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Flash kit for Canon 600d

I have a recently purchased Canon 600d and am after a flash kit for it.
I have found the below but don't really know what to look for in a quality flash.
Which of these would be better for an amateur?




Are there other options I should look at?
I'm more interested in value for money and longevity rather than the cheapest price.
2 Solutions
I have the Canon 400D and use a 580EX with it.  I originally got the 430EX, but I found it lacking because it didn't recycle fast enough for weddings (one of the main reasons I got the flash).  The 580EX has the option for external power, and I hooked up a high voltage Quantum Turbo battery pack to it - it now can keep up with the camera's fastest picture taking rate.  If you don't need the speed or an external power source, the 430 is fine.

Excellent question!

The Yongnuo is an excellent flash for what it is - which is essentially manual flash. The company is pretty new, but they are developing a track record for quality products and for mid-production changes when needed - for example, early flashes in the 560 series did not have a metal foot, which was remedied pretty quickly. BUT, what does manual flash mean? In this case, it means the Yongnuo flash you are looking at is not capable of using exposure or lighting information from the camera itself (Through-The-Lens or TTL). You will need to set and monitor the flash each time you shoot. This is fine, and you can get wonderful photos that way, but you can't just turn it on and expect it to take care of itself.

The Vivitar is a step up from that in that it DOES have TTL capability. Vivitar has been around for many years, and makes excellent flashes. I've had more than one myself over the years. This particular flash has a digital zoom indicator, but the actual zoom is manual - so if you are using a zoom lens, and you go from a zoomed in shot to a wide shot, but forget to change the flash zoom, you might end up with a bright spot in the middle of your wide shot, with darkness around the edges. It's still a good cheap flash, and if your budget can't afford more, I would certainly look at it.

The Canon 430 EX II is the flash that is made to work with your camera. It is fully dedicated, which means it has not only TTL capability, but your camera can send settings information to the flash and the flash can send information back to the camera. It has fully automated zoom, so it will change zoom on the flash as you adjust the zoom on your lens. It has 9 auto-focus assist beam points, designed to fit those that your camera actually uses when focusing (rather than just a single beam like most non-dedicated flashes). It's also about twice as expensive as the other ones. If you are serious about your photography, then you know it's the light that matter - where it is, how you use it. This flash will give you the best array of possibilities. It's also the most complicated, so there are many many settings to tinker with, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Bottom line: Both the Yongnuo or the Vivitar are inexpensive, non-dedicated flashes that work well for the money. They should each serve you well, and can help you take excellent photos. The 430 EX II offers a lot of advantages that the other two do not, but at a cost of almost twice as much. Depending on your intended use, it may or may not be the best choice.

RartemassAuthor, martial arts coach, IT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thank you both. This is all great information.
Exactly what I was looking for.

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