Compatible Cameras: The Canon
Speedlite 580EX II electronic flash is compatible with the following digital and
- Digital Cameras:
E-TTL operation with all EOS digital
SLRs; PowerShot G2, G3, G5, G6, and Pro1
- Film Cameras: E-TTL
operation with EOS-1v, EOS-3, Elan 7N series, Elan 7 series, Elan II series,
Rebel T2, Ti, K2, GII, and G. TTL operation with all other 35mm EOS SLRs,
and Canon T90.
Improvements Over 580EX: The
580EX II is newly designed to match with the EOS-1D Mark III in terms of dust-
and water-resistance, body strength, and the ability to control flash functions
and settings from the camera menu (EOS-1D Mark III only). Compared to its
predecessor, the 580EX, the 580EX II includes improved communication reliability
through its direct contacts, and recycling time is both 20% shorter than the
580EX and is completely inaudible.
The LCD display (1-7/8" x 7/8") shows information on the flash's status. This includes (but is
not limited to) flash range, zoom focal length, manual output level, multi flash
settings, high speed sync, auto zoom for image size, and flash exposure
The 580EX II flash mounts to the intelligent shoe on the top of the camera. Flash
trigger, exposure setting, and focal length (zoom) setting are transferred to
the flash via the intelligent shoe.
Autoflash: The 580EX II is compatible with E-TTL II
(Evaluative-Through The Lens), E-TTL, and TTL (Through The Lens) metering modes.
The proper mode is set automatically depending on the camera used.
II-Evaluative flash metering with preflash reading and lens distance
flash metering with preflash reading
- TTL-Off the
film metering for real time flash metering
Focus)-Assist Beam: If the focal point lacks sufficient light or contrast,
the 580EX II's AF-Assist Beam will fire automatically to help the camera focus. The
AF-Assist beam is effective from 0.6-10 meters (2 feet to 32.8 feet) in the
center and 0.6-5 meters (2 feet to 16.4 feet) in the periphery.
Coverage: The flash head zooms to provide adequate flash coverage for the
lens focal length in use (24mm to 105mm). The flash coverage can be set manually
on the flash, or can be set automatically be the camera.
The 580EX II flash has a fold out wide panel which covers the lens to extend the flash to cover a
14mm wide angle lens.
When the flash is aimed directly at the subject, a harsh shadow may appear
behind the subject. Using the vertical and horizontal adjustments on the flash
to bounce the flash off the ceiling or wall can reduce or eliminate the shadow
for a more natural looking picture.
Variable Angle: The firing
direction of the
flash is adjustable. The vertical angle ranges from -7°
(down) through 0° (straight forward) to 90°
(straight up). The horizontal angle has a 360° range.
Energy) Mode: If the flash isn't used (or adjusted) for a certain period
(1.5 to 15 minutes) the power
is automatically turned off. If in wireless "slave" mode the power is turned off
after 60 minutes.
Lamp/Button: The pilot lamp/button lights when the flash is ready to fire,
green when ready for quick flash, red when ready for full flash.
Depressing the lamp/button fires a test flash.
Exposure Confirmation: If the correct flash exposure has been obtained, the
flash exposure confirmation lamp lights for about three seconds after
the flash fires.
Sync: When the flash mode is
set to High Speed Sync, the flash can synchronize with all shutter speeds.
Panel: A catchlight can be created in the subject's eye to add life to the
facial expression. The catchlight panel is a thin white plastic panel that pulls
out of the top of the flash head. When using the catchlight panel, the flash
should be pointed straight upward and you should be within 4.9 feet of the
subject for best results.
Closeup Flash: When shooting a
subject within 1.6 to 6.6 feet away, you can tilt the flash head downward to
illuminate the lower part of the image.
Stroboscopic Flash: A rapid series of flashes can be programmed to create
the strobe effect. The total number of flashes, the flash frequency, and the
flash output are programmable.
Temperature: To optimize a picture's white balance, the color temperature
information is transmitted to compatible Canon EOS digital cameras.
Exposure Compensation: The flash exposure compensation can be set +/- 3
stops in 1/3 stop increments. If the camera's exposure compensation is in
1/2-stop increments, the flash exposure compensation will be in 1/2-stop
Exposure Bracketing: You can take three flash shots while changing the flash
output for each up to +/- 3 stops, again in 1/3 stop increments. If the camera
only enables 1/2-stop increments, the flash will be in 1/2-stop increments.
Even in daylight the flash can be used for fill light to soften harsh shadows or
illuminate a dark, backlit subject.
The flash output can be set manually from 1/128 power to full power (1/1) in 1/3
stop increments. A hand-held flash meter should be used to determine the
required flash output for the correct flash exposure.
Image Size: When the
580EX II receives image size data from a EOS digital camera,
the flash head automatically zooms to match the effective angle of view. The
resulting flash coverage is more accurate.
Second-Curtain Sync: Using a
slow shutter speed and second-curtain sync, a light trail is created following a
moving object. The flash fires just before the shutter closes.
Function Settings: Many of the automatic functions of the flash can be
customized. A few of these include the flash metering mode, auto power off, test
fire output, AF-Assist beam, and flash coverage to match image size.
Stand: The 580EX II comes with
a portable stand that allows you to stand the flash upright anywhere for
wireless flash usage. The stand stores conveniently in the vinyl case.
Multi-Flash: The 580EX II can be used as the "master" flash and any number of
580EX IIs, set as slaves, can be triggered wirelessly by a master. The 580EX II has a wireless mode
switch which is set to slave, master, or off. There are four wireless channel options,
the master and slaves
must be set the the same channel. There are three group settings
for sequential flashing (when used with a compatible camera).
The 580EX II flash uses 4 AA batteries. Alkaline, lithium, or nickel metal hydride
(rechargeable) are recommended. Canon's testing with alkaline batteries yields a
recycle time of 0.1-5 seconds for normal flash (0.1-2.5 seconds for quick flash) and a flash count of 100-700 (depending on flash
Power: On the side of the flash there is an input for an external power
supply (CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack).
- Guide number: 58m (at ISO
- Flash Range: 0.5-30 meters (1.6 to
- Recycle Time (quick flash):
- Recycle Time (normal flash):
Duration: 2.3 milliseconds or less (with quick flash)
Duration: 1.2 milliseconds or less (with normal flash)
- Weight: 14.3 oz. (without
Dimensions: Because the flash angle is hinged
for up/down adjustment and pivots for left/right adjustment, all three
dimensions vary as follows:
3.026" to 4.758"
5.375" to 7.348"
2.738" to 4.015"