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Canon 580EX & 580EXII Auto-shutoff when using remote (ie. w/PocketWizard, etc.) [Updated]

Guides & Tutorials: 

If you are an owner of a Canon 580EX or 580EXII and plan to use it remote, make sure you take this quick step to avoid having the flash auto-shutdown after each one minute period of inactivity.

Most of the shooting I engage myself in that requires off-camera flash can be covered by my Canon Speedlites. On my old 550EX, the power switch has 3 positions: Off, On, On w/Power-saving automatic idle shutdown.

With the 550EX's predecessor, the 580EXII (the updated 580EX), there are only two positions: Off, On. The automatic shutdown is enabled by default, and only requires an idle time of 60 seconds to shut the flash down. If you were using the flash on-camera, the flash would automatically power itself on when camera activity is detected. When the flash is detached, it does not wake back up.

Follow these simple steps to disable automatic idle shutdown on a Canon 580EXII series flash:

  1. Power the flash on (does not need to be attached to camera or PW)
  2. Hold down the backlight/C.Fn button until "Fn 00 0" appears on the screen
  3. Rotate the selector wheel until you see "Fn 01 0"
  4. Press your selector button down so that the 0 begins flashing
  5. Rotate your selector wheel to change the 0 to a 1
  6. Press your selector button to save this parameter
  7. Press your Mode button to return to the main screen

In order to disable auto-shutoff on the original 580EX series, select "Fn 14 0" and set it to 1.

Done! Now your flash will stay on as long as your power switch is in the "On" position.


Will Hawkins Photography, LLC


This is very helpful info for the photographers assistant too :)

Two 580 types will get new settings tonight!

Dwight McCann