Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash for Canon EOS SLR Cameras – Electronics

Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash for Canon EOS SLR Cameras – Electronics
Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash for Canon EOS SLR CamerasDisappointed with large room/high ceiling picture results with my Canon 420EX speedlight (see my review) mounted on my Canon dRebel – sent me shopping about 6 months ago for more light (you can never have enough light). My E-TTL flash metering with the 420EX also proved uneven – with sometimes unexpected over exposures and blown highlights. A solution for both was found!
The 580EX appears to get me an additional TWO F-Stops and much better metering (E-TTL2) on my new Canon D20. Less time in Photoshop with better exposures, fewer blown highlights and the fantastic multi-shot strobe function are paying dividends with every indoor photoshoot I cover. It is worth the price for people who use the camera for a living – or are serious “pro-sumer” phototographers.
I’ve since purchased a Canon D20 camera – paired it with my 580EX and am EXTREMELY happy with the result. The two items are made for each other. As happy as I am with my 300D (dRebel) and overall happy with my 420EX (see my review) the 580EX has allowed me to take my photography to the next level.
I carry 3 sets (4AA) of 2500 amp/hr Ni-Mh rechargables good for over 100-150 (or more) shots per battery charge. I “fast recharge” two sets while using the other. I’m investigating a battery pack – but have not yet justified the expense – as the Ni-Mn rechargable prices continue to tumble.
Using my dRebel, I shoot portraits with a battery grip from Canon (BGE1-see my review) and a speedlight flip bracket from Stroboframe (see review) and hotshoe off camera shoe cord (see my review). The lighter weight of the 580EX than the older 550EX which I nixed – allows me longer shoots with less hand fatigue and better camera balance. Be aware it is still larger and heavier than the smaller 420EX and is not for everyone.
The 580EX is a Canon “Master” speedlight – allowing my 420EX life extension as a very dependable “slave” unit with very positive results on my portrait and event work.
Is it worth the price?
Yes – if:
1. You can never have enough light
2. You are a professional or serious hobbyist
3. Are having metering problems with E-TTL metered speedlights
4. Need a “Master” speedlight to power a “slave” unit
5. It doesn’t break your bank
No – if:
1. You are a casual photographer (420EX should work fine)
2. You are on a budget (420EX should work mostly fine)
3. Don’t need the performance and features (which are twice the cost of the 420EX).
Canon products are well made, well engineered, dependable and fairly priced. All my major purchases of cameras, lenses, speedlights and printers have all been good performers over time.
With that said, the battery door gives me the same occasional latching problem that my 420EX exhibits (rolling batteries around on the floor in front of a client is NOT a pretty sight — I know – I shouldn’t be in such a hurry…
The Canon 580EX: for the discriminating and serious photographer. More than just an expensive toy – but still not for everyone!