Canon USA is introducing the Speedlite 420EX, a compact flash unit developed simultaneously with the new EOS Elan 7/7E but compatible with all EOS System cameras including the new EOS D30 digital SLR. Building on the outstanding features of the popular Speedlite 380EX flash, the new 420EX replaces that product with the added capability of E-TTL wireless autoflash, giving EOS System photographers an alternative in a wireless flash system. Additionally, the 420EX’s AF-assist beam has been improved to cover all 7 focusing zones of the EOS Elan 7/7E.
“The Canon Speedlite 420EX was designed to give EOS System users extended creative options during flash photography while emphasizing Canon’s continued commitment to providing a truly advanced, cost-effective way of making better photographs,” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager of Canon’s Photographic Products Group. “The new flash combines a number of Canon technologies to create a high-output, compact flash unit with wireless remote capabilities and we will continue to develop imaging products and accessories that allow photographers to concentrate on their subjects, not the technology,” Mr. Hashimoto added.
The new Speedlite 420EX can be used with most current EOS cameras as a remote flash in an E-TTL wireless autoflash system. Canon’s E-TTL wireless autoflash system is ideal for creating advanced lighting effects in a wide variety of applications such as nature photography, close-ups, and portraiture.
Remote flash firing is controlled entirely by a master unit such as Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, Speedlite 550EX or Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX connected to the camera, making it fast and simple to set up. Up to 3 remote flash groups can be designated, and the maximum number of 550EX and 420EX Speedlites per group is unlimited. When used with the EOS-1V, EOS-3 or EOS D30 cameras, additional features such as lighting ratio control and modeling flash are also supported by the 420EX.
Canon Speedlite 420EX has a maximum Guide Number of 42/138 (ISO 100, meters/feet) and the flash head’s autozoom provides edge-to-edge coverage for focal lengths from 24mm to 105mm with bounce and swivel capabilities. Higher flash output in a more compact body (approximately 10% smaller than the Speedlite 380EX) is made possible due to a large storage capacitor and higher flash efficiency using an improved reflector and fresnel lens.
The AF-assist beam of the 420EX is emitted automatically when necessary in low light situations to ensure accurate focusing. It is capable of covering all 7 focusing points of the EOS Elan 7/7E by using two new ultra-bright LEDs that emit a cross-type pattern with vertical and horizontal stripes. The effective range of the AF-assist beam is approximately 2.7 ft. to 23 ft using the central focusing points, and approximately 2.7 ft. to 16.4 ft. for other focusing points.
The new Speedlite 420EX is powered by the user’s choice of four AA-size Alkaline, Ni-CD, Lithium or Nickel-Metal-Hydride (Ni-MH) cells, with a shooting capacity of up to 400 full-power flashes per set when AA-size lithium cells are used.
Other key features include:
With Type-A EOS System cameras (including most current models): -- E-TTL autoflash (preflash evaluative metering linked to the focusing points) -- FP Flash (high-speed sync) -- FE Lock (flash exposure lock, a form of spot metering with flash) -- Second-curtain sync (using camera’s Custom Functions) With Type-B EOS System cameras (including early EOS models and the T90): -- TTL autoflash (multi-zone off-the-film flash metering linked to the focusing points with cameras that have more than one focusing point).
With all EOS System cameras: -- Autozoom head for 24-105mm focal lengths -- Bounce and swivel -- SE (Save Energy) mode -- Shoe-lock provided
The flash measures 71.5 (W) x 123 (H) x 99.4 (D) mm and weighs 10.6 ounces. The Speedlite 420EX will be available at USA retailers in October, 2000 and have a suggested list price of $340.00.