I'm very new to flash photography.

Just recently bought a softbox kit and I'm not quite sure how to use the built-in flash on the headlight unit. The sales person tells me that it has a light sensor which could be triggered with my Canon 60d popup flash and act as a slave. I then setup my canon 60d flash control settings to wireless mode and shoot with my pop-up flash. The headlight unit flash a bright light & beep, but my photos has no light source either from my popup & the headlight unit.

Basically, I don't have an external flash and just want to use the flash of the headlight from the softbox using my canon 60d popup flash as a trigger. Is this possible? I have setup a remote flash before using an external flash as a slave and set the corresponding channel to the external flash. How can I do this on the built-in flash of the softbox? do I need to use the sync cord? Pls. help. & many thanks.

1 Answer 1


It sounds like the slave on the unit you bought doesn't know how to ignore the metering pre-flash, so the flash is firing before the shutter is opened. I'm not sure about the 60D, but most cameras I've used will skip the preflash when the flash is set to manual (guide number) mode, so the flash fires only after the shutter is open. You may have to use a deflector card or strong diffusion to keep the on-camera flash from adding significantly to the exposure.

If your camera (to make the answer more general) doesn't offer a meterless mode for the built-in flash, you can use either the PC cord (if your camera is equipped for it) or a cheap, generic hotshoe flash (power output can be horribly low for slave triggering) as the master.

  • 1
    Hi Stan, Thanks for the info. I got the softbox strobe flash working by disabling the wireless mode and set it to manual instead of ETTL in the flash settings. Now the popup is on sync with the softbox strobe flash. It seems that if i'm going to use wireless mode i may need something like a pocket wizards to sync flash into the sync cord. Jul 5, 2012 at 12:47

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