Someone emailed me about buying a flash today. I thought I’d pass the exchange along to everyone. The question:
A lady I work with just bought a Canon Rebel XT. What is a good compact flash to use? You have one you like. What is it?
I use a Canon 420EX. There’s a new model out that replaces it called the 430EX. They use what’s called TTL and TTL-II. You can learn more about why that’s so great on a Canon rig at the Canon Flash Work website.
I would either buy a flash from Amazon or B&H – as opposed to a camera store or rip-off online sites. There’s also the 550EX and the 580EX, which are more of the pro-level flashes and are also in the $350-400 price range. The 420EX and 430EX are in the $250 and under range. There’s a smaller basic flash called the 220EX, which I consider lame even though it’s in the $130 range. You can’t “bounce” the flash because the head doesn’t pivot like all the others from the 420EX and up. This is a feature she wants if she’ll be using it indoor at all!
The ability to “bounce” the flash not only spreads the light more evenly on the subject, but also eliminates redeye. I’d say go with the 420EX or 430EX if she just wants a recommendation. If she really knows what she’s doing and understands what the features on the 550 and 580 models are and why she needs them, then she might consider that. Just looking over some prices, it looks like the Canon 420EX may be the best bang for her buck at under $200.
I’d also recommend reading the Canon Flash Work site. It’s a great tutorial. Additionally, consider a good book if she thinks she needs some help.
That’s it. Send me some more questions folks. Look for new posts. If you’ve got more input or a better answer than me, by all means post it to the comments.