Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash 2020 Latest Updated Review

Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash 2020 Latest Updated Review

As the world’s first flash with an AI Bounce function , the Speedlite 470EX-AI is equipped to detect the distance to your subject

Light further and wider

A built-in zoom head aims to match the angle of the flash’s output to the viewing angle of the lens being used, and operates across a 24-105mm zoom range (full frame equivalent).

Clear, detailed display

The dot-matrix display enables a display of characters for more detailed information while the LCD panel displays all the flash settings and is very easy to read.

By automatically taking measurements of the room in conjunction with the set focus distance, Auto Intelligent Bounce (AI.B) automatically tilts and rotates the flash head in order to bounce the light and produce a diffuse and even quality of light

  • Guide number of 154′ at 105mm and ISO 100
  • Flash head offers 0 to 120° of tilt along with +/-180° of rotation for full bounce flash capabilities
  • Exposure compensation of ±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 step increments

Built-In LCD Panel

The 470EX-AI features a small black-and-white LCD panel which provides some basic information about the state of the flash.

From this screen you can see if the flash has recharged, as well as data about the critical exposure and flash setting. As far as LCD screens go, this one is pretty basic.

The flash’s screen quality is like that of a scientific calculator.


  • Automatic bounce
  • Decent maximum output
  • Fast and silent recycling


  • Expensive to buy
  • No RF master/slave modes
  • No optical wireless master mode

Flash Revolution

As the world’s first flash with an AI Bounce function , the Speedlite 470EX-AI is equipped to detect the distance to your subject

That’s right, the flash head swivels in multiple directions to formulate the ideal bounce flash angle while you simply watch it work.

The Speedlite 470EX-AI can even maintain defined exposure and bounce angles when you’re alternating between horizontal and vertical compositions..

New, specially designed accessories

With its revolutionary Auto Intelligent (AI) Bounce function*, the Speedlite 470EX-AI delivers a level of advanced, automatic operation

By automatically calculating the distance from the flash to the subject along with the wall or ceiling

The Speedlite 470EX-AI determines the optimal bounce angle and swivels into position to capture the  exposure

Whats More

  • Build quality and handling
  • Features a traditional control panel
  • Zoom function of the head relatively limited
  • Programmable stroboscopic flash mode missing

While the AI bounce facility is innovative, the 470EX-AI is quite conventional in other ways.

It has a traditional control panel based on buttons, a rotary dial and mono LCD displa

Optical Receiver Mode

If you want to cut loose from the hot shoe, the 470EX-AI can act as a receiver unit if you have a compatible flash or a Speedlite mounted transmitter.

Sometimes, using an optical wireless flash set-up is the right choice.

The 470EX-AI works great as a receiver if you keep it within its maximum distance range,

If there is any possibility that you’ll one day need a flash capable of handling multiple angles and multiple directions


  • TTL flash metering is usually accurate and consistent
  • Recycling after a flash is silent and pretty swift
  • Battery life is about two-thirds that of the 430EX II-RT

As its Gn rating would imply, maximum output is a little more powerful than from the 430EX III-RT, but weaker than from the 600EX II-RT.

TTL (Through The Lens) flash metering is usually accurate and consistent, both for direct flash and when using the flashgun in bounce mode.

Recycling after a flash is silent and pretty swift.

In fact, recycling is virtually instantaneous at power settings of between 1/128 and 1/4. At half-power and full-power settings, recycling times are 1.1 and 2.3 seconds with NiMH batteries, or 1.3 and 4.2 with alkaline batteries.

The sum up

In case this is coming off as though I’m somehow Canon-crazy, you can rest assured that this flash isn’t going to have me switching systems just yet.

But the 470EX-AI is a breath of fresh air, and represents true innovation from a company often accused of playing it safe.

Let’s be clear, there’s a lot that we haven’t yet tested on the 470EX-AI.

We don’t know how well (or if) it’ll really work off-camera, we don’t know if it will work with a diffuser and we haven’t tested the battery life.

We do know that it can’t detect brightly colored ceilings or walls, which could throw a color cast on your subject.

But there’s still a lot of potential here.

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