Canon 430EX ii Review
This item has been discontinued and has been replaced by the Canon 430EX iii-RT Speedlite
The Canon 430EX ii was introduced in 2008 and fast became a popular speedlite due to its mid-range price tag, compact size yet powerful flash (only half a stop less than the flagship Canon 600EX ii-RT or the discontinued Canon 580EX II). Apart from not having radio wireless transmission it has pretty much all the functions that most professional photographers will need including E-TTL II, high speed sync and a very decent multi point infra-red focus assist beam for use in low light (inside churches for example).
No longer in production although great bargains can often be found on ebay. Expect to pay around £60 / US$80 for a second-hand Canon 430EX II in good condition.
The Canon Speedlite 430EX II is compatible with all Canon EOS digital SLR cameras allowing full E-TTL / E-TTL II auto exposure control. This speedlite utilises the Canon EX optical wireless system. However, it cannot be used as a master unit to control other speedlites. It can only be used on-camera or as a wireless slave. It can be triggered by numerous other optical wireless masters including the Canon 580EX II, Canon 600EX -RT, Canon 600EX ii-RT and the dedicated Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter. At a push you can also control it using a Canon camera’s pop-up flash (obviously only if the camera has one).
The Canon Speedlite 430EX ii is also compatible with some third party speedlites made by Yongnuo and Godox. See Yongnuo’s & Godox’s range of speedlites for more details.
Canon 430EX II Specification
Maximum Guide Number 43m @ 105mm & ISO 100
Comparative Guide Number 31m @ 35mm & ISO 100
[43m@105mm, 40m@80mm, 37m@70mm, 34m@50mm, 31m@35mm, 27m@28mm, 25m@24mm, 11m@14mm]
The Canon 430EX ii has the same power output as the newer Canon 430EX iii-RT. When compared to the top-of-the-range Canon 600EX ii-RT the smaller compact 430EX ii is about half a stop less powerful at 35mm (GN31m vs GN34m @ 35mm & ISO 100). At 105mm the difference seems to increase to around a 2/3 stop difference. Not a lot when you think you can pick up an excellent second-hand Canon 430EX ii in good condition for around £60 / US$80.
Zoom head: Yes
Focal length coverage: Auto, 24-105mm
Coverage with flip-down diffuser: 14mm
Auto zoom for sensor size: Yes
Flash bounce card: No – one of the few flashes not to have one, so remember to bring your own if required
Flash Head Tilt & Swivel
Up: 45, 60, 75 and 90°
Left: 60, 75, 90, 120, 150 and 180°
Right: 60, 75, 90
Manual / output settings: Yes – 1/1- 1/64
Manual steps: 1/3 stop intervals
Canon ETTL with flash exposure compensation (FEC), flash exposure lock (FE lock).
No flash exposure bracketing (FEB)
Radio Wireless (RF)
None. There is no in-built radio wireless communication. If you want to add radio wireless functionality to this flash you could try the Yongnuo 622C-TX transmitter and Yongnuo 622C receiver (Yongnuo 622C radio system) or just add a Yongnuo YNE3-RX receiver (when used with Canon’s RT radio system) or a Godox X1R-C receiver (when used with Godox X radio system). The three previous methods allow full transmission of E-TTL II information as well as manual info. If you only want a very basic radio trigger for the flash in manual mode you could consider a pair of Neewer F-16 transceivers.
Canon’s EX optical pulse wireless system (visible and infra-red light)
Transmitter maximum range approximately: Indoors: 12-15m, Outdoors: 8-10m
No. of groups: 3 (A, B & C)
No. of channels: 4
Master/Slave: Can only act as a slave unit. Cannot be used as a master.
Auto-Focus (AF) Assist
AF-assist beam: Yes
Number of AF points supported: 1 to 9
AF-assist beam type: Infra-red light pattern projection
Beam range: 0.7-10m at centre, 0.7 to 5m at periphery
High speed sync (HSS): Yes
Second-curtain flash sync: Yes
Modelling flash: Yes (fired with camera’s depth-of-field preview button)
Multi (stroboscopic) flash: No. The 430EX II doesn’t have the stroboscopic flash feature when used alone, but it does support the feature when used in slave mode with a master that has the feature.
Colour temperature info communication: Yes
Remote shutter release: No
Custom function: 9
Flash settings from camera menus (with compatible cameras only): Yes
Optical slave capability (S1, S2): No
PC terminal: No
USB socket for firmware updates: No
Batteries & Recycling Time
Battery: 4 x AA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable Ni-MH. Lithium not recommended)
Recycling time: Approx. 0.1 to 3.0 seconds
Number of flashes (approx): 200-1400 with AA alkaline batteries
Flash Colour temperature: 5600K tbc
External power supply: No
Dust and water resistant: No
Mounting foot material: Metal foot plate with clamp type lock.
Size: 72 x 122 x 101mm (2.8 x 4.8 x 4.0″)
Weight: 320g/11.3oz (excluding batteries) (4xAA batteries adds 100g)
- Soft case
- Mini stand
Canon 430EX II Manual
- Planned Blog Posts March 2021
- Godox V1 vs Godox V860ii C
- Godox AD200 vs AD200 Pro
- Round head speedlites vs rectangular head speedlites
- Review of 2020
Page last checked & updated on 27 January 2021