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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Location: Scotland
I purchased a Cannon 600D which came with the 18-55mm Lens I bought myself the 50 mm 1.8 lens.
I would like to try adding some more equipment to what I already have (although I am on a very tight budget)
I love portrait photography and am now looking at adding a new flash to my camera, I have been looking at Speedlight flashes, But as previously stated I am unsure as to wether using the Flash directly on top of the camera or using it off camera is better (and what else would be required to use the flash of camera) ?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated !

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Flash off camera gives you the ability to direct the light and get far more interesting photos. On a super tight budget, look at 3rd party flash units. They can generally be triggered using the main camera's flash. This does mean no point and shoot though, as you will have to control the flash power manually.

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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:39 am 
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would you say that the 565EX ETTL Speedlite by Yongnuo was a decent starter flash ? And would I need a separate trigger to fire the flash ?

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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:27 am 
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In a quick looks at the specifications, that flash appears to support "wireless" usage, to the level it can be controlled by the system in 600D so you don't even need to run it fully manually. So you don't need a separate trigger system, although flash based systems may be less reliable if used in bright light e.g. sunlight.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 7:22 pm 
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neo4u wrote:
would you say that the 565EX ETTL Speedlite by Yongnuo was a decent starter flash ? And would I need a separate trigger to fire the flash ?

If the naming convention is consistent, it's a series up from my YongNuo flash. I rate mine very highly. It's not quite as good as the Canon's equivalent but then again you're not spending anywhere near the same amount of money. Mine can be triggered by my camera's built-in flash so I'd imagine this has the same (most likely higher) feature set.

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Agree with all the above. You can't really do meaningful portrait photography with on camera flash. Pretty much the first lesson in any flash tutorial is "get the flash off camera".

Absolutely essential
A flash.
A cable to connect the camera and flash.

Optional but highly recommended
Light stand(s).
Second flash or a reflector.
Wireless triggers.

Even more optional
A light meter

Basically the reason for getting the flash off camera is that firing a flash straight at someone will eliminate shadows and leave them looking flat and uninteresting. By moving the light off to the side the flash can cast shadows on the face which make the portrait more interesting. While you can take some great portraits with one light (this main light is referred to as the "key light") most portrait lighting set ups use two or more lights or use reflectors to bounce light onto the darker side of the face (referred to as fill light) and onto the hair (a hair light). And that is just the start - Google "portrait lighting tutorial" and I am sure you will find a host of info.

P.S. Don't forget the sun. Stand someone beside a window and that can be a free key or fill light to go along with your flash & reflectors.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 3:58 pm
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Sigma also has a nice flash, equivalent to the Canon 580 that works well. Only thing I've found so far that isn't the same or better compared to the Canon is the ability to use an external battery pack. I got one a few months ago and it's worked well for me so far. It's a SF-610 DG Super flash that I'm using on a Canon T4I camera and everything I've tried so far has worked fine though there is a learning curve compared to the Vivitar Series 1 I used on my old camera.


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