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Photography Question 

Built in Flash or Separate Flash to be attached

I have a new Canon Rebel 2000. I am considering buying an additional flash for it. What brand would you recommend? Pros and cons. I am just learning my camera and open to any suggestions. Do you recommend using the built in flash the majority of the time or use the additional flash to be attached on the top for majority of shots? Any advice much appreciated.
Bonnie-- 6-5-02

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6/5/2002 8:21:48 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  The built-in flash has very limited effective range, only 7-10 ft. max with the standard f/4-5.6 lens and 100 speed film. It is mounted very close to the lens so that red-eye is a problem (even with the "red-eye reduction" feature), and its light can be blocked by large diameter lenses, like a 28-200, producing a shadow area in your picture. The built-in flash of the Rebel 2000 works in simple TTL and will sync with the shutter only at 1/90 and slower.

The 420EX and 550EX speedlights from Canon are much more powerful, can be angled to provide less harsh "bounce" flash, and can utilize the advanced flash features built into the Rebel 2000 such as:

E-TTL metering which uses a low power pre-flash to set exposure using the sophisticated 35-segement evalutative meter instead of the simple 4-segment/3-zone off the film TTL meter.

FEL, ie. Flash Exposure Lock to set the proper exposure for your subject then recompose for the actual shot.

FP high speed flash sync to allow fill flash at all shutter speeds, up to the Rebel's top 1/1000.

Improved low-light autofocus from a near-infrared patterned AF assist light that covers the Rebel's 7 focus sensors.

Flashes made by Sigma, Vivitar, Sunpak, Metz, etc. can be economical alternatives to the Canons and would be a big improvement over the built-in flash, but may not offer all of the same advanced features as Canon's EX speedlights.

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6/6/2002 10:47:43 AM

Bonnie    Jon--thanks so much for help. Do you know of an online source to purchase the Canon's speedlights or best source to purchase at local places like Ritz, etc. You seem to have a lot of knowledge about cameras--I hope I can learn quickly. Thanks again.
Bonnie M. 06-06-02

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6/6/2002 12:33:45 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Thanks, mostly I'm familiar with the Canon EOS system I use.

The online/mailorder stores that generally have the best reputation are B&H Photo Video (, Adorama (, and Camera World of Oregon ( I think Camera World has been taken over by Ritz, when you go to the url line changes to

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6/6/2002 2:08:01 PM

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