Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 - With USA Warranty

Canon ST-E2: Picture 1 thumbnail Canon ST-E2: Picture 2 thumbnail

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About Canon ST-E2

A master control device for wireless Speedlite flash system. Meets professional and advanced amateur standards. Its dedicated transmitter controls up to 3 Canon 550EX Speedlites as slave units 33ft. away outdoors and 49.5ft. away indoors. It is mounted as a clip-on with shoe lock lever and locking pin.

• Type: 550EX-dedicated, clip-on Speedlite transmitter with direct contacts
•Compatible Cameras: Type A EOS cameras (E- TTL, autoflash); Type B EOS cameras (Manual flash)
• Channels: 4
•Flash Ratio Control: For A:B ratio: 1:8 to 8:1, in half- step increments or 13 steps
• High- Speed Sync (FP flash): Enabled with high-speed sync mode
•Slave Operation Confirmation: With test transmission button. *Slave A fires followed by slave B at 1/64 output.
•Flash Exposure Confirmation:
1. Before flash fires during FE lock Adequate flash exposure indicated by the flash exposure level icon lit in the viewfinder. Insuf ficient flash exposure indicated by the flash exposure level icon blinking in the viewfinder.
2. After flash fires ST-E2's flash confirmation lamp lights in green for 3 sec.
•Wireless slave SE mode cancellation: Cancels when the test transmission button or FE lock botton is pressed to turn on the slave u nit.
• Wireless Transmission: Infrared pulse
• Transmission Range: Indoors: Approx. 12-15 meters/39.4 - 49.2 ft; Outdoors: Appro x. 8-10/ 26.2-32.8 ft
Transmission Coverage: ±40° horizontal and ±30° vertical
• Battery Life: Approx. 1,500 transmissions (At room temperature and with a new set of batteries)
• AF-assist Beam: Compatible with EOS-3's 45-point Area AF and 28mm and longer lens focal lengths
• AF-assist Beam Effective Range: Approx. 0,6 to 10 m/2.0 to 16.5 ft along the periphery (in total darkness).
• SE Feature: While the power switch is set to I or HOLD, the transmission turns off automatically after about 90 sec. of non-use.
• Power Source: 2CR5 lithium (6V) battery x 1
• Dimensions: 62 (W) x 51 (H) x 80 (D) mm/2,4 (W) x 3,1 (D) in
• Weight: 100 g/ 3.5 oz (exluding battery)

The Canon ST-E2 is commonly used for Fill flash, General purpose, Night photography, Portraits and more.The Canon ST-E2 is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Photo enthusiast, Professional, Semi-pro photographer among others.The Canon ST-E2 is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Canon ST-E2: Consistent output, Durable, Easy to use, Fast recycling, Good power output, Lightweight and Versatile

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Lightweight (48),Easy to use (31),Consistent output (16),Fast recycling (13),Versatile (12),Excellent interface (11),Reliable (11),Durable (9),Good power output (6),Good exposure performance (5),Quiet (5),Superior build quality (4) Fast recycling time (3) View All
Poor build quality (3)
Best Uses:
Portraits (27),Fill flash (26),General purpose (21),Night photography (15),Lighting (10),Photography (9),Photojournalism (7),Sports photography (4)
Reviewer Profile:
Enthusiast (11),Professional (11),Semi-pro photographer (10),Pro photographer (6),Semi-professional (6),Photo enthusiast (5)

Canon ST-E2 Features

  • Advanced Features: E-TTL Compatible Since it is compatible with E-TTL auto flash functions, groups of 550EX Speedlites are able to take advantage of High-Speed Sync, FE Lock, Flash Exposure Bracketing, and Pre-flash evaluative metering.
  • Built-in AF-Assist Beam: The AF-Assist Beam automatically fires in low-light and low-contrast situations to assist the camera's auto focusing system.
  • Sets and Controls Flash Ratios: Transmitter ST-E2 sets and controls all functions of its Speedlite 550EX slave units. Flash ratios,for example,are controllable between 2 Speedlite 550EX groups.
  • High Speed FP Flash: High Speed FP (Focal Plane) flash for synchronization at all shutter speeds is available, even the EOS-3s top speed of 1/8000. Larger apertures can be used to obtain better background blur. And fill flash can be used for moving subjects in daylight. Weight:3.5 oz./100 g (Including battery).

Canon ST-E2 Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 63 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


very nice product

Works perfectly, very useful. Cons: No way to know how full is the battery, so you don't know in advance when it will die. Not happy that Canon didn't care about our rechargeable battery needs for one of their product.


Most Liked Negative Review



This is a useful piece of hardware. The interface is very clear and easy to use, and anyone who has spent time fumbling around "pressing and holding" various buttons and combinations of buttons on the backs of flashes will appreciate the straight forward layout on this. I bought this to replace a 580 EX II I've been using as a commander, with the thought to get the 580 EX II into the scene. I have four speedlites. The awkward thing now is that since the commander can only control two groups c...

View full Review

This is a useful piece of hardware. The interface is very clear and easy to use, and anyone who has spent time fumbling around "pressing and holding" various buttons and combinations of buttons on the backs of flashes will appreciate the straight forward layout on this. I bought this to replace a 580 EX II I've been using as a commander, with the thought to get the 580 EX II into the scene. I have four speedlites. The awkward thing now is that since the commander can only control two groups compared to the 580's ability to control three, I have to manually adjust some of the flashes in the scene. That defeats the purpose of having this as a master, I would be better off spending $20.00 on [...] and getting a chinese radio unit with greater range.So it is less expensive and less able to control compared to using a 580. It is more expensive with equal (manual) control than a chinese unit if you have more than two flash groupings. I see that as a double failure. The thing that irked me the most was also missing the small print on "battery not included" and finding out that the unit does not use standard batteries. At my local store a replacement battery costs $20, which is 10% of the cost of the unit. I do about 500 flashes in a shoot. So this battery is good for three shoots. After 30 shoots I will go through enough batteries to double the cost of the unit. At double the cost of the unit, you can buy a 580 EX II and use rechargeable batteries with no replacement cost. That is of course unless you want to stock up on batteries from Adorama which sells this battery for a lot cheaper. Overall though, this is an annoyance. If this unit was powered by two AA rechargeable batteries I would give it a thumbs up, but a 1500 cycle throw away battery is a real shame. Even if you're buying cheaper batteries, if you shoot a lot this unit will eventually cost you more in the pocket than the flagship flash *which* as mentioned before has a lot more utility.This unit will remain lighter, but again, if light is what you need, a chinese radio unit is even smaller and lighter than this. And uses rechargeable batteries.Canon really does need to get off their butts and give us a replacement to the ST-E2 that uses standard AA batteries and can handle the 3rd flash group that the EX 580 does. I would not be surprised if they don't, the more people that are limited by the shortcomings of this commander that are pushed into buying a 580, the better for their bottom line.

Reviewed by 63 customers




from Louisville, KY  -  Pro Photographer

Love the product and got it super fast!


I highly recommend this product


from Pomona, California  -  Semi-pro Photographer

i use this little guy to shoot portraits on location specially weddings....i don't have to carry truckload of strobes and heavy tripods,all i need is 2 little flashes and mini tripods. this helps a lot and very easy to use...I highly highly recommend this product.


It simply works as advertised.


from KS  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I use this transmitter with a speedlite 580EXII and a 420EX, and it works fine. I have used it in a number of flash configurations with a soft box and the only problems stems from me the photographer... wonderful product.


Gets the flash off the camera!


from Cooper City, FL  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Just purchased a EOS 5D III and need to control my speedlite wirelessly. This does the trick. Great for interior real estate photography. The only negative is that it works on line of sight only, but it's much less expensive than going to Pocket Wizards.


It's an excellent trigger for 550EX


from Torrance, CA

I have 3 550EX and 1 580EX for photo table setup with Harbor Digital Diffuser on each unit. This trigger works quite well with 1DS Mark-2 and flash setup I have. I don't have any AF cover fall off issue. And the hot shoe mount works quite good with a locking pin. It doesn't have a knob that you can tighten the unit on the camera but the unit is very light, and there's enough friction between the hot shoe and the trigger mount, so you don't really need to tighten it. I haven't tried long distance setup in the field as I use this for mostly product shot on the table. But it handles most indoor family gathering shots with no problem. It uses a special battery but it is readily available in many places where common batteries are sold. I always have an extra battery in the bag for just in case. This is an indispensable tool for my need and it is very reliable.


Love it!! Use it on 50D


from Fayetteville, TN  -  Pro Photographer

Had it about two years now. Works as advertised. Easy to learn. Just keep a spare battery in your bag. They last a very long time, but you have no way of knowing when it is about gone.


Its of great use


from Saudi Arab  -  Casual Photographer

package Should include 2CR5 Batries


Nice Idea, Doesn't Measure Up


from Southern Indiana  -  Pro Photographer

I bought this unit to control my Canon 580EX and 580EXII Flash units off camera while retaining eTTL exposure control. Never really got this to work very well. Especially erratic outdoors in bright light, but not great indoors, either. I ended up purchasing Pocket Wizard FlexTT5's and I love them.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Looking for the next generation model


from Phoenix, AZ

I've used this product for about a year now, and I have a complaint about how outdated this seems. I find myself using 580EX II's set to off for master flash work more than I use this. I am noticing that the only times I use this is when I need autofocus in low light conditions. It's not very cost effective for the price. The 580 EX II can do more than this can as a slave master and it's only a marginal cost more expensive. I hope that Canon updates this product, because it's useful, but appears to have become obsolete.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Complete Disappointment


from Springdale, AR  -  Pro Photographer

I bought this transmitter to trigger canon flashes outdoors. I first assumed that the battery was weak and purchased another - still have to be within 4 feet of the flash and pointed almost directly at it. Unfortunately I wasn't wanting to shoot photos of my flash but customers outdoors. Infrared was a dumb way to trigger to begin with but I assumed since Canon makes the thing it would work well. NOT the case at all. Don't waste your money. Also this transmitter is for ETTL only. You cannot change your speedlite's output with the transmitter if you set the flash to manual mode! Why Canon?


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  Why Did You Choose This?
DAN M  I chose this thing because I ASSUMED that I could use/change manual settings from my transmitter to the flash. WRONG! It barely worked within 5 feet of the flash to begin with and you could forget using anything but ETTL. I shipped it back and bought an Odin PHottix package.
ROD M  Has anyone used the ST-E2 just as an AF-assist Beam in low light conditions? Will be using it with the 1DX and 5dmk3, I have read that there does not seem to be an issue with the 61vs45 AF points but has anyone found this to be an issue?
DAN M  STE-2 SUCKS. Would not fire my flash from more than 10 feet most times and has to have a direct line of sight. Actually most of the time I aimed the thing directly at the flash to even make it fire. I sent them back after once (attempted) use and bought the Odin system. ...Which ROCKS!
Donald L  I have the Canon EOS Rebel XTi, and several Vivitar 283 Flash Units. Will this work with them.?
TIM L  No, the ST-E2 is for Canon flashes.
See more questions and answers

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