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88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome...
My first 'proper' flashgun. What a difference it makes right from the start. I haven't read the instructions yet, but have just placed it on top of my Canon 450D and practiced some shots with different settings and angles of the flash.
Even with my limited experience so far, it makes a fantastic difference. Much, much better than the on-board flash - much more...
Published on 21 April 2009 by Duncan

versus
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but cynically lacks basic useful features
I bought two of the 430 exii's to complement my Mki 580 ex and give me the capability of table top studio photography without having to drag my much bigger bowens flash heads out every time. I also wanted a capable second flash for when I'm doing weddings without having to fork out huge amounts of cash for the new 600ex or indeed the 580 exii.

The best part of...
Published on 19 July 2012 by brainleek007


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88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome..., 21 April 2009
By 
Duncan (England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
My first 'proper' flashgun. What a difference it makes right from the start. I haven't read the instructions yet, but have just placed it on top of my Canon 450D and practiced some shots with different settings and angles of the flash.
Even with my limited experience so far, it makes a fantastic difference. Much, much better than the on-board flash - much more even fill and balance.....bouncing the flash from different angles gives you more chance to experiment and gives portrait photos a different look.
The on-board flash can sometimes wash out a subject and be too harsh - no such problems with this flash, but you will need to either bounce it off a wall or reflector or use an additional diffuser (STO-FEL make good ones).
The flash turns 180 degrees front to back (turning to the left) and 90 degrees from front to right.
There is a really good locking mechanism to attach it to your camera which is easy to use and solid.
There is a pull-out-flip-down fresnel-type lens incorporated into the flash-head.
The display is easy to read - although you will need to read the manual to understand what's being displayed.
My camera automatically gave me the flash controls via the camera's menu system.
All-in-all this is an expensive flashgun, but if you're moving into wanting to take more better quality shots (particularly portraits) then you won't go wrong in buying one of these. There are cheaper flashguns for the Canon, but they won't 'talk' to your Canon camera like this one does - so you'll be able to get good shots almost straight away - and giving you the time to get to know how to use it to your advantage.
Worth every penny, IMHO.
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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect pictures every flash, 6 Jan 2009
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
I bought this flash to go on my new 40D and although i had previously shirked a flash i am very pleased with the results. It comes with a great carry bag and stand, although it cannot be used off camera unless you have another on the camera to fire it. The sensor seems very good and in automatic produces great results.

I bounce this off the ceiling for most shots and the result is a perfect even light, no shadows, and because it's so versatile it doesn't matter what angle i have the camera at.

One word of warning, don't scrimp on your batteries! I used a cheaper brand and it reduced my recycling time to nearly a minute, useless! After some experimenting, including the new lithium AA batteries, i have found that the energizer rechargable 2500 batteries are the best. Practically no time between flashes for the first 5 flashes and then it recovers superfast and you can do it all again. Great for weddings and children photography where you just can't wait.

Buy it now and enjoy blinding your friends with it!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Semi-Pro or Enthusiastic Amateur, 11 Jan 2010
By 
Philip (Redbourn, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
Originally I had intended to wait until I could afford this flash's big brother the 580 Ex II, but after some consideration, I started to ask whether I really needed it for my own personal usage. There is an argument that the extra power of the 580 is beneficial for bounce flash, but this also has to be balanced against extra cost as well as weight.

My Canon 40D is already quite a heavy camera, so weight was a consideration when not using a tripod so I finally decided to buy the 430EX II. I am really delighted with the output after spending a day and evening trying out a range of shots with a wide range of set-ups. The flash really does allow subtle effects but it's sophisticated ability to get the colour temperature right when the camera is set to Auto White Balance is awesome.

So all in all, if like me you are hovering on a decision, just consider the power and weight issues and decide what is appropriate. If you are true to your reasoning, you won't go wrong.
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238 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very capable flashgun, 24 Nov 2008
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
This is the first proper flash I bought for my EOS 40D and have been blown away by the quality of the images it lets me make. My previous experiences with flashguns have been pretty hopeless, totaly nuked out highlights and black backgrounds.

I wasn't expecting much from this but the e-ttl metering really does a fantastic job of determining how much flash to give each image. I took a few photos of my daughter when she was wearing a bright white jumper and thought it would be totaly overexposed. No, they turned out fine, bright but not blown out.

Anyone in the know about flash knows that on camera flash is the worst place for a flash to be positioned. However, the quality of light given by this flash really does look good. Sure, I prefer to bounce the flash or get it off camera but in a pinch it can be left on camera, set to auto and pointed right at the subject.

The feature set is pretty formidable, hi-speed sync at all shutter speeds! This lets me take flash photos at 1/8000th sec which is cool. The manual controls are good, with power reduction down to 1/64th. There is a modelling light, 2nd curtain sync, focussing beam and slave functions.

The big drawback with Canon SLR's is that the flash cannot be remotely fired by the camera unless you purchase the Speedlite ST-E2, which is basically a hotshoe mounted infrared trigger. Sadly this item is hugely overpriced at about 150 pounds. This immediately limits the creative aspects this flash offers unless you get into radio triggers. The cheap ones from ebay do the trick but unfortunately the e-ttl ability is lost.

This is a hugely disappointing move by Canon, how hard would it be to incorporate an infra-red trigger into the SLR's? Nikon and Olympus do it.

However, once this difficulty has been overcome the flash comes into its own. The look from bounced flash is very natural and evenly light. I have started bounce flashing from walls and interior doors and the effect is subtle and really nice looking.

In summary, if you have any interest in using flash forget the built in flash on your camera, it is not going to take you too far. Try this flash and your photographic opportunities will be expanded exponentially.

A fantastic flash.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent flashgun with no worries, 10 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
When researching flashguns for my 550D, I wanted something reasonably sized - not an enormous brick unbalancing the camera. I considered the Canon 430EX II, the Canon 580EX II and the Metz 50AF-1. The Metz distributors told me that it can't be controlled from the camera's menu system. The much more expensive Canon 580EX II seemed too huge and grossly overpriced. So I went for the Canon 430EX II, and I'm glad I did - guide numbers aren't all that matters, so is handling. To get the 580EX II's wireless capability, I simply bought a Hahnel Combi TF. That gives me off camera capabilities with the 430EX II, master capabilities for several other flashes, and a long range remote control! The 430 EX II's full integration with the camera is nice, and it also transmits its white balance readings to the camera. I haven't yet managed to take a horrible looking flash shot with it, even in a completely dark room - when the flash instantaneously projects red crosshairs at the subject to enable the camera to focus. All in all, this flash on a modern Canon SLR gives fire-and-forget capabilities much like a compact camera, and perfect exposures every time. The addition of a Hahnel Combi TF gives all the off-camera facilities you could want, and together the price is about 100 less than a 580EX II.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 430EX II review, 14 Jun 2009
By 
Mr. M. Hall "Mike Hall" (Loughborough, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
I bought this recently for a Canon 40D & have found it excellent both indoors (bounced or straight) or outdoors for fill flash. Its not too big or heavy, only has E-TTL or manual, but this is all you need.
Nicely made as well & now features a locking metal mounting foot.
Recommended.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but cynically lacks basic useful features, 19 July 2012
By 
brainleek007 (Bracknell) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
I bought two of the 430 exii's to complement my Mki 580 ex and give me the capability of table top studio photography without having to drag my much bigger bowens flash heads out every time. I also wanted a capable second flash for when I'm doing weddings without having to fork out huge amounts of cash for the new 600ex or indeed the 580 exii.

The best part of these flashes is their compactness and build quality. They are significantly smaller than the 580 and their build is good. The features I've found fairly intuitive to use and the only thing I had to refer to the manual for was to found out to long press the zoom button to access the wireless slave function menu.

Obviously this flash is significantly less powerful than the bigger flashes with a guide number of 43 as opposed to 58 on the 580 exii or indeed 60 on the 600ex but, for most people most of the time it will be powerful enough. For pinging in some fill flash or bouncing off surfaces in even fairly large rooms it does just fine. I certainly am not marking it down because it's less powerful.

My main gripes with the unit is the head swivel. The head will tilt 180 degress counter clockwise but only 90 degrees clockwise when looking at it from behind. For me at least it means I can't hold my camera in portrait orientation and have the flash pointing behind me AND upwards I can only have it positioning directly behind me OR directly upwards. When looking for a surface to bounce off when shooting portraits at weddings and such it is very useful to be able to point up AND backwards as it means the reflected light will have some direction to it and therefore won't be either 'full frontal' which can be a bit flat or coming straight down from the ceiling leading to panda eyes. Having a flash pointed directly back is inevitably going to lead to nuking someone's eyeball's in a social situation where there are crowds of people watching the photographer shoot groups. In future Canon please build this in to the 430's successor without forcing us to pay double for the 580 / 600 variant for 90 degree extra movement of the flash head - just think of it as saving eyeballs rather than giving the photographer the product they deserve if it will make you feel any better.

One point definitely in the flash's favour is the hot shoe mount which is reassuringly sturdy. It's also a quick release system rather than screwing down a thumbwheel. When engaged the system clamps down onto the hot shoe leaving zero play and making for a very secure mount. Nice.

Another handy little feature sadly lacking is the plug for an external power pack. Again, this is only present on the larger models. The external power pack allows a further 8 AA batteries to be hooked up to the flash reducing recycling times considerably and enabling a faster rate of fire from the flash. For a lot of people this won't be an issue but Canon know full well many wedding and events photographers use this unit so to build in something as passive as a socket would cost them nothing to do but it would add a huge benefit to the flash for these users. I know this is the more 'budget' flash of the bounce range but this lack of features that would cost next to nothing to implement and is just cynical ploy to make you buy the next model up - it's not about customer satisfaction.

But other than these caveats I'm actually happy with the flash. It has the power needed to cope with a huge variety of situations from fill flash outdoors to bouncing off surfaces in fairly large rooms and table top studio photography. The flash does come with a little foot for use on the table top. As many others have mentioned it can't trigger other flashes but acts perfectly well as a slave unit which I've fired off from Canon's infra red flash trigger with no problems.

If you need a basic bounce flash this will do the job admirably in most situations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Flash - Recommended by a professional so I bought it, 10 April 2010
By 
S. McDonald "shanemcdonald" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
This is a great flash - the 580 is a bit more expensive and you could go for that if you are really looking for even bettwe results - but this flash ia very impressive. It makes for better pictures from the off. I am still getting used to the settings, there are a few, but well worth the money and I am very happy!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the investment, 1 Dec 2009
By 
This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
The purchase of this flash has made an instant difference to the quality of the indoor pictures that I have taken with my EOS 450D. The automatic detection and compensation for the focal length when using the zoom lens is a big plus. Also tried it with the 50mm F1.8 single lens to great effect. If you take your pictures seriously it's a must.
I have no adverse comments after using this for the last 4 weeks.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, so much better than onboard flash!, 26 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. J. White (Bucks UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit (Accessory)
Moving from the onboard flash of my 450d to this is like eating a hamburger on a market stall to eating in a Michelin star restaurant. With flash bounced off a wall my shots look so much better, softer tones, richer colours, generally much more natural. Plenty of features to keep the amateur and budding pro happy. It's well built, fits nicely onto the camera. Quite heavy with 4xAA, but par for the course I guess. I'm happy anyway!
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Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit
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