Need opinion on Speedlite choice for Digital Rebel

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dennis_tam, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Hi,

    I recently bought a digital rebel kit (18-55mm/3.5 lens) package. I
    also have EF28-105mm/3.5 and 50mm/1.8 lenses.
    I wonder if Speedlite420EX is the correct flashlight I should go
    for. Any pro or con?

    Thanks,

    Dennis
     
  2. I am getting that sigma super 500 or whatever it is called, 200 bucks isnt too bad. From what is posted, that seems to be the best value for the money !
     
  3. The 420 will work. The 550 will work better. The 580 will work best. You will only get to notice it when you start messing around with control - the 420 has almost no control, ETTL is all you get. The 550/580 has a lot more functions.
     
  4. The 420EX doesn't feature flash exposure compensation (FEC), you have to use it in the camera. Since that function has been disabled in the firmware of the 300D you should either get a flash that has FEC built in (550/580EX oder Sigma EF-500 DG Super) or install the 'russian' firmware that unlocks several functions of the 300D (let's call it 310D then ;-), out of which the FEC is one of the most important.

    I use the Sigma flash and it works ok for me, though I need to adjust the flash power using FEC quite often. I have no experience with the Canon flashes, but I read The 420EX doesn't feature flash exposure compensation (FEC), you have to use it in the camera. Since that function has been disabled in the firmware of the 300D you should either get a flash that has FEC built in (550/580EX oder Sigma EF-500 DG Super) or install the 'russian' firmware that unlocks several functions of the 300D (let's call it 310D then ;-), out of which the FEC is one of the most important.

    I use the Sigma flash and it works ok for me, though I need to adjust the flash power using FEC quite often. I have no experience with the Canon flashes, but I read they need FEC quite often too.
     
  5. I have the 420 on my Rebel and 20D. It does the job fairly well. Here's my short list of pros and cons.
    Pro
    • Tilt and swivel
    • Reasonably priced
    • Guaranteed future compatibility with EOS cameras
    Con
    • No manual controls
    • Cannot act as wireless master
    • Maximum FOV equal to 24mm on film, 15mm on digital
    If you are going to do event photography, the lack of FEC may slow you down. However, most people seem to agree that it is easier/better to do that via the body than fiddling with the flash.
     
  6. n-j

    n-j

    if you intend to do event ( indoor ) photography or you are aware of how eTTL works and just don't want to work that way you should consider a metz 54-4 which has an automatic mode in addition to ( metz's own ) ettl and manual mode. if you don't know about eTTL, read this and consider a metz afterwards. the metz has in addition a secondary reflector which can be very useful when bouncing and working with a single unit; I would not recommend the 580 in your case because it's designed to be used with the newer generation of eos digitals and you won't be able to benefit from the new features with the rebel. the 550 and sigma unit are almost identical but the sigma is less that half of the canon's price; of course canon's built quality is better than sigmas but the sigma even features canon's wireless system so you won't stick with sigma unlike in case of going with the metz whose wireless options are a lot more limited as there is nothing like canon's st-e2. before going for the 420, take the sigma unit which is about the same price but the functionality of the 550; if you want a more versatile flash without the pain of ettl go for the metz. regards nj
     
  7. I just received a 580EX for use with my 300D (couldn't pass up the Dell $361.00 deal...I just outwaited all the "Your order has been delayed again" messages and got it after a couple of weeks).

    I've only been using it for a couple of days, but the difference between it and my old Flash, a 380EX is noticable. The flash in general does a much smarter job lighting and filling, and so far the exposures with dim lightting have been much better. With the old flash, the overbright face/black background was the usual result when shooting one of the more braindead modes. The 580 EX seems to do a better job over all with those. And from a distance, being able to boost the power up manually really helps being able to get a better lit shot. Of course being able to use bounce flash with the camera turned sideways is huge too.

    I have no experience with the 420EX to compare to...from what I gather my old 380EX is fairly primitive compared to the 420EX and up.
     
  8. The 550 will work better. The 580 will work best.
    Why? Because it costs more?
     
  9. Keep in mind he has DRebel, so he would not benefit from 580EX (slightly higher GN number is not worth the price difference)
     
  10. If I had to do it over again. . .

    I would have bought a 420EX with my 10D. . .Flash power is more than adequate for indoor shooting in homes. .it has full tilt and swivel. Cost is reasonable.

    For a 300D, I would upsize to the 550EX for one simple reason: Flash Exposure Compensation Control. The 420EX cannot set FEC, but supports it if you set it on the camera. The 300D cannot set FEC, but supports it if you set it on the flash! So you either need to get a flash that allows setting FEC (the 550EX), or install a software hack to allow it to be set on the body!

    For a 20D, I would buy a 420EX. This camera has a setting for FEC.

    I do not currently recommend a 580EX, unless you are a pro and the extra cost can be justified by the erogonomic benefits and slight power increase.

    Today, this flash makes no sense for an amature, since the cost is EQUAL to a 550EX AND 420EX together. For that money, I would buy the two cheaper flashes and jump straight into wireless flash photography.

    If you have a 420EX and want to do wireless flash slave work, then I would get a 550EX as a second flash. Then you really can see the power of this flash system.
     
  11. A lot of high end solutions suggested above, of which only 1 (the Metz) makes flash easy with the Digital Rebel. The problem is that the camera's flash metering is extremely sensitive to how light or dark is the small area round which it focussed. To make life much easier, simply buy an autothyristor gun that meters flash for itself from a rather broader area. For example, a new Vivitar 283 will do the job nicely while also meeting Canon's 6V hotshoe voltage limitation. Fiddling with FEC and hoping that the flash is metering off the same subject as the last exposure, or using FEL/recompose is a pain - and useless if you're trying to shoot candids.
     

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