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on February 6, 2010
This is a cheap little plastic device that claims to greatly improve your flash photos with your pop up flash. It is exactly that. I put this thing on my D90 and was instantly impressed by the results. It actually prevents that pop up flash from doing the only thing it can do..... making everyone really ugly. $20 just turned that useless flash into something very useable. The light is much softer and falls on the subjects in a much more appealing way. Outdoors, it works really well for fill flash. I use flash in rear-sync mode almost all the time, and the puffer makes it easy to blend the flash with the existing lighting.

Keep in mind, a speedlight with a defusor will always give you better results, but you may not have it with you, or not have one at all.

As for the other reviewers having problems with build quality, I have not experienced any of this. I took it out of the package, set it up on my camera with no difficulty, and started shooting. It's in and out of my camera bag all the time, seems sturdy and durrable enough to me. Some reviewers refer to the plastic being to flexible or soft. To me that just means it will be less britle in cold weather, so less prone to cracking. I consider the type ofplastic used a plus.

Big improvement on everyday shots. I would absolutely recomend this to anyone..... again, HUGE bang for your $20.
28 helpful votes
29 helpful votes
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VINE VOICEon December 31, 2010
If you are easy to satisfy, and/or on a tight budget, this is a good product to use for your flash photography. It is made of two pieces of strong flexible plastic that fit tightly together. Users have a choice of connection slots in order to accommodate various cameras. It does soften the light from the camera's built in flash and it is a solid fit that will not break even if it gets accidentally knocked off the camera - which is impossible.

The diffuser itself doesn't pop up. The user installs it on the top of camera (onto the external flash mount) and the built-in flash can either pop up when needed or it can stay in the up position The diffuser always stays in place until the user takes it off. (It's so simple, why am I elaborating?)

I think that once the initial production costs are paid, the inventor and manufacturer will make money on this device. This is a very simple but high quality little piece of equipment. Many thousands of smart amateur photographers will appreciate owning it.

I'll be using this accessory only when I'm unable to use my much more expensive off-the-camera flash set-up, but I am glad to have it handy for such eventualities when needed.

If you have a SLR with a built-in flash, and are going to use that flash, you should at least soften or defuse the light when possible.
2 helpful votes
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VINE VOICEon January 5, 2008
I got this to use with my Canon 40D for those trips where I just don't have enough room to bring along my big flash and Whaletail. This is a nice compact little gadget that comes in 2 pieces. The bracket slips into the hotshoe and then you push the white diffuser onto the little pegs and can adjust it as needed higher or lower for your particular flash. I didn't find it as flimsy as the other reviews, it snapped right into place on my hotshoe without a problem. It is a bit more difficult to attach the head to the bracket, that would really be my one main complaint that I would like this to be easier. As for performance, I was pretty impressed for the most part. Sure, it doesn't come near to the performance of my full-fledged bounce flash setup, but for a $20 gadget it does quite good. I took some photos of my dogs which is usually a huge red eye problem with direct flash (most animals produce far worse red eye than people) and the results were quite pleasing with virtually no red eye and much softer shadows. Check the sample images for a comparison shot with and without the puffer that I took of my cat in front of the fireplace to see the improvement that this little device gives you.
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106 helpful votes
107 helpful votes
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on March 16, 2011
I rarely take flash photos with the pop-up on my camera, and don't own a hot shoe unit; all of my photos, indoors and out, are taken via available light, but I have to admit there's been the odd time when a flash would come in handy, for a bit of fill-in for instance. So I finally took the plunge and parted with my $20 or so for the Puffer, and I have to say I'm glad I did!

I paid close attention to the 1 star reviews, and was very aware of the issues that some people seemed to be having with the unit as far as its "build quality" was concerned, so when it turned up I wasn't exactly expecting anything particularly substantial. It's plastic of course, but not particularly "brittle;" I never felt that it was going to snap for instance, and it slides on and off my hot shoe without any problem whatsoever.

I found the easiest way to set it up initially was to put the "frame" onto the hot shoe, pop the flash, adjust the diffuser up and down in front of the arms 'til you find the sweet spot where the center of the flash and diffuser more or less line up, take the frame off, push the diffuser onto the ends of the arms, then pop the whole shebang back onto the hot shoe and you should be good to go!

Once I had it adjusted as accurately as I could I just left it assembled and threw it in my camera bag; it's slides right onto the hot shoe without any bother, as long as the flash is down.

A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words, so I've posted two photos, the black cat, and cropped in fairly tight to his eyes. I did want to show you "before" and "after" shots, but cats, or at least mine, never co-operate; as soon as the flash went off in his face he was out of there! LOL!

The photo was taken with a Canon XSi + 50mm 1.4 @ f2.8; I was fairly close, and am quite sure that without the Puffer the red-eye would have been absolutely vicious. All I can really say is that for me, the Puffer works, and with the exceedingly limited amount of use it will probably get, I still consider it to be terrific value for money.
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on May 3, 2011
I saw a guy using this thing at a concert and instantly knew I needed one. As a photography hobbyist I hated using the on-board flash, and don't like to carry around a big bulky extra one. Therefore, this diffuser is the perfect solution for me. I have a Sony a300 & a33, and I knew I would need to purchase a separate adapter to fit the Sony proprietary shoe. Once I put the adapter on, the diffuser fits just fine. Occasionally, I have to "help" the flash pop up due to the shoe adapter, but that is no big deal. After using this indoors and in the evening several times I have been very happy with the results. While using the diffuser my photos are not washed out, and look so much more natural when using the flash. Very happy with this little invention!
1 helpful vote
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on August 31, 2015
Diffuses harsh light of small built in flash very well. I find it cumbersome sometimes to carry a speed light, making sure batteries are charged, setting up diffuser/bounce on speed light... This set up for me has often been a life saver when the speed light is at home or I find batteries exhausted. It's light and assembles/disassembles quickly which makes it convenient to carry at all times in my compact camera bag. Great for use in a pinch and I find subjects and photographers approving of results and asking what it is and where they can purchase one. Materials hold up as I've used these over the past 3 or 4 years
1 helpful vote
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on February 8, 2013
I didn't read the reviews here so wasn't aware that this product is NOT compatible with the Canon T4i. Nothing on Amazon said anything about it, but as others have said, the package had a bright green warning stating that is isn't compatible. It's not worth my time and effort to return this low-cost item, so I'm stuck with it. Guess I'll just give it away to someone with a camera that it'll acutally work with. I'm really disappointed in Amazon on this one.

Update: There is a tiny switch on the hot shoe that disables the built-in flash when you insert an external flash . I was able to trim the plastic on right leg of the of the Puffer just enough to not activate the switch. It still stays put when inserted and the flash works fine.
4 helpful votes
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on July 1, 2013
We got to see/use this flash diffuser in a DSLR course, and I ordered one immediately after. I've been a fan of Gary Fong products for a while, for some reason I never heard of this thing till the class.

It's a great idea, and works very well.

I read a lot of reviews that talked about the plastic breaking easily, mine seemed perfectly fine out of the box. Hot-shoe mount fits very tight, but no issues with pushing on the plastic, it has some give to it, it's not rigid.

The diffuser piece is adjustable, I'm guessing that's to cover different heights of the pop-up flash. I mounted the hot-shoe piece first, popped up the flash, and stuck the diffuser on the mounting holes so it was as close to the center as possible.

Then I took about 100 photos in different situations to test it out, one each with and without. Some random head shots from different distances, shots in brighter and darker areas int the house, closeups, etc. In my completely non-professional opinion, the best use is for standard-distance portraits, both single person and group. At a distance of 3-10 feet, there is a major difference, it really softens the pop-up flash. I guess that is what it is intended for. For shots that push the distance of the little pop-up flash, you'll want to remove the diffuser. The pop-up may be "harsh", but the diffuser really cuts the useable distance.

Overall, I really like it, and will be using it full time for taking shots at family events and holidays. It's not a replacement for a good TTL flash unit, since the camera is much smarter than I am for exposure compensation, and can't adjust for the diffuser since it doesn't know it's on.
1 helpful vote
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on February 26, 2013
Yes, your pop up flash will still be a pop up flash, but with the Puffer you run a better chance of throwing a little fill light out there without blowing out every forehead and blonde hair in the process. Instead of using the pop up blower outer by itself while you save up for a bigger, more expensive, external flash unit, spend a couple bucks right now and get the Puffer.

If you are taking candids, especially indoors, with a DSLR, you are already pretty noticeable. So, why make it worse by putting a hot shoe flash on top of that already big DSLR and potentially killing more candid moments. While the Puffer does make the DSLR bigger, it is no where near as much as most hot shoe flashes that are as big as the camera itself.

The Puffer is so light, you barely know that it is there. If you bump it, it's flexible. If it come apart, put it back together. I have read reviews of Puffers breaking. My Puffer has been used a lot, especially at family gatherings like holidays. It has also been squished a lot in my camera bag and I can say that it is functioning as good over a year later as it did on day one.

One last thought, if you can't see a need for this in your arsenal of camera equipment, then think about it as a gift for someone starting out.
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on January 2, 2013
Short answer: Insert the Puffer only about half-way into the T4i's hot-shoe.

Long answer: The Puffer came with a small sticker added to the package that stated that it would not work with the Canon T4i. After experimenting with the camera and Puffer for a bit, you'll realize that the T4i's hot-shoe has sensors in the side rails that tell the camera whether something is inserted in the hot-shoe or not (there are small pins in the front of the side rails that are depressed when something is inserted). If you insert the Puffer about half way, you won't trigger the hot-shoe sensors but you'll still get enough stability to use the Puffer. Also, I have the diffuser mounted on the hot-shoe insert using the second from bottom holes on the diffuser. This seems to position the pop-up flash roughly in the middle of the diffuser.

Overall, the Puffer seems to be a good product, and I _can_ discern a difference between shots taken with raw flash and shots taken using the Puffer. Not a huge difference, but enough to be worth it. In particular, hot spots seem to be mellowed a fair amount.
1 helpful vote
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