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Until recently the need to shoot indoors was minimal but I'm now finding more and more reasons to do it, so it's time I bought a flashgun to use with my 5D2. Are there any independent guns that can integrate fully with the camera and lens as the Speedlites do, and does anyone have any experience of using a gun with a video light?

 

The Speedlite 320 appears to meet my requirements but I'm concerned that being at the budget end it might be a bit underpowered (I don't have a need for huge power but I would like something that can manage basic requirements without struggling).

 

Alan

 

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Alan, this probably won't help you unless your budget increases. I have the 600EX_RT flashgun and the MR_14EX11 ringflash. Expensive but extremely worth it (I don't expect to replace them in my lifetime) The Ringflash is brilliant for macro work (as it is intended) and I use that more than the flashgun!

 

Good luck with your search

Regards, Davey

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Have a look at the Metz 58AF-2 Fully compatible and a lot less dosh than Canon... ;)

 

Phil

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a Nissin Flash can also be an alternative. 

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Philippe is right:

for travel as a fill in flash, spark in the eye, I have the tiny foldable Sunpak 2000 (2AAs)

For occasional reportage the small Canon 220 (4AAs)

For real reportage the Canon 580  (4AAs)

These are older Canons and are widely available used.

For location portraits 2 Bowens and Calumet strobes and 6 more for studio work.

 

So like with cameras there are no 1 size fits all solutions. However the real strobe wizards like Strobist Hobby and McNally can teach you how to do everything with just small flashguns. (They may use larger strobes as well though. Maybe they burned through too many small flashguns. Which can be more expensive than simple strobes.)

Also for interiors they're great because you can put them in small corners. However I know nobody who still uses flash for interiors. It's almost all HDR now.

For news and weddings it's still very useful. And if you have an older camera like my 1DSmk3-s that don't cope well with shadows (all Canons) or higher ISO (the newer Canons are much better at that).

 

wim

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Ditto on a Metz for a lower-cost alternative. I got a Metz 44AF for my Sony a6000. If a Metz can fully integrate with Sony's goofy multi-interface shoe, a Canon should be no problem.

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There is a make called Yongnuo which was getting some rave reviews in the photo mags. These are very cheap - true budget. I don't know how fully compatible they are in comparison to the camera makers own speedlights but I think I recall reading that they did have some degree of compatibility and that they were improving all the time. I have no direct experience but they might be worth a look. 

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The Yongnuo 565 with a guide number of 58 seems a match for my Canon 580, on paper at least, at an incredibly low price; the slave function would also be useful. £57 and free delivery from Amazon, is it too good to be true?


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They get very good reviews from the limited number I've read.

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Apparently the YN-600 is a copy of the Canon 600EX-RT which is probably good news (if not for Canon). The Gloxy may also be worth a look.

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I changed my flash guns for 2x YONGNUO YN-560 IV Speedlites and a 560TX-C Transmitter for Canon EOS 5D2.
I already had two Yongnuo 460's with a cheap (no name) trigger set, which I sold. The quality was good but the spec wasn't.
The new setup...
Excellent for use on or off camera, and when they are off camera I can control them from the trigger on the camera without having to go walkabout.

I have a Canon 460 which I shouldn't have bought, a Canon 560 would have been better, but I can use the 460 on cam (or slightly off using a cable) to trigger the YONGNUO YN-560 IV's as they can be slaves, so, useful to string them for distance as well.

2 guns, one trigger, £108

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Another vote for Yougnuo. I need to move from the manuals to the Canon TTL version now.

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There is a make called Yongnuo which was getting some rave reviews in the photo mags. These are very cheap - true budget. I don't know how fully compatible they are in comparison to the camera makers own speedlights but I think I recall reading that they did have some degree of compatibility and that they were improving all the time. I have no direct experience but they might be worth a look. 

 

Sold off my aging Canon 580EX and got 3x Yongnuo YN568EX II & 4x Yongnuo YN-622C E-TTL wireless flash trigger transceivers. Cheap, quality is more than adequate and they been taking a hammering constantly in my backpack being lugged about. The wireless triggers and the ability to remotely change flash settings is a godsend. Can't fault them in any way. Use them with a Canon 5D MK III.

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I've a 5D2 and use a Nissin gun and some geriatric older guns with it, non are Canon, but I tend to shoot flash using manual settings most of the time.

 

The Nissin is OK on auto if you are pointing the gun directly at the subject but appears to struggle with the exposure if you are bouncing the light, which is my normal modus operandi.  

 

I also use remote but inexpensive Cactus triggers with a motley collection of old guns e.g. Vivitar. For the amount of use I make of flash it's not been worth investing in a Speedlight; but each to their own.

 

This non Canon approach has the benefit that I can also use all of my flash kit with my Sony NEX - the Canon configured Nissin in manual mode.

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Thanks guys, some great advice here. For the moment I would be using it mainly for fairly static subjects - poetry evenings in gloomy rooms, dark shop interiors, events and parties in pubs etc. - all uncommissioned so the occasional failure wouldn't be a disaster and so I don't need anything top-of-the-range. I was attracted to the Speedlite 320 because of the video light capability as I'm doing more and more video work these days. However, on doing a bit more research there are cheap LED video lights available with much more power and that would be a better option.

 

The Yongnuo does indeed seem to have attracted rave reviews so I'm considering a Yonghuo 565 which at £57 appears to be a bargain, plus a separate video light for £20 or so.

 

Alan

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There is a make called Yongnuo which was getting some rave reviews in the photo mags. These are very cheap - true budget. I don't know how fully compatible they are in comparison to the camera makers own speedlights but I think I recall reading that they did have some degree of compatibility and that they were improving all the time. I have no direct experience but they might be worth a look. 

 

Yep I have 3 of them - the models I have are the YN600EX-RT which are an exact copy of the canon 600EX-RT, with exactly the same functionality. In fact they have a battery charge indicator, which Canon's version doesn't have. The menus are the same... They offer the same channel support as Canon, so you can run a bunch of groups and different outputs, all from the camera or the wireless trigger. They are wireless and work with the canon wireless trigger, or Yongnuo make an exact copy of the trigger too, which I also have. 

 

They are 100% reliable, I use them all time. They're robust and only cost about $AU120 from memory.

 

As far as compatibility goes, no issues at all - they play perfectly with my Canon 600d and my 5Diii. They also have the same power rating as the Canon version. 

 

I'd rather support Canon and buy OEM, but at less than a 1/4 of the price, why would you not get your hands on these.. I highly recommend them. 

Edited by David Hewison

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