Flash advice please


TPF Noob!
Jan 28, 2009
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I'm looking to upgrade from my built-in flash on my XS.

I don't have a lot of need for it, but it would be nice. Primarily for some fill work, maybe a little gym sports in the future.

In other words, I don't want to spend an arm and a leg.

I've been bidding on some used 420EX flashes in the $120-$140 range. Basically I'd like to not go any higher than this.

I was looking into other brands, and I see a couple that have caught my eye and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on these:

Vivitar DF340Z - $65
Sunpak PZ4000 -$109

What can the 420 do that these can't (other than wear a Canon badge). I realize that you get what you pay for, but like I said, I don't need a lot here. Is there a cheap gem I'm missing out there?

Thanks in advance.
I looked up the stats for the Sunpak...

It says that it has TTL mode...but I'd be curious to see how well it actually works. TTL (through the lens) is basically auto flash mode that uses communication with the camera for metering. It it works well, that's a plus...but it's not E-TTL like the 420EX (a more advanced system).
This flash tilts but does not rotate...That's a big con.
The recycle time is listed as 8 seconds (with fresh batteries)...that's terrible.

Build quality...I don't know but I'd guess that the Canon is superior.

The 420EX can act as a slave in Canon's wireless flash system (if you have a Master unit to control it).
Thanks Mike.

I guess I might end up happier with a step up from these in the after market flashes or wait a little longer for a better one.
My suggestion would be to hold out until you can afford the 430EX.

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