Experience with Sigma Ex-500 DG flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by soylentgreen, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys, I was looking to get a new flash for my 20D since my old one is about dead. Would like the Canon 580 or 430 EX but they are a bit out of my price range right now. Does anyone have experience using the Sigma EX-500 DG? It seems to have the same specs as the 430EX but is quite a bit cheaper. Local store doesn't carry it so I will have to get it online without testing it or whatnot. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. S2K1

    S2K1 TPF Noob!

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    My friend uses one with his Pentax ist*DL and likes it for being on a budget, but he has issues with the TTL interface on his camera even though it says it is compatible so he just powers it down and uses it as a fill flash. Since he purchased that flash, he has picked up a Canon 300D and after playing with my 430EX has decided he'll save up the extra money to get that instead of another Sigma.
    Basically, he thinks it's good for the price.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    There's two versions of this flash - the standard EF500 DG, and the EF500 DG Super. The Super has a couple of advantages, including wireless operation and flash compensation. With the standard DG version you don't get wireless, and there's no flash comp on the unit (instead you either trust the TTL metering, or set it to high or low power and expose manually). I bought the DG version... I don't mind not having wireless since I will mostly be using it in the worst possible place (on top of the camera)... flash compensation would be nice, but I don't use flash enough to trade the DG in for the Super or for a "first party" flash.

    Regarding S2K1's comment, I use mine on a Pentax too and it works fine, so maybe there is a problem with his copy of the camera or flash... maybe I'm reading your post wrong but I'm not sure how your friend plans to use a Canon 430EX on his Pentax ;)

    There is one thing about the Sigma that may concern you - build quality. Speaking of the standard DG version... overall it doesn't feel all that bad, but it doesn't slide on the hotshoe as smoothly as a "first party" flash, nor does it have the refinements of a first-party (for example it uses the standard method of fastening the flash to the hotshoe - turning a dial - whereas the Pentax had a much more convenient 'switch')... those are minor things though. The one thing that actually worries me is the battery door - the design of this is terrible and I will be surprised if I'm not holding it on with tape in a year. That may have been improved on the Super; I'm not sure.

    Basically if all you want is a powerful flash, and you are happy to either trust your camera's TTL or do it all manually, the EF 500DG is not a bad choice considering how little it costs. The Super has a couple of significant things that make it better, but I'm not sure I'd want to spend more if the build quality (specifically the battery door) is the same as the DG.
     

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