Compact, chic fill-flash for full-frame bodies.

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ashleypomeroy, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Chaps,

    I have a popular, older Canon full-frame camera which does not have a built-in flash. I have a couple of very good but bulky flash units for general work. Right now I have need of a compact ETTL flash unit for a party-type situation. It will be used exclusively for direct fill-in flash, shooting at high ISOs with wide apertures. The flash has to be compact. Bounce would be nice but is not important. Swivel is not important. It does not need a huge guide number.

    Two odd requirements: I would prefer it if the flash looks chic. It would also be nice if the flash looks plain from the front. I usually cover up the logos on the front of my cameras, because I don't want the model to be thinking about the word CANON, I want her to be thinking about Audrey Hepburn.

    The Canon 270EX seems to fit the bill, but in the UK it costs £170 brand new, which seems poor value, given that it will fetch much less when I come to sell it. The 220EX is also surprisingly poor value the UK and I would prefer a flash that sticks out less. Looking around at the other choices, there seem to be a mass of no-name-brand tilt flashes that have been designed to look like the Canon models, and are presumably hollow plastic with a tiny circuit board inside and will break if I look at them.

    The Sunpak RD2000 seems to fit the bill precisely - it looks like the martian cameras from the 1950s film version of "War of the Worlds" - at a price whereby it is disposable, and it is very small. I like the fact of it being squat. Are there any other suggestions? Metz? Vivitar? Bueller?
     
  2. The Canon 270EX is an excellent way to go. I think it is worth the cost. It is small and compact, yet gives very good exposures. It has good power for its size (better then built in flash on xxD and rebels).
     
  3. If you can find a Metz AF-3, it's small and uses 2 AAA cells. This one has ETTL and LCD to show range in the back. I've seen ebay prices in the $ 40-50 range.
     
  4. As much as I'd like a 270EX for times when I want to go light, the lack of an AF assist emitter is a deal-killer for me. Would
    probably be good for fill outdoors, though...
     
  5. "The Canon 270EX is an excellent way to go. I think it is worth the cost."

    My worry is that it's almost double the price of a used 380EX, and still more expensive than a used 420EX, which are both generally more useful, particularly the 420EX. Albeit that neither meet my requirements; except that it would just feel wrong to spend that kind of money on something I'm not likely to use very often. I'm sure in the US the prices are much more reasonable, but everything tends to be more expensive in the UK. I suspect that when it starts to appear on the used market, a year from now, it'll be much more reasonable. It seems to be the flash equivalent of Canon's "nifty fifty" or the 18-55mm EF-S MkIII IS, e.g. surprisingly good for a very low price.

    I'm a bit puzzled about the Metz unit. I was under the impression that AF-etc was the company's way of designating the camera brand, and that the units had numbers; there are Metz 28 AF-3 and 34 AF-3 models, for example. The 34 looks a bit like a vintage Walkman. The 28 doesn't look too bad, although it's a shame it doesn't bounce.
     
  6. the 270ex does have af assist:
    AF Assist Beam
    Intermittent flash firing system
    Effective range:
    At center: Approx. 13.1 ft./4m
    Periphery: Approx. 11.5 ft./3.5m (in total darkness)
    Compatible with model EOS 50D and later. Available via firmware update for: EOS- 1Ds Mark III, EOS-1D Mark III, EOS 40D, EOS Rebel XSi, and EOS Rebel XS.
     
  7. >>> the 270ex does have af assist: Intermittent flash firing system

    Which is extremely obnoxious and would never use. Clearly, I was speaking about the AF emitter like on the 430 and
    580EX...
     
  8. does the 220ex have such an emitter?
     
  9. here is a different looking flash. it is on ebay for $60.
    Quantaray by Sunpak XLF-50 Flash for Canon
     
  10. Assuming you will be using it in low light situations, I agree with the 220EX recommendation because it has an AF asset lamp just like the big EX flashes, is compact, and fully compatable with Canon film and digital bodies. Not sure if its chic, but in the US (at Adorama) its being sold for $95 (net of $30 rebate from Canon).
     

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