenue du Gnral de Gaulle 92257 La Garenne-Colombes Cedex, France CANON UK LTD. Woodhatch Reigate Surrey RH2 8BF, United Kingdom CANON DEUTSCHLAND GmbH Europark Fichtenhain A10, 47807 Krefeld, Germany CANON ITALIA S.p.A. Via Milano 8 I-20097 San Donato Milanese, Milano, Italy CANON Schweiz AG Geschftsbereich Wiederverkauf, Industriestrasse 12, CH-8305 Dietlikon, Switzerland CANON G. m. b. H. Oberlaaerstrasse 233, 4th floor, 1100 Wien, Austria CANON Espaa, S. A. C/Joaqun Costa, 41, 28002 Madrid, Spain SEQUE Soc. Nac. de Equip., Lda., Praa da Alegria, 58, 2, 1269-149 Lisboa, Portugal CANON LATIN AMERICA, INC. DEPTO DE VENTAS 703 Waterford Way Suite 400 Miami, FL 33126 U.S.A. CANON LATIN AMERICA, INC. CENTRO DE SERVICIO Y REPARACION Apartado 2019, Zona Libre de Coln, Repblica de Panam CANON HONGKONG CO., LTD. 9/F, The Hong Kong Club Building, 3A Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong CANON SINGAPORE PTE. LTD. 79 Anson Road #09-01/06 Singapore 079906 CANON AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD. 1 Thomas Holt Drive, North Ryde, N.S.W. 2113, Australia CANON NEW ZEALAND LTD. Akoranga Business Park, Akoranga Drive, Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand CANON SALES CO., INC. 16-6, Kohnan 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8011, Japan




Top Ten Frequently Asked EOS Flash Questions.
Before we start, however, Id like to provide quick answers to the top ten Frequently Asked Page 5 of 33
EOS Flash Questions, since they come up an awful lot. 1) My camera already has a built-in flash. Do I need an external one? If so, what kind? This question crops up all the time on discussion forums, much to the irritation of oldtimers. And their irritation usually arises for two simple reasons. First, theyre grumpy cantankerous curmudgeons and second, the question is sort of meaningless without knowing what your photographic requirements and interests are. Its very much like asking, Which car should I buy? The answer depends on your needs and budget. But heres a brief overview of what you should consider. If you just want something to take snapshots with, a built-in popup flash is probably sufficient. It cant produce much light and so doesnt have a lot of range, but then friends in restaurants arent going to be very far from you. It has a harsh quality, but for snapshots most people dont seem to mind much. And internal flash units are convenient - you cant lose them unless you lose the whole camera, and they dont add any additional weight or bulk. However, if you want to get into more advanced photography youll probably want either to buy a good external flash unit or else eschew flash as often as possible and rely more on available light. As noted above, the light from an internal flash unit is very harsh, whereas external units let you soften the light by bouncing it off of walls or ceilings, or attaching light-softening diffusers. Most importantly, an external flash unit can be taken off the camera - either with an extension cord or wireless. This is important since on-camera flash provides unnatural head-on lighting. At this point its largely a matter of how much you want to spend and how much weight you want to carry around. Please consult the which flash? section of this document for more details. Nonetheless, remember that flash is no panacea for photographic lighting problems. Its obviously a valuable tool, but often the best way to ruin a nice picture is to blast tons of light onto the scene with a flash unit. Available light photography forces you to slow down and consider the light around you, which ultimately can help you become a better photographer. 2) Im not happy with my flash photos. The lighting always looks harsh and unflattering. Flash is like that. Basically, soft lighting is light which originates from a large area. Portable camera flashes, by contrast, have very small light-producing areas and, therefore, produce very hard-edged light with pronounced shadows. Flash units also tend to be mounted right next to the camera lens, producing an unnatural look. How often do you see the world illuminated by light emanating from your head? You dont - unless youre wearing a caving helmet. Light tends to come from overhead sources - the sun, ceiling lamps, etc. The easiest way to soften the lighting in your flash photos is to bounce the light from the flash unit off a large white surface. Walls and ceilings work for this, as Page 6 of 33
do portable folding reflectors. You can also buy diffusers that attach to your flash that help a little bit as well. For more information have a look at the section on quality of light. 3) Are my friends possessed by demonic powers? Their eyes are glowing an evil red! This is the redeye effect; a common problem with the internal flash units built into cameras. Its caused by the light from the flash unit reflecting off the red blood vessels lining the interior of the eye. The light shines back into the camera, resulting in the famous red glow. The easiest way to minimize the risk of redeye is to use an external flash unit rather than a built-in flash. The problem is fully explained in the redeye section of this document, as is the related problem of greeneye in cats and dogs. If, however, your friends eyes glow an evil red in real life and not just in your flash photos of them then youre reading the wrong document and probably should do a Web search on exorcism. 4) I took a flash photo and theres a curved shadow at the bottom of the photo. Youre using the cameras internal flash and you also have a very large lens installed or a lens with a big lens hood. Either way, something is blocking the light from the internal flash. To fix the problem you could try a different lens, zoom wider if the lens is extended (ie: shorten the lens if its a zoom lens), remove the lens hood or use an external flash unit. Its also possible that youre too close (a metre or less) to the subject. 5) I took two flash photos in rapid succession and the second one is totally dark. All flash units take a number of seconds to charge up between flash bursts. Some flash units have rapid-fire abilities which let them fire the flash even if the internal capacitor is not yet fully charged - but others dont. So if your second photo is dark it probably rapid-fire capabilities. You have to wait for pilot light on the back of the unit goes on) However, if your flash does have rapid-fire the second photo too quickly and the flash to an adequate power level. means that your flash unit lacks the unit to charge up fully (and the before taking the second photo. capabilities then you probably took unit hadnt enough time to recharge
Note that different types of batteries charge up the flash at different speeds, so if this is a consistent problem you should look into your battery options. 6) Ive put a diffuser or reflector on my flash. Do I have to compensate for this somehow? Diffusers of any kind obviously reduce the amount of light that your flash unit produces. Youll find a similar effect if you bounce the light from your flash unit off a wall or into a photographic umbrella.

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However, so long as youre using automated (TTL, A-TTL or E-TTL) metering then the camera will compensate automatically. There is no need to adjust anything. Youll have decreased range, but you shouldnt have any exposure problems unless youre too far away from the subject and the decreased range now means youre out of range. Diffusers can easily cost you at least half your flash range, depending on the type. 7) I tried to take a flash photo and the camera wanted a really slow shutter speed. This occurred because you are trying to take a flash photo in low-light conditions and the camera is in Av (aperture priority) mode or the night PIC (icon) mode if your camera has it. In Av, night and Tv (shutter speed priority) modes the camera meters for ambient (existing) light and fills in the foreground subject using the flash. It does not assume that the primary light source is the flash, and therefore the shutter speed it sets is the same as it would set if you werent using flash at all. In low light this results in slow shutter photography. If the shutter speed is very long you will, therefore, need a tripod to avoid motion blur during the exposure. Alternatively you can switch to full auto (green rectangle) or Program (P) mode, which automatically expose for the flash-illuminated subject and not the background. These modes try to ensure that the shutter speed is high enough to let you handhold the camera without a tripod. The drawback of P and basic modes is that photos taken in dimly lit areas usually end up with black or poorly lit backgrounds. 8) I tried taking a flash photo and the camera wouldnt let me set a very high shutter speed. Each camera model has a top shutter speed that can be used with flash. This is known as its flash sync or X-sync speed, and varies from 1/90 sec on low-end cameras to 1/250 on pro cameras. (1/500 sec on the digital 1D) If you have a newer camera and an EX series flash you can use FP mode to circumvent this limit - see the FP section for more details. 9) I took a flash photo and the background is pitch black or very dark. This is the flip side of question 7. In P (program) mode and all flash-using PIC (icon) modes except for night mode (if your camera has it) the camera uses the flash as the primary light source for the foreground subject. If the ambient light levels are low, therefore, the background will turn out very dark. This is because the flash is not illuminating the background and the shutter speed is too short to expose adequately for background areas. Remember that the light from any battery-powered flash is somewhat limited. You cant expect a small flash unit to light up the Grand Canyon or Eiffel Tower. You can only reasonably expect it to light up people standing in the foreground Page 9 of 33
speed, which affects the duration of the exposure since ambient light is essentially constant in this context. And you can adjust the lens aperture - the physical diaphragm on most lenses which governs the quantity of light that enters the lens. (you can also use different lenses, add filters to the lens and so on, but were talking about the fundamental issues here) However, flash photography is quite different since it involves split-second bursts of light. A key point to remember in flash photography is that the shutter speed of the camera normally does not have any bearing on flash exposure - an exception being FP mode, mentioned later. Light from a continuous source is affected by shutter speeds, but flash bursts are so brief - in the milliseconds - that a mechanical shutter mechanism has no way of limiting the amount of light from a flash unit that hits the film. Shutter speed only affects the amount of ambient light. You therefore have four basic ways to control how much light from a flash unit exposes the film. First, you can adjust the lens aperture. However, lens apertures also affect the amount of ambient light striking the film as well, so it would obviously be hugely inconvenient if that were the only option at our disposal. Second, you can adjust the distance from the flash unit to the subject. Light falloff follows known physical laws and so can reliably be calculated, but of course itd be very inconvenient if you had to move the flash unit around all the time just to adjust flash exposures. That sort of thing is fine in a studio setting, but not for casual or photojournalist photography. Additionally, altering flash unit/subject distances affects the relative size of the flash light source, which results in different qualities of light (hard vs soft). Third, you can put various diffusers or light baffles between the flash unit and the subject, which would be a nuisance to carry around and deal with. Fourth, you can adjust the duration of the flash pulse as mentioned above, which thereby affects the intensity of the light produced. And this is the primary method of control we use for electronic flash. So thats what flash metering is really all about, in a nutshell. You need to adjust the duration of the flash pulse so you can expose the film correctly and achieve your photographic goal. Determining what this flash duration should be is not an easy thing to do, however, and so camera makers over the years have come up with various automated systems to do it. Flash metering principles. Flash metering has very different requirements from normal ambient light metering for the reasons outlined above. Ambient light metering is performed well in advance of the shutter opening. EOS cameras, for example, activate the internal light meter when you press the shutter release button down halfway. But the subject-illuminating flash pulse, however, occurs after you press the shutter release all the way. That means that the flash pulse appears after the mirror has flipped up (blocking the ambient light meter) and the shutter has opened. There are thus two basic ways you can meter for flash automatically. First, you can measure Page 10 of 33
the flash pulse as it is being emitted or second, you can send out a low-power test pulse (preflash) of known brightness first and base your light calculations on that data before the shutter opens. These two flash metering methods are used by Canons automated flash metering systems. TTL and A-TTL flash use the former and E-TTL the latter. Flash units capable of E-TTL also support FP mode flash. Heres an explanation of these technologies. TTL (through the lens) flash metering. As noted above, the earliest electronic flashes required the photographer to perform distance calculations by hand. Later, the first generation of automatic electronic flash units relied upon external sensors to determine the flash exposure setting. These sensors, mounted on the front of the flash unit, simply recorded the flash bulbs light, reflected back from subject, and cut off the power when enough light for a satisfactory exposure was determined. The venerable Vivitar 283 still sold today works this way, in fact. Of course, such external sensors were easily fooled. The sensor might, for example, cover more or less area than the lens currently in use. So Olympus pioneered through-the-lens flash metering in the mid 1970s with the OM2. Canon later included TTL flash metering in their T90 camera a decade later, and added the feature as standard with the EOS line of film cameras. Its for this reason that the Canon T90 is the only non-EOS camera capable of using Canons TTL system. TTL flash metering works by measuring the pulse of flash-generated light bouncing back off the subject and entering the lens. It actually measures this light reflecting off the surface of the film itself, in realtime, by using an off the film (OTF) sensor. The light from the flash bulb is quenched when the sensor determines enough light has been produced to achieve a satisfactory flash exposure to get a mid-toned subject. For those interested, the OTF sensor is buried deep in the camera body, and is visible if you put the camera in bulb mode (ie: flip up the mirror and open the shutter) and open the camera back. Its a small lens pointing back at a 45 angle towards where the film surface would be, and is located at the bottom of the camera in the ridged black area right in front of the shutter curtain. The rectangular or cross-shaped hole or holes immediately in front of it are the autofocus sensors. The TTL sequence of operation is as follows: When the shutter release is depressed halfway the current ambient light levels are metered by the camera as usual. Shutter speed and aperture are set by the camera or user depending on the current mode - P, Av, Tv or M. In P mode the camera sets the shutter speed to a value between 1/60 and X-sync. In the other modes it meters normally. (except on certain cameras which have a custom function that can lock the camera to X-sync in Av mode) When the shutter release is pressed all the way the camera flips up the mirror and opens the shutter, exposing the film. The flash unit sends power to the flash tube, illuminating the scene. The start time of the flash triggering depends on whether first or second curtain sync has been set. Duration of the flash pulse is determined by the OTF sensor, which meters for an average scene. If the photo is being taken under bright lighting conditions (10 EV or brighter), auto fill reduction Page 11 of 33
If the photo is being taken under bright lighting conditions (10 EV or brighter), auto fill reduction is applied. (unless it has been disabled by a custom function, as is possible on some bodies) This can reduce the flash output by anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 stops. As soon as the flash unit determines that the foreground subject has been adequately lit - by this realtime measurement of reflected flash light - it cuts off the power to the flash tube and the light from the flash unit is immediately quenched. The shutter stays open for the full duration of the shutter speed time. The shutter closes and the mirror flips back down. If the flash unit has a flash exposure confirmation light and if the flash metering was deemed adequate then the light glows. One note - since the sensor records light reflecting off the surface of the film itself it will of course react differently to film with very different reflective properties. According to B&Hs Henry Posner on the EOS list, all cameras with TTL flash are calibrated to work with the emulsion characteristics of typical colour print film and there may, therefore, be very subtle differences in flash metering when you use slide film. Since slide film has very narrow exposure tolerances (latitude) this might be an issue for you. Cameras which support TTL flash: The T90 and all EOS film cameras except the EF-M. The digital D30, D60, 1D, 1Ds, 10D, 300D/Digital Rebel/Kiss Digital and 1D mark II cameras do not support TTL. Flash units which support TTL flash: All E series Speedlites plus the 300TL: 160E, 200E, 220EX, 300EZ, 380EX, 420EZ, 420EX, 430EZ, 540EZ, 550EX, 480EG, MR-14EX, MT-24EX and 300TL. Refinements to TTL flash, including Canon AIM. TTL metering is more reliable than systems which rely on external sensors, but it can still be fooled. For example, a highly reflective subject or a subject in white surroundings can result in a lot of light reflecting back, so the resulting picture may well be underexposed as the camera quenches the flash too soon. An off-centre subject poses similar problems. Another issue is that the flash metering occurs while the shutter is open, so the camera cant accurately factor flash in with ambient light metering. Canon refined TTL control on their multiple focus point cameras by adding a feature they call AIM, (Advanced Integrated Multi-point Control System) which is basically multiple-segment flash metering. This lets the camera bias the flash exposure to the currently selected focus point, thereby increasing the chances of getting accurate flash exposure for off-centre subjects. The AIM system means that its best to rely on selecting off-centre focus points for flash photography rather than using the centre point and then recomposing the image. (unless you use flash exposure lock, explained below) For more information on AIM consult the flash metering patterns section. Note that older EOS cameras with multiple-segment flash metering didnt use the term AIM in their documentation - Canon came up with the marketing term sometime in the mid 90s - so the fact your multiple focus point camera doesnt mention AIM doesnt mean it hasnt got it. Nikon improved their TTL flash metering system by incorporating subject distance into flash Page 12 of 33
calculations - their 3D system. This system determines distance information by reading the current focussing distance from the lens. Canon did not incorporate a similar distance-data system in their flash technology until 2004, with the introduction of E-TTL II. However, while distance data is valuable, its important to keep in mind that distance data isnt very useful when using a flash in bounce mode or when using any diffusion system in which the light from the flash unit does not travel directly to the subject, since both cases increase the flash to subject distance over the lens to subject distance. A-TTL (advanced TTL). Canons first step in altering flash exposure design was the creation of A-TTL, or advanced through the lens flash metering, which was introduced with the T90 camera and continued on to the EOS series of film cameras. A-TTL flash units (300TL and EZ series Speedlites only) send out a brief burst of light during the metering phase. (ie: when the shutter release button is pressed halfway) This preflash is recorded by an external sensor on the front of the flash and used to determine a reasonable aperture to ensure adequate depth of field, particularly at short distances. The flash unit then sends out the actual scene-illuminating flash once the shutter has opened. The A-TTL sequence of operation is as follows: When the shutter release is depressed halfway the current light levels are metered by the camera. In P and Tv modes the ambient aperture value is determined and stored, but not set. In Av and M modes the ambient aperture value is user-set. The flash unit fires a preflash (either near-infrared light from a front-mounted secondary flash bulb or white light from the main flash bulb, depending on the flash unit and operating mode) in conjunction with the ambient light metering, in order to determine the approximate distance from the flash to the main subject. In P mode only, the correct aperture value to expose the main subject is then calculated. In P mode only, the two aperture values (ambient and flash) are compared when the shutter release is fully depressed. The camera typically sets the smaller of the two apertures, particularly if the distance to the subject is determined to be fairly close. In Av and M modes the aperture is determined by the user setting and in Tv mode the aperture is determined by the ambient light meter settings. If the photo is being taken under bright lighting conditions (10 EV or brighter), auto fill reduction is applied. (unless it has been disabled by a custom function, as is possible on some bodies) This can reduce the flash output by anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 stops. Finally, the camera flips up the mirror and opens the shutter, exposing the film. The flash unit then sends out the actual scene-illuminating flash. The start time of the flash pulse depends on whether first or second curtain sync has been set. Duration of the flash pulse is determined by the standard OTF sensor - exactly the same as TTL flash. The shutter stays open for the full duration of the shutter speed time. The shutter closes and the mirror flips back down. If the flash unit has a flash exposure confirmation light and if the flash metering was deemed adequate then the light glows.

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The shutter stays open for the full duration of the shutter speed time. The shutter closes and the mirror flips back down. If the flash unit has a flash exposure confirmation light and if the flash metering was deemed adequate then the light glows. Camera units which support E-TTL: All type A EOS cameras (see below). Flash units which support E-TTL: All EX series Speedlites: 220EX, 380EX, 420EX, 550EX, MR-14EX, MT-24EX. Limitations of E-TTL. One drawback of E-TTL is that the preflash can cause people who blink quickly to be photographed mid-blink - what EOS list member Julian Loke has referred to as the BEETTL syndrome, for blinking eye E-TTL. The preflash normally occurs an extremely brief period of time before the main flash, but when using second-curtain sync with slow shutter theres enough time for rapid blinkers to react to the preflash. This apparently can also be a problem for nature photographers who photograph birds. Another problem is that the use of preflash can trigger studio slave flash units which work by detecting the light from the triggering camera - analogue optical slaves. This results in flash exposure going very wrong, since the optical slave is triggered too soon. The preflash can also confuse handheld flash meters, making manual flash metering very difficult. More abstractly, E-TTL is a very automated system and isnt well documented for the user. For instance, as noted above, Canon have never published details on the E-TTL auto fill reduction algorithm. It takes a bit of experimenting to figure out how the system is likely to respond. And theres relatively little user selection or choice in operation modes. Most flash units dont, for instance, let you manually choose TTL, A-TTL or E-TTL flash metering at will. E-TTL has also been a problem for a lot of digital users (see TTL and E-TTL and digital EOS cameras below) because of the way E-TTL flash metering is performed. Some of these issues are addressed by E-TTL II, which is described in the next section. Finally, not every E-TTL feature is supported by every type A body and E-TTL flash unit. Some wireless E-TTL features and other functions such as the modelling light, for example, require both newer type A EOS bodies like the EOS 3 or EOS 30 and flash units like the 550EX or 420EX. Part III of this article describes which features are available for which combinations of camera body and flash unit. E-TTL II. Introduced in 2004 with the EOS 1D mark II digital camera and the EOS Elan 7N/EOS 30V/7S film camera, E-TTL II is an improved version of regular E-TTL which includes two key innovations. Improved flash metering algorithms. First, E-TTL II examines all evaluative metering zones both before and after the E-TTL preflash goes off. Those areas with relatively small changes in brightness are then weighted for flash metering. This is done to avoid the common E-TTL problem of highly reflective materials causing specular highlights in a flash-illuminated image and throwing off the flash Page 20 of 33
the letter H, for high speed sync. Camera units which support FP mode flash: All type A EOS cameras plus the EOS 1N if reprogrammed as above. Flash units which support FP mode flash: All EX series Speedlites: 220EX, 380EX, 420EX, 550EX, MR-14EX, MT-24EX. TTL and E-TTL and EOS film cameras. All film-based Canon EOS cameras at the time of writing support TTL flash metering - the one exception being the oddball Canon EF-M, which was a manual-focus camera that could accept EF-mount lenses but which lacked both autofocus and TTL flash circuitry as a costsaving measure. (you had to buy an optional flash unit with an external sensor, the Speedlite 200M, if you wanted to do flash photography with the EF-M) All film-based EOS cameras with built-in flashes rely solely on TTL for flash exposure control of those internal flash units. Canon cameras designed prior to the Elan II/EOS 50 of 1995 dont support E-TTL. With the release of this camera Canon divided their camera bodies into two types - A and B. Type A bodies are bodies which support E-TTL, FEL and FP flash technologies. Type B bodies are bodies which do not. With flash units its easy - if the name of the flash unit ends with the letter X (eg: 550EX, MT-24EX) then its an E-TTL unit. If it ends with anything else (eg: 430EZ, 480EG) then it is not. However, there are three points of note here. First, Canon continued designing and selling type B bodies for many years after the introduction of the Elan II/EOS 50, such as the EOS 3000 and venerable EOS 5/A2, so the date you bought your camera wont determine if its a type A or B body. Second, since Canon came up with the whole A/B naming convention in 1995, older cameras are obviously not described as being type B in their manuals. And third, type A simply means support for E-TTL, FEL and FP mode - it doesnt mean that the camera necessarily supports other recent flash features such as wireless flash ratios or modelling flash. So the upshot of all this is the following: First, all EX-series (ie: E-TTL capable) flash units also support TTL metering and automatically revert to TTL metering when used with an older type B camera body. However, no EX-series flash units support A-TTL metering. Second, since all EOS film cameras (both type A and type B) support both TTL and A-TTL metering they can all use E-series flash units in TTL mode and EZ-series flash units in A-TTL mode. All EOS digital cameras support either E-TTL or both E-TTL and E-TTL II (see below). Third, if both the camera and flash unit support E-TTL (ie: the camera is a type A body and the flash an EX series) then they will use E-TTL unless specifically overridden (see disabling E-TTL below). TTL and E-TTL and EOS digital cameras. All current Canon digital cameras with hotshoes - both the interchangeable-lens SLR cameras and the point and shoot digital cameras - support E-TTL (or both E-TTL and E-TTL Page 22 of 33
D2000, D6000 (digital) IX, IX 7, IX Lite, IX 50 (APS) Rebel G/500N/New EOS Kiss, Rebel G II Rebel 2000/EOS 300/Kiss III, Kiss IIIL 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 3000N/Rebel XS N/EOS 66 3000V/Rebel K2/Kiss Lite
As above plus support for wireless E-TTL flash ratios and modelling flash: EOS EOS EOS EOS EOS EOS 3 Elan 7(E)/EOS 30/33/7 1V D30, D60 and 10D (digital) 1D and 1Ds (digital) 300D/Digital Rebel/Kiss Digital (digital)
As above plus support for E-TTL II: EOS 1D mark II (digital) EOS Elan 7N/Elan 7EN/EOS 30V/33V/7S Type B bodies Support for TTL and A-TTL only: EOS 600 series - 600, 620, 630, 650, RT EOS 700, 750, 800 EOS 1 EOS 10/10S/10QD First generation Rebel series - Rebel, Rebel S, EOS 1000 and all 1000 variants, Rebel II, Rebel X, XS/EOS 500/Kiss EOS Elan/100 EOS A2(E)/5 EOS 1N, 1NRS EOS 3000/88, 5000/888 EOS DCS3, DCS1 (first generation digital) Disabling E-TTL. There are times when TTL metering may be more desirable than E-TTL. A common example is a studio setting where analogue optical slave units can be fooled by the E-TTL preflash. The 550EX, MR-14EX and MT-24EX let you disable E-TTL via a custom function, but theyre the only Canon Speedlites with this ability. All other EX flash units (220EX, 380EX, 420EX) will always operate in E-TTL mode when mounted to an E-TTL-capable camera, even if the camera is also capable of supporting TTL and even though theyll work in TTL mode just fine on a type B camera. One way around this is to buy Canons Hot Shoe Adapter for wired multiple-unit flash. This adapter works only in TTL mode, so putting an E-TTL flash unit onto an HSA will force it to work in TTL only. This is a pretty expensive approach, however. Another option is to tape over one of the data contacts in the hotshoe. Covering the lower left contact (the left contact out of the hotshoes group of four thats closest to the back of the camera when Page 23 of 33
looking at the camera from the top) will disable all E-TTL functionality. (though itll also disable second-curtain sync along with FP flash and FEL) For more details have a look at this article on EOSDoc. Note that digital EOS cameras will not fire the flash if the flash is in TTL mode. Digital EOS cameras work with E-TTL or E-TTL II flash only and support neither TTL nor A-TTL.
EOS system compatible flash units.
This document is concerned primarily with two types of flash technologies built by Canon for use with their EOS cameras - the pop-up integral flash units built into most low and midrange EOS cameras and the external shoe-mounted Speedlite flash units which can be attached to any EOS camera. I do not discuss studio flash units (large flash units for studio photography, usually powered by AC current and not batteries, and called studio strobes in North America) in any detail here. Heres a good brief introduction to a typical monolight studio flash, if youre interested. Internal flash. Most low to mid-range Canon EOS cameras contain integral flash units, built into the top housing that contains the cameras prism or mirror. Some are motorized and pop up immediately in all basic (PIC or icon) modes except sports and landscape if the camera thinks you need flash, or upon the touch of a button if youre in an advanced (creative zone) mode. Others require the user to lift up the flash manually. One camera, the 10/10s, has a motorized flash unit which both pops up and retracts mechanically, for those interested in trivia. These internal flash units are useful for quick snapshots and the like, but arent usually useful for quality photography for a number of reasons. First, theyre very small and offer very low output levels - low guide numbers such as 11 or 13. Second, theyre located quite close to the lens axis and so are very likely to cause the redeye effect when photographing people. Third, since they dont extend very far above the top of the camera body their light is easily partially blocked by large lenses or lenses with large lens hoods. And fourth, they dont offer any tilt or swivel options and generally have coverage areas of only 28mm or 35mm at the wide end. However, since theyre built-in theyre obviously eminently portable and handy at a moments notice. Theyre useful for applying a touch of fill flash when outdoors. And they recharge very rapidly as they use the cameras lithium battery as a power source. This latter can be a bit expensive, though, as using the built-in flash runs down the camera battery alarmingly quickly. No EOS camera lets you use the internal flash when an external flash unit is mounted on the hotshoe. In fact, external flash units physically prevent the internal flash from being raised. Additionally, EOS cameras with motorized internal flashes have small electrical switches built into the hotshoe which detect the presence of a device and disallow internal flash popup. So the internal flash wont rise automatically if anythings in there - even, say, a hotshoe-mounted spirit level or something else non-electrical. These switches, incidentally, have been known to stick, rendering the internal flash inoperable. None of the professional EOS cameras (1, 1v, 3, etc) have built-in flash units, for the reasons listed above and possibly also because of the difficulty of waterproofing a popup Page 26 of 33
support the most advanced Canon flash technology at the time they were introduced; TTL and A-TTL in the case of the EZ units and TTL and E-TTL in the case of the 550EX. They also have both manual controls and tilt and swivel flash heads. Of these the 420EZ is the most limited - it has no flash exposure compensation, for example. * Discontinued product at time of writing. Handle-mount (grip) flash. Canon still make one large flash unit of this type, the 480EG. Its basically a flash bracket with a massive heavy-duty flash attached to the side. The camera sits on the bracket and is held in place via the tripod mount. This type of handle flash is sometimes jokingly referred to as a potato masher flash unit. The 480EG is a high-output flash unit meant for press or wedding photographers, but hasnt been updated in some time and is a TTL-only flash (no A-TTL or E-TTL support). Nowadays people usually just buy flash brackets and put a regular 550EX flash unit on them for this sort of application. This setup also lets you mount the flash unit vertically above the lens rather than to the side only, like the 480EG. But if you want the sheer light output you cant beat the 480EG or similar flash units from manufacturers such as Metz. The 480EG is also the most powerful flash unit that Canon make, even though its advertised guide number is only 48 and thus seemingly lower than flash units like the 540EZ or 550EX. This is because the 480EGs flash head does not zoom and cannot, therefore, automatically concentrate light output when used with longer focal lengths - it can just blast the same amount of light regardless of lens zoom setting. See the sections on guide numbers and zooming flash for a more detailed explanation. The unit does, however, ship with a wide-angle attachment and a telephoto attachment which can be clipped on and used to diffuse or concentrate the units light output. (the telephoto attachment gives the unit a guide number of 68 at 135mm, so you may occasionally see the 480EG being misleadingly described as a flash unit with a guide number of 68) The 480EG has twin bulbs, a slave connector and full tilt and swivel capabilities, but it does not support second-curtain sync or exotic features like stroboscopic flash. Interestingly, it also has an old-style external auto flash sensor built in. So if you have an older pre-EOS camera that doesnt support TTL metering - or if you want to avoid TTL metering altogether for some reason - you can still use it. You can even use the optional Synchro Cord 480 to link the flash to a camera via a PC socket. Macro flash. Canon sell three flash units for macro (closeup) photography. Two, the TTL-only ML-3 flash and the E-TTL MR-14EX flash, are ring-shaped flashes designed to fit directly around the end of a macro lens. The other, the luxurious and hugely expensive E-TTL MT-24EX macro twin lite, contains two small flash heads on the end of a pair of short swivelling arms which can be adjusted independently and which can also be clipped to a ring that fits macro lenses. The MT-24EX flash heads can even be detached and mounted separately on other mounts, since each head includes a shoe mount and a standard 1/4-20 tripod mount. Both the MR-14EX and the MT-24EX can control slave flash units in wireless E-TTL mode, which is very handy - you use the macro flash units (the two tubes are assigned to groups A and B) to illuminate the foreground and then use slaved Speedlites (assigned to group C) to illuminate the background. Note that the older and long-discontinued ML-2 macro ring lite Page 28 of 33
clip-on coloured filters and audio warning signals. Metzs Web site has an excellent listing of which features are available with which Canon cameras and what adapters are required, though some of the vocabulary has been translated rather literally from German and may be unfamiliar. A lighting control indicator is what Canon call a flash exposure confirmation light, for example. An AF measuring beam is the confusing name for the AF assist light or AF auxiliary light. Note that some users of Metz products have reported that the SCA3101 adapter, which works using TTL with older Canon-compatible bodies, will not work with the Elan 7/EOS 30. Even though the Elan 7/EOS 30 supports TTL on Canon flashes you must apparently use the SCA3102 Metz adapter. So youre best off consulting the Metz site and, preferably, doing some testing of your own before buying. Note also that Metz have a wireless flash triggering system, but its not compatible with Canons. Finally, I understand that Metz have acknowledged that none of their flash units with the SCA3102 adapter currently work correctly with the new EOS 300V/Rebel Ti/Kiss 5 camera, owing to changes in the design of the flash shoe electronics. Sigma. Sigma, Japanese maker of many third-party lenses, build six flash units compatible with Canon EOS. Two are TTL - the EF-430 ST and the EF-500 ST, and two are E-TTL - the EF 430 Super and the EF-500 Super. The DG models are E-TTL units designed to be compatible with digital EOS cameras. Some of these flash units are listed on Photozone. The EF-500 Super and the EF-500 Super DG are particularly well regarded by a lot of EOS users, since feature-wise theyre nearly identical to Canons 550EX, which costs twice as much. The Sigma units are not built as sturdily as the Canon, but its hard to argue with the price. They even have wireless capabilities compatible with Canons system and has the ability to operate as an optical slave. For more information on EF-500 Super, specifically how it compares with the 550EX, please consult the brief article co-authored by Jim Strutz and myself. Soligor. German photo accessory marketer Soligor sell a few Canon-compatible flash units; likely rebranded products. Their Web site lists some details. The flashes appear to be TTL only. Sunpak. Sunpak, a Japanese marketer of photo products, sell the TTL-only AF4000 and AF5000 flash units. Finding useful information on the massively amateur-looking Tocad America Web site, their US distributor, is pretty hopeless, though. Good luck. Vivitar.

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American camera accessory and snapshot camera marketer and designer (they dont build products) Vivitar sell the 283 and 285HV flash units. These are selfcontained flashes that rely entirely on their built-in flash sensors - they dont support TTL metering of any kind. In fact, Vivitar apparently pioneered the autoflash concept with the 283, which is probably the best-selling flash unit of all time. 283s and 285s are relatively cheap and commonly used by photo professionals as remote flashes triggered by optical slaves and so on. You should be aware, however, that older models have a very high trigger voltage that can damage EOS cameras. Newer models are fine, but check first before attaching any such flash unit to your camera, just to be sure. Vivitar also sell a number of EOS-compatible flashes, some of which are said to be rebranded Sigma products. Theres a list of their flash units on their Web site, and several are said to be Canon compatible, though TTL only. Their Web site is pretty uninformative, so youre basically on your own there. Other flashes. Finally, any electronic flash unit that mounts on a camera hotshoe and which has a trigger voltage of less than 6 volts will fit an EOS camera and will be fired when you take a photo. However, it wont work with any form of TTL flash metering. See the section on Older Canon Speedlite flash units for details. Which flash unit should I buy? This question obviously comes down to your light output and feature needs, your budget and your weight and size requirements. Here are a few notes to help you make a decision. If you dont know whether your camera is a type A or type B model, consult this list. All flash units marked with an asterisk are discontinued models. I have a type B camera with no plans to buy a type A camera in the future. You should probably stick with an E or EZ series flash unit, since buying an EX unit means youre paying for features you cant use. Also, since EZ units are mostly discontinued you can get a used unit fairly cheaply. Recommended: The 200E, but only if you need something really tiny for occasional close-range fill flash work. Particularly if your camera lacks a built-in flash unit. Id avoid the 200E if size and weight are not critical, as its got feeble output, doesnt tilt or swivel and lacks flash exposure compensation buttons for use on older EOS cameras which lack FEC controls. If you want a reasonably powerful and feature-complete unit for cheap then the 430EZ* is your best bet. If you want the best you can buy in terms of features and output then the 540EZ is for you. This unit gives you slightly more output and flash exposure confirmation compared to the 430EZ. It also doesnt generate irritating flashes of white light each time you press the shutter release halfway when in creative zone modes other than P. Page 30 of 33
Not recommended: The 160E* offers little unless size and weight are a really serious issue. The 160E uses a 2CR5 lithium battery, which is a costly way to power a flash unit. However its this small lithium cell which explains the incredibly tiny size of the 160E. The 300EZ* is a fixed unit which can neither swivel nor tilt - get a 430EZ instead. The 430EZ is larger and heavier, but more flexible than the 300EZ. The 420EZ* isnt a bad unit but lacks convenient flash exposure compensation buttons. The 430EZ has these plus an external battery socket and doesnt cost much more. I have a Canon digital camera, a type A camera, or a type B camera but plan to buy a type A camera soon. If you have a type A camera youre best off buying an EX-series (E-TTL capable) flash to take full advantages of the newer features. All EX-series flash units will work fine in TTL mode with type B cameras as well - the only missing feature being A-TTL, which is fairly useless anyway. Finally, if you have a digital Canon camera such as a D60 or PowerShot then you dont have a choice - you must get an EX-series flash unit as the earlier models wont work. Recommended: The 220EX, but only if you need something really tiny and lightweight for occasional close-range fill flash work. Particularly if your camera lacks a built-in flash unit. However, Id avoid the 220EX if size and weight are not critical, since it doesnt produce much light and doesnt tilt or swivel. The 420EX is great for general-purpose fully-automatic flash photography. It can also serve as a wireless E-TTL slave. However it lacks manual controls and only supports flash exposure compensation (FEC) on midrange and pro EOS bodies (ie: those cameras with custom functions). The top of the line 550EX flash is quite powerful and can do anything a portable flash unit can be expected to do, but its very large and both costs more and weighs more than a brand new low-end EOS camera. However it can serve as an E-TTL wireless master, has manual controls and works in stroboscopic mode. Not recommended: The 380EX* can tilt but cant swivel. It also cant be used as a wireless slave. Unless money is a serious concern and you find a 380EX on sale for a really good price Id get the 420EX instead, since the 420EX usually doesnt cost much more. I have specialized requirements: Macro photography with a type B body: the ML-3*. Macro photography with a type A body: the MR-14EX. Macro photography with a type A body and a huge budget: the MT-24EX. News or wedding photography for which massive light output is important and

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subtle control is not: the 480EG. Though Metz offer many high-powered grip models which offer more control over the Canon unit. What about third party units? A number of companies other than Canon sell EOS-compatible flash units. The vast majority, however, are TTL only. There is also a small risk of compatibility problems with both current and future EOS camera bodies. If youre satisfied with TTL operation (particularly if you have a type B camera with no plans to upgrade to a type A) and youve tested the flash unit to ensure that it works with your existing camera body, then an inexpensive third party unit may be the way to go if youre on a tight budget. But I cant offer any recommendations for such cheap units because there are so many different brand names which sell them. Many of these units are actually the same basic product, rebadged and sold by different distributors. So if a cheap third-party product is of interest to you Id recommend you go to your local camera shop and look around. There are some better units worth considering as well. Metz make a wide range of well-featured and powerful flash units with interchangeable adapter modules (including an E-TTL capable module for type A cameras), and Sigma sell the popular EF 500 Super, which supports E-TTL and wireless E-TTL operation.



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