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Canon Flash Blinking Display: Mystery Solved

Every wonder why the display on your Canon Speedlite 580EX or 430EX flash is blinking at you?  Ever want to throw it against the wall because you can’t get it to stop?  Here’s the solution.

Warning: It’s a bit of a rant.

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  1. ben says:

    hey so WHAT do I do about it? I hear ya frustrated! but now i get it, is the only way to “reset” it from blinking to remove the battery cover — seems it works but seems such an archaic practice to get a reset to occur.

    pt #2 – the recommendation is to only use the bounce card when shooting with 90 angle? seems dumb or did i miss somn?

  2. Phil Steele says:

    Ben, for me it stops blinking if I just push the panel back in. No need to remove the battery cover. Maybe your flash is funky. On point 2, I agree, seems dumb.

  3. Robert says:


    Agreed, this is very frustrating. Even more frustrating – when you’re diffuser panel is deployed the blinking makes it much more difficult to set the power because the little indicator (1/8, 1/4, 1/2, etc.) COMPLETELY DISAPPEARS!

    #2 most annoying Canon Flash feature? The default setting is to have it power off after just a few minutes of inactivity. Very frustrating to have to keep walking over to your light stand to turn it back on. There is a custom function to override that, but still.


  4. Phil Steele says:

    Robert, indeed that custom function to turn off the sleep mode is the first thing I do when I buy a new Speedlite!

  5. tommie says:

    thank you thank you thank you!!!!!
    i actually just this year switched over to canon from years of being a Nikonian, and while I’m so much happier with my resulting images, I’m still adjusting to the learning curve involved. This blinking display happens to me constantly and has been driving me crazy!! Today I came home from a shoot where it happened again, and was determined to get to the bottom of it. Luckily for me, THIS was the very first post I saw and clicked on! Sigh of relief; blood pressure dropping. :o)

  6. Phil Steele says:

    Tommie – Glad I could help! By the way, I love the photography on your site. Great stuff!

  7. Felix Figueroa says:

    Many many thanks! The blinking stopped! Thanks Phil! You saved me!

  8. sarah miller says:

    my first response..Are you fucking kidding me lol..Thank you for answering my question. I nearly got rid of these flashes because of the blinking!

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