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Old Feb 26, 2010, 2:31 AM   #1
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Default Flash unit that's compatible with Canon SX-20-IS

Hello,
I'm "V" and new to your forum. I'm considering a purchase of the Canon Powershot SX-20-IS, and would like to fine a compatible external flash unit for it. I would be grateful for any help you can offer.
I've read some of your member's threads, and I'm happy to have found you.

Again,
Thanks...in advance.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 7:58 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. I'd check with users of that Camera in our Canon Forum and see what they recommend.

But, your best bet would probably be to stick with one of the newer Canon flash models (for example, a 430EX II) if budget permits.
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 1:38 AM   #3
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Thanks JimC, I will do just that. I'm new so I'm having some problems with finding some specific topics...any help will be welcomed!
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 7:38 PM   #4
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Speedlite 270EX, 430EX II or 580EX II are the only 3 flashes compatible with the sx20is.

I own a sx20is, and must say that there are very few accessories that are compatible with it, and that is disappointing.

Let me know if you have any other questions about that camera. Ive done a bit of testing with it.
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 9:00 AM   #5
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You'll see the same thing with other camera manufacturers. For example, in the Nikon lineup, the SB-400, SB-600 and SB-900 are the current shoe mount flash models that are compatible with their digital cameras, or in the Sony lineup, you have the HVL-F20AM, HVL-F42AM and HVL-F58AM to choose from in a shoe mount flash if you're using a dSLR model (with different choices for non dSLR cameras).

In a dedicated flash model (i.e., one that understands the camera settings being used that can communicate with it properly), it's usually best to stick with the camera manufacturers' offerings to insure maximum compatibility.

You can find third party flash models that work with modern digital cameras, too. But, you do see compatibility issues from time to time (where a flash may not work properly with a newer camera model), usually caused by a problem with the way they "reverse engineered" the communications protocol between the camera and flash and don't understand newer commands being used.

So, it's best to find a flash that others report works well on a camera if you want to try a third party versus camera manufacturers' flash.

Now, some Metz models have USB upgradeable firmware. For example, take a look at the Metz 48 AF-1 and 58 AF-1. That way, you can download and update the flash firmware periodically for better compatibility with newer camera models. The most recent firmware update for the Canon versions was last month:

http://www.metz.de/en/photo-electron...1-digital.html

You could also use a non-dedicated flash with that camera. For example, a Sunpak 383 Super or equivalent. With a non dedicated flash, you would shoot using manual exposure on the camera. Then, set the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture. That way, the flash doesn't need to understand how to interpret the protocol for settings information. Instead, it just fires the flash and terminates the flash burst when it sees enough reflected light for the aperture and ISO speed you have set for it using a built in sensor to measure it (as you often see with non dedicated Auto Thyristor flashes that have non TTL Auto modes). Just make sure to select a modern flash with a lower trigger voltage going that route. See this thread for more on that issue:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fl...l-cameras.html

You may also be able to find an inexpensive, third party dedicated flash model that works with it. I'd probably take a look at the Vivitar DF 383 (approx. $129 now at popular online vendors), as it's a relatively new flash model (introduced last year) and would be more likely to work correctly with a newer digital camera. But, I'd make sure to buy one from a dealer with a good return policy in case you did have any issues with it. You'll see a review of it on this page:

http://jakeoconnell.blogspot.com/200...1_archive.html

They also announced a smaller (less powerful with fewer features) Vivitar DF 283 flash at the same time. It's selling for around $89.99 now. But, I don't know anyone that's tried it on a newer Canon digital camera yet.
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