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Please help me buy my first hotshoe flash

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

I'm a frequent reader but rare-poster here. I don't have much to contribute (yet) but a lot to learn


I'm looking for a hotshoe flash for my 500D. It'll be mostly for portrait shots and 'gigs' - darker music venues etc. Perhaps some landscapes too.

2nd hand is good as I'm on a budget.

Although I've read a good amount here, including the excellent stickies, but am still feeling a little lost.

I like to mess around with settings so good manual control over the flash is important. I learn by fiddling, but a flash that works well on auto is necessary. I'm still learning so much that I can't concentrate on flash settings as well as composition, F stops, exposure etc... my brain'll pop.

Cycle times are less important than power.

Budget. ~£60. Could stretch to £70 but would prefer to spend less. If I can spend less then I can get a cable for messing around with off-camera flashes and macro.


Thanks in advance



Mike
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post #2 of 7
Yongnuo YN560-II is a really good choice. If you want something a bit cheaper, then there is the YN468-II.
    
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post #3 of 7
I second the YN560II

Great affordable flash
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post #4 of 7
I know in your original post you said you want a hotshoe flash, which I assume you mean on the cameras shoe mount. But trust me, you will definitely want to use the flash off camera at some point.

The YN-560 II is a great flash, I just picked one up last week. But there is one downside for you:

"but a flash that works well on auto is necessary"

The YN-560 II doesn't work with your cameras metering system (TTL) so you won't have any auto features. This isn't so bad with the on camera hotshoe, but can be a real pain off camera. Take shot, walkover to adjust settings, repeat...If you want auto features, you will need to step up to the 565ex or the 568. Yongnuo offers a TTL flash for around the same price as the YN-560, but it doesn't have much power.

Just to sum up your options:

Bare minimum (~$70): YN-560 II (manual only, can be shot off camera in slave mode but this can get annoying)

Better (~$150): YN-565ex (TTL and manual, very handy and just a bit more expensive but it comes with the ease of TTL for when you don't have time to mess with manual settings)

Best (~$200): YN-568 (TTL and manual, much like the 565ex but with high speed sync to shoot at higher then 1/250 to knockout ambient light and various other advantages)
post #5 of 7
Ditto on what S3ason said.

I have the yn-560 II due to not being able to afford a better flash at the time, yet needing one.

It is better to buy one with TTL the first time, rather than having to buy another 6 months down the road.

Also the high speed sync is great for outdoor portraits.

Also sometimes you just want to get in there and get the shot, without that TTL, it takes a lot more thinking and trial and error.
post #6 of 7
Yup, but if you go the TTL route you will also need some expensive triggers. Normal radio triggers won't work to transmit TTL info and neither will slave mode.

Nikon cameras have a CLS system to transmit to compatible speed lights without any wires or adapters, but it has its limitation. I don't know if Canon has a similar system. Yongnuo makes triggers that transmit TTL called the YN-622C for about $100, but it only works with Canon. The YN-622N (for Nikon) was announced recently, but still no love.

Short version: decent Flash with TTL will cost $150 to $250 depending on your camera
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and sorry for not getting back sooner; have a dodgy internet connection at the moment.

I've pretty much narrowed down my choices to a Yongnuo 465 or 560. The 560 doesn't have TTL but is more powerful. The 465 has TTL but isn't as powerful.

I dabble a little in macro but as I have a cheap manual extension tube,a manual flash too isn't going to make a big difference.

Option 3 is waiting for a 565 (TTL) to appear on ebay etc 2nd hand.

Off-camera TTL really doesn't matter to me.


Hmmmmm... decisions decisions!
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