Flash Recommendations for Canon Cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by I AM THE MAN, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. I AM THE MAN macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Hey I hope everyone has been having a good new year! So, recently (just yesterday) I shot some photos for an event with my 5D Mark II and my 50mm f/1.4 camera and lens. The photos came out alright, (some were very grainy, others weren't all so grainy). The lighting situation wasn't that good because I was forced to shoot photos in 6400 ISO with the aperture at 1.6 so I was able to get at least shutter speeds of 1/60 -1/80.

    However, at a later point, the room became black and people began to dance. This is where I kind of felt I needed a flash more than anything. My 5D with the 50mm wasn't able to even take a picture. Fortunately, I was able to turn to my T3 and use it with its internal flash to get some photos.

    Luckily, in the end with some post editing (since I always shoot RAW) I was able to make the shots somewhat decent. Furthermore, this got me some practice because it was a family event so I wasn't "hired." Regardless I try to do my best.

    Anyways, (sorry for the long story), I'm thinking of buying a flash really soon because I do want to start shooting indoor events, etc. Any suggestions for flash? I've been looking at the 430EX II and the 600EX-RT. Which ones would you all suggest and why? What does the 600EX offer that the 430 doesn't and would it really be worth the extra $200?

    Thank you once again for your replies in advance. Always great to get answers from this community! :)
  2. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    The 600 EX-RT is probably the way to go for the long haul IMO. The "RT" stands for radio transmission and allows you to control future off camera speedlights from the 600 should your gear & photography needs begin to grow and expand. An alternative for now would be a used 580EX II, if you could find one or the 430, but the 600 is a much more advanced speed light.
  3. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Alright I see! Any good ways of learning how to use the flashes?
  4. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    Strobist is a great resource.

  5. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I have the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, and it can shoot darn fine in near pitch black. I've got it three days, done two concerts, and in both cases the photos came out fine at ISO 1600.
    I was considering a 580EX II myself, and it's $100 cheaper than the 600EX-RT. More than enough for a first flash.
  6. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    I had a pair of 580 EX II's and recently sold one for $340 because I never really got into small flash and have used my studio strobes on location (or natural light).

    That said, the 580 EX II, if you can get it for around $300 is the better alternative than the 600. IF you think you'll get into small flash for off-camera work, then the 600 is the best way to go if you want wireless E-TTL.

    But the 580 EX II pretty much has the same power output as the 600.
  7. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    For events, don't bother getting the 580 and 600, they're heavy and the extra power is not usefull in events like the ones you mentioned.

    Save your money and get the 430ex which is much smaller and has enough power to bounce the light off a wall without being heavy at all.
  8. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Will check it out! Thank you very much!

    Oh wow! What kind of camera were you using? Did you use manual focus? I tend to use autofocus because its just "fast" so for me personally its easier to take photos on the spot. Then again, for the pitch black scenes I guess I just wasn't using my head and instead of manual, I used auto focusing.

    If you don't mind, what settings did you use for the dark shots? And was it Al focus?

    I see. I mean the only "used" camera gear I've bought is my 5D Mark 2, which was refurbished. I'm just really paranoid (I guess?) to trust others and used goods. Regardless I think I might stick with buying a new flash to stay on the safe side unless I get a decent price from a seller I trust.

    I mean for me the weight doesn't matter (hasn't mattered yet). Is there even a big weight difference between the two? Like others have said, I want to be more future proof.
  9. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I'm shooting with a T2i. It was a mix of manual and autofocus since the Sigma's focusing system is practically hit-and-miss. I was able to get wide open 1/125th at ISO 400 in the brighter areas, ISO 800 in the darker areas. When the auditorium lights were bright enough I could even do ISO 200. As for subjects in the spotlight I stuck with ISO 100, 1/250th wide open or stopped down to f/2 for better focus.

    Just as a test, with f/1.4, I was able to get 1/2000th of a second at ISO 6400 in the audience.

    With autofocus I found that one-point lock-on was the best since then you could do manual adjustments to the focus and the lens focuses on exactly one point, which helps alleviate the fact that the plane of focus is ridiculously thin.

    With depth-of-field this shallow I would not trust myself with just simply autofocus. I make sure I get the sharpest image with manual tweaks here and there. AI Servo is too slow for changing focus with lenses like these.
  10. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Wireless flash is an excellent idea. A while ago I had to go from a 50d to 600d, which was generally a real step down apart from the built in wireless flash which was a revelation. I already had a 550ex speedlite which I previously had just used on the 50d's hotshoe. Now I can set up the flash somewhere else in the room or even just off the camera (it's got a nifty little stand), aim it at a white ceiling or somewhere so it bounces nicely and use the wireless flash function. The results are far better than it being sat directly on the camera.
  11. I AM THE MAN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    I see thank you!

    Thank you all for your answers. I think I might go with the 600, one of the reasons being that it can be used wirelessly and it is more "future" proof.

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