Entry-level EOS 2000D (Rebel T7) and EOS 4000D don’t have the centre connection in the hotshoe, making it impossible to trigger studio strobes or flashes. However there is always a way.

EOS 2000D / 4000D studio strobes


As you can see from the top view of both the EOS 2000D (left), and the EOS 4000D (right) the hotshoe has no centre connection. These cameras, unlike just about every other camera cannot trigger studio strobes / flashes with simple triggers. Normally the centre connection and the metal sides make the circuit to trigger the studio lights when the shutter curtain is open. I’ve already had one person contact me with a question about how to use studio flash with an EOS 4000D, so here’s two solutions.

Solution 1 – optical triggering of the studio strobe

Brian-Worley_studio strobeIf you put a Canon dedicated Speedlite on these cameras, they will trigger the Speedlite just fine. Virtually all studio strobes have an optical slave cell built-in. This is designed to see the pulse of flash from another light and trigger the strobe in sync. In a studio environment this works almost always. So what is needed is a flash of light when the camera needs the studio strobes to fire.

Unfortunately the built-in flash on these cameras only operates in E-TTL mode. So there’s always a pre-flash that would fire the studio strobes, before the actual exposure happens. This means you need to use a Speedlite on the hotshoe in manual flash mode.

Which Speedlite? 

You need a Speedlite that is Canon dedicated, can be set to manual and has a bounce head. The bounce head is so that you can point the light away from your subject. There’s a variety of third party or Canon options. I searched on eBay for a Speedlite 550EX and a Speedlite 430EX, these are the old units and were possible to find for less than £40. Actually the more capable Speedlite 550EX was cheapest, but it’s a bit bigger and heavier than the 430EX.

You can also use more modern units like the 270EX II, 320EX, 430Ex II, 580EX and 580EX II but these might cost a bit more.

Solution 2 – radio triggering of the studio strobe

Brian-Worley_studio strobeThe radio wireless system could be used, with a sender (master) on the camera and a receiver (slave) at the studio strobe end. I’ve used my 600EX-RT and ST-E3-RT to do this in the past due to it’s greater range. That’s a pretty expensive way to go about it, even if you swap the Speedlite 600EX-RT for a Speedlite 430EX III-RT.

Third party items from Yongnuo and also Phottix are a cheaper option. I’ve got the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT and the YNE3-RX receiver, plus a set of Phottix Laso items too.

The Yongnuo and Phottix receivers each include a cable to allow the unit to connect to studio strobes. The cheapest solution is the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter, and the YNE3-RX receiver. Set the transmitter to manual mode and plug the receiver in to the studio lights. I like the Yongnuo receiver as the cable actually screws in to the unit for a reliable connection.

I like this radio solution, and I already have the bits needed. However if you are planning to work in the studio with your DSLR, it might be much simpler to buy the EOS 200D as that has the centre connection in the hotshoe.

The other benefit of this is that the transmitter and receiver both use readily available AA batteries, unlike many studio strobe triggers.

These items are linked to Amazon, where I have an affiliate account.