Canon Speedlite 550ex or 580ex?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Erica E321, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Erica E321

    Erica E321 TPF Noob!

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    I shoot mainly bands and have two weddings coming up. Also I do artsy self-portraits and kids portraits for family and friends which I have indoor studio lights for. I have only a 28-80mm lens and a Rebel XT. For my non-digital I shoot with a Canon AE-1 and use the Vivitar 285HV. So I'd like something that is similar to that.

    I'm torn between the two flashes. But how much difference is there really? I know the 580ex has more power and is a bit smaller.

    thanks!
     
  2. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I just read a comparison review of them and the differance is very slight.
     
  3. Erica E321

    Erica E321 TPF Noob!

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    How about the 430EX in comparison? And what about used vs. new?
     
  4. CanadianMe

    CanadianMe TPF Noob!

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    For what you are shooting 430EX would probably suffice. Shop around and see if buying used is worth the money they ask or if buying new and having a warranty and time to exchange should it not fill your needs be worth the price difference. New usually they allow and exchange or upgrade should it not meet your needs but that depends on the store you purchase it from, check their return policy.
     
  5. Erica E321

    Erica E321 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Also size wise is the 430ex a better fit for the Rebel XT? or should I still look into a grip?
     
  6. CanadianMe

    CanadianMe TPF Noob!

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    They all are a good fit for the Rebel and a battery grip is not necessary but I like using one on occasion but they are not needed, you might be better off buying a spare camera battery (look for after market ones, usually as good as Canon and much cheaper a lot of the times). You will also want 8 rechargeable batteries for your flash, 4 to use and 4 for spares. For the cost of the battery grip and batteries your better off with a spare camera battery and 8 rechargeable ones for flash. The battery grip is nice to own but not needed, try one out and you might like how it balances the weight of the camera out but you may find it adds to much weight.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The 550EX & 580EX are pretty similar but there are a few improvements/differences.

    The 580 knows when it's on a 'crop' camera and sets it's zoom accordingly. The 550 sets it's zoom based only on the focal length of the lens (as per 35mm film), which on a crop body, means that the flash is putting out a wider beam than the lens will see...wasting some light. Not a big deal but it runs the batteries down slightly faster than it needs to be.

    The 580 is smaller and recycles faster.

    The newest version, the 580EX II, has weather proofing and also a built-in auto sensor (like the old Vivitar Auto Thyristor)...although, from what I've heard, Canon's auto sensor on this flash is poorly done and the metering isn't great.

    The 430EX is a pretty good flash. It's smaller and less powerful but much cheaper as well.

    A big difference between the 430EX and either the 550 or 580 is that the 430 can only be a slave in Canon's wireless system. The 550 or 580 can be either a slave or a master. So if you ever plan on having a few different Canon flash units and using the wireless features built-in....you will need at least one Master unit.
     
  8. solrac8126

    solrac8126 TPF Noob!

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    you can get a 285hv for your rebel around 80$ the only bad thing is that the head does not swivel left to right :D

    now. if you're shooting in a constant changing scenario , I'll recommend the 580 it's faster to change anything since it has a nob. the 430 has only buttons and you need to have like really tiny fingers to operate it sometimes.
     

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