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EOS Rebel SL3 Flash Cord Question


Hi there,

I am a food photographer looking to dive into artificial lighting. I have a canon rebel sl3 which I found out is incompatible for any 3rd party flashes. I wanted to purchase the Godox AD200Pro to use as my speed lite, but it comes with a wireless trigger that I am unsure if it will work with my camera. I believe I can connect it with a cord, but I don't know which cord. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thank you!




I know the hotshoes on the SL3 and a couple other recent Canon models are slightly different from earlier cameras. They omitted the center pin from the hotshoe. Otherwise it's the same and it is still compatible with a lot of flashes.

I just checked at B&H Photo (because their website's search and filtering tools work so well, feel free to buy wherever you wish)... They show 60 different flashes compatible with the SL3. And 17 of them are Godox... But NOT the AD200Pro model you mention. That appears to be essentially a very compact, portable, low powered "studio strobe"... not a "flash", per se. There are a three ways to trigger a strobe like this: a sync cord (wired), radio (wireless), optical (fires when light from another flash or strobe goes off nearby).

I don't believe the SL3 has a PC sync socket to accommodate a sync cord. An alternative that works with many cameras is an adapter attaching a sync cord via the hotshoe. BUT, I think this only works when the hotshoe has that center contact pin, which the SL3 lacks.

Wireless triggering with radio or optically can be simple or complex. Simple optical triggering is where the off-camera lighting gear has a sensor that causes it to fire whenever another flash is fired nearby. Simple radio triggering is similar, except that a radio signal has to be emitted somehow to trip the off-camera flash or strobe.

The more complex wireless triggering actually allows remote control over the off-camera flash or strobe settings. It certainly can be a time-saver not having to walk around to each of the off-camera light sources to manually adjust them. This may not be much of a problem for close-up work, such as a lot of food photography.

The radio triggering is done using a controller that fits into the camera's hotshoe. For example, Canon themselves make an ST-E3-RT Flash Controller that uses radio waves to wireless communicate with one or more off camera Canon flashes (the flash model must also have radio capabilities). However, this appears to NOT work with the SL3, probably because of that missing center contact post.In fact, I don't see any radio controllers that claim to work with SL3. The camera is two or three steps up from the most "entry level", but the designers apparently didn't expect the typical SL3 buyer would be into advances lighting techniques. Even so, there are a lot of possibilities.

Optical triggering is similar, wireless, but has quite a bit less range than radio, and requires "line of sight" connectivity. It can be more difficult to hide remote flashes when using optical triggering. Because the SL3 has a built in flash, you could use that to do simple optical triggering of off-camera flash or strobes.

What I would recommend you do is to consider some of the SL3 compatible portable flash.units. Especially for close-up work, these can be used very much like a studio strobe. In fact, you will probably want two or more. Some models available can work together via radio or optically. You will probably want an off-camera shoe cord, too... to get your main flash off-camera a little. It appears standard Canon compatible off-camera shoe cords will work fine (they pass though connectivity on all but that center contact pin).

In addition I recommend you look closely at what other accessories are available for any flash under consideration. Some of the more "standard" size and shape flashes can be used with a wide variety of light modifiers... small soft boxes, for example. It's probable you will want to work with some modifiers sooner or later, so it would be a shame to get a flash (or flashes) that can't easily be fitted with them. 

FYI, here's a link to the flash gear B&H states is compatible with your camera.

And here's a link showing just the Godox items.

Note: It's not my purpose to promote B&H here. Although I have been a customer for a long time, they aren't paying me to recommend them or anything like that! I often use them for searches like the above because they carry or can get virtually any photography-related product and the info on their website is pretty reliable. Shop wherever you like, of course. 

Personally I use six Canon flash and five studio strobes. The flash are older models that communicate optically (three 550EX and three 580EX II). I also have the ST-E2 Flash Controller, though to be honest I don't use it very often. Most of the time I just use a single flash connected via an Off-Camera Shoe Cord, sometimes with one or two of the other flashes placed remotely and triggered optically.

My studio lighting kit is a small one, designed for portability (it still weighs 80 or 90 lb., not counting a back drop and an overhead boom). The five monolights I use are much larger than that Godox AD200. They are Norman monolights that are 320ws each, which is relatively small for this type of lighting. Mostly used for portraits of people and animals, I usually set these up bounced out of a couple of umbrellas. I gang two of the lights up in a larger umbrella as my main light and use a 3rd light in an umbrella as a fill light from the opposite side. The remaining lights are used various ways, depending upon the situation. One can be hung from a boom as a "hair light", the other might be used to illuminate a background. All my work is "on location", so I had to keep this kit relatively small. It is possible to power these lights from battery packs, but I have never needed to do that. I usually use a single PC sync cable from my camera to the main light and set the other lights to be optically triggered. I don't have any kind of remote controller with these. That's no problem for my uses... Once set up, there's rarely any need to adjust the lighting. But I have considered getting a radio trigger set for them (one of the problems with optical triggering is that other people using flash near me can accidentally set off some of my strobes.... that sometimes happens at events). 

I hope this helps!


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2), EOS M5, some other cameras, various lenses & accessories


Are you sure the Canon ST-E3-RT is not compatible with the SL3. Canon says that its compatible with that camera. I've never heard of an EX or EL-1 & EL-100 speedlites not being compatible with EOS digital camera.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D


So how does Canon's SL3-compatible flash fire without the center trigger pin? Canon must have devised a way to do it, between the body and their flash. Since Canon's pin-out specs are secret, we have to wonder, as does a third-party flash maker. 

I don't find any 3rd-party flashes, at B&H or otherwise, that SPECIFICALLY say they are SL3 compatible.

The implication by all is that their flashes are  ETT-L and ETT-L II compatible, but that doesn't account for the simple ability to fire without a center pin.

BTW, there appears to be SL3s out there that DO have the center pin. Did Canon realize the error of their ways?

E-TTL II is implemented in the camera body not the speedlite. So it doesn't matter which EX or EL series speedlite is used. If the camera supports E-TTL II then the attached speedlite will use E-TTL II flash metering. Flash metering is done in the camera not the speedlite. So you can you the oldest EX speedlites and it will provide E-TTL II auto flash. 


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

Doesn't explain how the flash can fire without a trigger (center) pin. 

The speedlite is likely getting the signal to fire from the other 4 contacts. So the center pin doesn't play a roll with Canon's own speedlites or transmitters.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D
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