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Flash shoe malfunctioning


I am using two different external flashes and getting same issue, so i think is something with the flash shoe on my camera.


I will take a photo and fire the flash but it will either overexpose or under expose.


I am using fully charged batteries.

I made sure had tight connection.

I have mys etting correct. (tried in different settings)


I feel like it is the connection to the flash causing the issue.


What can i do?



Hi and welcome, can you post what model camera you have? That would be very helpful in helping you out.

Cannon T3i

Speedlite 430EXII


What mode is the camera using (e.g. Manual, Av, Tv, P, etc.)?


Can you verify that you flash exposure compensation is zero'd out?  (If you press the "Set/Sel" button on the back of the flash you can use the -/+ buttons to adjust it.  It should normally be set to 0.  Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) will cause the flash to provide either less power or more power than the amount of power it calculates via the E-TTL II metering.  If I want to use the flash outside during daylight and want it to be a "fill" flash then I dial the FEC to about "-1" and it does well at reducing the dark shadows without taking over as the key light.)


In the upper-left corner of the flash LCD display, do you see "ETTL" or do you see something else?  (just TTL or M for example)


There can be many reasons why a flash seems to over-expose or under-expose the shot.   If it's in ETTL mode *and* if Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) is at zero *and* you are not using it outside in daylight and the distance to the subject is reasonable then the flash will usually do the right thing.  


If you use the flash for fill in daylight, enable the flash usually causes the camera to switch to it's max flash-sync speed and that can result in over-expose in bright sun (you can use high-speed sync mode to allow faster shutter speeds).


If the flash doesn't have a good contact with the camera it may switch to just "TTL" and lose the full evaluative controls (but you'd usually see "TTL" displayed instead of "E-TTL".  Of course if flash is in Manual mode ("M") then you have to set the power level manual.


A great book on the Canon flash system is "Speedliter's Handbook" by Syl Arena (and I'll warn you that his 2nd edition of the print version is sold out ... so the copies I see on places like Amazon are ludicrously over-priced.  It is still available as an e-book via Apple's iBook Store at the normal price (which is how I bought my copy) but that only works if you have a Mac, iPad, or iPhone.  Oddly...  I do not see it on Kindle.


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

I have that book and it is very informative, the first addition and I see the 2nd addition for free via PDF download now so I just snagged it too!

Thank you Tim. It was in M, and P modes i tried it.I will check for all the things you mnetioned.

I appreciate it.


I will say that i worry that the connection with my camera is malfunctioning. I have always had some issues with the hot shoe on my camera. I feel like it needs to be adjusted or replaced so the flash will sit perfectly.. 

Can that be fixed? is it expensive?


I will try everything else first.

Thanks again Tim

Are you suggesting that the flash may be wobbly when attached to the hot-shoe?  


Make sure the flash is slid all the way into the hot shoe.  Also Is the locking lever secured?  (it should click to lock such that you have to push the release button to unlock the lever.)


When locked, if you gently use your finger to test the flash for wobble ... it should have minimal movement.



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