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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:43 pm 
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Hi,

I'm getting the Rebel XTi to take family photos (newborn baby), backyard and holiday events.

This is my first SLR and was wondering if I "needed" an external flash like the 430EX or will the built in flash work for me?

I'm not rich, but I can swing the extra $230 or so for it.

I've read the reviews on the flash, I know it's a good flash, I just want to make sure it's worth it and will help me get better results.

I think I read some were that a flash should not be pointed directly into the eyes of a newborn for at least 6 months...if that is true then perhaps an external flash that can be adjusted up or sideways is a good deal?

Thanks!

Mitch

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:04 pm 
Welcome and congratulations on the baby!

The built-in flash is enough for portraits.

However, some people prefer not to use a flash for portraits at all, due to the feeling of "unnatural" color it leaves and the "unnatural" shadows it casts. A good external flash will allow you to point its light upwards, thus reducing these effects and you can use a plastic piece (not sure how it's called) to diffuse the light.

But you could try using a higher ISO setting, maybe ISO 800 or ISO 1600 or something, and see if that gets you the desired effect, without the need for a flash.

Myself, with a Nikon D40, have taken portraits indoors at those ISO settings and got a sharp photos, with natural colors. And there's always the trick of placing your subject next to a window (with transparent curtains).

DSLRs are much better than compacts at low light photography. Take advantage of that. Experiment with an adult subject first and see what works for you. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:05 pm 
mitchel,

I'm a rank amateur compared to most members here but I recently bought the 430EX to go with my S5 IS. My frank and simple answer is BUY THE 430 EX.

Having never used an external flash before September of this year, I couldn't believe the power of the external. I also had no idea how useful it is to bounce light around instead of going straight on. Lastly, for the price of a 4x6 photo paper sheet you can cut yourself a bounce card and have all sorts of fun. The only downside for me is how many additional ways I now have to screw things up.

Lastly, if you're interested, go to the S5 IS test shots gallery on my pbase site. There's a sub-gallery comparing the various bounce and power effects of the 430 with the S5.

Enjoy the XTi


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:36 pm 
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Hi Mitch, or if you're feeling really flash (forgive the pun!) you could go for the bigger 580EX II if you want the maximum power and range.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:27 am 
I try not to use the built in flash as far as possible because of the unnatural look it lends to the photos but the photos suffer from shake as a result. So I think an external flash that can swivel and bounce would be useful. Alternatively, what about a fast prime?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:52 am 
grahamnp wrote:
Alternatively, what about a fast prime?


... in which case you may be interested in reading this non-professional test.

I would assume the Canon 50mm modern equivalent is of even higher quality.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Thanks everyone for the information...I decided to get the 430EX, the 580EX II I felt was overkill.

Mitch

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