|Canon Speedlite Flash for Canon EOS Cameras 550EX - Used Please Read|
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|Speedlite 550EX is the main component of a flash system designed together with the EOS-3 SLR camera. It provides full compatibility with the area AF technology employed by the EOS-3 and refined E-TTL autoflash for improved performance. Other main features include a maximum Guide Number of 180 (ISO 100, ft.), an AF-assist beam which links to the EOS-3's 45-point area AF, FP Flash (high speed sync), FE lock (a flash version of AE lock), and FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing). The Speedlite 550EX also incorporates a built-in wireless transmitter, which can control other Speedlite 550EX units set up as slave units. Flash coverage is set automatically from 24mm to 105mm, and a wide-angle panel extends the coverage to 17mm. The Speedlite runs on 4 AA-size batteries, and can also be used with optional external power supplies such as Compact Battery Pack E and Transistor Pack E.|
|Guide Number||100 ft/ISO 100|
|Lens Coverage||24mm - 105mm|
|Supported Exposure Control||E-TTL, FP Flash, TTL|
|Compatible Brand||For Canon|
|Vertical Rotation Angle||+90 / -7|
|Horizontal Rotation Angle||+180 / -90|
|Min Flash Duration||1.2 ms|
|Max Flash Duration||2.3 ms|
|Zoom||Automatic and Manual|
|Manual Power Control Levels||1/1, 1/128, 1/16, 1/2, 1/32, 1/4, 1/64, 1/8|
|Additional Features||AF illuminator, Flash +/- compensation, Flash exposure bracketing, Illuminated LCD display, Modeling flash capability, Wireless off-camera control|
|Required Battery||4 x battery - AA type|
Average review score based on 32 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I love the 550EX flashes. I owen 4 of these now as well as A 580 EX mkII and a 430 EX mkII. Of the Canon 500 pro series flashes I think the 550EXs by far, offer the most bang for the buck. They are almost as powerfull as the 580EXs; Offer the versatillity to be used as a master or a slave (unlike the 430EX which can only be used as a slave); And function with the most Important features such as ETTL (evalutive the lens meatering)and HSS (high speed sync) They are also somewhat easer to use because of less menue mumbo gumbo W/dedicated buttons or switchs ie:when you switch to slave mode ect. I've picked these up for between $175.00 to $225.00 and for that price you cant go wrong. Another thing worth mention, I bought 2 550EXs than bought my 580EEX mkII after that I bought 2 more 550EXs, like I said bang for the buck wise, you can't go wrong.
*Disclaimer: I would say that I am an intermediate level photo enthusiast, and the idea of flash photography is a whole new realm for me, so bear with me, this review isn't going to be thorough.
Before purchasing this flash, I only knew it was the predecessor of the 580EX as Canon's top of the line. The one I particularly received was in extremely mint condition, so it was well worth the money.
When it comes to usage, I'm not quite sure what to say since I'm still trying to figure out how to get what I want out of it. I use it on ETTL (which I guess is probably auto) and usually use it on Manual (M) or Aperture value (Av).
So far, after reading through a variety of online guides, my best photos came out using it indoors and bouncing it off the ceilings or walls. My usual setting is in Manual at 1/60th, f/1.8 to f/4, and ISO 100. The photos indoors always turn out great! The light looks really natural, and I always use the built in diffuser for the catch light. Subjects turn out sharp so it's perfect when inside a building (for reference, I shoot with an XSi/450D, usually with my 50mm f/1.8).
I still have issues using it outdoors (both day and night). Photos always turn out with the subject highlighted (I always use it on ETTL mode) and the background always becomes underexposed. I'm trying to find out if I can use the index card method, but so far no success. Directly shooting at the subject also remains unsuccessful.
Overall though, I bought this over the 430EX and I am very pleased. I know a lot of people care about the recycle times, size, weight, etc., but I don't see the point, there's really no reason to complain in my opinion. The 550EX is still an excellent flash coming from it's time, being top of the line back then, I would still recommend getting it over the 430EX, (especially since I got it for $197, thanks to eBay).
I have intensively studied this flash compared to the 580ex & 580ex II. PROs great power for price. Same power out as 580ex but 1/2 the price. A huge benefit involves Pocket Wizards. The 580ex has tons of RF interference but this 550ex has none.
CONs Slow recycle time of 6 seconds on full manual vs 4.5 secs with 580ex and 3.8 secs with 580ex II. Also fairly poor operating control. Vertical & Horizontal Bounce require two buttons. HS sync is nearly impossible to set and changing settings has two small awkward buttons. 580 is much easier. All these disadvantages are totally mute when used as a slave on a battery pack. No controls are used and the recycle time is blazing fast because of the pack. Great value for use as a slaved flash and backup flash.
Flash of great power, with high guide. Effective for all types of photography, especially for filling. You can also use flash as well as Master-Slave primary or in combination with other flashes of work. Well as for several shots, such as strobe whenever the camera is compatible.
I wanted a second flash for my 40D that could be used as a master to control my 430EXII, but I'm just a hobbyist and not a pro, so spending $400-500 for the 580EXII was way out of my budget. After a little looking around, I heard the 550EX performed nearly as well as the 580EXII for a mere fraction of the price.
I picked one up that is as good as new and it works just as it should. I haven't done a lot with it yet, but it works great and does the job of controlling my 430EXII just as it should.
The battery door is a little awkward versus the newer Speedlites, but it's not that big of a deal to me. The 580EXII is also said to have a longer battery life and recharge time over the 550EX, but for my usage, it doesn't hinder me any.
The 550EX has a release button for the tilt and another for the swivel functions of the head. The later 430 and 580 Speedlites have a single button for both tilt and swivel. Being used to my 430EXII, I keep forgetting about the different swivel button when I'm using the 550EX.
I also prefer the lock for the mount of the later Speedlites over this 550EX. The 430EXII and 580EXII have a "lever" that you slide to lock it onto the mount and a simple button to unlock and then slide the lever to release. The 550EX (and 580EX) have a wheel that you turn to screw it tight. Again, it's just a minor niggle.
The cons of this 550EX Speedlite vs. a 580EXII are really very small and do nothing to hinder the overall performance of this flash. Aside from a slightly shorter battery life, they're all basically just ergonomic nags. If you're a low-budget hobbyist or even a budding professional just starting out and need a reasonably priced master flash or just an additional flash for your collection, the 550EX is a worthy alternative to the 580EXII.