Flash! No, it’s not the saviour of the universe, but it might improve your photography. My Canon 30D is a lovely thing, but its pop-up flash is of minimal use – not bad for a bit of fill-in light, but a little lacking for more creative photography.
When I got the 30D, I had a vague long-term plan of getting the top of the range Canon Speedlite 580EX, which has since been replaced by an upgraded version. But as I wasn’t at all sure how much use I’d actually get out of such a thing, I wasn’t in a rush to spend lots of money. So I had another think, and having looked at the specs, and read some reviews, I came to the conclusion that the rather more wallet friendly 430EX would be quite adequate for what I wanted. And when I found a supplier on eBay offering it at a very nice price, I decided to get one. It took a few days to arrive, and turned out to be one intended for sale in the US, which makes it an ever so slightly unofficial import. Given the price difference, I’m quite happy with that.
Being a dedicated Canon flash, it talks nicely to my 30D, and automagically adjusts itself according to the focal length selected on my zoom lenses. Combined with another eBay special, a clip on diffuser, it provides lots of light for the odd bits of inside photography I’ve been experimenting with. It runs on four AA size batteries, and should give hundreds of flashes before I need to change them.
And if I ever get more ambitious, I can get a 580EX which can then become the master flash, which will control the 430EX so I can have a multi-flash set-up.
It’s a nice bit of kit, and well worth adding to your camera bag if you have a Canon DSLR, especially if you can find a good deal on eBay.