If we are using an external third-party flash with no auto focus beam support, is there a setting to use the built-in auto focus beam with an external flash?

I'm using a Canon EOS 600D.

  • I agree with @nir's answer below. As an alternative i take a torch or led keyring light to illuminate the subject while focussing to avoid the need. – laurencemadill Jun 22 '14 at 11:54
  • Just make sure you keep focus lock and exposure lock separated if you use this technique. – Michael C Jun 22 '14 at 20:16


The 600D uses the built in pop-up flash for the focus assist light, the pop-up flash pops up too close the the external flash if one is connected - there are many external flashes and accessories that would be hit by the popup flash if it tried to open when they are connected.

So, as a safeguard the camera will not open the popup flash if there is something in the hot shoe.

And, since the auto focus assist light is actually the pop-up flash and you can't open it with an external flash attached there isn't any way to use the auto-focus assist with an external flash.

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