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Old Aug 10, 2005, 3:19 PM   #1
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Does the Digital Rebel XT need an add on flash? I took some inside photos home and they came out pretty good. But again that was in the living room. What is the story with the flash? It will make the camera heavier with the 17-85 IS lense.

Are there any flashes that are not too heavy?


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Old Aug 10, 2005, 5:16 PM   #2
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The weight in a strobe is in its capacitors, the place it builds the charge.
The stronger the flash the bigger and heavier it gets.

The peanut flash in the Rebel is optimistically rated @ 13 (at ISO 100 in meters).
Using it will drain your on-board battery much faster, it is also close to on-axis with the lens which causes red-eye.

Peter.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 9:09 PM   #3
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Do you HAVE to have a separate flash- NO.

Do you need one to take flash shots with less harsh light, less hard shadows and to consistently defeat redeye when using midrange to telephoto lenses- ABSOLUTELY.

It's your choice- the $175 or so 420EX is all you really need with maybe an OMNIBOUNCE flash attachment.

I own both a Digital Rebel and 10D. The Digital Rebel is bigger than the XT and the 420EX is the perfect size. I suspect it would be perfect on the XT too. The 550EX, which I also own and use on the 10D, is too big for the Digital Rebel- it works on the Rebel, but it is a little overwhelming, size and weight-wise on it, and on an XT it would be HUGE- ditto with the 580EX.

Will a flash make the outfit heavier.......of course yes, but with the 420EX it's not that much heavier and, in my opinion, worth the small weight gain for better quality flash shots if you are serious about your images.

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Old Aug 10, 2005, 9:30 PM   #4
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After a week of using the standard flash on my new XT, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to run out and get the 420EX. The difference is amazing. AMAZING!!!!



Now I want a new lense. Wow.. expensive new hobby of mine.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 10:54 PM   #5
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Also check out the Sigma 500 DG Super flash, it has the power and features of the Canon ex-550 at the price of the ex-420.

No Kidding :blah::blah:
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Now I want a new lense. Wow.. expensive new hobby of mine.
Peter.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 11:00 PM   #6
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With the 420EX I can take pictures from about49 feet away of my kids at a school concert without having togo past ISO200with my 70-200 f4L. A flash with a guide number of 13 is only good for 15 feet at f4 and ISO200. Also, I can use a flash diffuserand still get reasonable range, perhaps with only having to go to ISO400.

For "livingroom" type shots Ifeel the biggest advantagesof using an external flash are:

* The flash is further from the center of the lens, so less chance of red-eye. You can use a flash bracket if you want even better results.

* You can get much more natural looking photos by using bounce.

* You can use attachments such as a Lumiquest 80/20 or mini-softbox to get even better rusults than bounce alone.

* the camera's battery lasts longer.

I wish I had a 580EX, but I have to admit that the 420EX works very well and seems to fit my needs at this time. If you are concerned about the cost, some here like some of the Sigma flashes (more flash for your dollar), but you have to be careful to get the right unit so that it is compatible with E-TTL II. You may also be able to pick up a used 420EX on Ebay for much less than used.


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Old Aug 11, 2005, 4:48 AM   #7
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Just to 'pile on' the advice:

You should definitely get an external flash. The power output alone is a good enough reason. As already mentioned the internal flash is really only good for a few feet and doesn't have much 'spread'.

But bounce capability and less red-eye are the deal sealers. I'll also second the recommendation for the Sigma 500 DG Super flash - I have it (first for 300D now for 20D) and it's a great unit. But there are a lot of happy 420ex users out there. Whatever flash you choose should have the following features:
  • ETTL Compatible (ETTL II vs ETTL is a camera body function - the flash only needs to be ETTL and it will work with ETTL-II).[/*]
  • Bounce capability (allowing you to tilt the head)
[/*]
Those are the bare minimum requirements I would suggest. The two flashes mentioned meet those requirements and the Sigma has a number of additional attributes and manual settings for more advanced use.
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 7:13 AM   #8
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Someone should post comparison shots between the built-in flash on the Rebel or XT and shots with a 420ex or the Sigma!
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 9:18 AM   #9
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okcomputer,
The problem is that I'm not sure how you'd do it. If the flash works (i.e. the range and size of subject is covered properly with the flash) the pictures will look the same with either.

If the flash didn't reach, then one would be underexposed and the other would be properly exposed. That would really be the difference.

Now someone could show how a softbox helps flash photography. You can't use one of those with the built in flash (well, you could probably fake it with some exposed film or something... but it would be annoying and make a very weak flash.) So that might be useful. When used properly a softbox make improvements that you might be missed to an untrained eye, but it can make a big difference in overall quality.

The overall question about using a flash is a question of what you shoot. If everything is fairly close up then the built-in flash might be fine. If you don't take 400 JPG pictures in a day (requires lots of battery power) then the extra draw the on-board flash makes might not matter. If you don't need some of the add-ons that an external flash can give you, then you probably don't need one. But if you need more reach, or want a soft box, or want to not drain the camera battery, get the flash.

Eric
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 2:45 PM   #10
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The Lumiquest site has some good examples of photos with and without a flash diffuser www.lumiquest.com . My results are consistent with what they show.

As Eric said, if you are within range, the on-board flash will work about the same as a 420EX used in "direct flash" mode. The only difference would be that the 420EX is further away from the center point of the lens, so you would be less likely to have red-eye problems.

Personally I only use the on-board flashwhen I take close-up pictures (<6 feet)of people outside when it is sunny and I need some fill-flash. Indoors I would never use the on-board flash because of the harsh shadows it creates (no bounce) and red-eye problems. To me it's just a cheap flashmanufacturers provide on consumer cameras thatproduce mediocre results. Notice that pro cameras don't even come with a pop-up flash :lol:
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