Flash Photography Help for the Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D Pop-up Flash70D Pop-up Flash

Uh oh!  Bad lighting with your Canon 70D and its built-in flash? This post will give you some flash photography help for the 70D.

Good photography is all about good lighting and, with a few simple tricks, you can dramatically improve your flash photography with your 70D.

You can do any of the three techniques listed below to get good flash lighting. It takes a little experimenting, but the results will speak for themselves. Glacn at the list and then we'll explain each in detail. 

  1. Adjust the camera settings to strengthen or diminish the power setting of the flash.
  2. Modify the light coming from the 70D pop-up with an accessory.
  3. Use an an add-on flash like a Canon Speedlite or an alternative flash made by a third party manufacturer.

Simplest Flash Photography Help for the Canon EOS 70d

First, the boring answer.  Use the reader's manual.  Although it is not powerful, the built-in flash system in the Canon EOS 70D is sophisticated enough to handle a nice variety of your lighting situations.

It's not powerful enough to handle long distance flash, but you can set it for just the right amount of fill-flash with closer distances. This is especially true when you are shooting outdoors with the lighting coming from behind your subject.

The standard 70D manual comes up real short in trying to find information on flash photography help for the EOS 70d. There is no dedicated section on using the pop-up flash or changing its settings and there is no index.

1.  Adjusting the strength of the 70D Flash

EOS 70D Flash Control Menu70D Flash Control Menu

Here is the sequence to adjust the exposure for the pop-up flash. Have your camera in front of you.

  1. Hit Menu button. Find "flash control" on second spot.
  2. Scroll down and select Built-in flash settings
  3. Select exp. comp.
  4. Use the wheel to add or subtract exposure.

2. Modify your 70D Flash

You can use one of the pop-up flash diffusers.  They will soften the light up by scattering it. These are my least personal favorites because they are really only mildly effective for close-up photography.

Geometric Pop-up DiffuserGeometric Pop-up Diffuser
Folding Pop-up DiffuserFolding Pop-up Diffuser
Micro pop-up Flash SoftboxMicro Pop-up Softbox

Reviews on Flash Diffusers

The third fix for bad pop-up flash lighting is to add a speedlite or an alternative flash and connect it to your 70D hot shoe.

3. Use an External Flash

I use both the 270EX II and the 580EX Speedlites on my DSLR cameras because of the added power and the ability to bounce these accessories in a variety of ways.

After shooting a portrait of Molly the Mannequin with just the straight pop-up flash, I connected my 270EX II to the hot shoe of my EOS 70D to help improve the lighting on Molly. Below is a comparison of 3 different ways to use flash with your camera. Below each diagram is an example of what a portrait looks like that was shot against a white wall with each lighting set up.

Take particular notice of the shadows under the model's chin and underneath the sleeves of her shirt.

Canon 70D Pop-up FlashCanon 70D Pop-up Flash
Canon Speedlite 270EX II Bounced on Reflector CardReflector Panel Held by Plamp
Speedlite 270EX II Aimed Upward at Ceiling270EX II Aimed at Ceiling
Canon 70D Pop-up Flash portraitPop-up Flash
Canon 70D 270EX and Bounce Panel270EX II - Bounce Panel
70D bounce lighting270EX II - Bounced Ceiling

Sharp shadows on background would be worse with a darker background.

Slightly higher light sources cause shadows to fall lower.

Shadows are slightly diffused at this distance.

Softest shadows because the light source became a large section of the ceiling.

You can use the small 270EX II for snapshots and candids when you don;t need a lot of power and you want to travel lightly.  The 580EX II is the preferred choice for serious photo enthusiasts and pro photographers.

You can save a lot of money you stay away from the Canon Speedlites and go for one of the alternative choices for hot-shoe mounted flash units.

Advanced Flash Photography Help for the Canon EOS 70d

I hope this provided you with at least some flash photography help for your Canon 70D.  You can have a lot of fun playing around with lighting

As I've confessed previously, my writing skills won't win me a Pulitzer, so for full-fledged books on the EOS 70D and I recommend you consider one of the following resources:

For flash photography help for DSLRs, including the 70D, this book has extremely high reviews and is a huge seller on Amazon.

Keep shooting. Keep learning. Keep improving.

Author Bruce Lovelace
Bruce Lovelace Signature

Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram  and Flickr  Join the tribe of followers on YouTube. Bruce also runs photo workshops and provides 1 on 1 digital photography coaching.

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Canon 70D with 18-135mm lens attachedCanon EOS 70D

External Flash Choices for the 70D

Sometimes I connect a 270EX II to the 70D with a flash cord to aim my flash in a specific direction.

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