Canon Radio TTL Flash Coming Soon, DSLR w/ Radio Transmitter Too?

Canon may be making that radio trigger flash and DSLR with a built-in transmitter after all.  Recall that I posted the details on Canon’s patent application in August 2010, which covered a radio-signal transmitter and receiver communication between DSLR and Speedlights.

Now Canon Rumors says its been told that Canon has working prototypes of flashes that are triggered via radio communication by an updated version of the ST-E2 transmitter.  Presumably, any new flash from Canon that sports built-in radio TTL communication would unseat the 580 EX II as the flagship Speedlight in Canon’s lineup.

Canon's "super technical" patent diagram.

Wireless TTL flash operation is not necessarily a new thing; however, it’s never quite been bug free.  Sure, there are solutions that work well under many circumstances; however, the first-party solutions (from all manufacturers – Canon, Nikon, etc.) leave much to be desired, and the third-party solutions are (so far) less than perfect.

If the rumors are true and Canon is going to put this tech in its next pro-grade camera and flash, what’s described in the patent application looks pretty solid.  Additionally, that patent described the ability to wirelessly trigger remote DSLRs via the same radio transceiver system.

I said it last year when we first saw that patent application, but it’s about time this tech came in the box.  When you put up $5000 for a camera and $500 for each flash, they should be able to talk to each other behind walls, trees or other obstacles – especially when someone else has reverse-engineered the manufacturers’ technology and does it better (for now).

Again, here’s the link to the post discussing the original patent application.



  1. says

    This would be a nice thing but it will take a lot more than a radio for Canon to compete with Quantum. Until they develop a more powerful flash and one that will not overheat they will never replace the best flash system on the market.(Quantum is well worth the price)

  2. says

    Oh, I wish I wish I wish!
    Master/Slave optical triggering is one thing,
    but a built-in TTL radio triggering system will be a whole different ball game.

  3. says

    I agree. Should come built in. However I wouldn’t use it anyway. I want a much much better quality of light than hotshoe. Beggars belief that these days pros would use hotshoe flash rather than kits like I use elinchrom ranger quadra or Bowens explorer 1500. They give much better light than the camera manufacturers will ever pump out. So for many enthusiasts this is a good thing. For the pros not so much.

  4. says

    I’m all for progress, even when the technology is beyond my current level of skill. If we’re lucky, when the new line of flashes comes out we might have the chance to pick up the ‘older’ 580 EX II at a slight discount. Wishful thinking, I know.