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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entry level flash for Canon
This economical Bower SFD728C flash is designed specifically to be used with digital SLR Canon cameras with TTL and that is the key to it's appeal. It has no on board knobs or buttons for manual adjustment. Rather, it works great as an inexpensive point and shoot alternative to the more feature packed Canon brand Speedlite flash products.

Reverse engineering...
Published on January 25, 2011 by James C. Kelley

versus
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bower 728C Flash for Canon SX20IS camera
I use this on my Canon SX20-IS camera.
This Bower flash seems to be able to function as automatic only.
(cannot set the amount of brightness or anything else using the camera's on screen menu)

It's bright, flashes on cue and quick to recharge using NiMH rechargeables.
I've seen a couple bad reviews because some people had trouble inserting...
Published on March 19, 2012 by tg


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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entry level flash for Canon, January 25, 2011
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This economical Bower SFD728C flash is designed specifically to be used with digital SLR Canon cameras with TTL and that is the key to it's appeal. It has no on board knobs or buttons for manual adjustment. Rather, it works great as an inexpensive point and shoot alternative to the more feature packed Canon brand Speedlite flash products.

Reverse engineering some of the the more basic Canon Speedlite external flash features, the compatible Canon cameras will adjust this Bower unit's flash intensity, auto-focus beam, etc. as well as 2nd curtain photo tricks and in-camera manual flash compensation.

The Bower SFD728C units locks tightly to my Rebel XSi flash shoe, and while the flash is all plastic construction it does not seem to be particularly fragile. Obviously, the manual zoom sleeve and the two way flash head swivel (horizontal and vertical) will allow you to try many of the bounce and indirect lighting tricks the pro's use with their much more expensive professional flash units.

Flash recharge is a fast 3 seconds with fresh batteries and the two rear panel LED indicators (flash ready and exposure status) on the unit are useful. I cannot give it 5 stars as compared to the more features packed Canon Speedlites but that is no shame as this unit is about one tenth the price of the best Canon Speedlite flashes! Still, I give it a solid 4 stars as a great entry level flash unit specifically made to take advantage of SOME of the flash controls and features found in the Canon professional line of SLR cameras.

Please note that it will NOT work as a slave or master with any Canon brand Speedlite multiple flash and extended flash setups. However, there are inexpensive, wireless "flash triggers" that work with various flash units like this Bower flash. They give you an inexpensive way to set up your own studio type multiple flash photos without buying into the very expensive Canon Speedlite multi-flash capabilities. While beyond the scope of this review, search "flash trigger" or visit the Strobist website to get started in multiple flash photography.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy, July 10, 2011
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
This one Bower SFD728C is for my Canon XTi / 400D. Stepping into flash photography for the first time, I wanted something effective yet cheaper. After contemplating between the YN-565 and this one, I chose this as it has TTL where as the YN-565 is just manual with no TTL. Beginners would want to try automatic first, right? I was initially hesitant to order this, as it had only one review here at Amazon, but googling gave good number of positive reviews that I decide to bite the bullet. At $60, there is not much to lose :-)

I have seen the canon speedlites before, the build quality of Bower's is not close the canon's, but it's not bad either. Pretty lightweight before popping in the batteries, but feels pretty solid with the batteries in it. The base however is plastic.

Test shots were good initially as I hoped. The swivel and bounce results are fantastic. Then did a small photoshoot of parents at home using a sharp lens, and the pictures came out almost pro like that I never got with the built-in flash before. Very satisfied with the flash's performance. I'm not a pro that requires the flash to be thoroughly professional too, but for amateurs like me it's a good bet to get started. My review is not aimed at technically advanced, but just wanted to help out those who are like me undecided whether to buy this cheaper alternative or not. And yes, from what I gathered on the flash photography, E-TTL is very good feature to have in a flash. I'm uploading couple pictures as well.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Value Flash, October 20, 2010
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Amazon Customer (Space Coast, FL, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
Let's face it, photography is an expensive hobby. And while I agree that more money will usually get you higher quality products, for relatively newcomers to the game like me, spending $200 on a flash right out of the gate is a bit much.

I was looking for a well priced but good quality flash, which I found with the Bower SFD728C. It is ETTL compatible with my Canon XTi, which made learning how to use a shoe flash as simple as the onboard flash. The guide number is also relatively high (don't remember the exact number),and I was able to shoot a wedding in a small church with little problem. It also has swivel and pan capabilities which don't seem to be as common in this price bracket, allowing for the all important bounce capabilities.

My only complaint was that the locking ring was not very secure, and occasionally the flash would slip just far enough off the contacts to cause the camera to wig out when trying to fire the flash or a mistimed flash.

Overall however, I found the Bower SFD728C to be an easy to use, inexpensive, yet good quality flash. I'm sure there are some features capabilities that one could get with the Canon brand flashes at 2-3 times the price, but I haven't missed them yet.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bower 728C Flash for Canon SX20IS camera, March 19, 2012
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
I use this on my Canon SX20-IS camera.
This Bower flash seems to be able to function as automatic only.
(cannot set the amount of brightness or anything else using the camera's on screen menu)

It's bright, flashes on cue and quick to recharge using NiMH rechargeables.
I've seen a couple bad reviews because some people had trouble inserting batteries.
They load fine when done properly. The two front batteries go in first, then the back two.
The pics I took turned out good. The horizontal and vertical swivel is great to bounce off ceiling or wall.
For the average photographer or beginner, I think it is a great product for the price.
The unit has a plastic housing and base but should be fine if you treat the flash as you would the camera anyway.

NOTE: I recommend buying a diffuser box attachment to soften the flash so it isn't so concentrated in one spot. They're inexpensive(approx $5 to $20) and fold up to easily store or carry. most are universal fit with velcro or band strap attachment. I bought a 6"x8" diffuser but soon discovered that diffuser size to be a bit too large and heavy for the flash head to support/ hold it up right plus it also obstructed the flash's infrared sensor on the front.
The mini diffuser would be the better choice I think, for all around use.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good on-camera ttl flash, not for off-camera use, October 5, 2011
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
Works well with camera's TTL system (tested on Canon 60d). Controled by camera this flash does everything its supposed to do. Control light output via TTL +/- exposure stops (not full 1/2 1/4 power etc.) Autofocus assist is well implemented with the little infrared light. No manual controls for off camera use means if you ever upgrade, this one will be useless (not useful as a second flash). No high speed sync (which you shouldn't expect for 1/5 the price of a Canon 430ex II. Otherwise, this is a great on camera fully automatic flash.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Flash!!!!, November 2, 2011
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
For an inexpensive flash, this is tops. I am a newbie to photography and I just did my first wedding in a super dark church where only the walls were white. This flash so did the job! It definately isn't a $400 flash, but if you have the time to wait a few seconds for it to reboot before you fire another shot, this is a great little work horse! It bends and swivles and zooms. Couln't ask for a better flash for the money!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 4-5 Seconds?!?!, June 13, 2013
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
It's an amazing flash for it's price, but it takes 4-5 seconds for it to recharge. That may not sound like a lot when you read this but when you're actually taking photos, waiting 4 seconds for the flash to retake is a longggggg ass time. THE BIRD COULD FLY AWAY DURING THOSE 4 SECONDS YOU WAIT FOR FLASH!!! TT_____TT
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap but awesome, December 17, 2012
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
Okay I am no professional photographer , I do take lots of pictures though for my blog, my etsy shop, my Facebook. I HATE those ugly blown out flash pictures. A friend of mine asked me to take wedding pics of her daughters reception as they had no money. I knew I would have to have a flash for inside a restaurant. I did some research and found out instead of pointing a flash straight at subject you could bounce it off the ceiling to give light without that blow out look. So I found this ultra cheap flash on a swivel, threw it on my canon digital rebel xti, and voila! My pics looked amazing. I use it all of the time now and can't imagine ever not having it. It was plug and play 4 aa batteries, switch it on, red light days ready and go! Recharges after 3 to 5 seconds so you do have to have a brief pause between pics. Only downside is that although it will automatically shut off if you leave it on, it still drains your batteries- dont forget to switch it off! Unfortunately I knocked over my tripod and the flash got the worst of it, but I liked it so much I am buying another.. Great started flash!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good while it lasted, April 23, 2012
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
If you're buying this just know that its only for use with ttl. there ARE NO manual controls - just an on and off switch. it worked really well while I had it, and it put out a fair amount of power. It seemed to work well with my canon 7d to put out the right amount of light to compensate for the camera's internal settings. BUT, after having it for about 3 days, i was shooting random pictures with it and the bulb blew. It made a loud pop noise and then smelled really bad. I'm not sure why - whether I got a defective product or if my camera told it it needed to put out too much power to compensate for its shutter speed etc, and it just couldn't handle it. Who knows.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great basic flash for the Canon line, December 12, 2012
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This review is from: Bower SFD728C TTL Autofocus Flash for Canon E-TTL II (Electronics)
I bought this for my Canon G12, because I didn't want to pay more than my camera for an external flash (think Speedlite). Bower brings you 80% of the functions of the Speedlite at 10% of the cost. Don't get me wrong; the Speedlite is a sturdy and truly amazing product ... it's just sooo expensive. The Bower is comparatively light (all plastic), lacks some of the autofocus (you have to adjust range by hand), and dials of the Speedlite. But it does link seamlessly in the Canon's electronics (contrary to one review here, you can adjust flash intensity in Canon's menus, and Canon does use this capability in their auto settings). As one review noted, the flash seems pretty insubstantial and flimsy until you get the batteries in. But in operation it has been reliable.
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