Should I Get the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT or the Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash?

For those looking to add a Speedlite flash to their photography kits and don't need the highest-end option available, the Canon 430EX III-RT and 470EX-AI are budget-priced, feature-filled mid-grade options worthy of consideration. With that in mind, we'll compare/contrast the features of the 430EX III-RT and 470EX-AI flashes to see which one might be best for your needs.
 
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT and Speedlite 470EX-AI Shared Primary Features
 
  • Angle of Flash Coverage: 24-105mm, 14mm with diffuser
  • Infrared AF-assist beaming
  • E-TTL II/E-TTL, Manual modes
  • High Speed Sync
  • Flash Exposure Lock (FEL)
  • Flash Exposure Bracketing (FEB) in Slave Mode
  • Flash Exposure Compensation
  • Second Curtain Flash Sync
  • Modeling Flash
  • Color Temperature Info Communication
  • Supports Flash Settings by Camera Menu
  • Custom Functions: 10
Primary Advantages of the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash
 
  • Radio/optical transmitter and receiver vs. optical receiver only
  • Remote shutter release capable vs. N/A
  • Battery Life: 180-1200 flashes vs. 140–966
  • Recycling Time (Alkaline): 0.1 to 3.5 sec vs. 0.1 - 5.5 sec
  • Size: 2.8 x 4.5 x 3.9" (70.5 x 113.8 x 98.2mm) vs. 2.94 x 5.13 x 4.14" (74.6 x 130.4 x 105.1mm)
  • Weight: 10.4 oz (295g) vs. 13.6 oz (385g)
  • Lower price
Primary Advantages of the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash
 
  • Flash head automatic bounce angle determination
  • Guide Number @ 105mm: 47m (154') vs. 43m (141')
  • AF Assist Beam Points: up to 16 (at 28mm) vs. 1
  • Flash Head Movement Range Up: 0-120° vs. 45, 60, 75 and 90°
  • Flash Head Movement Range Left: 0-180° vs. 60, 75, 90, 120, and 150°
  • Flash Head Movement Range Right: 0-180° vs. 60, 75, 90, 120, 150 and 180°
Who should opt for the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT?
 
If you endeavor to use (and control) multiple light setups, and want to avoid the limitations of optical (line-of-sight) triggering, the Canon 430EX III-RT will be the best choice for your needs. While the Canon 470EX-AI can act as a slave in optically-triggered setups, the Canon 430EX III-RT can act as a master or slave in radio or optically-triggered setups. The flexibility that the 430EX III-RT's wireless features afford is immense, greatly increasing the usefulness of the flash. Also, those wanting a smaller/lighter flash atop their cameras, photographers who prioritize battery life and/or recycling time or persons with a limited budget will find the 430EX III-RT to be a better flash for their needs.
 
Who should opt for the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash?
 
Those photographers who appreciate the convenience of a flash that automatically calculates the optimal bounce direction will find the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash's auto-rotating head to be the deciding factor. Wedding / event photographers and those new to Speedlite flash use will especially appreciate the 470EX-AI's unique auto-bounce capability, allowing for flattering subject lighting with little effort or experience required. If optical triggering is sufficient for your multiple flash setup needs, the 470EX-AI can easily be incorporated as a slave unit. Few will find the 470EX-AI's slightly higher guide number to be a deciding factor, but the flash's extra power could prove beneficial in certain situations.
 
Authorized Retailers
 
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT – B&H | Adorama | Amazon US | Canon USA / Refurb.
Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI – B&H | Adorama | Amazon US | Canon USA
Posted: 12/28/2018 10:09:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Posted to: Canon News
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