Which External Flash Should I Buy?

JAH wrote:

I  attended three, I believe,  of your photography classes in 2015 or 2016.  However, even now,  sometimes I feel like I’m still in the pre-beginner phase.  

I’m ready to think about buying and using an external flash.  I have on my to-do list taking one of the Basic Intro Flash classes that you have listed for February 2018. 

The purpose of this email is to ask if you can recommend a flash that is  beginner-friendly, not terribly expensive, and easy-to-use for the technology challenged.  

I read an article that was written in 2013.  That article recommended these five flashes:

  •      Neewer TT560  – (but it’s not an E-TTL)
  •      Canon 270 EX  II  – (probably the more expensive of the five)
  •      Yongnuo  YN-560  II
  •      Precision Design DSLR 300
  •      Neewer  NW680/TT680 (this one is the E-TTL version).

Do you have any thoughts on any of these, or is there another that you might recommend?

My Reply:

Canon 600 Flash KAC3626
Canon 600 flash is top-of-the-line
Canon 430 flash showing ETTL and Zoom settings.
Canon 430 EX II Control Panel  

Get a Canon flash for your Canon camera.  Same with Nikon users should buy Nikon flashes, Pentax should buy Pentax flashes, etc. 

 I worked with the Yongnuo and the Precision recently in class.  The Yongnuo is like working with a “knock-off”.  It looks like a Canon flash or a Nikon flash (both were in class) but it doesn’t feel like a Canon or Nikon.  The head is hard to turn. The buttons on the back are clunky and clumsy.  The flash exposure was erratic and not precise as it would have been with a Canon or Nikon flash. 

The Precision flash was not even wroth considering.  It way over-exposed during most of our classroom exercises.   

I recommend the Canon 430 EX  or Canon 430 EXII.  The 430EX III-RT is loaded with features and a bit  complicated.  It’s about $250.  Look around and see if you can find a 430EX II.  You might be able to find one used for $150.  It’s my favorite and so simple to use. 

You’ll love it for years. 

Take a look at some of my butterfly images on this page All of the butterflies were photographed with a flash but none look like they were flashed.  The flash should be subtle and natural.   In my opinion, you only get that with a good flash.

Author: kathyadamsclark

Professional photographer leading workshops and tours.

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