Speedlite 540EZ used with Canon Digital cameras

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by nigel whitaker, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. I have recently bought a Canon Powershot Pro1, and when I tried to
    use my Speedlite 540EZ on it, I could not get a good result,
    although the flash was talking to the camera to the extent of moving
    the power zoom head in response to the lens focal length, whenever I
    took a picture, the speedlite gave a full power, unmetered flash
    (not good).

    I have read that EZ speedlites aren't compatible with EOS digital
    bodies (they aren't actually listed in brochures from the EOS3
    onwards), but I would have thought Canon would have built in a
    little more backward compatibiliy, and at least ensured that basic
    TTL (don't care whether A or E TTL) was available. I am planning to
    get an EOS 1D eventually, and it looks like I will have to get
    another speedlite to go with it, although given the price, and the
    amount of use I actually put the flash to, I might just not bother,
    but it's disappointing all the same.
  2. It is a pain, but that is what Canon has done. Back when I was using the G5 I hated it that Canon disabled both the on-flash AF assist light and TTL flash control on even the EX flash units when the camera was switched to full manual control, something I like using alot with my SLR's. I imagine those same instances of non-compatibility exists with your Pro 1 and EX units, too. I now only use my EX flash units with my Digital Rebel and EOS 3 to avoid the frustrations. Your 540EZ will work with the EOS 3 just fine but you can bank on needing a newer flash unit if you do buy that 1D.
  3. I, too, would like this to be confirmed as I am interested in the Pro 1 and have the 540 EZ.
  4. basic TTL (don't care whether A or E TTL)
    Canon did include E-TTL support. But the 540EZ is an older, pre-E-TTL flash unit.
    TTL and A-TTL (the two metering modes supported by the 540EZ) are metered by watching light reflect off the film during the exposure. There's no film in a digital camera. Now, some really old Canon digital SLR bodies used to have this ability, so it's obviously technically possible, but for some reason Canon dropped it several years ago, and as far as I know, Canon's digital non-SLR bodies have never done this (though I know less about those than I do about SLRs).
    The 540EZ supports manual flash power setting. This works with EOS digital SLR bodies; it may work with your Powershot as well.
    Some more info on flash with Canon digital cameras (mostly, but not entirely, SLRs): http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#digital.
  5. Yes, ETTL will work in Program, Aperture Priority and Shutter priority Modes. It will not in manual mode though.

    With a digital or film SLR you can also set your camera to manual exposure mode, pick your own shutter speed and aperture (f-stop), and the mounted flash unit will still meter the flash in ETTL mode. It will not on the Powershot series of digicams, and that holds true with the new Pro 1 in addition to the camera not utilizing the flash unit's AF beam- another major bummer that contributed to my G5's poor indoor AF, especially when zoomed to the telephoto range of the lens. You just get full power manual or the option to use non-TTL incremental power adjustments via the body.
  6. thanks for all the feedback folks,

    It's not an end of the world issue for me at the moment, as the Pro1 does have a reasonably adequate built in flash, but the fact that there is the standard EOS hotshoe on top makes it annoying when the camera won't work with a fairly large proportion of the existing speedlite range.

    As I said earlier, I don't use flash so much that it will make a big difference anyway, not with a 'compact' camera such as the Pro1 which has a built in unit on top, but if anyone has experience of using the 540EZ with EOS1D or 10D, I'd appreciate some enlightenment as to whether it will give any kind of TTL metering or whether I need to look elsewhere for a flash (I'm selling my EOS1nHS soon anyway, making way for a DSLR, but it would be nice if I didn't have to buy yet another expensive flash!)
  7. Nigel - Steve Dunn already answered your question. Canon digitals are E-TTL only. The 540EZ doesn't support E-TTL. Therefore, you may use the 540EZ as a manual unit, but you'll get no metered flash. I have firsthand knowledge that this is true with the 10D, and I've read nothing but the same of the 1D.

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