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Old Mar 13, 2004, 7:15 AM   #1
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Default Flash Confusion

I've been reading some threads on the subject of external flash and I think I am more confused than before. I am looking for suggestions on the following topic:

I own a Digital Rebel and want to purchase an external hot shoe flash that uses the eTTL function. I do not plan to use it as a slave. It will mostly be used on camera at indoor sports events and fire scenes.

What does eveyone suggest?

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Old Mar 13, 2004, 8:59 AM   #2
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The consensus for an on camera hot shoe flash seems to be either the Canon 420EX, 550EX or the Sigma 500 DG Super

First off - about the slave function:

Any of those flashes will operate as a slave, BUT the 420EX will not operate as a master to trigger the slaves. I think what you're trying to say is that the ability to act as master isn't worth anything for you.

For indoor sports and fire scenes you'll want to have a pretty powerful flash. The guide numbers (how powerful) on the above flashes are 42, 55 & 50 respectivily. You may need the more powerful flash when shooting fire scenes - I'm thinking that you'll have a hard time lighting the dark portions of a scene while not over exposing the actual fire. In addition you'll need the extra power if you're shooting at a wide angle.

My suggestion is that you move up to the 550EX or the Sigma 500. The Sigma is a clone and is about half the price, but it isn't a Canon and I've read that the build quality isn't as good.

I would not get the 220EX - it is too small and weak for most things and it doesn't offer bounce capability.
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Old Mar 13, 2004, 9:56 AM   #3
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I have the 420EX and am pleased with it. I would not, however suggest it if you don't have a lot of experience with an external flash. The 550EX is, in my opinion, a much better choice as it offers more options and more power. The FEC works on the 550 and from my understanding it has a zoom function. The FEC doesn't work with the 420EX and no zoom.

I have no experience with the Sigma 500 DG Super, although the consensus of this and other forums seems to be that it is a very good unit. And it seems to have the same features as the 550EX.

I have gotten a lot of good results with the 420EX and nearly always shoot with a flash. I will be purchasing the 550EX very soon and have a need for the occasional slave unit.
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Old Mar 13, 2004, 10:16 AM   #4
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I have the 550EX and like it a lot. Having the digital display to adjust settings on the back is very nice, and I wouldn't want a master flash (i.e. one hooked to my camera) that didn't have it.

I've also heard good things about the Sigma, but I've never used it.

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Old Mar 13, 2004, 12:52 PM   #5
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The 420EX does have a zoom head! Flash Exposure Compensation is indeed not available on the 420EX itself, but it does listen to the FEC option on my camera (the 10D). I'm not sure if the 300D has it.

[edit] the 300D does not have FEC. Thus if that's important to you, get the 550EX or the Sigma.

I just turned sour on the Sigma 500 DG super. See the other thread in this forum. It might just be mine is defective, and I explicitely bought it for master-slave functionality. Thus it'll probably be just fine for your usage (and half the price of the 550EX).

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Old Mar 13, 2004, 5:41 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. It has been a big help, will probably go with the sigma flash in the very near future. Thanks again.
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