Saturday, August 07, 2004

My external flash - Canon 420EX

My precious Canon 420ex flash (RM780) has been in the Canon service center for the last 2 weeks, due to possible wear and tear problems. My camera detects the presence of the flash but somehow the auto-exposure couldn't adjust properly ie. it was as though there was no flash... strange. And it powered off by itself after a while of not using. Well, it's now back in my hands.... yes! Seems like they have to replaced the EPU.... hmmm... sounds like a chip or processor (CPU) maybe. Anyhow, it seems to work now.... thank goodness for the warranty, otherwise I would have to pay RM550!!! That's about the price of a new one... imagine the importance of this particular part needing replacement. Can't imagine what it's like without an external flash and rely on the built-in flash only.... urrghh. I know it seems strange why I feel that way when everyone else is just satisfied with the built-in's. After thousands of shots with my external flash, I really can tell the difference ie. less shadows, less harsh lighting, more natural shots, better illumination at fore/background, etc.. And with the swivelling and twisting head, the possibilities of flash photography are endless. Before I go on, the following are the specs and features of the flash :-

Flash Modes


Bounce / Swivel


Max. Power

G.N. 138

AF-assist Beam

All Elan 7 points

Wireless Triggering


W x H x D

2.8 x 4.8 x 3.9 in.

Weight (w/o battery)

10.6 oz.

  • Maximum Guide Number 138 (ISO 100, feet) at 105mm setting; G.N. 101 at 35mm setting
  • Approximately 1 / 2-stop less powerful than 550EX
  • Full E-TTL flash operation with "Type-A" bodies* (EOS-1v, EOS-3, Elan 7/7E, Rebel 2000, etc.)
  • E-TTL features include high-speed FP sync mode, and FE Lock (spot / partial flash metering)
  • Fully compatible as an affordable Wireless "slave" flash, with EOS-1v, EOS-3, Elan 7 / 7E, & D30
  • Taller than previous 380EX flash, but head is 30% smaller, and both width & depth are smaller
  • Powered by four AA-size batteries (alkaline, lithium, Ni-Cd, or Ni-MH)
  • Totally TTL-compatible with all "Type B" EOS cameras, and the manual-focus T90 SLR body.
  • * "Type-A" bodies: EOS-1v, EOS-3, Elan 7 / 7E, Rebel 2000, Elan II/IIE, and Rebel G; EOS IX and IX Lite; and digital EOS D2000 and D30 bodies. All other EOS bodies are "Type B" cameras (as of August,2000)

Now, why did I get a RM780 flash for my Canon G2 camera? Why not use any cheap external flash that I already have? To answer that, 2 words ie. voltage and auto-exposure compatibility. Check out Botzilla for a comprehensive list of flash voltages and auto exposure info.


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