Best Flash for Canon 80D [2022 Review]

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The Canon EOS 80D is an APS-C DSLR camera known to produce high-quality images. However, the camera lacks a built-in flash to illuminate subjects while you shoot in dimly lit areas. 

The best flash for Canon EOS 80D provides the light that you need so you can capture images and film videos in any situation. 

Our Top Canon EOS 80D Flash Reviews

The Canon 80D camera is compatible with different flash models. With its flash metering system, the best flash for Canon 80D can fully integrate with the camera’s lens aperture, autofocus performance, exposure meter, and shutter speed to produce the needed flash output.

Canon Speedlite EL-1 

The Canon Speedlite EL-1 is reliable, durable, and has a wide power range.

The Li-ion Battery of the flash allows for a fast recovery time between flashes, and it gives continuous flash opportunities. The flash has a guide number of 100 which means its light can reach subjects up to 197 feet away.

With a recycling time of 0.9 seconds and giving you 335 flashes before it needs to recharge, you are assured that you will never miss an important moment. 

What also separates the Canon Speedlite EL-1 flash from the rest is that it has an active cooling system that constantly circulates air throughout the flash head to prevent it from overheating, especially if you are going to fire flashes for long periods. This is a feature that the Xit XTCF1BRK does not have. 

The flash is also water-resistant and dust resistant, unlike the Xit XTCF1BRK. You can confidently use it outdoors no matter what the weather condition is. 

However, the hot shoe is not as sturdy as the rest of the flash. The flash could slip if you move too quickly.

Also, setting it up with a commander is complicated, and beginners may have difficulties making it work.


  • The Li-ion battery helps speeding up the recovery time between the flashes for continuous flash
  • It has a high guide number of 100; the light can focus on a subject that is 197 feet away. 
  • It has an active cooling system that prevents overheating.  


  • The hot shoe of the flash is not solid. It could break if it falls
  • The commander connection is challenging to set up, not ideal for beginners

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT 

The Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT is a versatile, powerful and portable flash that uses radio-frequency to make it easier to trigger other flashes, opening doors of possibilities for you.

The flash can be connected to other flashes to serve as the commander. In this way, you won’t have to set up every single flash for it to work. 

The flash’s guide number is 43. It can shine its light to subjects that are 138 feet away, unlike the Canon Speedlite EL-1 that can go as far as 197 feet.  

The distance is less than that of Speedlite EL-1, which has a high guide number of 100. ​It also has an active cooling system that uses air to combat overheating, so you won’t have to worry about the flash while you use it. 

However, Canon 430EX III-RT’s recycling time is 3.0 seconds, which is considered slow compared to Canon Speedlite EL-1, which is only 0.9 seconds. Also, its LCD screen can be difficult to read under the sun. 


  • It uses radio frequency to serve as a commander for other flashes so that you can use multiple flashes at once.
  • Ideal for beginners as the flash is easy to operate. 


  • The text on the LCD screen disappears when exposed to sunlight
  • It has a slow recycling time of 3.0 seconds and it takes a couple more seconds to be ready again. 


The Xit XTCF1BRK is a reliable light source for all types of photography. 

The recycling time of the flash is 2.5 seconds, which is faster than that of the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT, which takes 3.0 seconds. 

The flash has a bounce adapter that measures just how much light is needed when you fire a round. This feature can help prevent shadows caused by harsh lighting from forming in your images. 

The flash can also serve as a commander for other flashes. It can be triggered to activate multiple flashes at once, so you won’t have to go through every single one of them to set them up. 

However, its guide number of 12 is very low. Its light can only reach up to 60 feet. That is a very short distance compared to Canon Speedlite EL-1 and Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT that can cover up to 197 feet and 138 feet, respectively. 

Also, it does not have an active cooling system, so it is best to give your flash a break in between shooting to prevent the device from overheating. 


  • Fast recycling time of 2.5 seconds, you don’t have to wait long to fire another round of flashes
  • It has a bounce adapter that filters who much light is illuminated to prevent casting shadows on the images


  • The guide number of 12 can only cover up to 60 feet, which isn’t that far of a reach
  • It has no active cooling system; the flash can overheat if used continuously

Features to Consider in a Flash for Canon 80D

The best flash for Canon 80D can expand the capability of the Canon 80D. Choosing the external flash that suits your flash photography needs can lead to a higher chance of capturing incredible images. 

Product Guide Number Recycling Time Active Cooling System
Canon Speedlite EL-1  1000.9 secondsYes
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT433.0 secondsYes
Xit XTCF1BRK Digital Slave Flash122.5 secondsNo

Guide Number

The guide number of your flash gives you an idea of how far its light can go. 

Flashes with high guide numbers are often used by outdoor photographers, as it lets them take pictures of their subjects without having to get too close. 

Camera flash

If you wish to get a flash for your Canon 80D with a high guide number, you can go for the Canon Speedlite EL-1  with a guide number of 100. Its light can go as far as 197 feet. 

Recycling Time

The recycling time of the flashes is the break that it takes in between firing shots to gather power from its battery before it can give a burst of light again. 

In photography, even second counts. If you do not wish to wait for your flash to charge up, you can go for a flash with a fast recycling time like the Canon Speedlite EL-1. 

Active Cooling System

Since flashes deal with light and it is constantly used, it can get pretty heated. A built-in active cooling system serves as its fan as it circulates air to help cool down the flash’s head. 

The active cooling system ensures that your flash won’t overheat, contributing to its longevity. The Speedlite EL-1  and the Speedlite 430EX are equipped with a cooling system. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a TTL Flash Different From a Manual Flash?

What makes a TTL flash different is that its flash exposure is calculated by the camera using the camera’s sensor. 

Canon 80D

Meanwhile, with manual flash, you get to calculate the flash exposure. 

Is it Possible to Check the Sync Speed of Your External Flash?

You can test the sync speed by checking the shutter speed of your flash. Since sync speed shows how fast your camera can use an external flash, it should go hand in hand with your shutter speed. 

The shutter speeds are measured using a fraction of a second. If your shutter speed is 1/250, then chances are the sync speed is also 1/250. 


External flashes can give you more lighting control and more power over how brightly lit you want your images to be. There are a lot of external flashes made by different manufacturers, from famous brands to third-party makers. 

The best flash for Canon 80D is designed to work with the camera to create soft effects that will bring you the best result. 

Jared Bauman has spent more than twenty years in the professional photography profession. He founded Bauman Photographers in 2001, which is a wedding and commercial photography studio in San Diego, California. The company has been in business for 20 years, and has a stellar reputation in the community. In 2007, Jared co-founded ShootDotEdit, the premium post production company for professional wedding photographers worldwide. The company has edited millions of images for photographers around the world. Jared has spoken and presented at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference 9 years in a row. He has also given several multi-day courses on Creative Live, in addition to two national speaking tours.