We love the Canon 80d and it is an extremely popular camera amongst the community that just keeps growing its core customer base with each passing month. As you would probably expect for a camera as popular as the 80d, we often see large numbers of people who use the 80d reaching out for advice on a number of different camera accessories. Recently though, we have noticed a number of people specifically reaching out for advice on what the best external flash for Canon 80d cameras available on the market right now.
As we always like to help as many of our readers as possible, we have decided to make this the subject for today’s article and take a look at what we feel is the best flash unit for the Canon 80d on the market right now. As we know the 80d is a very popular camera body within the community, we are confident that a large number of our readers may own the camera and be in the market for a camera flash and will find this article helpful.
Now, in our opinion, the best flash on the market at the time of writing for the Canon 80d is the Canon 430EX III. It is an excellent little camera flash that offers professional-level performance and has pretty much all the features that you could ever want in a flash unit for your 80d. On top of this, since its release onto the market, the flash has gone from strength to strength and rightfully earned itself an excellent reputation amongst the community that just keeps on getting better and better as time goes on.
Now, we know that some people may feel that the Canon 430EX III is a little too pricey for what they actually need out of a camera flash. Due to this, we have also decided to feature two additional flash units that are popular options for the 80d too. One is a middle price point flash unit while the other is a solid little entry-level flash and both have great reputations. Our comparison table below goes over some of the key features for all three featured flashes as well as offers a short break down of each under the table.
Last update on 2020-02-16 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As you can see from our comparison table above, all three of the featured flash units come in at different price points in the market and we feel that each of the featured flashes is the leading option for their price bracket for a Canon 80d. We have done this to try and ensure that we are offering a suitable flash unit for all of our readers no matter the budget that they have available for their new addition to their camera accessories.
Now, as you would probably guess, the most expensive featured flash, the Canon 430EX III is our primary recommendation but you really do get the best bang for your buck with this option. Everything from the performance, functionality, small size, lightweight, and heat dissipation to prevent overheating is as best it can be. We will be taking a more in-depth look at each of these as well as a few other key features of the flash below this section though to go into why we feel it should be the primary option for the majority of our readers.
Next up we have our middle price point option, the Godox TT685C that actually performs surprisingly well and although the Canon 430EX III does offer some features that the Godox TT685C does not as well as better overall performance, the TT685C is great for its price tag. In fact, an argument could be made that due to its lower price tag than the 430EX III, the TT685C could be considered a better flash unit for the Canon 80d, especially if you are not a professional-level photographer.
If you are an amateur or hobbyist photographer or a social media influencer who uses your 80d for photographs for your Instagram account then the TT685C can probably meet all of your needs and potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Although the reputation and customer base of the Godox TT685C is not as big as the reputation and customer base of the Canon 430EX III it is a solid intermediate flash unit.
The final featured flash unit is our recommended cheap, entry-level flash unit for your Canon 80d, the Neewer NW-670. Now, this flash is not suitable for any type of paid work and the fixed flash recycle time of three seconds can be a little limiting for some niches but the NW-670 is an extremely popular entry-level flash unit. If you are just starting out as a social media influencer and looking for a flash unit then it could be a solid option but pretty much every other niche should be going with either of the two options above in our opinion.
That said though, the Neewer NW-670 has managed to earn itself an absolutely massive customer base over the years and its customer growth shows no signs of slowing down. When you factor in its extremely cheap price tag and impressive performance against the competition, it is easy to see how the Neewer flash unit managed to rightfully earn its excellent reputation in such a crowded price bracket.
Anyway, for the rest of the article, we will be focusing exclusively on the Canon 430EX III as it is our primary flash unit recommendation for the Canon 80d. We feel that we have covered the basics of the other two featured flash units above so want to spend the rest of the article focusing on our primary recommendation.
Performance And Functionality
We have covered some of the core features of the flash unit in our comparison table above but here is a brief break down of some of the key points:-
- Covers a range of 24mm up to 105mm.
- Maximum guide number of 141ft/43m at ISO 100.
- 180 full power flash activations per charge.
- 2.4G wireless flash transmission.
- Variable flash recycle time of 0.1-3.5 seconds.
- Exposure compensation of ±3 EV in one third or half step increments.
- Ten custom functions and Eight personal Functions with specific custom settings.
Now, the 2.4G wireless remote control capabilities of the flash unit are commonplace amongst many competitors these days but is essential in many photography niches. Not only does it allow you to quickly and easily trigger the flash unit remotely when required but it also allows you to add the Canon 430EX III to a multi-flash rig with ease. The flash is also fully compatible with radio-based master and slave functionality to support the use of up to fifteen flash units across fifteen channels in five groups at the same time up to a maximum distance of just under one hundred meters.
One quick point that we would also like to make is that the 180 flash activations per charge is for full power flash activations. Some cheaper compeating flash units try to boats that they have up to 500 flash activations but when you read the small print these are on the flash units minimum power settings. In our opinion, 150 full power activations per charge is around average for flash units at the time of writing putting the Canon 430EX III just ahead of the competition when it comes to maximum battery life.
The variable flash recycle time offers a massive range to going from as little as 0.1 of a second all the way up to 3.5 of a second. Depending on the photography niche that you are working in with your 80d this may not be important but some photographers who work in multiple niches can use this to their advantage to meet the specific needs of their sessions. Additionally, the 430EX III has some of the best heat dissipation available at the time of writing so it is rare for the flash head to overheat even with a fast recycle time and a short flash duration too.
Being a Canon flash unit the 430EX III is also fully compatible with the Canon E TTL and E TTL II technologies too but again, the usefulness of this is going to depend on the niches that you are working in. Another great feature that Canon has perfected with the flash unit is that it’s flash activations are virtually silent compared to some of the competition but again, the usefulness of this feature is going to depend on the niche you work in.
When you take all of this into account, it really is easy to see why the Canon 430EX III is so popular within the community. On top of this, it is also easy to see why so many photographers who use the 430EX III as their goto flash unit of choice have decided to post so many glowing reviews for it. If you have a couple of minutes free right now it is well worth skimming over some of those reviews to get an insight into how well the product actually performs for independent photographers who use it as their goto flash unit of choice.
User Interface And Control System
As you can see in the image above, the whole interface is based around the standard LCD panel, button, a power switch, and a rotary dial. Now, we know that this is such a simple thing but we love the fact that the 430EX III uses a physical power switch rather than one of those press and hold buttons. There is a high chance that many a photographer has thought they have turned their flash head off but not held the press and hold button long enough only for the flash unit to stay on and drain your batteries. We are big fans of the physical on/off switch and happy to see one on the 430EX III.
The actual LCD panel on the flash unit is also bright and easy to read in low light conditions too while the actual navigation menu on the flash is also easy to follow. If you are working in a photography niche where you have to change up your flash settings on a regular basis then this can actually save you a fair amount of time over the course of a session.
Build Quality And Design
On top of this, as we have pointed out a few times, the heat dissipation of the flash unit is excellent considering its small size. This ensures that you can run the flash unit with your Canon 80d at a very fast recycle time while having a short flash duration without running into any overheating issues. Even at this price point in the flash market, there are some compeating flashes that can easily overheat during use but this is less of an issue with the 430EX III.
The flash heads ball joint allows you to easily tilt the flash unit upwards 90° and rotate it 150° right and 180° left allowing you to bounce your flash as required to capture the image you need with your 80d. All in all, in our opinion at least, Canon has done a great job with the build quality for their 430EX III and are impressed that they have not had to hike the price up a little.
That brings our article going over what we feel is the best external flash for Canon 80d cameras currently available on the market right now to an end. As we have mentioned earlier in the article, depending on your circumstances the Godox TT685C or the Neewer NW-670 but we feel that the Canon 430EX III is going to be the best option for any of our Canon 80d owners working at a professional level.
If you are yet to make your mind up then we would highly recommend that you read some of the many independent reviews of the 430EX III that have been posted by independent photographers over the years. It offers a great insight into the flash unit and its performance from external photographers who use it on a regular basis as their go-to flash unit of choice.