View Full Version : Time for a Flash

19-03-2010, 12:25pm
Morning all,

I'm looking at getting either the 430EX or the 580EX and was hoping for some input from you gear addicts.

I've done a bit of reading and obviously the 580EX is the better of the two, but I'm looking at about a $200 dollar difference between the two as well and wondering if at my level its justified.

I'm very amature and just wondering do I need the 580EX just yet?

I will be using the flash mainly for portraits of my first little one (due in July), however I'm also really enjoying water drop photography at the moment as well and can really see the benifit a flash would provide there as well. I'm not much into longer range stuff and really the only other shooting I do is landscapes when not practising portraits etc.

I know the 430 is a slave only however if I was going to buy another flash down the track I'd obviously be wanting an upgrade anyways so would no doubt buy something with master capabilities when the time came

Am I going to be wishing I had the 580 straight away or will the 430 be enough for what I'm shotting for now?

Apologies if this has been covered heaps of times already.

To people who only own the 430EX how often do you find yourself wishing for more power and in what situations are those?

Thanks for any input in advance :)

Debra Faulkner
21-03-2010, 6:45pm
Maybe check out the Flash - Strobist Forum under the Help and Advice Forum for info on both the 430EX and 580EX, Craggles.

23-03-2010, 10:24pm
Hi Craggles,

I bought the 580 EX about 8 months ago.. I don't know what your exact requirements are, so here is a list of the features Canon 580EX II has and 430EX does not:

* More power output (58 meter vs. 43 meters)
* Wireless master mode
* White reflector card (catchlight card)
* Weather sealing (battery compartment, shoe mount, body and head, connectors)
* Superior controls (select dial, newer buttons design, better on/off switch)
* External metering sensor
* External battery pack connector
* PC connector
* Head turns 180 degrees to the right (430EX II does only 90 degrees)
* Head tilts 7 degrees down (430EX II does not go down at all)
* Six extra custom functions

If you plan to use any of the features, or you suspect you will in the near future.. then paying the extra cash might be worth it.

I chose the 580 for four reasons:
1. I wanted to be able to bounce the flash off the walls/ceilings behind me. This is important if you don't have a ceiling to work with, bouncing a single flash off to the side tends to leave half the face in relative shadow.. but I'm also still tinkering with that...
2. I wanted to be able to shoot in most weathers without worrying (within reason) about being shocked by a wet flash.
3. The newer controls meant that any other units I bought later on, would probably be more familiar and easier to pick up.
4. I could borrow my friends 580 flash and know how to use it without looking entirely silly, or going through separation anxiety when I had to give it back! :-D

Obviously, if you've got a kid on the way, you may need this money for more important things. But, put another way, this may also be the last chance you have to buy gear before all of the school fees, sports training, text books, college, "pocket money" and music lessons deprive you of photographic budget. Of course, if you'd love to balance that out by having that perfectly exposed, softly lit, yet embarrassing baby photos for their 18th/21st birthday (or their fiance) I'd go for the 580! (cue pre-meditated evil laughter here).

I wish you luck on your purchase and parenting! As always, please correct me if there are any problems with my info/advice!

24-03-2010, 7:27am
Ive just got my 430EX11 from DWI great price and great service.

24-03-2010, 6:40pm
Should have my 430EX II by the end of this week, I'll buy the 580EX II next time, I'm going to want two in the future anyways, but for now the 430 will be enough for me to begin learning how to use a flash effectively.

Main use for the flash at the moment will be to take better portraits of the bubs due in July, I think the 430 will be more then adequate to do this inside my own home :)

04-04-2010, 9:20pm
I'm looking at getting the 430ex too as I don't think I require the extra power & features.

I would like to do some off camera flash work and saw the extended TTL cables available online.

Ozzi Paul
04-04-2010, 9:55pm
A cheaper option to think about is the Metz 48 AF-1 and 58 AF-1 digital flashes.