Home | Reviews | Flash and Lighting | Flashes | Canon

Canon Speedlite 420EX Flashes

4.62/5 (39 Reviews)


  • DedicationDedicated
    Guide Number138 @ ISO 100 (105mm.)
    Flashe TypeRegular Flash
    Zoom Range24 - 105 mm.
    Mount TypeHot Shoe Mount
    BounceWith Bounce
    Power Source4 x AA Batteries
    TTL MeteringWith TTL Metering
    Weight10.6 oz.
    MPN4590a009aa
    Product ID21031430

Product Description

It's fully E-TTL compatible, and reverts to standard TTL operation when used on older EOS bodies or the T90. The fully swiveling bounce head zooms automatically over a range of 24mm-105mm. Most impressively, its Wireless E-TTL compatibility permits it to function as a "slave" unit, triggered by a 550EX; ST-E2, or MR-14EX.


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by racermd a Casual

Date Reviewed: December 17, 2005

Strengths:    High output compared to built-in flashes.
Better control of flash strength and direction.
Helps most of the recent Canon SLR bodies auto-focus, even complete darkness.
Doesn't look/feel bulky.


Weaknesses:    Powered only by 4x AA batteries - no option for external power or high-capacity battery packs.
Battery door looks and feels flimsy.


Bottom Line:   
Who should get one of these? Anyone with a recent Canon SLR body (digital or film) and needs just a bit more control or power than the built-in flash can provide. To be fair, the 430EX has replaced the 420EX, and bargains can be had on the older 550EX (with many more features). But there is no better bang-for-buck if you can find a 420EX. Therefore, it makes an excellent "starter" flash for those aspiring SLR shooters. If you can find one, buy it!

I've typically avoided flash photography and have preferred natural-light shots whenever possible. However, it's impossible to avoid using a flash sometimes, and the 420 is a great way to get light onto a subject with more control than any built-in flash. I would up finding the last unit my local National Camera had in stock (a display unit) and picked it up for about $200 in October '05.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   0-1 years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   National Camera

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rpcrowe a Expert

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2005

Strengths:    Consistant results
Easy on batteries
Light weight / small size
Good fill flash capability
Easy to use
Fast recycle
Hi-speed sync
Not a bad price


Weaknesses:    None
I don't try to use this beyond its capabilities. After all, it is a relatively small camera mounted flash - not a studio strobe or a powerful handle mounted flash.


Bottom Line:   
Excellent little unit. Consistant results with both my 10D and my 350D. Great tilt and swivel capability. Easy on batteries.
I purchased the unit instead of the 550ex (580ex was not available at the time) because of its weight and size. I frequently use fill-flash so I have the unit on my camera most of the time. It fits great on my 10D and doesn't overwhelm the tiny 350D. I love the results when I add the Sto-Fen diffuser. Even straight on - it doesn't cause my dog's eyes to glow (but, the built-in flash doesn't either)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   17th St. Photo

Similar Products Used:   Vivitar 283 & 285, Sunpak 120 and a multitude of other strobes over 40 or so years.

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Photogzzz a Professional

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2005

Strengths:    Wireless, full E-TTL capabilities, powerful, accurate consistant exposures... "It's a Canon"

Weaknesses:    No manual mode, exposure compensation can only be accessed through the wireless transmission of a master flash or by a camera which incorperates flash exposure compensation in it. Sorry, Digital Rebel owners, you may want to look at the 550ex to access this missing and much used feature.

Bottom Line:   
A couple of words on the Canon Speedlite 420ex..."WAY SWEET"! The 420ex was recently added to my system which includes the Speedlite 550ex and an EOS 10D. It was purchased primarily to use in a wireless flash set up for portraits. After doing some extensive research, "I'm convinced this was a good choice".The added expense of an additional 550ex pointed me in the direction of the 420ex, which was nearly 1/2 the cost. The Speedlite 420ex has worked flawlessly in concert with the 550ex. Both flash units are equiped with Sto-fen Omni Bounce diffusers. "These little fella's are extremley useful and reasonably priced". The best results hands down has been with the 420ex mounted on a light stand, shooting through a translucent umbrella with the (550ex)master flash set to the "OFF" position..."WOW"...good bye flat, unflattering lighting". The 550's exposure compensation set at (+1/2 stop) seems to be the magical formula for clean exposures. Some other cool features are the ability to set up high speed sync, flash exposure lock, flash exposure bracketing and of course flash exposure compensation as mentioned earlier. All information is communicated from the master(550ex) to the slave unit(420ex).Just turn on the 420ex, set the control switch to "slave" and you are on your way to some great, portable, consistant and reliable flash shots,..."Very Cool". In closing, I'd like to add that the Speedlight 420ex is a great stand alone flash for fully automatic E-TTL flash pictures. As a note of caution: It's important to ensure your camera body incorperates flash exposure compensation. This feature is "not" built into the 420ex and can only be accessed through your the camera body. If your camera body does "not" support this feature, you may want to consider the 550ex which offers this feature built into the flash. Either way you do have options. I often use the 420ex for candid shots around the house and at family gatherings with great results. This certainly saves the wear and tear on the 550. But in my opinion, the 420's true calling is definetly in the "slave unit wireless" arena, "There, it truley shines".

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   17th Street Photo

Similar Products Used:   Canon Speedlite 550ex

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jesusdelallata a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2004

Strengths:    Great Value
Works perfect with all 7 focus points
Looks great on the camera


Bottom Line:   
This is a terrific flash. I've used it on my Rebel Ti and on my Elan 7n at I'm always happy with the results. For those of you that only use the built-in flash, you need one of these. You'll be amazed with the difference. I've used it in various lighting situation, including almost complete darkness, and the photos come out perfect. Don't think too hard...go get one. You won't regret it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   Adorama

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Stephen Louw a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2004

Strengths:    Ettl works well with EOS 30
Well priced


Weaknesses:    Battery cover poorly designed

Bottom Line:   
Great with EOS 30 (ELan 7). Works with 7 focussing points. I use it mostly for fill-flash in nature photography and with a -1 compensation it works very well indeed. Size-weight about right.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $165.00

Purchased At:   BH Photo

Similar Products Used:   Sunpack

Type of photography:   Outdoor



Reviews 1 - 5 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!



See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »

 

PhotographyReview Videos

 

PhotographyReview on Facebook