The Canon Speedlite 430EX is a great flash for the price it's asking for. Now there is an updated version 2 and 3 on the market, featuring speed, metal fastening and a redesigned design.


Canon Speedlite 430EX. Overview

Flash for Canon EOS cameras, with guide number 43 (ISO100, 105mm). With plastic shoe, automatic adjustment for viewing angles and E-TTL measurement. Green backlit dot matrix display, remote ignition, custom C.fn settings from the flash menu. Built-in autofocus illuminator diffuser.

Canon 430EX works on all Canon EOS machines. Both digital and film. Even in automatic mode.

canon 430ex 10

Different types of diffusers can be used with the flash, depending on the preference of the photographer.

Canon 430ex Specifications

Type of - Camera flash
Leading number 43 m (ISO 100, 105mm)
Compatible Cameras – Canon SLR, DSLR
Fastening - plastic shoe
Recharge time – 0.10 – 3.70 s
Backlit display
Swivel head
– Angle of rotation up 90 degrees
– Angle of rotation horizontally 270 degrees
Automatic Zoom
Manual Zoom
Wide angle diffuser
Illumination angle - eq. 24-105 mm
Maximum illumination angle, eq. (with diffuser) - 14 mm
Mode support - TTL, ETTL, ETTL II
Manual power adjustment
Color temperature information transmission
FP sync
Front curtain sync shutter
Rear curtain sync shutter
Slave flash mode
Pilot light, strobe
Autofocus highlight
Nutrition - 4 AA
The number of operations from one set of batteries - 200
Maximum series of operations - 10 episodes of 1 second
Number of batteries - 4
Weight - 330 grams

Portal flashes

  1. Canon Speedlite 430EX
  2. Canon Speedlite 430EXII
  3. Canon Speedlite 430EX III (-RT)

Canon Speedlite 430EX. In work


The main controls are located on the rear panel (the panel facing the photographer when the flash is mounted on the camera). Buttons, display, switches.

The controls are sunk into the body on purpose so as not to knock off the settings during operation.

Swivel head

Has the ability to tilt horizontally and vertically for shooting with bounced light. There is a flash lamp in the head, the lamp has a limited resource. The swivel mechanism is activated by pressing the PUSH button on the head itself. A diffuser is integrated into the head to increase light diffusion. It helps a lot when you need to knock out the shadows of the subject.

It is pulled out of the body with a “toward” movement. To improve reflectivity and use in sequential shooting, many people tape a piece of paper or a business card to the head of the flash. It turns out soft and diffused light (not always a “flash in the forehead” is permissible).

I often only needed to light up my subjects just a little in order to pick out the shadows. The built-in diffuser and a white business card help a lot in this work.


canon 430ex buttons 1

Matrix, has a green backlight. The backlight is activated by pressing the C.Fn (Custom Functions) button once and extinguishes after 12 seconds. The display shows the flash modes. Everything that is needed is printed on the display in advance (battery savings should be economical).

canon 430ex 1

Buttons and switches

Let's go directly to the description of the panel buttons.

C.Fn in Canon Speedlite 430EX

Pressing once turns on the backlight of the flash display. The brightness of the backlight is stable, but it seems to me that the brightness could be made less intense. A long press of the button activates the “additional functions” menu. Additional functions appear on the flash control screen in the camera menu. Decoding and adjustment can be done both on the flash and through the camera menu. The flash memorizes C.Fn in non-volatile memory. List of additional features:

  • C.Fn 0 - Distance units (0 - Meters, 1 - Feet)
  • C.Fn 1 - Auto power off (0 - Enabled, 1 - Disabled)
  • C.Fn 2 - Modeling flash (0 - DOF button, 1 - Flash test button, 2 - Both buttons, 3 - Disable)
  • C.Fn 7 - Test flash output (0 - 1\32, 1 - Full)
  • C.Fn 8 - Turn on the AF assist lamp (0 - Yes, 1- No)
  • C.Fn 9 - Auto-adjust to sensor size (0 - Yes, 1 - No)
  • C.Fn 10 - Remote flash timer (0 - 60 minutes, 1 - 10 minutes)
  • C.Fn 11 – Cancel auto off for remote flash units (0 – Up to 8 hours, 1 – Up to 1 hour)
  • C.Fn 14 - Flash area/Aperture information (0 - Maximum distance, 1 - Aperture)

The rooms are out of order. Apparently reserved in the general system of additional functions for all Canon flash units.

canon 430ex buttons 2


Switching operation modes from automatic exposure metering to manual mode. The flash output can be adjusted.

canon 430ex buttons 3

Sync toggle button

Forcing the flash and camera to sync at high speeds shutter, switch the sync to the second curtain mode.

canon 430ex buttons 4


The button allows you to manually set the guide number (the equivalent is displayed in the form of focal length)

canon 430ex buttons 5


Pilot light. I use it to evaluate the cut-off of an object. When the flash is in hand, and the autofocus of the camera dulls in the dark, it can be used for additional illumination of the subject.

canon 430ex buttons 6

Lamp under the Pilot button

Displays flash exposure rating. Green - ok, yellow - the object is underexposed.

Central button block

Used for setting, selecting parameters in the Canon Speedlite 430EX.

canon 430ex buttons 7

Power switch

Everything is simple here. Flash power on / off.

canon 430ex buttons 8

Slave flash mode switch

Enters the flash into SLAVE mode (literally - “slave”). In this mode, the lamp on the front panel blinks with a certain period, thereby confirming that the flash is in the “slave” mode.

canon 430ex buttons 9

Shoe retaining ring

Not a very convenient device. It often wedged on this flash so that it was impossible to unscrew it by hand. By turning the ring, the flash is mechanically blocked in the shoe.

canon 430ex buttons 10

Battery compartment cover

Hides a nest underneath for AA elements.

Supported metering modes

  • TTL (exposure metering in real time by reflection from the film, TTL-OTF), Canon calls them “Type B cameras” in the instructions
  • E-TTL (estimated exposure metering using pre-flash) Canon calls them “Type A cameras” in the instructions
  • E-TTL II (estimated exposure metering with pre-flash and focusing distance lens) in the Canon manual calls them “Type A Cameras”

Camera types A and B

Before Canon officially split its cameras into two Type A and Type B cameras, there were several variations of Type A.TTL flash control and modeling light modes supported in second generation Type A cameras. Third generation cameras also support E-TTL II.

Type A cameras (with support for E-TTL FEL and FP modes)

  • EOS Elan II (E), EOS 50 (E) / 55
  • EOS D2000, D6000 (digital)
  • EOS IX, IX 7, IX Lite, IX 50 (APS)
  • EOS Rebel G / 500N / New EOS Kiss, Rebel G II
  • EOS Rebel 2000 / EOS 300 / Kiss III, Kiss IIIL
  • EOS 300 V / Rebel Ti / Kiss 5
  • EOS 3000N / Rebel XS N / EOS 66
  • EOS 3000V / Rebel K2 / Kiss Lite

Type A cameras (with support for the above modes, as well as wireless E-TTL flash output control and modeling light)

  • EOS-3
  • EOS Elan 7 (E) / EOS 30/33/7
  • EOS 1V
  • EOS D30, D60 and 10D (digital)
  • EOS 1D and 1Ds (digital)
  • EOS 300D / Digital Rebel / Kiss Digital (digital)

Type A cameras (with support for the above modes plus E-TTL II)

  • EOS 1D mark II (digital)
  • EOS Elan 7N / Elan 7EN / EOS 30V / 33V / 7S

Type B Cameras (Supported only TTL and A-TTL)

  • EOS 600 series - 600, 620, 630, 650, RT
  • EOS 700, 750, 800
  • EOS-1
  • EOS 10 / 10S / 10QD
  • The first generation of the Rebel series - Rebel, Rebel S, EOS 1000 and all variations of 1000, 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 cameras)

Modes of operation

Key for me are the operating modes of the Canon Speedlite 430EX.

High speed sync

Allows flash use in FP sync mode, at all speeds shutter... In this case, the flash output power is automatically adjusted. High-speed sync helps a lot when shooting on a sunny day, when a person or a group portrait needs to be shot so that the people in the photo turn out to be in a normal state, and not in a gloomy-squeezed state.

canon 430ex 3 1

Second curtain sync

Allows the use of various kinds of techniques for working with light, when the final illumination of the object occurs immediately before closing shutter.

Depth of field preview (strobe)

Activated by button DOFV on the camera. Allows you to assess depth of field and the location of shadows.

canon 430ex dofv mode 1

Focus Assist in Low Light Conditions

It helps the camera to hit the target using the infrared radiation of the flash sensors or a strobe of your choice (automatically, in the presence of an external flash, the camera selects only infrared radiation).

overheat protection

The Canon 430EX has built-in overheating protection. When triggered more than 10 times in a row, the electronics limits the number of times the lamp is switched on to 1 time in 10-15 seconds. The user's manual warns you to protect the flash from long bursts. The flash circuit uses a rare (as I understand it, it was simply created under the order of Canon) IGBT-transistor, which overheats when working at an unbearable pace.

Automatic flash guide number adjustment

The flash adjusts the lamp power to the attached lens (range from 24 to 105 mm), but the step is not entirely adequate - for 17mm, either 14 or 18mm was chosen.

Slave flash mode

For remote shooting without a synchronizer, a light trap is used. To choose from, through the camera menu, you can enable work both in pairs and alone. The body of the flash should be turned towards the built-in flash of the camera, and in the settings of the device you need to specify the operating mode. To turn on the flash in the light trap mode, it is enough to shift the switch above the shoe to the “Slave” position.

When the subject is illuminated only by Canon 430EX, the procedure looks like this:

  • Turning on the flash
  • Activate the slave flash mode by turning the lever to the “Slave” position, while the indicator starts flashing
  • Camera setup
  • Frame composition
  • Installing the flash according to the idea, but with the body towards the camera
  • Focus and release shutter
  • Built-in flash firing
  • Opening shutter and triggering Canon 430EX
  • Exposition, closing shutter

Case and build quality

The plastic, moving parts have a noticeable backlash even on the new flash. The flash shoe is plastic; on the front panel, under the red glass, the slave flash indicator, the radio transmitter window, and the autofocus lamp are hidden.


Sound confirmation of the charge (squeak during charging) is not so much a bug, but a feature. Allows you to determine by ear the degree of remaining battery charge, because the graphic indicator of the display is uninformative.

The Canon 430EX is designed to use rechargeable or AA batteries. 4 AA batteries with a capacity of 2500 mAh are enough for about 300 operations. If we expect to use more time, it is better to carry spare batteries with us. Energizer batteries of the same type "pull out" about 100-120 operations.

Reality: during 2 hours of prom shooting, using high-speed sync, Canon 430EX dropped fully charged 2500mAh batteries, 4 Energizer batteries and settled on a pack of 4 NoName Auchan-type batteries only because the event was over.

Maybe I was so lucky, however ...

The Canon 430EX benefits

Compared with the Chinese for 1,5-3 thousand rubles, the main advantage of the flash is accurate exposure and the absence of overexposure, the presence of high-speed synchronization. If this function is not available, the flash will operate normally when excerptx up to 1 \ 200 (in general, depends on shutter camera) seconds, which on a sunny day may be unacceptable.

Spare parts for Canon Speedlite 430EX and can be found on the Internet. In the case, for example, of a broken shoe mount or a broken flash lamp, for 700 rubles with free delivery (2013) you will get both.

Disadvantages of the Canon 430EX

  • Complaints about the Canon 430EX are caused by the backlash of the upper rotary part (more than 3 mm) and the lower plastic mount of the shoe (erased). You can live with it.
  • At times, the flash refused to turn on when the head was turned. Rescued by changing the angle of the head, but pretty infuriated. Maybe, of course, these are problems of time - the flash went pretty well-worn
  • Gluttonous when used intensively.


Despite the promised speed and reliability, Canon 430EX presented certain surprises during operation. If you are not intimidated by a long recharge after a long series, in general, the flash is good. Used can be found at a very reasonable cost (2000-4000 rubles).

Speedlite 430ex Manual

Manual in Russian for Canon Speedlite 430ex.



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