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12 28082 1/15/2007
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Keywords: Canon Speedlite Tilt Swivel LCD Slave HSS


Registered: January 2007
Posts: 7
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by DimLight
Review Date: 1/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $380.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very useful for amateurs, not so expensive, recharges quickly. Can still be used as a slave unit if you buy a more expensive unit.
Cons: None really

If you are used to your camera built-in flash, you might thing that an external flash unit is just needed to light up things farther away than the built-in flash can. If you buy it for such a reason you won't regret it, as its guide number and zooming capabilities can satisfy many amateur needs in terms of reach.

But you will also get much more than that. The unit is powerful enough to perform light bouncing, definitely the most useful feature when shooting indoors, something your built-in flash unit will never accomplish. No more flat-looking faces!
Its manual controls let you experiment with fill flash at will.

Its ability to zoom (matching the 1.6 zoom factor of your camera body as a plus) allows it to employ faster light pulses and thus save battery power and/or reaching farther away. With inexpensive NiMH battery cells it charges quickly: you can easily take many pictures at three shots per second and have the unit flash each time.

The AF assist lamp is extremely effective.

In short, this thing will show you how incredibly useful an external flash unit is, both for everyday pictures and as a tool for creative shots. It is more powerful (and useful) than the 220EX, and much cheaper than the 580EX, while retaining most of its features and usefulness. A must for everyone who never used an external flash unit.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 10
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by amelo14
Review Date: 1/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $270.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Cost, weight, creative possibilities, design, can act as slave.
Cons: No internal wireless transmission, power.

If you are interested in learning about flash photography and its creative possibilities then this is the flash to get. The 220 is too small, too weak, and does not swivel, the 580 is too big and too expensive. The 430 (or the 420 if you can get a good used one), fits nicely in the middle. This is specially important if you are mainly interested in discovering whether you are into flash photography or not. The flash itself is designed beautifully and it gives you a lot of creative control (for example, you can decrease the output up to 1/64th). It provides easy Flash compensation as well and the easy swiveling allows for better looking bounced photos. Of course, it helps if you can get a diffuser either from Stofen or Lumiquest, but in case you are tight financially you can always take a look at the amazing video for the best FREE bounce card around:

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 10
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by tdotduffman
Review Date: 12/31/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact yet powerful, incredibly handy AF assist beam
Cons: Seemingly unintuitive battery consumption rate

Though obvious, I think it can't be overstated: this external flash bears a tremendous advantage over the built-in flash of smaller SLRs (and over no-flash of bigger SLRs). It is very portable, recharges quickly, has an easily adjustable bounce head, provides a great amount of light, and carries a quick and effective autofocus assist beam. Besides, there's a Gary Fong Lightsphere out for it, so what could go wrong?

Well, just one couple of things. It doesn't take well to semi-charged AA NiMHs. If I insert a fresh quad of batteries, the flash will last for quite some time. If I take them out and reinsert them a day or so later, the flash will seem to die much sooner than expected (fewer than 100 shots on partially-depleted batteries). I perform a more scientific test, but I do recall one instance when I shot about 15 flash pictures, took out the batteries, put them in two days later and only got about 80 pictures before the recycle rate really slowed down. This from an advertised 400 shots on good NiMHs.

But that's a really long rant for a really good flash unit. Superior to the 220ex in every way, but serious flash users needing slave units, or shooting under high ceilings probably ought to choose the 580ex.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 10
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by logogogue
Review Date: 12/29/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: more powerful over pop-up, more flexibility, better control
Cons: nothing yet for what it is.

Still new to really understanding flash photography as I have been using the pop-up flash very sparingly because of the overall ugly compact camera quality... With that said, the 430 is extremely fun to use and it allows me to expand my options exponentially. I have been using f/2.8 lenses and high ISO in dark situations for as "natural" and "moody" shots as possible but with the 430, you can take some brilliant and dynamic looking shots that natural lighting just can't compare. Fill flash and bounce flash allows for all sorts of creative ideas and stop action photography is far more simpler to manipulate with a proper flash. So the bottom line is, for certain situations, you have to work a lot less for a great shot with the 430 so it is must-have item if you are serious about this photography thing.

BTW, grabbing the off-camera shoe cord allows for even more options and is a more affordable solution than the ST-E2 - as long as you don't need have the flash more than a foot away.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 17
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by nikoskard
Review Date: 12/27/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $230.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Very good light quality, strong light, auto zoom head, white balance data exchange, price
Cons: No tilt down head, little hard to operate the central buttons.

When i was looking for a flash unit i was looking for Metz. I finally purchase 430EX for best compatibility and a future proof unit.

I didn't regretted so far. My night photos are in very good quality now, and i have the ability to play a lot with the light i give in my photos. It also transfer white balance information when pairing with newer canon lens. (24-105L, 17-40L e.t.c)

The flash is very useful for fast and accurate low light focus even with f/4 lens. And of course with no annoying strobe flash as on camera flash .

When paired with strong NiMi batteries there is no problem for many many flash photos.

Now i'm looking forward for a ring flash to pair with slave ability of 430EX.

Highly Recommended.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by johnkeats
Review Date: 12/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: full featured, reliable, good bargain
Cons: makes a small SLR a little top-heavy

This is my first attachment flash, so take my comments for what they are. I love the ability to bounce and diffuse flash - and this unit gives me all the capability I need. I hated direct on-camera flash, except as a touch of fill. Here, I can now take sharp bright pictures without the ugly direct-flash look. This unit, though not as powerful as the 580EX, can bounce light off my 12-15 arched ceiling and light my large livingroom nicely. Also, note that on the canon Rebel XT and XTi, the focus assist light is the on-board flash, very obnoxious. With this unit on, the camera takes advantage of the infra-red focus assist light, and makes you human-friendly once again.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 6
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by dennisc
Review Date: 12/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $333.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, light and very capable
Cons: Plastic small buttons difficult to access

A good flash to carry along when you want to travel light.

The one button push for tilt and swivel is a better design compared to the 2 button design of the 420EX.

A good fill flash for outdoors in daylight, indoor parties, sports events.

I used it primarily as a slave unit for bounced lighting when coupled with the 580EX. Works very well in this sort of setup.

The 430EX will be limited if you need a lot of light for big groups, large rooms or distant objects.

Another thing to watch out for is when the 430EX is pushed to its full discharge limits, I have noticed that the lighting quality gets a bit harsh compared to the 580EX in similar situations.

This flash is a must have if you want indoor photos that sell and when you don't want to spend too much on the 580EX.
I like it and I have no reservations about using it in general (90% situations) photography.

It is slimmer and lighter than the 580EX, so I when go on a holiday, the 430EX goes in together with the camera into my waist pouch.

If you are deciding between this unit and the 220EX, don't think too hard, just pay a little more for it. You won't regret it.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 21
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by mebailey
Review Date: 12/14/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 


I bought this as a slave for my 580EX and I have been surprised at how good a unit it is. It has most of the features of the 580EX at little more than half the price. For my purposes all it lacks from its big brother is the ability to control slaves. I have been using it most recently as primary flash on my XT. It is a vast improvement over the pop-up flash.

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 62
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by gadgetguy
Review Date: 12/13/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

Pros: cheaper than 580EX, lighter
Cons: does not refresh as fast, shorter range

A good cheaper alternative to the 580EX if you don't need the faster refresh rate or higher guide number. It's much better than the 420EX it replaces, with the LCD (420EX only had a limited lighted panel for info) and mroe controls.

Perfect as a lowwer-power light for Canon's wireless flash system.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 13
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by Muiderburght
Review Date: 12/2/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $220.00| Rating: 7 


I didnt really know how to rate this for you. It's flash! If possible, I try not to use it. That said, after my earlier point and shoot experience, this is wonderful. Hardly any flashed out white areas and much better reach.
A friend of mind advised me to get a flash with my new SLR gear. On the total, it's not that much money but I thought the much more expensive 580 was too much for something that I try to avoid using. I have no regrets.

I agree with earlier reviewers that the controls are not very intuitive and that it takes a lot of time to fully understand and use the flash. I really don't understand why I have so many buttons, so few options, and so little explanation in the relatively large screen. But other than that it does what it needs to do (thanks to ETTLII, I do understand that much) and it's good to have a capable flash on your SLR: most lenses dont allow for using the built-in camera flash without casting an ugly shadow (YES!, from the lens :-)

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by theoak
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

Pros: Entry level
Cons: Learning controls takes investment

This is my first external flash unit.

The controls on the flash are not intuitive if you haven't used one before. To get the most out of the flash, you really have to spend some time in the manual. You can set some options from the camera/automatically, but if you want any manual control, you've got reading to do.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 11
Canon 430EX Speedlite review by Jarrad_Kevin
Review Date: 11/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast Recycle time, Good Output, Loads of new features
Cons: Cannot control other speedlites, Batteries don't last long in this thing

I love the added manual zoom and power control, custom functions and automatic zooming correction for the cropped sensors. The output is more than enough for most situations and makes for a fantastic slave.

If it's all you can afford this is a great option. The options available on the 580ex, if you need them, more than make up the modest price difference.


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