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Canon's new Speedlite takes the guesswork out of flash photography

By Shawn Knight · 7 replies
Feb 26, 2018
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  1. Photography is one of the most challenging (yet rewarding) hobbies I’ve ever attempted. That’s especially true with portrait work as mastering how to manipulate the flash is arguably just as important as correctly dialing in other camera settings and posing your subject(s).

    What’s tricky about flash photography is that every scene is different. What works in terms of lighting at one location may not generate the same results at a second location. For entry-level and enthusiast photographers, this realization can result in lots of wasted time due to trial and error.

    Fortunately, Canon’s latest Speedlite may be able to help.

    The Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI, as its name suggests, uses artificial intelligence to help dial in the optimal flash settings. Dubbed AI Bounce, this technology utilizes two variables – the distance between the camera and the ceiling and the distance between the camera and the subject – to automatically and intelligently determine and set the optimal angle to fire the flash.

    It’s not just for newcomers, however. More advanced photographers who often alter the horizontal or vertical direction of their camera between shots can utilize the Speedlite to remember the previous bounce angle and revert back to it, even if the camera’s orientation is changed.

    As Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc., correctly highlights, capturing images and sharing memorable moments that last a lifetime is the goal of photographers of all skill levels. DSLR cameras already feature Autofocus, Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance, Ishizuka notes, adding that the natural next step is an automatic flash system.

    The Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI launches in April for $399.99.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2018
  2. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 207   +160

    With higher ISO settings and decent glass, flashes are becoming more and more obsolete.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,390   +3,779

    Doubtful .... the use for flashes for fill light and changing the attention of the viewer can't be beat, not to mention how much low light situations muddy photo's. Strange thought, these type of automatic flashes have been around for well over 25 years so the only thing new is this particular product. Vivitar pioneered the easily available automatic flash after Dr. Eddington sold rights to it to a variety of different companies.
  4. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Flashes are used for more than just lighting a dark scene. Aside from filling in shadows, like Uncle Al talks about, you can draw attention to, or away from, certain aspects of a photo or portrait.

    If Canon has it, you can bet Nikon will have a competing model out at 2x the price within the year.
  5. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Guru Posts: 322   +77

    The guy in the pic had better be careful. He may later be charged with sexual harassment.
  6. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 207   +160

    Fair point for studio work, but it is amazing what a Canon 5d mk IV can do with a F2 or less pro lens. At ISO 32000 I couldn't see any noise in the image, even blown up in lightroom. If you up it to 102400 there was a little but not much. For fieldwork with a similar setup I wouldn't bother with a flash.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,989   +2,288

    I was working at a place a few years back where there was talk of an algorithm that would enhance, I.e., lighten, areas in a picture in ways that no flash could. Whether that will come to be is unknown, but computing power is ever increasing.
    Isn't the 5d Mk IV Canon's 50MP offering? To me, anyway, that it has a very high pixel density directly correlates to its lack of noise. There might be some processing going on in the camera, too, that leads to noise reduction.
  8. PaulAnthony58

    PaulAnthony58 TS Member

    This speedlight from Canon is not a game changer but more of a useful tool in certain situations such as freezing the action or filling in shadows. Also the specs state it has high speed sync ability but no wireless capability.

    Photography is more about controlling the light not so much about High ISO and fast lenses. This product is clearly aimed at being used as "on camera flash".

    However; most pro's and any enthusiast will have more than one speedlight off camera. One for a "beauty light", one for a "hair light" or a "kicker" and one for a "fill light". Flashes will work in unison with each either by a radio trigger or as a slave and the photographer will fine tune the flash power from each unit accordingly.

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