Using the built-in Speedlite flash transmitter and Easy Wireless mode on the EOS 600D

The EOS 600D is the third model in the Canon line-up to feature an integrated Speedlite Transmitter. Simply pop-up the built-in flash navigate round the camera menus and you can control multiple off-camera Speedlite flashes right from the camera. With the Speedlite transmitter function being a new feature at this level in the range Canon have introduced Easy Wireless flash to get you started.

Simple off-camera flash with Easy Wireless

Turn the camera mode dial to one of the Creative modes, P, Tv, Av, M or A-DEP to make sure that the full range of menu options are available to you. Wireless flash control is not available in the other shooting modes.

Press the menu button and navigate to the first menu on the left, the last item on the menu is the Flash control. Choose this menu and you can access all the features of the integrated Speedlite transmitter in the EOS 600D. If you get stuck turn to section 8 in the instruction book that comes with the camera.

The EOS 600D features three modes of flash operation; Normal, Easy Wireless and Custom Wireless. Choose Easy Wireless and your camera will now control a slave Speedlite flash automatically. The camera manual reminds that your slave flash and camera must be set to operate on the same channel.

There are four possible channels for the flash system to use. This allows four different photographers to be working in the same area and not interfere with each others lighting. I suggest you choose any channel except channel 1, since this will stop other photographers with their cameras on the default settings using your slave flashes.

Speedlite 270EX II flash

Slide switch sets slave mode on Speedlite 270EX II

Operating in Easy Wireless you now need to make sure your slave Speedlite flash is set to  slave. The new Speedlite 270EX II has a simple slide switch on the back. Other flashes have different ways to set them to be slaves, check your Speedlite manual if in doubt. With you slave mode Speedlite positioned to give better lighting on your model you can now take your picture. The camera will tell the Speedlite what to do, and how much power to give to correctly expose your flash subject.

If you use several slave flashes the camera will treat them all as one big powerful flash and fire them all at the same power. The key is to avoid the light from the flash firing straight back in to the lens as this can lead to some erratic flash exposures.

Easy Wireless = A+B+C

If you are already using Canon Speedlites off-camera then you might know about flash groups and ratio control. The Easy Wireless mode is the same as the A+B+C mode that you have on other Speedlite master flashes or cameras, this means there is no balancing of A or B flash groups.

In a future post I’ll cover the Custom Wireless feature in some more depth as this mode provides access to the full power of the wireless Speedlite system. My advice is not to be a cheapskate with your slave flash and select the Speedlite 320Ex, 430EX II or 580EX II instead of the Speedlite 270EX II. Not only do you get more power, but crucially you will have a flash with a twisting head so you can angle the flash head toward your subject and the flash body back toward the built-in flash on the camera which will give you more reliable off camera flash. Check out the Zoom if you want to go further post for more details.

Don’t forget…

I provide training for photographers of all levels and specialise in providing Canon Speedlite flash training, at prices that are affordable for all kinds of photographers.

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag