Canon’s Speedlite 470EX-AI Is A Smart Flash For Photographers

A new and interesting approach to AI

During Canon’s event at Manila Polo Club last March 22, the Japanese camera brand launched a number of products. Aside from two entry-level DSLRs, a pro-grade vlogging camera, and a 4K-capable mirrorless camera, Camera also unveiled its latest Speedlite—a smart one at that.


Called the Speedlite 470EX-AI, it is touted as the world’s first Speedlite with AI Bounce technology. The term may sound a bit fancy, but when it was demoed to us, it is something worth considering. What AI Bounce does is that it automatically adjusts the Speedlite head to the most optimal bounce angle by making a series of pre-flash calculations.


Aside from a smart computer inside the 470EX-AI, it has a built-in motor inside, which is why it is slightly bigger than most 400-series Canon Speedlites. Here’s a quick demo of how it works:

As much as photographers would like to try out this cool feature, the 470EX-AI’s AI Bounce comes with several caveats: First, it is not compatible with EOS cameras released before June 2014. Second, it is not compatible with entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless models like the EOS 1300D, EOS 1500D, EOS 3000D, EOS M6, EOS M5, EOS M3.


As of this writing, AI bounce will only work with the EOS 1DX Mark II, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5DsR, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 80D, EOS 77D, EOS 800D EOS 760D, EOS 750D, EOS 200D, and EOS M50. Canon said that they are working on a firmware update for the Speedlite 470EX-AI for better compatibility with other Canon cameras, which is expected to come out later this year.


For the meantime, check out what we have written about the EOS M50:

Canon EOS M50 Hands On, Quick Review: More Than Your Average Entry-Level Mirrorless Camera?

Canon EOS M50: First Shots Inside Manila Polo Club

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