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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 04 Jan 2011 (Tuesday) 13:05
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Speedlite 270EX vs 430EX

 
DirePenguin
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Jan 04, 2011 13:05 |  #1

Can someone kindly sum up the most important differences between the 430EX and the 270EX Speedlites?

I'd like to move up to something better than the on-board flash for my T2i, but I'm having trouble evaluating if the extra features are worth the extra cost (to me).

Reading the specifications, the 270EX has a faster cycle time, but a lot less "flexibility" (it can only bounce flash in a few preset angles) and has about half the range.

Can someone explain the purpose/use of a bounce/swivel/zoom head of the 430EX and whether it make a big difference over the more limited 270EX?

Both get equally high reviews on B&H....


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gonzogolf
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Jan 04, 2011 13:12 |  #2

The 430 is more powerful (about a stop), rotates as well as bounces, as you mention above. Dont be fooled by the recycle time because those are measured at full output. If you measured the 430 at half the output and the 270 at full, which is approximately the same amount of light, you would probably find the 430 as quick or quicker. Rotating is critical as when you want to shoot in the vertical orientation the ability to rotate replaces the ability to bounce off the ceiling. The 270 was really meant to replace the built in flash on the G series cameras. If you are going to the effort of adding an external flash you might as well get a decent one. Get the 430.




  
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adamo99
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Jan 04, 2011 13:35 |  #3

I have and use the 270EX all the time on a 5DII and 1DmkIII. It's a fantastic, compact little flash that is ideal for fill.




  
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Coup.De'tat
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Jan 04, 2011 13:50 as a reply to  @ adamo99's post |  #4

I have the 270ex on my 5Dmkii as well and I really love it. Its small enough to fit in your pocket and it'll be something that will stay in my bag even as I buy larger flashes due to its convenient size. Unfortunately it really doesn't have to pop to do too much really low light work. The zoom and bounce features are nice but the real selling point for me would be the size. Depends on how much light you really need, might want to just go with the 430.


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windpig
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Jan 04, 2011 16:01 |  #5

I'd spend the extra $120 for the 430EXII. More control, power and you can use it as a slave.


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apersson850
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Jan 04, 2011 16:25 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #6

The 270 EX has two advantages over the 430 EX II and the 580 EX II:

  • It's smaller.
  • It's cheaper.
That's it. Everything else is inferior.

Anders

  
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omer
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Jan 04, 2011 16:36 as a reply to  @ apersson850's post |  #7

I have both and like both of them
the 270 is my pocket walk around flash - great for fill in during the day and for casual indoor shooting (with bounce) - it also has very nice colors
the 430II is more powerful and has many more features and control (and i like to use it as slave with my 7D)
if you are on tight budget or care about size the 270 is a good start if you have the money and do not care about the size buy the 430


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80D | 7D | M6 | 15-85 | 70-300 L | Sig 10-20 | 50 1.8 |100 2.8 macro|28 F2.8 | efs24| efm 15-45| efs 55-250 stm |270EX | 430EXII |

  
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adamo99
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Jan 05, 2011 09:10 |  #8

If it's going to be your only flash, get the 430. Like many posting here, I have a the 270EX, but also have other flash units when I need more light and flexibility. The 270EX is a great flash, it just can't do everything.




  
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Hoppy1
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Jan 05, 2011 09:46 |  #9

apersson850 wrote in post #11573299 (external link)
The 270 EX has two advantages over the 430 EX II and the 580 EX II:
  • It's smaller.
  • It's cheaper.
That's it. Everything else is inferior.

True! And to the point :)

I got a 270 recently and have been very impressed. The headline guide number suggets it's much less powerful than its bigger brothers, but if you compare it like for like on the zoom head setting, it's only 2/3rds of a stop down on the 430 and 1.3 stops down on the mighty 580.

Super little gun, that does high speed sync as well, which no other gun at that price level does, as far as I know. I think the Metz 50 AF-1 comes closest.

But for me, it's greatest virtue is size. Put it side by side with anything else, and its tiny.


5D2, 17-40L, 50/1.8, 24-105L, 70-200L 4 IS, 580/270EX, Strato II/RF-602, Elinchroms

  
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apersson850
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Jan 05, 2011 11:10 as a reply to  @ Hoppy1's post |  #10

Remember that the 270 EX has no panel of its own on the back. It takes a camera which supports control through the camera's menu system to make all the possible settings. This means everything from the 1D Mark III and 40D (with which this feature was introduced), or newer.


Anders

  
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DirePenguin
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Jan 06, 2011 09:30 |  #11

apersson850 wrote in post #11578318 (external link)
Remember that the 270 EX has no panel of its own on the back. It takes a camera which supports control through the camera's menu system to make all the possible settings. This means everything from the 1D Mark III and 40D (with which this feature was introduced), or newer.

I've got a T2i ... so the lack of on-flash controls shouldn't be a problem for me.

Arrgh ... after reading through all of this I'm still sooo undecided. :(

It *sounds* like the 270EX will meet all of my current, and expected, needs (and keep about $120 in my pocket) ... but, I can certainly see how some of the 430EX's features might come in handy....

What I'm really glad to see is that athough everyone seems to be stating that the 430EX *is* better, no one is saying the 270EX is crap ... quite the opposite.

Thanks for all the help ... I'm gonna need to think on this some more!! :D


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gonzogolf
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Jan 06, 2011 09:34 |  #12

The only thing I would mention is that most of the people who are recommending the 270 have 5D's which do not have built in flashes. The 270 doesnt add much capability to your camera as you already have a built in flash. Yes, the 270 does bounce, but only in horizontal orientation and because of its lower output it needs lower ceilings to work well.




  
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Kingnog
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Jan 06, 2011 09:44 |  #13

I suggest going with the older 430EX (not 430EX ii) for the best feature/price ratio. The main difference between the older 430ex and the newer 430exii are that the newer one can be controlled from the camera menu, and it has a silent recycle (instead of the high pitched whine, which I like because I can tell without looking whether the flash is ready again or not).




  
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Hoppy1
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Jan 06, 2011 12:40 |  #14

gonzogolf wrote in post #11584623 (external link)
The only thing I would mention is that most of the people who are recommending the 270 have 5D's which do not have built in flashes. The 270 doesnt add much capability to your camera as you already have a built in flash. Yes, the 270 does bounce, but only in horizontal orientation and because of its lower output it needs lower ceilings to work well.

Apart from two stops more power than a pop-up, vertical bounce facility, and high speed sync, no, absolutely nothing at all.

To put the power in perspective, with the 270EX in my fairly average 18ft room with a normal height ceiling, I can bounce it and get f/8 at ISO400 and pretty much fill the whole place.


5D2, 17-40L, 50/1.8, 24-105L, 70-200L 4 IS, 580/270EX, Strato II/RF-602, Elinchroms

  
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windpig
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Jan 06, 2011 14:12 |  #15

Hoppy1 wrote in post #11585657 (external link)
Apart from two stops more power than a pop-up, vertical bounce facility, and high speed sync, no, absolutely nothing at all.

To put the power in perspective, with the 270EX in my fairly average 18ft room with a normal height ceiling, I can bounce it and get f/8 at ISO400 and pretty much fill the whole place.

this is a very valid argument. Weight and size is one of the reasons I use my 430EXII over my 580EXII most of the time. $ creep happens in photography though, and if you think you will want what the 430EXII offers in the future, then I would spend the money now.


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Speedlite 270EX vs 430EX
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