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Batteries in your Speedlite 580EX II, MT-24EX and MR-14EX flash units will usually provide more than enough power for most uses but sometimes you want to take lots of pictures with flash. The flash needs to recycle really quickly, and you might want to use a high power burst of flash frequently. The Canon CP-E4 battery pack provides an extra power source to help you to do this.
Any photographer making extensive use of flash should consider the CP-E4. With eight AA alkaline, lithium or Ni-MH batteries (available separately), it will help the flash to recharge even quicker and will give you more flashes between battery changes.