Skip to main content

Speedlight Photography Basics

Lesson 2 of 21

Know your Speedlight: Canon

Mike Fulton

Speedlight Photography Basics

Mike Fulton

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

2. Know your Speedlight: Canon


Lesson Info

Know your Speedlight: Canon

The six hundred is a great flash it it took leaps and bounds that actually has wireless transmission built into it, but it also has the the classic so called infrared, which will get into where you could do off camera lighting so it has kind of a hybrid. It really took leaps and bounds pared to the five, eighty I'm not a big fan of the five, eighty two, I'm more offended the five, eighty one if your cannon guy, our girl but the six hundred there's really not much to not like about this flash, and we're going to kind of get into all the bells and whistles of it. All right? Kind of the same thing flash had an optical transmission. Let me get a six hundred my head back, zach same thing they're going to use different terminology, but to see it, zach, same identical thing is the nightgown, but I do want you to understand let me back up. When we get into wireless, we'll talk about it if you notice it says wireless transmitter, this is what's sending out the wireless signal, and we're going t...

o talk about that more later, but a lot of people get confused over that. All right, the color filter sensor as I talked about with the nikon that came out of the jail set so kannan came out with the jail sent it's the exact same thing it's two little buttons on the bottom instead of one little black bar. So zack same concept optical transmission wireless sensors so this is what's picking up the wireless receive instead of on the side like nikon he picks it up in the front for cannon again I think this is a better system because I know that it's always in front it's much easier for me to realize that if I need to adjust it it's in the front the external meeting sensor this is that little bitty hole. This is kind of like the same thing that we had on the night counting aside for the non ti tl flashes the auto joseph being zack same thing under the red here if I can turn this on right here is the auto assist works the exact same ways an icon is going to send out the bean if in low light you probably have seen it if you shoot weddings how many people here, by the way she weddings you want to sort of yeah what is it? No offense I'm getting old too what is there a young man's game? A young girl's game I get that wedding hangover I should've wedding on sunday or saturday and all day saturday sunday I feel like I'm hung over and I just don't want to move and you know about body aches my leg, you know, I used to not be that way because I shot him for so long, but so we still shoot weddings, but it's usually about ten a year fifteen a year because I just can't it's not fun for me anymore unless I do that for you. All right, the mountie foot again, this is, in a sense, an improvement. They have the locking kind of like cannon I mean nikon, but again, you have to be aware that little pin if you don't get that pin mounted all the way up and what comes next? I think it's next yet well, the locking pin and they have which we'll talk about this is a little weather cover on cannon, and that can get in the way, sometimes depending on what can a camera you're manning on, you really have to push this flash all the way on to be mounted cannon don't over analysed and just kind of put it on and lock because if there's no tension when this locks, the odds are you didn't get the locking pan where it needs to be, it really needs to have some tension probably teo, to make sure it's a man it correctly and in the catch light panel again the exact same thing as the can is an icon on the pull out. We have the actual catch light panel and in the bounce diffuser the exact same thing as nikon. Again, you break this off your flashes going crazy many times on the older flashes, your lcd will just blink. The entire thing will blink of clients on students think that their flashes addiction to blow up on him. Because when this thing is out, when this is out, the lcd back here will actually just blink and they can't control any features that can't do anything. So just be aware. And that is when it's like barely out like that. When it's just you think you have it all the way in, but the flash diffusers out and your lcd will actually go crazy on you. Remote released terminal zach. Same thing is, we have a nikon over here on the side because you have your remote release and you have your sink port. So over here, so again, there's no difference between canada and nikon. You have covers. You have your battery plug it's again, just like for ni con, where you can put in an extended external battery pack, but it's over here on the side instead of in the front and we'll talk a little bit about that a little bit later and in the pc terminal is exactly what we talked a lot of people don't know what the pc terminal and the the if you look right here on this little guy right here there's actually a little screwing grooves you actually inscrutable actual things and this is also perfect for if you want amount of flash up high somewhere sports photographers, they actually screwing clamps are mounts here that actually can hold flashes up top so a lot of people just look at this and think it's just a piece of metal with a hole and I don't understand what it's for but it's actually a mounting bracket innocence for your flash and there is the brown bracket mounting hole okay? And then the contacts on the bottom again, I don't think these are is easy to get dirty is an icon because they do have the dust cover the weather protected, but you need to make sure that these are protected and you need to make sure that they're in good shape. I've had a lot of problems with flashes and if I would have just taken a cloth and just watch these off, it would have fixed a senate off the cannon spend a hundred forty dollars and it literally took two minutes to fix just like my like eyeglasses all right on the back the radio transmission configure land, this is the link button back here right here, and it will light up in different colors when you actually again, these guys, when you have a six hundred to six hundred, you gotta buy too, but they wirelessly can hook up so they don't actually need toe optically see each other anymore. You're shaking your head, it makes you want it well, and what we're going to talk about this is the great thing, and I also want to mention is there's a lot of great tools here, but you don't need to buy two one time to make it all work you do need to buy to to make the wireless that we just talked about work. But let's say I don't have enough money, but only by one it will still work optically with your older cannon flashes, allowing you to grow your camera gear as you need to sew, so don't think you have to go out and spend a thousand dollars to flashes right off the bat if you have very useful and usable five eighties, because the reality is wei have these, but I used five eighties more than anything still there nice, because with the radio papa or pocket wizards, you're not really gaining anything except that it's all in one. Container it's it's a nice clean package it's a beautiful flash but have you played with it before? Now it's like I don't know you know they didn't want to play until I could buy it this is probably smart yeah, that sounds like a guy right there you're old is like I gotta have gotta have a weird but yeah the first time unveiled this and it's so easy we're going to talk about in a second the menu is so much more simplistic it's much like traffic signs and in america or around the world you see the shape of a stop sign you don't need to rick recognize it says stop you got to know that that's a stop sign and they literally have icons the represent everything so that you start visually representing that icon with what it means and it really makes the whole functionality the flash a lot easier okay lcd panel again same stuff the function to button and then the function one button the function buttons are very similar as you pop across your menus they're gonna just different things just like the nikon flash the wireless shooting linked button that is a great little things right here this is how you get to your master slave functions who instead of having to go in what do you have the five, eighty one or two you have five anyone is great because it has a little switch on the bottom. The five eighty two you have to hold down the mode button for three seconds. This is all you have to do on this one now she just pushed this button so again, much more simplistic added another another button which I think is very important because I think the five eighty really tried to tried to waterproof or water resistant more, and so they took away some of the buttons and the functions and the switches, and it really made it difficult for maur fast shooting, I guess in a sense, for changing features quickly flash mode button again as we talked about this is kind of the foundation the flash ready lamp, zach same thing when the flashes on his charge it's gonna be red very simple, the mounting footlocker lever we're going kind of went over this the lock release the dust water resistant again this is unique to canada. This part will fall off. It will get loose because it's kind of just a simple rubber that doesn't want it loses its shape. It won't go back it's not like silicon, so if it falls off, you're still going to be fine we just again be aware of that color filter holder attachment it's a little buttons on top the bounce angle again the same thing is not gone you have the bounce angle this is where you can check it out I don't use it a lot but it is nice in my head when I do needed what angle? I want to be it on the lot buttons same thing is not guns right here on the side allowed me to twist twist the flash very very basic stuff very functional and there's the other function three button on the side in the function for button and the battery compartment cover again this is a little bit better the special five eighty one is really tough opening up this has the locking it pops right open but again try not to break it cause it will be hard to replace battery compartment cover lever and in the function for buttons there we talked about and the power on off and lock this is something that a lot of people I didn't know it was gonna be a problem, but as we taught it's become a problem when you make sure you don't have it in the lock button in the locked position because if you have it in the locked position, people start freaking out think they're flashes broke so I can't adjust things and so they thought they had it turned all the way on and yet they didn't and so they come to me with this and you just kind of flip it onto the on button and then you like the old cartoon when they turn into the donkey and they really feel bad and then we move on but just make sure you have it to the on button most of the time and you'll be in good shape flack exposure compensation land this is nice for cannon when you actually have your flash on top your camera, especially in tomo, which we're going to get into the end of the day when you push the button this actually, well, actually flash green and let you know that the camera fell in the flash felt that this was proper exposure for your image, so I wish I would have had this back in the film days when I was shooting crime scenes because it would really help me, but it is a nice again across the board we're not trying to get creative is just a standard photograph, which lots of times is all you need, especially reception shooting you're not trying to get creative, you're taking table shots of people, that kind of thing it's a great little indicator without you having to keep looking on the back your camera all the time, the selector doll and in the set button is the exact same thing is nikon turned the dial set, but you're good to go, okay so with that said that was all are flashes I want to kind of go over a few the main detail items the battery compartment if we talked about another big problem you can see with nikon cannon here you can see you have two batteries one direction, two batters the other other direction I know that sounds basic, but you'd be amazed how many people come to me and put the batteries in backwards and wonder what's wrong with their flash so before you freak out always put your batteries in, turn the flash on to make sure it's good and then turn it off and put it in your camera back get in the habit of doing that to make sure your flashes batteries aaron correctly so I know it sounds stupid but it's a little it's a it's a small tip that's that's really? Because you get to a wedding situation, you pull out your flash and it doesn't work and you don't know why you don't have time to check the batteries the battery apartment for the external battery pack this is, um the cannon this's the cp for they have the cp three, which is the exact same but it has a little trade and an icon works the same way the cpd four has this great tray the c p c p three the older version has a black train the black trey has really, really, really bad cheap plastic where these little tabs right here will break right off and so you're back. You could still work, you just have to lay a man, you kind of have to slide this and they wont hold upside down like this one word of advice. If you have a three and a four which I do, the trays will slide in very easy on each one, but they will not come out, so don't intermix your trays if you go to ebay or if you buy secondary if you have one, don't intermix the trays on your cps threes and force they will mess up there's also some great off brands from overseas that you can get for almost half the price they worked very effectively. So again don't think you have to go out and spend. This is about one hundred fifty dollars that you have to buy the best it works. Great, I love it. Come to this little case you could put a belt through it either vertical or horizontal. For guys, it has a little velcro strap you could put around a light stand. Which is also nice, or if you don't want to use this and ladies, especially if you don't have a belt or anything else this one didn't have, but it comes with the screw right here, and you can actually mount that right to the bottom of your tripod mount on your camera so that's a nice little accessory and then just roll this right up to your flash on time. Nikon has the exact same basic design of the new battery pack, the one I was telling the fits for the nine hundred siri's they have one that's older for the eight hundred siri's that actually on ly holds a few batteries in it, like five, but what nikon has, which we didn't talk about on eight hundred for this on the old eight hundred, you can actually take this battery compartment off, and it comes with the fifth battery, so you can actually slide that on and have a fifth battery for your flash, which is really be amazed how one more double a can really help you with your battery power. So if you don't have an external battery pack, I suggest getting one, especially if you're going to do weddings where you have a long time and what's nice about this, you can actually buy an extra tray, it has a plastic cover. Houston rechargeable charge him up put it in your camera back and when this one goes dead you simply just pull it out and you slide it in a new tray it just takes a second if I could put it in correctly and you're good together so this is to me this is probably when it comes to flash photography this is one of the needed necessities over accessory that they offer and it's a very inexpensive especially where all your expensive gear you have your camera bag how she just getting one of these again it goes right in you know lose my will be mine my trigger here it goes right into the side for cannon and right into the front of nikon there's the nikon plug and you see that little extra little nipple those little cut that's what the new nine hundred battery pack will flight into and the other one's won't slide into that so you have to literally the older one will fit to this but the newer one will not fit into the older flashes in a sense one word of advice again that I didn't mention it I'm surprised it hasn't come up and maybe it has if we talk about battery powers don't intermix batteries in this use the same type of batteries in this don't put rechargeable for rechargeable before alkaline it will do bad things here flash it will do bad things to your flash so you can put outlines may be in your flash all four and you could put rechargeable is in this but don't make some in here I suggest don't even doing that I highly suggest if you're going to use one type of battery, use it all the way across the board because when you use this this is running the power of your flash the four in your flash which you have tohave runs the lcd on your flash so they are separate yesterday so you recommend rechargeable or alkaline I recommend rechargeable sze I don't recommend using live I would rather use alkaline over lithium again where you are guys are you might get away with it in the heat lithium is gets so hot that it will melt your flash from the inside if you're using it a lot again I've done that so it's okay that maybe have some lithium like four eight pack in your camera bag is backups and just be aware that problem but I do rechargeable tze and there's a ton of rechargeable is out there um as a general we use ones that air twenty five to twenty, seven hundred I don't try to get to g on and I know a lot of people can cause there's some hybrids out that are really nice the problem with straight rechargeable isas soon as you pull them off the charger they lose their starting loser charge, so you can't charge him up on friday and inspect saturday morning that they're goingto have full, full charge. You want to charge him a ball all night, find a charger that actually is a trickle charger so as it fully charges it's gonna slowly d charge and raise it back up and it'll just kind of trickle charge and keep it full charge and pull them off and you'll be fine now there's some hybrids out there that are half kind of alkaline, half rechargeable that'll hold a charge a lot longer, but they're not as strong. So I just like these. I used the power x I use these gender. Geez, these are new way use the maha charger, the m a h a, which I think is pretty standard. I know here creative live us all their techno people using him too and what's nice about it. I don't have one, I can show you after the break, it has eight basin it and you can actually charge one battery at a time so you don't have to charge two or four times and it tells you exactly where each batteries charged and the key I found is if you have a bad sale, this one battery goes bad it's going to tell you and you can discard that batter properly where if you don't have that you put in all four batteries, that one is bad and your flash power is just no not there so a good battery is nice but I think good be charged or charger for the batteries is even more important so is a general you also can read re function these are greed was the word drain the power and build it back up and so basically once a year in my soul time which comes up in in a summer, we don't have too many sessions I try to teach in the summer this is our busiest time, which is why my wife not with me and she's I kind of want to kill me at this point because she's so inundated with studio but once a year we actually d charge all these and and build them back up and I can get two to three years out of these batteries generally and we use them all the time. So don't get rid of your batteries before you actually refurbished them or take the battery down because most of them don't have too much of a memory anymore the technology's come a long way, but they will get some and so by doing that it really helps break that up and gives you a lot more life in your batteries, so I buy bulk you can find online lots of battery places in fact lithium I would suggest buying a boat too if you're going to go that route because you can get it for under a dollar a battery where if you go to any local convenience store it's going to cost you maybe almost eighteen dollars before sometimes so it's a lot more expensive and so I buy these in one hundred of time in boxes of a hundred time have him and I have bays of chartres so I have enough that when I use all my flash with batteries in I have enough that are already on charges well so when I come in is dead I will literally have fresh batteries that I can use ready for a couple questions from the internet like awesome thank you so wait you have a few good ones so a photo love cat wants to know that better be a good question with little of cat does using an external battery allow you to shoot mohr back to back shots without over here it's a great question yes and no yes it allows you to shoot mohr shots back to back but that's what's gonna cause the overheating so you want to be able to do it but you don't want to do it very often towards the end of the segment we're going to talk about some custom functions there's one if she's a cannon users especially there's one that's really, really good for that goes by default these flashes that doesn't matter for canada and an icon. These flashes will only allow you to discharge them when they're fully charged. So that's what? That little red light is when this is on it's ready to go so that red light has to be on for you to be able to fire the flash for the capacitors are charged. The juice is there in forty charts the capacities. The more you do that the heart of the flash kits by default for cannon is the flash gets hotter. It's going to slow this recycled time down naturally, which is its way of saying I don't want it balancing the heat and the recycled time. There is a custom function that takes away that actual safety feature where you can shoot as many times as you want. If it's only got one third capacity power and it will fire that. But the problem is you well, that's usually how I melt my my front of my flashes. So I hope that answers it got one more actually ready for it? Yeah, awesome. So rodal q s is there an external battery pack for the s b eight hundred or just the nikon nine ten? No good, great question no, there there is there's an older version I'm gonna be honest I can't remember the name of it now it's like the nine I think instead of the tray and slim pulled us out instead of the strait of this and the new nine hundred has it actually has a little door on the side that'll pop open and only holds five batteries so that battery pack will actually work in your nine hundred they say they suggest don't use it in your nine hundred telling you to use it in your nine hundred but it doesn't have that extra little of connector so it will go on in both but it doesn't have the eight batteries that this in the new system the new battery pack for a nikon has it only has five okay and like people are talking about these I know I used uh and loop and look what you what do you think about that? Think it's a great great battery I know a lot of people use that I'm kind of an old dog, so I used the power x power x and it works and this is and it's a ma ha battery as well so it's the same as my charger saw stayed within that family great, but I've heard tons of people use that I have a lot of my students use it and they've never had any problems whatsoever great awesome! Thank you very much I think we're going to roll good alright thank you any of the questions on the batteries? They also have the winter lope batteries costco yeah, great price yeah that's a thing you can get it batters have gotten so popular innocence now rechargeable because it is better for the environment you're not using as much that a lot of the big companies like that are starting to offer them be aware that I bought some energizer brand and I don't want to get too much in the brand, but I've lost the energizer recharge cycles at wal mart and so they did not work near is well is some of my other ones and even though they were twenty five or twenty seven hundred power and so just know that that number that twenty seven hundred hire the number goes the more it's going to discharge power, the stronger that battery will be in a sense. And so but you really there's a fine line and your hybrids are going to have a lower number and so you won't give much power out of them, but they're going to last you longer is general because they are that that hybrid so there's a everything in photography and technical stuff there's a fine balance between which way you want to go there's. No perfect lens is going over everything. There's, no perfect cameras going toe cover everything. And so the same thing. With batteries. You kind of have to find the one that's just right for you. So buy a four pack of a couple of a and try amount and see which ones you like. Or get some hybrids and throw him in your bag is the last a little longer. Maybe use the straight rechargeable cz for your everyday use.

Class Description

Join Mike Fulton for a comprehensive course on speedlight photography — including how to use this versatile flash system to increase efficiency and expand your creative ability.

In this course, you’ll master all of the many buttons and features of speedlights. You’ll learn about each of your flash’s settings: manual, TTL, direct, bounce, off-camera, and more. You’ll explore the relationship between your camera and your flash, so you can move away from shooting in auto mode and toward capturing more nuanced, dynamic images. You’ll troubleshoot common flash issues and gain confidence manipulating the light from your speedlights to get exactly the look you want in your photographs. Mike will also cover the lighting choices that take an image from being just nice to look at to being highly marketable.

This speedlight photography course is the definitive experience for anyone ready to become an expert user of this powerful, adaptable lighting system.



Someone should tell this nice guy, Mike that he should restrain his comments and do his homework and structure the course and sticks to it. Of 100s of pictures he took not even one was inspiring or great shot. Yes, he did say that "I am not going to make good image", why not I ask? I do believe he is not only a nice individual but knows the tech side, not sure if he can make artistic images.

a Creativelive Student

I am in the midst of watching this class through the videos I purchased and am very impressed by how in depth the information is. VERY happy with this purchase. I like Mike’s ability to make concepts easy to understand and also that he shows you by example what he means. As a direct result of watching this class, while visiting family yesterday I found myself looking at my grandson’s face as light was shining on him through a window and thinking to myself, “Oh, that is short lighting and when he turns his face it becomes broad lighting.” Thanks, Mike. Can’t wait to see what other gems of understanding I have in store for me in the rest of the class videos.


Excellent course, especially when I learnt something within the first 5 mins of watching it. I have found Creative Live courses to be very thorough in detail and equally practical in application. 10 out of 10 Creative Live support has also been 💯 % helpful Thanks guys..