Canon 420EX vs 550EX

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Wapenga, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Wapenga

    Wapenga Guest

    Hi All

    I got a Canon 420EX for my EOS300 / Rebel.

    Horrified to see that it doesn't have a full manual facility, making
    it harder to do creative stuff and daylight flash (if not

    Haven't used it much as I'm thinking of swapping it for a 550EX. I
    know the 550 is a far greater flash than my camera body, but what's
    the point of the 420EX if it doesn't give total control?

    The pix the 420 has done are really good and I suppose I could get
    creative by over or underexposing for daylight flash moves etc.

    Also if I upgrade to digital one day, the 500EX will be compatible
    with Canon digital.

    Looks like I'll have to find the extra £70. But what a lot of money
    altogether for something I won't use all that often.

    I'd welcome your thoughts.


    Wapenga, Feb 28, 2004
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  2. Paul,

    The 550EX is compatible with the EOS 10D. I imagine it may also work
    with the 300D, but as I have never handled one I don't know.

    It's a great flashgun. OTOH, as you say, it's a lot of money if you
    don't need its features.
    David Littlewood, Feb 28, 2004
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  3. Wapenga

    Mark M Guest

    If he wants control of the flash with his 300D, then he does need the 550.
    It will allow him to use flash exposure compensation independant of his
    camera's inability to control it.
    Teh 420 has no such control, though on cameras that have the control could
    do it through the 420.
    Mark M, Feb 28, 2004
  4. Wapenga

    who? Guest

    Hi Paul,

    Unfortunately for you the 420EX is better suited to a body that has more
    flash control features (like an Elan7) "built-in." I have both of these
    units and after looking at the manuals you would definitely get the control
    you want with the 550EX (flash exposure compensation, full manual, etc.).

    HOWEVER, you still have FE lock with the 420EX so you may be able to
    exercise some creative control by locking the flash exposure on your subject
    (or lighter or darker areas depending on the effect you want) in your scene
    then recomposing. A friend of mine has a Rebel and a 420EX as well but
    mostly uses a hot-shoe connector cable to get the effects she wants with the
    flash off camera. She has taken some truly awesome flash pictures with that
    set up so I know it works. (It's not all about the equipment.)

    Think about getting an off camera shoe adapter that works with the 420EX
    (see page 47 of your manual) and perhaps a gray card first to save some

    who?, Feb 28, 2004
  5. Wapenga

    z-one-b Guest has some excellent "cheats" to get more out of your 420ex.
    z-one-b, Feb 29, 2004
  6. Wapenga

    who? Guest

    Excellent link z-one-b! Thank you.

    who?, Feb 29, 2004
  7. Wapenga

    Wapenga Guest


    Thanks a lot for the advice so far, particularly the FE lock tip. I
    was also going to stopping up or down a bit to force greater/lesser
    flash, but that wouldn't be as flexible.

    It's looking like I'll have to get the 550. Both for the full manual
    but also in the hope that one day I have the cash for either a digital
    set-up or a much better EOS film body.

    But keep the advice coming! Glad to see this site hasn't been totally
    overrun with idiotic flames and political debates that should be held


    Wapenga, Feb 29, 2004
  8. Wapenga

    JIM Guest

    Another item to play around with on the 420 is the high speed sync setting.
    Check your 420 manual, it should give you a working idea about how much your
    flash is reduced (primarily effective range) at the various shutter
    settings. Makes a great tool for getting those highlights in the eyes

    Your plan to get one of the 550's is probably a sound one, especially if you
    ever anticipate using more than one light to affect the shot - beauty is,
    the 420 will slave to the 550.

    Shoot'em up, natural light, flashlight, no light, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all
    the rest will love you for it!!

    JIM, Feb 29, 2004
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