Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Canon 5d mark III does not recognize the Canon Speedlite 580EX II is connected


When I choose External Speedlite control/ Flash function settings on the 5D.


I get a dialogue that says


This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off.


Flash is on. If I take a photo, flash fire's. Pictures are ALWAYS over exposed when using the flash.


Does the 580EX II work with the 5D Mark III?



As this is a Canon known problem with the Canon 580EX II flash - you would think Canon would do everything to ensure the integrity of their eqipment. 

I have a friend with Nikon equipment, and the store went out of their way to fix his equipment. 

From as far back as I can remember Canon was a respected brand. I can't say I would recomend them to anyone in future. Certainly not without telling them what happened to me.

Canon has to realize the customer is paying top dollar because we trust they are putting out good equipment that works and does what they say it will.


View solution in original post

"I can't say I would recomend them to anyone in future."


Maybe this is a problem with the 580 EX II known or not to Canon at the time of release. Who knows?  I can without doubt say Canon is so far ahead of the other pro photo equipment maker, in customer service, it isn't even a consideration.

Believe me, my photographic friend, you are with the best CS company in the photographic industry.



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

View solution in original post



You've used this flash on the camera with no problem before?


If no. check that it isn't mounted on the camera backwards.


Not helpful? Sorry, I always try to check the obvious stuff first.


2nd, I'd check the speedlite setting. Flash turned on and set to ETTL. Menu layers ...External Speedlite control > Flash function settings > Flash mode > E-TTL. If this is set to Manual /flash" you might get overexposed images. 


Good luck.



Hi Cale_kat

No this is a new camera, flash has been around for 3-4 years. 

All the basic 'stuff' is checked and set properly.


"Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off"


That means the flash hotshoe is not getting good contact to communicate with the camera.  When there is poor communication, the flash will always fire at Full power. 


Try cleaning the contacts on both the camera and flash.  

Mike Sowsun

You are going to have to seperate the two.  Try the flash on a different camera and try the camera with a different flash.

Hopefully know good ones in either case.



(It isn't possibile to mount a 580 EX II backwards on a 5D Mk III)

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


The 580EX II does work with the 5D III.  But there is a known issue with the 580EX II whereby the foot can come loose and not make good contact.  It's easily remedied and Canon even has a service to upgrade the foot to one not prone to have this issue.


With the flash off the camera, try wiggling (gently) the plate on the foot.  It should be solid and not want to wiggle.  If it does wiggle... it's loose.


Tightening it requires a bit of disassembly (not too much) of the flash and you may want to send it to Canon service.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Thank you all for your help.

I checked the foot, and it seems solid. I cleaned the contacts and - they did nto look dirty - put flash back on and it is now being recognised. If there is a service at Canon I may send it in to be checked anyway.

As you all know - but this is new to me (2 weeks old) - This 5D Mark III is the cat's meow. I am liking all the images so far.... The sharpness...... 



The loose foot plate is a fairly common issue (and easily fixed).  


But also keep in mind that there are 5 metal contact pins on the foot of the flash and these mate with the 5 pins on the camera hot-shoe.  The 6th contact is the hot-shoe itself (the metal foot plate is actually the ground contact and it mates with the rails on the camera hot-shoe to provide the ground connection.)


Those 5 pins are spring-loaded.  If you push them with your finger tips, they should push in and spring back out when you release them.  If a piece of dirt manages to get widged into the pin, then it might keep it from springing back out properly and prevent it from making a good connection to the camera.  If this happens, the camera may believe it does not have an ETTL flash connected.  The pins would need to be cleaned (Do not oil them... that would only attract more dirt.  The pins have a loose fit that requires no lubricant.   Just clean out whatever dirt may be present if the pins are not performing as they should).


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

If you are still experiencing problems, take a look at the pins on your hotshoe. Older 430EX II and 580EX II had rounded pins which can sometimes cause problems. Canon changed these pins and now all their flashes haves "pointy" pins.


If your flash is still on warranty, Canon can replace the entire foot with one that has the "pointy" pins. 


I don't have a problem with mine but I called Canon Canon about my 5 year old 580EX II. They won't repair it for free, but they can sell me a replacement part. The old Canon part number is CY2-4220, but the new "Pointy Contact" replacement part is CY2-4220-020 







Mike Sowsun

Thank you very much - very helpful info


National Parks Week Sweepstakes style=

Enter for a chance to win!

April 20th-28th