Customer Review

865 of 889 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indoor miracles, August 19, 2009
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
I had been holding off on purchasing an external flash for my XTI for months, making up all sorts of excuses as to why I shouldn't own one. It's too big, I'll never use it, $200+ for a flash of light is obscene and on and on the excuses went. My wife surprised me by getting me one for my birthday and after using it for 6 months I couldn't be happier. How did I ever live without this thing?

I take a lot of pictures indoors of my son. He's a 9 month old boy that's not quite ready to be outside all the time. I've got the 50mm 1.8 but it just isn't fast enough in the dim lighting of our home and the on camera flash is worthless. Ever since I got this flash I'd say that 80% of the pictures I take indoors and outdoors are taken with this flash. Below is a list of all of the pro's and cons I could come up with.

Pros:
- Fast recycle time. I can take several burst shots in 1 second and the flash fires each time. You won't miss many pictures because the flash isn't ready (like with the built in flash).
- TTL is awesome. This flash is much smarter than I'll ever be. Shots are almost always perfectly exposed.
- Lots of manual controls, easy to override TTL.
- Very powerful.
- On rechargeable double A's I get 400-500 shots easy without recharging.
- High speed sync lets you take pics at any shutter speed with a flash (although the distance the flash travels is greatly reduced).
- Tilt 90 degrees /Turn 180 degrees lets you bounce of ceilings or off a wall behind you.
- AF assist is much less invasive than the horrible on camera flash assist and it really helps you focus in low light. Just a red light is send out instead of the crazy electricity storm the XTI sends out for AF assist.
- Well built. Sturdy metal foot, nice locking mechanism.
- Rear sync lets me get sharp pictures indoors with any lens I own at 1/30 of a second or even less at times.

Cons:
- The buttons are hard to push if you have big fingers.
- It's big and adds weight to the camera.
- It can't control any other flashes you may own. This flash can only act as a slave.
- Flashes are addictive, I wish I had a second or a third...

If you're thinking about the 580exII:
- The 580ex II can act as a master flash over other canon flashes without losing TTL.
- It's more powerful(58m vs 43m at ISO 100).
- The batteries last from 100-700 pics.
- It can swivel 180 degrees both ways instead of just one way and it can tilt downwards slightly.
- It's dust and water resistant
- Included bounce tab (you can just use an index card).
- I'm sure there's other things I'm missing...
- It's a lot more expensive.
- It's a little bigger and heavier.

Since getting this flash and taking around 10,000 pictures with it I can honestly say it's been the single best investment I've made towards improving my photography to date. The uses for a flash are endless. Even outdoors you'll start seeing shadows you never noticed before that you'd like to lighten up with a flash. Oh and I'm not kidding about wanting to own more than 1. After getting an umbrella and a radio trigger you quickly realize how nice it would be to have a second or even third flash to make things just perfect. Stop procrastinating and just get it. You'll be happy you did.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 8, 2011 10:25:50 PM PST
Jason Moore says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2011 10:31:45 AM PST
Gatorowl says:
Too funny!

But correct. Shoot in raw, adjust in PP, an you'll never have to worry about WB again.

Posted on Feb 15, 2011 12:37:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2011 12:38:14 PM PST
Yoga fan says:
I thought your wife bought the flash for you for your birthday? Wouldn't you then say that it is the single best investment she made towards helping you improve your photography? Thank goodness you married her!

Posted on May 26, 2011 9:03:11 PM PDT
sw6 says:
Good review - sums up the flash nicely.

Just a quick tip on white balance: The flash is calibrated to produce daylight WB when firing a flash. When used indoors under tungsten light, it will produce strage colour tones unless combined with a correction gel (CTO Orange colour) This way the camera WB can be set to tungsten and the flash will also produce a tungsten light, thus allowing for accurate WB results.

Check them out if you'd like - just a tip that may help you out!
HonlPhoto Color Correction Filter Kit

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2011 9:58:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2011 10:01:47 AM PDT
Canon man says:
Thanks for the comments. I shoot in raw and can always correct the white balance in post-processing. That's not what I was trying to say. What I meant was that when shooting in auto-white balance or flash white balance the camera almost always makes my pictures too warm. If I shoot in daylight white balance things look perfect, it just seemed to me that the flash white balance setting should be the most correct. This is probably a knock on my camera more than it is on the flash. I worded it silly and it's a silly negative to have anyway so I removed the con.

Posted on Sep 3, 2011 3:39:26 AM PDT
P. B. Kelly says:
OK, OK, I'll stop procrastinating. Kidding aside, you are so right. This flash just takes your photograpy to a whole new level in both quality and ease.

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 4:17:52 PM PST
Kevin says:
Can't wait to get mine, thanks for a great review and helping me decide on what exactly to purchase.

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 11:19:34 AM PDT
Jason Carlin says:
Great review. Really helpful. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 10:16:21 PM PDT
Mary Capps says:
I think you did an excellent job of describing this flash unit. Your description has been very helpful and saved me (and others) a lot of researching time. I appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed review. Keep up the detailed reviews on products you buy for those of us that value the information. Ignore the ones that either can't spell (ex. Cannon man) or the ones that just enjoy hearing themselves talk (I thought your wife bought the flash for you for your birthday? etc.). Enjoy that new boy!! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 11:53:14 AM PDT
Jason Moore says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
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