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Old Mar 22, 2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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I am going to order a Canon 30D, and want to get a nice flash for it.

I want it to be as powerful and versitile as I can, but the Canon 580ex price tag is killing me. Its also rather large.
And I am concerned about out growing the 430ex.

Then I saw the Sigma EF-500 DG Super for MUCH less $$$.

How does it compare to the others?
Is it going to work just as well with the 30D as the Canon flashes?
Is it lacking any features the others have?

Thanks
~John

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Old Mar 22, 2007, 6:06 PM   #2
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The Sigma EF-500 Superhasall the same features as the 550EXand almost the same as the 580EX for a lot less money. I can't tell you right off the top of my head what the 580 has that the Sigma doesn't, so I guess it must not be that important to me. I'm sure if NHL chimes in herehe cantell you all about it. I have the Sigma and love it and you can almost by two of them for the price of the 580EX.
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Old Mar 22, 2007, 8:33 PM   #3
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I have a dedicated Sigma EF-500 DG ST for my Pentax istDS and I`m very pleased with it`s performance.
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 4:36 PM   #4
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The recycling time on the Sigma is very poor compared to the Canons and it's swivel range is more limited. Sigma makes good products, but what I have found is that often when you upgrade your camera Sigma products no longer work with the new electronics in the camera. Because of that reason (I have a bag of perfectly good Sigma stuff that no longer works with my two newest cameras and Sigma is unable to upgrade the electronics) I've decided to bite the bullet and just pay more for the Canon accessories. It works out being a much better deal over time.
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 4:51 PM   #5
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I went ahead with the Sigma 500,
It arrived last night, and seems nice for the money.
It can cycle a bit slow on FULL power, but the other settings seems very fast.
Alot faster than the other older flashes I have.

Seems feature rich, and not too hard to use.
The dial on the Canons would be nice, but the Sigma isnt hard to use at all, and the display is nice, the backlight is a great feature.

My first DSLR is due to arrive today, (Canon 30D)
So I will be doing some extensive testing with it soon.
So far so good though.

I can see that the Canon 580ex would be nicer in ways, I just cant see how it would be worth double the cost.
Time will tell though.

~John
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 9:05 PM   #6
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I have some of the Sigma 500DG supers, as well as a Canon flash

Main dIfference is:
The Canon has a bit more power. GN 190 VS GN 165 on Sigma, at 105mm.
The Canon has a jack for external power supply.
The Sigma has a built in optical trigger.
The Sigma can shut off its flash and act as a st-e2 flash controller.

Both work with Canons ETTL2 flash system.

I have not noticed much difference on recycle time.
With fresh fully charged batteries maybe 3-5 seconds to charge from a full power pop on the Sigmas. The Canon seems about the same.

(This is on the old version of the 580, the new version of the 580 is supposed to cycle 20% faster)
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 9:09 PM   #7
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John,
both the Sigma and the Canon flashes cycle faster if you use NMIH rechargable batteries.
Sigma states 6 seconds to full power cycle with alkaline and 4 seconds when using NMIH.
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Old Mar 29, 2007, 10:32 AM   #8
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I concur with everything PeterP wrote - Here some of the flashes I use and the Sigma has the best bang for the $ in term of features:

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