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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Canon Speedlite 90EX Flash
Price:$149.00+ Free shipping

on April 13, 2013
I purchased the Canon 90EX for one reason, to wirelessly trigger my off-camera Canon 430EX II flashes. At the time of ordering this little guy, there weren't any reviews specifically concerning the 90EX's master functions or compatibility with the new Canon 6D, so I though I would contribute to the group. Hopefully you find this review helpful. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.

Let's get started!

Is the Canon 90EX any good? The answer is, "YES!!!!" The 90EX is an awesome alternative to everything else out there that will wirelessly trigger your flashes. Here is quick glimpse at what's good and not-so-good...

* Wireless Slave Groups - You can fire with A:B and A:B C groupings. You can have multiple flashes in each group creating an infinite number of lighting varieties.
* Manual Adjust - flash settings can be manually adjusted from on-camera. From 1/1 all the way down to 1/128 on the 430EX II's.
* E-TTL II - Works' perfectly. Also, E-TTL ratios are very handy for quick setups. From 8:1 to 1:1 to 1:8 in half stop increments.
* HSS - High Speed Sync works up to 1/4000 (that's the highest shutter setting on the 6D). HSS can be set from in camera when shooting in master mode with flashes that are capable of shooting in HSS. When shooting with just the 90EX and no external flashes, HSS is not available. You'll only be able to shoot up to you max sync speed (1/180 on the 6D).
* Curtains - both 1st and 2nd curtain work. 2nd curtain is not an option in wireless mode though.
* Easy to Use - The unit has one button, a battery door, an LED light, and a hotshoe lock....that's it. All controls are run from in the camera menu.
* Small - Very compact! This would make a good travel flash for those using DSLR's that lack that feature, like the 6D or any of the 5D's.
* Wake Up! - If your flashes fall asleep into powersave mode, just half press the shutter and the 90EX will send a signal to wake them up.
* Secure Signal - this can fire on one of four channels. This way you can shoot with other photographers around and not have to worry about them firing your speedlites.
* During wireless shooting mode, the 90EX will not fire as a full flash. It only fires to send the signal.

* Plastic Foot - wish it was metal.
* Wireless Range - The specs say to set your off camera flashes at a maximum of 16 ft indoors and 23 ft outdoors. (Page 16 in the manual) It's not nearly as good as my PocketWizards were, but I knew this before buying. It's infrared technology, not radio frequency. However, I'm not Joe McNally, so it meets my needs.
* Battery Life - expect 100 full power flashes or 400 quarter power flashes or 800 at one eighth power or etc... When using as a wireless master, it will last a heck of lot longer because it is not firing a full flash. You can also turn off the 90EX flash by setting it to Manual. It still flashes, but will not show up in the image.
* Recycle Time - 0.1-5.5 seconds depending on your power setting. Don't worry about recycle time if you are just using it as a master.

* Save the planet - pick up a set of rechargeable AAA Eneloop batteries. IMHO, these batteries are the best.
* Sensor - Make sure your external flash's IR sensor is facing the camera. Keep in mind that IR can bounce off walls too.
* Line of Sight - Make sure there are no obstacles in between the camera and your flash. This will create signal interference. I use my flashes inside of brollies (umbrella softboxes). The signal has no problem communicating through the umbrella material.
* Powersave - There is a battery saving "auto off" feature that is bound to turn your 90EX OFF unexpectedly. Pressing the shutter does not wake-up the 90EX when it is OFF. This feature can be disabled in the camera's flash menu under custom functions. I recommend you disable this feature and save yourself that moment of frustration in front of a client. :)

I recently upgraded my Canon 7D and 50D to a set of Canon 6D's and to my surprise, my trusty PocketWizards (FlexTT5's, MiniTT1 and AC3 Zone Controller) became unusable. The firmware upgrade that would fix this has been parked on the horizon for months. I was looking for a solution, and thought I'd give this cute little 90EX a shot. No regrets! It meets my needs and does a lot more than expected.

Thanks for taking the time to read this quick review. I hope it helps you make your decision. Should you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Cheers!
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on September 28, 2013
The 90EX was designed for the EOS M kit, but works on any E-TTL capable camera. I bought the 90EX to serve as the missing "popup" for my 6D and trigger off-shoe E-TTL Speedlites.

The Guide Number of 30 ft/9m at ISO 100 means the 90EX has power output similar to a popup flash. So what's the 90EX good for? As a flash, it works great for close fill-in flash, snapshots or macro when used on an off-shoe cord. It is not not powerful enough for group shots. With Sanyo Eneloop AAA batteries, recycle is about 2 seconds at full power. I haven't tried alkaline batteries but reviewers report alkaline recycling takes twice as long as rechargeable batteries.

The unique feature of the 90EX is the wireless E-TTL master function: triggers slaves with auto or manual modes controlled from the camera flash menu. In this regard it's better than the dedicated ST-E2 master: brighter and more reliable trigger, controls 3 slave groups rather than only two and is useful as a flash when not performing master duties. The 90EX uses light pulses to trigger so line of sight to slaves is required. Swivel the slave body so the sensor faces towards the 90EX. Reflective surfaces indoors (e.g., white walls) will often carry the trigger pulse even if faced the wrong way. However, outdoors they will not trigger without direct line-of-sight.

Other than an on-off switch, there are no external controls. To set options, use the flash menu on 2007 and newer EOS cameras. On my 6D, everything is operational except for FEB and high speed sync. However, high speed sync is available in master mode (trigger mode). Flash exposure compensation can be set with external camera controls, the QCS or flash menu.

What I like best about the 90EX is it's so small and light I can keep it in my bag all the time. My larger Speedlite gets left behind if I'm not positive I need it. All in all a wonderful petite flash for snapshots, close fill and as an E-TTL controller.
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on February 22, 2016
This flash is perfect for the EOS M3. It sits on top of the camera and due to its low profile footprint, it does not make the camera unbalanced. The flash is really perfect for this camera.
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on January 2, 2016
Would be perfect if it functioned as both an on-camera flash and a master, but it can do only one or the other. It''s pretty worthless as an on-camera flash (not nearly enough power), so I only use is as a master for my 580EXII.
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on June 3, 2014
Eats batteries, DUH Bought for a wedding I went to. If purchased do not expect more than 15 feet or so.

Nothing compaired to the Honeywell SonaStrobe I used to have. Of course the H had D cell batteries.
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on March 16, 2017
Works great!
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on April 24, 2016
Works great as a trigger for my 430ex II
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on May 12, 2015
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on November 28, 2013
I am a beginner at the DSLR thing, only been playing a few days with my new camera setup and I assumed getting a decent flash would be beneficial. I have a Cannon 60D body and this does as far as I can tell little in terms of better quality than the standard flash in the body. That being said it has a number of other benefits:

-Has its own batteries (AAA) and doesn't drain body pack like using normal flash.
-Can use a cheap diffuser attachment for better results for certain shots.
-Apparently this does some fancy stuff later on for sequencing and flashing to time external additional flashes.
-Great size, easy snap on/off.

So I would still say not the worst purchase I've made so far for camera accessories.
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