BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Choosing the Right Camera Flashes

Photography Question 

Flash for Canon EOS 650

I just bought an old starter camera for my husband for Christmas. He thinks he might want to get into photography but doesn't have a lot of time, so I just bought him an inexpensive second hand camera to start out with. It does not, however, have a flash with it and I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good but inexpensive flash that I could buy that will work properly with this camera? Thank you.

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12/1/2003 9:27:50 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  You should look into getting a Vivitar 285 HV for your Canon EOS. This flash unit has variable power settings built-in, and can be used in automatic or full manual mode. Its flash guide number of 120, makes it one of the most powerful hot-shoe flash units in its price range. While some have complained that the plastic shoe mount is weak, I have never found this to be a problem. The average cost is @ $125, but you can usually find a better price by shopping around.
Good luck,

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12/2/2003 4:38:29 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  The Vivitar 285HV is a terrific flash and a new one should give you no problems, but be cautious buying it (or other non-TTL automatic flashes) 2nd hand. Older models (especially the non-HV version of the 285) create high voltage across the contacts that can destroy the 6 volt circuits of an EOS camera.

Flashes designed to function with TTL (through the lens) metering with Canon cameras will be ok to use. Many fine ones to chose from Canon, Vivitar, Sunpak, Sigma, Metz, etc. You'll want a flash head that will tilt/swivel so that you can bounce flash, and the higher the guide-number, the better. These models also tend to have a red autofocus assist light on them to improve focusing in low light.

The newest -EX line from Canon have extra features that the 650 cannot use, so unless you think you'll upgrade to a late model EOS later these should be avoided. Canon's older -E and -EZ line are 100% compatible with the 650.

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12/2/2003 5:44:18 AM

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