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Old Nov 12, 2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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My cousin suggested the next piece of equipment I purchase for my Canon XSi is a flash and suggested I look at the Sigma 530 EX.

I've never used a flash in an hot-shoe before and trying to figure out when I might need one.

I would like to use it for taking photos of people at weddings, or conferences. Would it also work for product photography?

The flash seems to be $269, which is cheaper than the 430 or 530 by Canon.

I also will be doing some photography for a Ice Dancing organization and wondering if the Flash would help. My lenses are 18-55 IS Kit , 70-300, and 50mm 1.8.

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Old Nov 12, 2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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Here are some flash tips and techniques from Canon:

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Old Nov 14, 2008, 10:38 PM   #3
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As you can see from my other post I ened up with 530 DG super not to be confused with the 530 ST which is missing a lot of features and Iike the 530 DG super alot.

The 530 is great. The answer to your question is that Photgraphy requires more light then your eyes, and external flashes allow for much more light. Light that is not necessarily going to create harsh shadows as it can be bounced, carded, defused etc. and yet is powerful enough to light a group of people.

I avoided external flashes for a long time relying on the little built in one. Silly. Silly.

I would start with a Flash like the Sigma. You may end up with more lighting gear at some point like strobes from Ailenbee with shoot through Umbrelleas or Softboxes etc. for more static setups.

Amazon has the flash for a fair price about $250 deliveried and has a decent return policy so you can test drive it. Carful when buying it is easy to select one of their associate companies that do not have such a return policy.
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Old Nov 15, 2008, 8:48 AM   #4
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I would take the flash tips and techniques from Canon with a grain of salt...
They suggested to use the Av mode which is probably the most easy, but the wrong thing to do on a Canon dSLR since this mode always tends to produce overexposure:
-> The Av mode already meter for the ambient light like it always does and by the time the flash fill is added the image is overexposed almost everytime!

A much better technique is the Manual mode since the flash is already on automatic, the flash will always do the correct fill whether be it a Sigma, Canon (or any other branded) flashes with E-TTL...
-> Also for dancing you need to control the shutter speed (which the Av mode prevent you from doing), also I'll always go for the most powerful unit since it'll allow for more options in bouncing, diffusing, or covering larger area... a weaker unit will limit all theses capabilities
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