Canon has announced a revolutionary new Speedlite flashgun with a motorised head that can automatically determine the best angle and adjustment for effective bounce flash.


The new Speedlite 470EX AI flashgun with Auto Intelligent Bounce technology showing some of the adjustment range available for the flash head. (Source: Canon.)

The Auto Intelligent Bounce technology in the new Speedlite 470EX AI flashgun is a ‘world’ first’ and will be a boon to wedding and event photographers as it takes the guesswork out of shooting with bounced flash. The flash head is activated by pressing depth-of-field preview button on a recent Canon camera or with a button on the flash head. The flash head is motorised and can rotate 180 degrees left and right, plus 120 degrees upwards, enabling it to be quickly moved into the optimal position for lighting the subject and eliminating the need for guesswork or calculations.

With a Guide Number of 47 (m/ISO 100) the 470EX AI can be used in a variety of situations and is suitable for illuminating subjects in large venues.  It has a wide lens coverage, ranging from 24mm to 105mm, with14mm possible via the built-in adaptor. The flash recharges rapidly and silently in 5.5 seconds to full power with 4 AA/LR6 batteries, or 3.5 seconds with rechargeable NiMH batteries. A high-speed sync function enables the flash to be fired several times in rapid succession at a higher than normal shutter speed. This setting is useful for action shots, or to create a darkened or blurred background for subjects.

The 470EX AI has two operating modes: full-auto and semi-auto. In full-auto mode a double press of the shutter button activates built-in sensors that assess the best position and angle for the head and moves the head to that position. In the semi-auto mode, the photographer determines the bounce angle, while the head sets the appropriate position.



The control panel on the Speedlite 470EX AI flashgun. (Source: Canon.)

The Speedlite 470EX AI flashgun includes 19 custom functions that provide a high degree of creative control. An integrated wireless optical receiver allows the flash to be used at distances of up to 10 metres indoors or 6-10 metres in outside situations. With a built in Speedlite transmitter function or Speedlite with Optical transmitter, it can be used in complex, multi-flash set-ups, although it can’t control other flashguns. Its battery can power between 115 and approximately 800 flashes, depending on the situations in which it is used. The Speedlite 470EX AI flashgun is scheduled to go on sale in mid-May at an expected price of approximately AU$700. For more information, visit