Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI flashgun review

Smarter than the average flashgun, the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI has an artificially intelligent bounce and zoom head…

Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

To some, this flashgun will be an amazingly innovative, useful and time-saving tool. To others, it will feel like gimmickry gone mad. Either way, it’s very expensive and relatively poor value if you’re happy to set your own bounce and swivel angles.


  • +

    Innovative motorized bounce & swivel

  • +

    Super-accurate exposure

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    Fast recycling


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    Lacks radio-controlled operation

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We’ve all seen flashguns with clever heads. Smart features like TTL metering and motorized zooms that track the focal lengths of camera lenses have been around for many years. Canon’s latest Speedlite takes things to a new level, aiming to automatically optimize flash lighting with the addition of a motorized bounce and swivel functions, controlled by artificial intelligence. 

In automatic mode, the 470EX-AI looks and feels a bit like an extra from a sci-fi movie. It plays all the angles, with the ability to move its own head through 120 degrees of vertical rotation and a full 180 degrees to the left or right. 

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.