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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

for Canon digital SLRs

3 Reviews

Item # 280580EXII

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Our take on the Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Canon's flagship Speedlight 580EX II flash delivers the power, speed, and performance that demanding professional and advanced amateur photographers need. Compatible with Canon digital SLR cameras like the EOS Digital Rebel XTi and EOS 40D, it offers an impressive level of control and precision for perfect, even lighting no matter how complex the shooting gets.


Canon's flagship Speedlight 580EX II flash delivers the power, speed, and performance that demanding professional and advanced amateur photographers need. Compatible with Canon digital SLR cameras like the EOS Digital Rebel XTi and EOS 40D, it offers an impressive level of control and precision for perfect, even lighting no matter how complex the shooting gets.

Intelligent automatic operation
The 580EX II's "Evaluative Through-The-Lens" (E-TTL) exposure control works together with your Canon camera to provide the right illumination for your photos every time. It receives the data it needs about shooting conditions through your camera's accessory shoe. This sophisticated flash can adjust its output based on your camera's sensor size. It even provides color temperature information to compatible Canon cameras to adjust for proper white balance.

Advanced features for tricky shots
An ultra-bright, 3-LED autofocus-assist beam helps you focus on distant subjects in low light. The 580EX II can bounce light 180 degrees to the left and right for pleasant indirect lighting effects. A cool stroboscopic mode lets you fire a quick series of flashes to capture multiple images of a moving subject on a single frame. Use this mode to analyze your partner's golf swing or record the shattering of a pane of glass.

Manual settings for "hands-on" photographers
In addition to its fully automatic operations, the 580EX II also provides 14 custom functions including a manual mode. A large LCD panel on the back makes reading important exposure data easy. Changing your settings is a snap thanks to a thoughtfully designed select dial.

Compatible with multi-flash setups
This flash can also act as a "master" unit in a multiple-flash system. Transmitting wireless signals, the 580EX II can trigger an unlimited number of additional Speedlite 580EX II or 430EX flash units mounted off-camera, for exceptional lighting flexibility.

Note: For use only with compatible Canon cameras. Requires 4 "AA" batteries (not included).

Product Highlights:

  • dust- and water-resistant construction
  • heavy-duty metal mounting foot with improved locking mechanism
  • E-TTL flash exposure control
  • E-TTL II for compatible Canon EOS cameras and EF series lenses
  • auto focus-assist beam
  • white balance info transmitted to compatible Canon SLRs
  • stroboscopic flash setting
  • manual setting
  • full-swivel, 180 degrees (in either direction) flash head
  • flash head zooms automatically to match the imaging sensor
  • wireless E-TTL flash operation as a "master" or "slave" unit
  • maximum guide number (ISO 100) 190 ft./58m (at 105mm setting)
  • stand and soft case included
  • uses 4 "AA" batteries (not included)
  • weight: 14.3 oz. (without batteries)
  • 3-1/16"W x 5-3/8"H x 3-15/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Flash works great plenty of power for bounce flash etc. more features than I'll ever use.

Dave, Louisville, KY

What's in the Box:

  • Speedlight 580EX II Electronic flash
  • Vinyl case
  • Stand
  • Instruction Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty sheet

Canon Speedlite 580EX II Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

Accurate / Reliable and Flexable

Max from New York on 5/11/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Top of my current wish list is the Canon 7D body but for some reason I decided to blow a pile of cash on this Canon 580EX and I am so glad I did. I love my old Canon 40D and with this 580EX attached I love it even more! I've been struggling with third party flashes for decades. This flash produces very accurate exposures in many different environments. I regret not buying this flash sooner.

Pros: Accuracy, Flexability, FLASH SYNC AT ALL SHUTTER SPEEDS!

Cons: The only feature I find annoying is the locking button on the tilt / swivel head, but you get used to it.

Great Flash

Dave from Louisville, KY on 2/2/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Flash works great plenty of power for bounce flash etc. more features than I'll ever use.

Pros: Top of the line

Cons: Price I wish it was less expensive

Highly recommend

Anonymous from Sacramento, CA on 9/12/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Canon is always known for quality and consistency - this product didn't disappoint!




Hands-on research

Product Research



Compatible Cameras: The Canon Speedlite 580EX II electronic flash is compatible with the following digital and film cameras:

  • 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.

LCD Display: 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 compensation.

Shoe Mount: 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.

E-TTL/TTL 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.

  • E-TTL II-Evaluative flash metering with preflash reading and lens distance information
  • E-TTL-Evaluative flash metering with preflash reading
  • TTL-Off the film metering for real time flash metering

AF (Auto 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.

Flash 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.

Wide Panel: 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.

Bounce Flash: 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.

SE (Save 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.

Pilot 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.

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.

High Speed Sync: When the flash mode is set to High Speed Sync, the flash can synchronize with all shutter speeds.

Catchlight 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 -7° to illuminate the lower part of the image.

Multi 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.

Color Temperature: To optimize a picture's white balance, the color temperature information is transmitted to compatible Canon EOS digital cameras.

Flash 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 increments.

Flash 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.

Fill Flash: Even in daylight the flash can be used for fill light to soften harsh shadows or illuminate a dark, backlit subject.

Manual Flash: 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.

Custom 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.

Wireless 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).

Batteries: 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 settings).

External 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 100)
  • Flash Range: 0.5-30 meters (1.6 to 98.4 feet)
  • Recycle Time (quick flash): 0.1-3 seconds
  • Recycle Time (normal flash): 0.1-6 seconds
  • Flash Duration: 2.3 milliseconds or less (with quick flash)
  • Flash Duration: 1.2 milliseconds or less (with normal flash)
  • Weight: 14.3 oz. (without batteries)


Dimensions: Because the flash angle is hinged for up/down adjustment and pivots for left/right adjustment, all three dimensions vary as follows:

  • Width: 3.026" to 4.758"
  • Height: 5.375" to 7.348"
  • Depth: 2.738" to 4.015"

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.