While some non Canon brand external flash can fit right into my Canon 1000D SLR, my dad insisted I use a Canon brand for my external flash since he had a bad experience with his Nikon by using a non Nikon external flash and it got burnt in the process. My dad bought me a Canon Speedlite 430 EX external flash (yes I got it for free ha ha!) and I have been using this since for my flash needs.
The results are alright. I just use automatic since I am not really focused on using external flash settings manually since I do not use it all the time so automatic mode does well for me. The flash head can both tilt and swivel with a handy single catch to release the tilt and swivel motions (most tilt/swivel flash units have two catches). The head has a flip-out diffuser panel which can diffuse light up to a focal length of 14mm. It supports TTL and ETTL too.
Features and other functions include (from photonotes.org):
- Flash exposure confirmation indicator on back panel.
- Support for second-curtain synchronization if the camera has the appropriate custom function.
- Support for second-curtain synchronization via back panel control.
- Flash exposure compensation (FEC) controls on back panel .
- Back panel LCD (liquid crystal display).
- Backlight illumination for LCD.
- Flash has custom functions, adjustable by back-panel controls (see full list of functions below).
- Save Energy (SE) function, with a timeout value of 90 seconds.
- Powered by four standard AA cells – alkaline, NiCad, NiMH.
- Also compatible with lithium AA cells.
- Plastic flash foot.
- Flash foot has a locking hotshoe.
- Weight: 300g.
- Size: 72mm W x 122mm H x 101mm D.
- Auto power off (on/off)
- Power-off in slave mode (60 min, 10 min)
- Auto-zoom for subframe digital cameras (on/off)
- AF-assist beam (on/off)
- Modelling flash (on/off)
- LCD when shutter release pressed halfway (maximum range/aperture)