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Old Apr 25, 2010, 2:10 PM   #1
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Default Flash for Rebel XTI

I'm looking to get an external flash for my Canon XTI (the built in one is useless). I see a Canon Speedlight 270EX for around $150. Is this a decent flash or should I invest in the in the 430EX? What is the biggest difference in the two? I believe they both use the E-TTL metering. If it's just a difference in refresh time, I can live with that.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 5:01 PM   #2
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Here's a review that may help:

http://photonotes.org/reviews/speedlite-270EX/

From what I gather, the 270EX is missing a built focus assist lamp and any external controls (you have to control any settings changes from camera menus), although you can still use the flash itself as focus assist.

It also doesn't have a power zoom function (although it's got a manual zoom on it with two positions). It's missing swivel from what I can see (tilt only, so you couldn't bounce it from the ceiling if using the camera in a portrait position).

Power is going to be another big difference. It looks like the max GN on the 270EX is 27 meters at ISO 100 with the manual zoom head in the 50mm position. So, at ISO 100 at something like f/5.6, that would give you a flash range of around 4.8 meters (or less than 16 feet) with a direct flash (flash range is equal to the GN divided by the aperture at ISO 100). Then, each time you double the ISO speed, flash range increases by 1.4x. But, note that bouncing will reduce flash range significantly (especially with a higher ceiling). Ditto for using FP mode if you want to shoot outdoors at shutter speeds faster than the camera's sync speed (which requires a flash to pulse the light, significantly reducing range). So, I'd take flash power into consideration, depending on the conditions you want to use one in.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 10:42 PM   #3
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The EX-270 is a good utility flash. I does not have quite enough power to be used for the bounce flash. There are diffusers made for the EX-270 but that cuts the flash output even further.

I have a friend who shoots weddings he claims that when used constantly anf continually, the EX-270,s tend to become quite hot and less effective. So in the long run, the Canon EX-430 is more powerful and better for the long haul.

If your budget is pinched the Metz 48 is lower priced and the Nissan DI622, made for both Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras are the low price leader in budget flash units.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; May 2, 2010 at 11:01 PM.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 7:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll go with the 430 EX. It sounds like I'll be disappointed if I got the 270 and would wind up upgrading eventually anyway. (the stingy man spends the most money). Now I just need to find the best price.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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The 430 is the wise choice, I have one as a backup to my 580s and it does a very good job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
I have a friend who shoots weddings he claims that when used constantly anf continually, the EX-270,s tend to become quite hot and less effective.
Ouch, I would be very unhappy if a 'Pro' came to shoot my wedding with a 270, even the 430 isn't really man enough for a main shooters flash.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:43 PM   #6
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Ahhhh.. C'mon now Mark. Look at the bright side... you'd be more upset if they used a camera's built in flash (and I've seen threads on forums elsewhere where hired photographers actually did use a built in flash, which is one reason the customers were so upset about their photos). :-)
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:45 PM   #7
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LOL, yep, that would be a dismal day for photography. I just feel sorry for the people who don't know and book someone who isn't using the right gear, and is not aware of the differences available by using a good flash and using it well.
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Old May 1, 2010, 11:52 PM   #8
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What do you guys think of Sunpak flashes. I had (still have it somewhere) a 611 years ago when I did film photography and I loved it. Are they still a good flash? I'm thinking about digging it out and trying it.
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Old May 2, 2010, 12:27 AM   #9
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Check the thread about trigger voltages, first, and if you aren't sure, have it checked. (Warning - Danger, Will Robinson) Seriously, some older flashes can damage digital cameras, so check first. If the trigger voltage is OK, you should be able to use the flash, but it may not have full functions, such as p-ttl, or be able to communicate with the camera to figure exposure. If it is an auto-thyristor type, you should probably use it with the camera in manual exposure.

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Old May 10, 2010, 5:54 PM   #10
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fwiw, i bought this one
http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPage/MZ48AF1C.html
just as good imo as the 430 and about 50 bucks cheaper.
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