Sell 550ex and buy 580????

Started Dec 27, 2006 | Discussions
kawasakiman
kawasakiman Regular Member • Posts: 398
Sell 550ex and buy 580????

Hi, i have a 550ex flash and thinking about swopping for a 580.....(got some christmas money

is it worth it???? i use a recently bought 1Dmk2

Happy New Year

Kev

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kkkkkk Regular Member • Posts: 185
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580????

no need. 550EX is good enough

Ray Chen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,175
I did exactly that

kawasakiman wrote:

Hi, i have a 550ex flash and thinking about swopping for a
580.....(got some christmas money

is it worth it???? i use a recently bought 1Dmk2

"Worth" is hard to quantify. I would say if you don't mind spending the extra money, the newer 580EX is better. The world is not going to end if you are stuck with the 550EX.

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paul1631 Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580????

If you shoot a lot with flash (I would say more than 50% of your pics) then it is worth it as I find it faster to adjust settings. If not then I don't think it's worth it, save your money for a different new toy.

Lee Kupfer Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580????

Keep the 550 and get a new 580...you'll eventually be able to use both at the same time.
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James L Wilson Senior Member • Posts: 1,556
Sell 550ex and buy 580EX YES. its 20% more popwerful

A. The menu system for use is more convenient
B. There is 20% more power.
C. Guide number is 192
D. Electronics and internals are updated about 8 years
E. More efficient use of power, longer battery life so says Canon.

I had three 550's and sold them on eBay and privately, and bought three 580Ex's with no regrets; cost was about +$125 differential in cash/unit for the upgrade.

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Ray Chen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,175
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580EX YES. its 20% more popwerful

B. There is 20% more power.
C. Guide number is 192

I think that is very superficial. I did a test a while back, and they have about the same power at wide angle coverage. What that tells me is that the 580EX might have a better zoom head, not more raw power.

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Juli Valley Forum Pro • Posts: 54,435
A few advantages.

The 580EX has a head that is smaller and easier to adjust. It recycles faster, but it is not a drastic improvement. I like the idea of getting a 580EX as a separate flash for two flash setups.
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James L Wilson Senior Member • Posts: 1,556
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580EX YES. its 20% more popwerful

When Canon released the 580EX these are the updating features, as cited in Canon's press release:

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug 19, 2004 - The long awaited evolution in Canon's Speedlite family of EOS system flashes is here. The Speedlite 580EX flash takes its place as Canon's new flagship Speedlite, replacing the popular Speedlite 550EX model. A more powerful flash with a maximum guide number of 58/191 at ISO 100 in meters/feet (at 105mm focal length), faster recycling, more consistent color and enhanced controls are among the improvements that all photographers, especially those who shoot digital, will find useful. "We designed the Speedlite 580EX flash from the ground up specifically to maximize digital photography," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). " This new flash takes the best features from existing models and adds functionality that enhances digital photography. We now offer a Speedlite that yields great performance with a more comfortable and easy to use interface, in a smaller and lighter package than its predecessors."

E-TTL II Compatibility

The Speedlite 580EX flash is compatible with Canon's E-TTL II (Evaluative Through The Lens) auto exposure technology. When combined with a compatible Canon camera, E-TTL II utilizes subject distance and other information that automatically modifies flash power, resulting in accurate flash exposure regardless of subject size, reflectance, or photographic composition. This is great news for photographers that shoot high contrast or reflective subjects, like those encountered in wedding photography. Photographers can now capture every detail from the black of tuxedoes to the white of wide smiles and wedding dresses.

Digitally Optimized

The Speedlite 580EX flash is compatible with all film and digital EOS cameras as well as G-series and Pro-1 PowerShot digital cameras. The flash includes two features especially for digital photography. EOS 20D and EOS-1D Mark II** digital SLR users will especially appreciate the Speedlite 580EX flash's ability to auto-compensate for the size of the CMOS sensor, and zoom the flash head automatically to match the effective focal length conversion. This feature allows the Speedlite 580EX flash to maximize the efficiency of its light distribution and produce more flashes from a set of batteries. When used with the EOS 20D or 1D Mark II** digital SLR cameras, the flash and camera communicate to make fine adjustments to auto white balance by electronically monitoring the charge level of the batteries and the duration of each flash burst, resulting in consistently accurate color for every shot.

Speed, Power and Flexibility

Smaller, lighter, faster and more powerful than its predecessor, the Speedlite 550EX flash, Canon has further enhanced the new model by reducing the full-power recycling time by about 25 percent, while increasing the maximum Guide Number power rating by about 50 percent. These improvements are possible because of flash head optimization, circuit resistance reductions and changes in circuit design.

The new flash unit provides photographers with intuitive controls. Mimicking the style found on Canon's line of popular EOS Digital SLRs, the 580EX model's new control dial, SET button and a high-speed sync / shutter curtain synchronization button put all major functions at the fingertips of the photographer.

The Speedlite 580EX Flash features an AF-assist beam, which is now better matched to the different focusing point arrangements of various EOS SLRs, compared to earlier models. The unit includes a swiveling flash head that turns a full 180 degrees in both directions, while a single release lock controls tilt and swivel adjustments. A wide-angle diffuser found on the Speedlite 580EX flash covers focal lengths as short as 14mm. The flash also features a new catchlight reflector for optimal lighting quality during bounce-flash photography. The Speedlite 580EX flash features a total of 14 Custom Functions that provide maximum control over various flash functions such as recycling with external power and auto-zooming to match sensor size.

New Accessories and EOS System Compatibility

To accompany the new Speedlite 580EX flash, Canon is offering a new external power pack called the Compact Battery Pack CP-E3. This battery pack reduces full power recycling time from about six to 1.7 seconds and increases the number of full-power flashes per charge from approximately 100 to 432. The Speedlite 580EX flash is also fully compatible with the E-TTL/E-TTL II Wireless Autoflash system and can be used as an on-camera controller or an off-camera remote flash.
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James L Wilson Senior Member • Posts: 1,556
Re: A few advantages. Are you kidding...?

Julie, at the risk of sounding a bit argumentative, see post above, an upgrade that has 50% effective increase in power with a 25% faster recycle time, with more flashes per battery set, combined with the device being able to determine the camera's imager size for making the proper computation for effective zoom of the lens, are significant improvements. I have them, and each 580EX unit out-performs 300WS monolights.

jw
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dchao Veteran Member • Posts: 5,170
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580????

Use that money towards an AlienBees strobe light, you will immediately see some differences.

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Pangea Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: A few advantages.

I agree with Juli. Many technical differences but nothing drastical. Both flashes are capable of taking good photos.
Cheers.

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hannerc Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580????

I have a 550ex as well and would like to add a 580ex and go to a dual flash set up. What else do I need? I am using a 5D.

chuck

AperturePro Veteran Member • Posts: 4,221
Master/slave = keep both

Why sell a good flash that you need as a second source anyway?

Add a light stand and umbrella as well as a 3 foot or larger reflector and
you have a dandy basic home studio with radio connection to flashes.

kawasakiman wrote:

Hi, i have a 550ex flash and thinking about swopping for a
580.....(got some christmas money

is it worth it???? i use a recently bought 1Dmk2

Happy New Year

Kev

M5ABI
M5ABI Regular Member • Posts: 284
Re: Sell 550ex and buy 580????

I did the same... I can tell the difference already... its lighter and does work very well on 5D being a FF... as it recognizes the boby being FF or not FF... one knob rotation is the best...

you wont' regret it... and I kept my 550 and tested the wireless function... works great but haven't used in application just yet...

Lee Kupfer wrote:

Keep the 550 and get a new 580...you'll eventually be able to use
both at the same time.
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jackkurtz Veteran Member • Posts: 4,569
Keep em both

I would keep the 550 and buy a 580. Both are good units, the 580 has better ergonomics, is a little more powerful and offers slightly more accurate exposure. By keeping both you can start messing around with some multiple light setups (both can be used as either a transmitter or receiver in the Canon wireless flash setup) and you have a backup.

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kawasakiman
OP kawasakiman Regular Member • Posts: 398
Re: Keep em both

thanks for all of your imput everyone....... i think i will hang on for a while and wait till some second hand 580's come onto the market (eg. ebay) i quite like the idea of 2 flashes and the fact that one on the camera will control the other.....never done that type of flash shooting before....

thanks again

Happy new year everyone

Kev

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Kabe Luna
Kabe Luna Veteran Member • Posts: 9,493
550EX has a PC sync terminal; the 580EX doesn't - if it matters. (nt)

kawasakiman wrote:

Hi, i have a 550ex flash and thinking about swopping for a
580.....(got some christmas money

is it worth it???? i use a recently bought 1Dmk2

Happy New Year

Kev

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Jon Laye Senior Member • Posts: 2,485
Re: 550EX has a PC sync terminal. Nope, neither flash does

That's why I use Nikon SB-25 flashes on my 1Ds2. The auto works better then TTL under difficult conditions and I can find SB-25 for under $100 in great shape. The Canon TTTL cord also has gone downhill lately. Old ones lasted for years, I can't get 6 months out of the one I buy now.

Kabe Luna
Kabe Luna Veteran Member • Posts: 9,493
I was looking at a used 550EX last weekend at a camera shot and it had a PC terminal.

I guess it had been modified? Damn shame Canon omits what seems an intrinsically useful feature for a flash marketed to advanced users and professionals. But I guess they're trying to protect sales of more flashes and their wireless transmitters.

Sucks.

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