As for the flash portion of your post. I have the 420ex flash, and wouldn't trade it for the world. It certainly is big, and will cause your camera to flip over when using the neck strap, but the effect it has on pictures is truly amazing. I always wondered why people would pay so much for something like an external flash, but from the first picture I took with the 420, I knew it was worth every penny. I wish I could say the same for all of my camera accessories.