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EX270 II Slave Mode Doesn't


This is a duplicate posting of one elsewhere because I was advised the existing thread was more than 5 yrs old.


I could not get my Speedlite 270EX II to fire as a slave in even direct view of the front with the built-in flash on my Rebel SL3 (200D II). The flash control menu on the camera ("External flash func. setting" or "External flash C.Fn setting") returns the message "This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off". Since the power was not turned off, I'm assuming incompatibility. Hoping someone can tell me of a setting in the camera I didn't know about - I really don't want to buy and carry those pricy little triggers as this is part of a personal light weight travel kit I (retired from studio work).


@Ki2t wrote:



Thanks for the very useful info. Sorry you didn't see this before I sent my SL3 (D200D II) off for a $200 repair. You would think Canon would've told me this; however, the vertical pin nonetheless was not in sight without a flash mounted, so I would eventually have had trouble there.


Of course I won't be able to resist trying it after the repair, but it sounds like you have authoritative knowledge of the camera and flash models functionality. There may be a 580EX in my future, but this is a "retirement rig, and I was trying to avoid that.



Canon's actually better than other brands, in having flash masters in the pop-ups; most camera lineups only offer it in their prosumer bodies. But I'm into off-camera flash tech. 


But. There's actually a better, cheaper way for you to get off-camera flash function, if you're willing to go with low-cost 3rd-party Chinese gear.  And they may be the reason that Canon removed the sync connection from the hotshoe to try and stop you going there. 😄


Godox makes radio-triggered flash gear that's compatible with Canon, and the SL3/T100/T7 bodies without the sync contact on the hotshoe (although the gear may require firmware updating to work. You can download all the software and files for a Windows box from the Godox website if it needs to be done, though). 


A Godox TT350-C (US$85) is their mini speedlight for mirrorless camera bodies. And the TT685-C (full-sized 600EX-RT-ish model) is US$110.  A transmitter in the system is $60 (X2T-C) or $70 (XPro-C or Flashpoint R2 Pro II-C) vs. a 430EX III-RT ($300), 600EX II-RT ($500), and ST-E3-RT Vers. 2 costing $300.


If you really wanna go low-cost and can stand ditching TTL, Godox also makes a $60 TT600 (single-pin, no TTL/HSS on-camera; no TTL off-camera). This makes putting together a key/fill/rim/background lighting setup actually doable. 😄   All the current models of Godox speedlights have built-in radio triggers, so you don't need to add anything to the foot of a flash to use it off-camera over radio. 


Radio is often preferred over optical triggering because 1) you don't have to fire the pop-up flash every time; 2) its range and reliability are not affected by ambient light levels (i.e., can be used reliably on location in bright sunshine, which can overpower optical signalling) or line-of-sight.  The main drawback is that unlike optical, radio interference may be an issue. But overall, the range is bigger, and the reliability better and you can hide your lights behind solid objects with radio. 


However, obviously, the low-low cost has gotta come from somehwere. Copy variance is higher than with OEM (components the same), TTL consistency/accuracy isn't as good; AF-assist isn't as good; and fit'n'finish are not quite as nice. And customer/warranty service support is dumped off on the retailer you purchased it from (who can only replace a lemon under warranty). But it's good and solid enough of a system for pros to use it, and it does a few things the Canon OEM gear doens't do.


The TTL/HSS support in the lights that have it (aside from the 350 mini speedlight models) actually can support, as off-camera radio slaves, TTL/HSS for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus/Panasonic and Pentax, and that support is cross-brand.  I use my TT685-C as a TTL/HSS radio slave to an XPro-C on a 5dii, but also to an XPro-O on my Panasonic GX7, and an XPro-F on my Fuji X100T. IOW, your lights stay useful even if you shoot another brand of camera. All you have to rebuy is whatever goes directly on the flash hotshoe.


Godox also makes a lot of bigger-than-speedlight strobes that use the same radio triggering system. There are $100 AC-powered manual monolights (e.g., the MS300), as well as TTL/HSS battery-powered ministrobes (e.g., AD200) and monolights (AD600).  And even big AC powered manual pack and head systems. Lots of room for expansion. Canon's RT system? Mostly speedlights and only a few 3rd-party strobes (e.g., Westcott FJ/Jinbei, or the Phottix Indra). 

View solution in original post

@Ki2t wrote:

... are you also saying in the above statement that the SL3 lacks the vertical pin in its hotshoe which detects the speedlight presence (or is lacking some other feature) in the hotshoe? Hopefully, I didn't send my SL3 off for a costly repair to restore a function it never had.


I intend to investigate the Godox gear as you are suggesting. Godox would be more compact, and a lot less expensive than the purchase of a 580EX II or similar Canon speedlite which I regard as the "easy way out", however the cost difference is a little less important to me than portability for private use in retirement.


BTW, I'm really impressed with your research of model functionality among the various Canon offerings. Is there a resource I should become familiar with, or did you come by this info the hard way, e.g. long term reading and buy-and-try?

Yes, the SL3, T100, and T7 are all missing the big sync contact in the center of the hotshoe. This is the ISO-standard way for a camera hotshoe to tell the flash when to fire.  The other four contacts remain, and are how the camera knows whether a Canon-compatible speedlight is mounted, and communicates TTL/HSS, etc.  But without the sync contact a lot of 3rd-party flash gear that relies on the ISO-standard communication to fire the flash no longer works.   


There have been some odd reports, though, of newer copies of the T7 having that sync connector reinstate on the hotshoe, and if you sent your SL3 in for service, they may replace it with a hotshoe that has it.  No idea.


As for my knowledge, I basically come by it through a lot of  long-term reading and practice, but there are a couple of resources that are my go-tos on this, and that I'll send other people to. 


For learning how to use a flash, I point to Neil van Niekerk's Tangents blog.  He's a professional wedding and portrait photographer, and can tell you all about using a flash on-camera for bouncing with TTL, as well as overall flash metering, flash exposure, and flash ambient balance.  But in taking a flash off-camera, most of  us would point to David Hobby's Strobist website/blog. Hobby was a professional photojournalist, often assigned to shoot portraits for feature articles, who began using speedlights as if they were studio strobes to make a more portable kit.  But. When he started his blog he assumed he was only talking to other pro PJs who'd already mastered on-camera bounce flash and had hit its limits. He used to link to Tangents as the place to learn that.  And I would highly advocate learning on-camera bounce flash before attempting off-camera flash, simply because it's simpler, easier, and cheaper. All you need to buy and learn to master is a speedlight.  Not a speedlight, trigger, stand, bracket/swivel, and modifier. 😄


For learning about "what's new" in the world of 3rd-party flash gear, Lighting Rumors and (up until recently; the site looks like it hasn't been updated in a while) Flash Havoc were two good blogs that kept up with a lot of lighting gear release news.  You could also look at dpreview, but they concentrate more on camera bodies and lenses there, than lighting gear.  But on dpreview, the Studio and Lighting Technique forum is where all the lighting geeks hang out. And I also learned a ton about Godox from the POTN board's Flash and Studio Lighting forum, which used to be Canon-centric, but is now all-brands. Those would probably be your go-to resources for both Godox and Canon gear-specific questions.

View solution in original post


@Ki2t wrote:


...Canon Repair in Norfolk stated that they did replace the top unit of my SL3 (EOS 200D II) because of a non-functioning vertical pin that mechanically senses the presence of a speedlight in the hotshoe. A tech also confirmed that there was no mention in their database of a master slave controller in the on-camera flash on that model, so they believe it has none, as you reported.


I'm a little confused, however about your comment regarding the absence of a sync contact, as there is what appears to be one in the center of my hotshoe. I'll attach a photo when I get the camera back yet.

The vertical pin is the issue that was mentioned up-thread by Mike Sowsun. That little springloaded thing tells the camera whether a speedlight is mounted on the hotshoe, or whether the camera needs to spring the pop-up flash. 


As for the metal sync contact on the hotshoe, it was definitely removed from the SL3 (200D II/250D), T7 (2000D, 1500D), and T100 (4000D) bodies, as you can see in product photos (top-view) of  the SL3, T7, and T100. But as I also stated, some newer T7 owners are reporting they've got a sync contact.  If they replaced the entire hotshoe assembly, it could be you got a new one with a sync contact.

Except there is more hardware/software involved than just the contact.

@kvbarkley wrote:

Except there is more hardware/software involved than just the contact.

It's possible. But it's also possible that the entire assembly took care of the hardware, and that the DryOS and DIGIC processor in the SL3 might be more or less identical to that in the T7 and T7i.  Most of the lower-end Rebels are about leveraging already existing/older tech, not so much introducing new tech that doesn't exist further up in the higher tiers.


I don't think Canon would have bothered to reinstate the T7's hotshoe if it involved more tinkering than simply swapping the hotshoe assembly. And simply using a different contactless hotshoe assembly is a very easy lower-cost way to "cripple" the said models vs. doing that and also changing the internals. 


We are talking about a single analog connection (and that a simple short) that dates back decades into the film era as part of an international standard. Not some super-complex proprietary digital encoding.

Canon Repair shipped my SL3 (EOS200DII) today. When I receive it, I'll post a photo of the hot shoe. However, the repair tech notes (which they read to me over the phone at my request) stated that they replaced the entire "upper unit" (the term I think they used). I thought mine had the center contact, but I could be mistaken - we'll see what I have when it returns.

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