For a long time all Canon Speedlites would fit all EOS cameras. Now there’s a change in progress from the hotshoe to the multifunction accessory shoe bringing with it new Speedlite compatibility rules.

  1. Top left is the familiar hotshoe with a large central pin and four additional pins to the rear that has been on EOS cameras since 1987.
  2. Top right is the odd version where the centre pin was removed for a few models.  
  3. At the bottom left is the multifunction accessory shoe that is found on many of the current EOS R-series cameras.
  4. Bottom right is the EOS R50 which is multifunction accessory shoe only and has none of the older legacy connections.

DSLRs and early mirrorless models

DSLR and early mirrorless cameras have the original style hotshoe, and will work with any Canon Speedlite with EX in the name including…

  • Speedlite 320EX
  • Speedlite 550EX
  • Macro Twin Light MT-24EX-RT
  • Speedlite 430EX III-RT
  • Speedlite 600EX II-RT

Speedlite transmitters ST-E3-RT and ST-E2, plus Speedlite EL-1 and EL-100 also work with this kind of hotshoe.

Lots of third party triggers and devices work, but some were found to not work when the centre pin was removed from the EOS 2000D, EOS 4000D and EOS 250D. It appears that Canon did quietly add the centre pin back in to the EOS 2000D and EOS 250D as part of a running change.

In addition these mirrorless cameras in the list below also have the original hotshoe the same as DSLRs.

  • All M-series that have a hotshoe
  • EOS R / RP
  • EOS R5 / R6
  • EOS R100

Mirorrless cameras and the multifunction accessory shoe

EOS R3 introduced a new hotshoe, the multifunction accessory shoe, that provided more than just a few connections for flash. The 21-pin accessory shoe provides power, allows digital audio information and supports a communication adapter for live image transfer on location.

Due to the longer metal surround Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT and Speedlites with a rubber weather seal around the foot don’t fit properly. Canon introduced the AD-E1 multifunction shoe adapter to allow these professional devices to fit.

The weather seal on these Speedlites is relatively easy to remove by simply pulling it away from the foot, which makes them fit better even though the weather sealing is lost.

EOS R50 ushered in the multifunction shoe without the extra pins to connect to the older Speedlites. This makes it necessary to use multifunction accessory shoe adapter AD-E1 to enable any of the older flashes to be used with this camera.

Speedlite and transmitter for multifunction accessory shoe

Now there is the Speedlite EL-5 and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E10 that both feature a multifunction accessory shoe. With a multifunction accessory shoe connection these units are unable to be fitted on the hotshoe of older cameras.

However you can use them with other devices that work with the radio wireless transmission system for off-camera flash such as the Speedlite 600EX II-RT, Speedlite 430EX III-RT and Speedlite EL-1. An ST-E10 on the EOS R8 can control a Speedlite 430EX III-RT off camera.

EOS R5C – the odd one out

EOS R5C is a development of the original EOS R5 with adaptations making it more of a cinema camera. One such adaptation is the video accessory shoe which looks exactly the same as the multifunction accessory shoe, but isn’t.

Speedlite EL-5 and ST-E10 may physically fit on the camera but the camera doesn’t work with these units as the hotshoe is a video accessory shoe, not a full multifunction shoe.

Transition time

It’s clear that the EOS system is in the middle of a change from the old style to the new multifunction accessory shoe, and that means that compatibility is currently much more challenging. So if you are considering buying a new Speedlite, make sure to check if it will fit and work with your camera.

The only cameras that can work with the Speedlite EL-5 or Speedlite Transmitter ST-E10 on the hotshoe are:-

  • EOS R3
  • EOS R6 Mark II
  • EOS R7
  • EOS R8
  • EOS R10
  • EOS R50

For any other EOS you will need to get a different Speedlite or transmitter.


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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