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Canon DSLR and use of flash.

by christy / July 21, 2007 1:55 PM PDT

A Canon DSLR with its lens cost a lot of money. A Speedlite flash unit will cost you another camera ! So, for Canon SLR users, when you do have to use a flash unit, and cannot afford a Speedlite, what do you use ? Are non-propietary flash units (e.g. those for film SLR)compatible ? What are your experiences ? Thanks.


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Flash is a must
by jump1127 / July 21, 2007 5:41 PM PDT

provided that you want the ETTL system to work on your Canon DSLR camera. The previous canon's flash such as 540EZ or older can't fully work with new Canon DSLR. The only older model still properly work with Canon DSLR is Speed lite 550 EX; however, it's hard to find one now. Flash has a limited time use; the bulb light inside the flash get worn out due to more frequent use. Go for Speed lite 430 EX or 580 EX II. The flash unit is a must when you shoot portrait under the dim light, shadow circumstance, or against the bright lighting background . The internal flash, built-in DSRL, is not sufficient and many cases cast some shadows when using with some Canon lense& hood. Go for DSLR means that you'll spend more money versus the piture quality. So, you be the judge.

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by christy / July 21, 2007 8:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Flash is a must

...what happens when you use a non-Speedlite on a Canon DSLR ? I would expect it to not work with the camera, meaning it would lose most or all of its features, but would it fire in synchronization - so that the general or standard auto features of the camera works ? Thanks.


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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / July 22, 2007 12:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks...but...

The flash circuit inside the DSLR is equivalent to just a set of contacts.

When the contacts close, it will trigger a flash in the hot-shoe or a flash connected by a cable.

It should trigger just about any flash that is made for a Canon camera.


If the flash unit puts too much current through that set of contacts in the DSLR it can cause the contacts to fail over a period of time.

Make sure the flash unit you buy, states that it is for the Canon DSLR that you are using. That way, it the contacts fail, you can go back to the maker of the flash unit and seek payment for the repairs to your DSLR.


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Re Yes...But
by christy / July 22, 2007 12:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes....But

So, there is no "Standard" Hotshoe, even within the same brand cameras ? It has to be X-brand, Y-model specific ?

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Hot Shoe
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / July 22, 2007 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Re Yes...But

I believe the Canon hot shoe has been the same physical size for over 50 years.

There is a difference in the number of contacts in the hot shoes.

Just about any flash unit made for a Canon camera will physically fit in the hot-shoe. And will probably flash in sync.

But.....will it cause damage to the camera?

To be safe.....get a flash unit (any manufacturer) that states that it will work with your camera.


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Re Hotshoe.
by christy / July 22, 2007 8:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Hot Shoe

Thanks for the warning. If you mean a stronger power supply may damage the hotshoe contacts, then it is probably safe to use one with a same or lower power supply than the specified Speedlite. Else search for one in which the hotshoe contacts operate a relay switch (meaning a low current is used). I am interested in obtaining a white flash only and let the camera take care of the exposure, including white balance adjustments.


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Flash Unit
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / July 22, 2007 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Re Hotshoe.

You can probably find a simple new flash unit for under $50.

But I suggest you visit a camera store and see what they have available for your camera.

Now.....when I say camera store.....I don't mean a camera department in a large department store.
I mean a store that only sells cameras.
Their clerks will be more knowledgeable about cameras and flash units.


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Flash unit
by hjfok / July 23, 2007 3:53 AM PDT

If you buy a flash, at least buy one that you can tilt the head to allow you to use bounce flash. The Canon Speedlite 430EX is about $240 on-line.

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