Can I use a high voltage flash (with a trigger voltage over 5V) on the Cactus v5 transceiver that is mounted on the hot-shoe of my Canon 550D?

I know that I can mount the trigger on the camera and mount the high voltage flash on a separate receiver and fire away safely. The transceivers are not physically connected with each other and there is no way of the high voltage from the flash reaching the camera.

However, when I mount the flash on the transceiver that is on the camera will the transceiver pass through the high voltage to my camera, or will it somehow block the high voltage?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, the top hot-shoe is not a simple pass-through, and I can't see an electrical path back to the base shoe from the switched shoe (or mini plug) except for the ground, so it should be safe in theory. Am I going to tell you to test it on your camera for giggles? Nope. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 1:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could probably hook up a voltmeter to the hotshoe on your Cactus v5 while you fire the flash (from the camera, not the test button on the flash as they might work differently) to see if any dangerous voltage is there. That's still no guarantee, but it's a start. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zach
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ First off why would you want direct lighting on your subject? good for forensics and macro work and thats about it LOL I have an old strobeframe that I attach to the camera base and the flash on the other side so I have it all in one unit still use the V5's wirelessly. I use old Sunpak 611's. There are also many aftermarket TTL flashes out there now under 75.00 for your camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – BrianH
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


The sync voltage limit on a Cactus V5 is 300V. As long as your flash doesn't go over that, you should be fine.

In addition, any dRebels that are newer than the 300D have a sync volt limit of 250V on the hotshoe, according to Chuck Westfall, the technical rep for Canon, answering a question in a 2007 tech tips article for the digitaljournalist.org:

I recently posted a question regarding the safe maximum sync voltage for an EOS 30D on http://www.openphotographyforums.com/. A reply led me to an article called Tech Tips answering a number of Canon-related FAQ. You addressed the safe sync voltage for a number of models, including the 20D, but I was wondering where I might be able to find published data on the safe sync voltages for the entire range of Canon cameras (or maybe just the 30D, as that's the body I'm using now).

It's likely you'll never see an official list of all Canon SLRs according to this specification, because Canon Inc. (our parent company in Japan) simply doesn't do things like that. I've been with Canon USA since 1982, so I'm in a pretty good position to know Canon Inc.'s habits. However, I'll be happy to provide you with my unofficial list:

Canon Digital SLRs safe for TCV up to 250 volts: EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1Ds Mark II, EOS-1D, EOS-1Ds EOS 30D, 20D, 5D EOS Digital Rebel XTi, XT (400D/350D) EOS D6000/D2000, Kodak DCS560/DCS520 (circa 1998) EOS-DCS series (circa 1995)

Canon Digital SLRs safe for TCV up to 6 volts: EOS 10D, D60, D30 EOS Digital Rebel (300D)

Canon 35mm SLRs safe for TCV up to 250 volts: EOS-1V, EOS-1N, EOS-1, EOS 3

Canon 35mm and IX240 SLRs safe for TCV up to 6 volts: EOS 650, 620, 630, RT EOS 850, 750, 700 EOS Rebel Series EOS Elan Series EOS 10s, A2E, A2 EOS IX, IX Lite T90

Canon SLRs released earlier than the T90 did not have TTL flash circuits, and comprehensive information on safe TCV levels is not available.

The trigger circuit voltage (TCV) rating for any EOS SLR is the same on the hot shoe as it is on the PC terminal (if the camera has one), but the acceptable TCV level varies according to the camera model. Incidentally, the main reason for the difference is the way the X-sync signal is generated. With the 250V cameras, the X-sync signal is generated electronically. With the 6V cameras, the X-sync signal is generated mechanically. There are no guarantees, but going forward I anticipate that most if not all future EOS SLRs will be safe for TCV up to 250 volts.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Why is this down voted? Is the information presented not correct? If so, please point that out in a comment when down voting. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't answer whether the cactus v5 trigger can be used as a safesync or not - which is the core of the question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 10:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.