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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Promaster VS. Canon Flash
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04/14/2005 01:53:14 AM · #1
I am going to be buying a flash in the next few days. I had my mind set on buying the canon 420ex, then eventually geting the 550 or 580 so that I could have a master unit. Well I went to my local camera shop and they showed me the Promaster dx7500 at half the cost of the 580ex and a lot of the same specs. I am tempted to buy the promaster but am a little apprehensive about buying a brand that I am not familiar with, a couple of the guys at the camera shop say they shoot weddings with their promaster flash. If anyone has had any experience or has an opinion I would love some feedback.
04/14/2005 02:05:56 AM · #2
I do not know the Promaster series at all, so can't comment on that.

I can make a comment on the 420ex and 550/580ex thing though.

I purchased a 420ex and it was a nice enough unit. However, I soon outgrew it. I ended up getting a 580ex (550 is great as well I believe) and with the benefit of hindsight would have not got the 420 but waited until I could get the stronger, and far more flexible, 580.

So, if this Promaster is more akin to the 550/580 it sounds like it might be a great way to go .... assuming it is a good brand, which I have no idea on.
04/14/2005 06:21:48 AM · #3
I have looked at the promaster a little as well. The guys at the local camera store swear by it. Couple things I noticed is the Guide Number rating isn't as good as the 580EX and it has no way to sync with another flash/strobe.

But BE CAREFUL. The current model does not support the 20D or the 350XT. You'll have to go to the promaster website to find this out. I haven't made my decision yet because I want to see if they change the features when they upgrade it.
04/14/2005 06:58:34 AM · #4
I´ve not used myself but heard people recomend the Sigma 500 flash. Similar in function as Canon 550 but much cheaper.
04/14/2005 08:21:16 AM · #5
I have a promaster and I love it. I shot a wedding with it and shot some photos at work in an office. It has a swivel head that in portrait mode you can bounce the flash off the ceiling. Even the subjects like it because they said they thought they were going to be blinded by the flash. I was using the wide angle diffuser on it then. It works for me.
04/14/2005 11:20:35 AM · #6
I think that the Promaster brand name is owned by a consortium of camera stores and does not represent a particular manufacturer. It is a "house brand" shared by more than one house, or a "generic". The purpose is to offer products at better prices than the big names do. And there is no reason to doubt the quality of such products. If they have a shortcoming it would be that they are not the very latest in technology. How does the warranty of that Promaster flash compare to a Canon unit?
04/14/2005 11:29:47 AM · #7
I had a promaster 7500DX for my Canon Powershot Pro 1. When I bought that flash, I asked about compatability with DSLRs, knowing some day I'll get one. I was reassured that it would work.

Guess what - it doesn't! Or rather, it does go off, but is not synchronized with my camera because most photos (with a few exceptions) come out black. I checked the flash back on the other camera - it works just fine, so it is obviously a compatibility problem, but they people at the camera store don't know about it (phoned, visited, got very frustrated, gave up).

So my warning is this: Nothing wrong with the flash as such, but it does NOT work with a 20D, however it may work with yours. Make sure they'll let you try it out, and then try quite a few shots, since it even works occasionally on mine.

Good luck.
04/14/2005 12:10:52 PM · #8
I went to a local store, and they only sold Promaster lenses. I asked who made them, and the guy said Tamron.

-Chad
04/14/2005 12:44:55 PM · #9
Thanks for the advice, I went back to the camera shop and actually tried out the flash on my 350d and every shot came out underexposed and this time the guy working told me that it was not compatible with the 20d or 350d.
07/12/2005 08:13:18 PM · #10
My dad got a promaster flash to use with his Oly 8080 since the Oly flash was about $500. It seems a bit flimsier than the Canon units, but it works like magic. He got the one with a small secondary flash built in. If you point the main head up to bounce, the little one flashes just enough to put a catchlight in the eyes. I was skeptical when I first saw it, but I can't argue with the results.
07/12/2005 09:31:58 PM · #11
I was just having a look at the specs of both products...
You may be better off getting a flash that supports E-TTL-II, as your camera does support this.
Having not owned an E-TTL-II camera yet, I cannot say definitively that it makes a massive difference. I can, however say that I am certainly happy with original E-TTL, which is great when you combine with RAW capture.

EDIT: Also, I own the 580EX. Got it when it was released. The camera shop lent me a 420EX till my 580EX came in. I can't yet use E-TTL-II, cause I have a 10D, but it will be great when my next camera purchase comes round. The flash will last me for years. (or until the 680EX comes out - or whatever it will be called.)

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 21:34:35.
07/12/2005 09:34:38 PM · #12
Originally posted by Beetle:

I had a promaster 7500DX for my Canon Powershot Pro 1. When I bought that flash, I asked about compatability with DSLRs, knowing some day I'll get one. I was reassured that it would work.

Guess what - it doesn't! Or rather, it does go off, but is not synchronized with my camera because most photos (with a few exceptions) come out black. I checked the flash back on the other camera - it works just fine, so it is obviously a compatibility problem, but they people at the camera store don't know about it (phoned, visited, got very frustrated, gave up).

So my warning is this: Nothing wrong with the flash as such, but it does NOT work with a 20D, however it may work with yours. Make sure they'll let you try it out, and then try quite a few shots, since it even works occasionally on mine.

Good luck.


Beetle, do you know if you have the right flash base for your camera? The Promaster comes in two pieces, the flash head and a base unit. You kind of snap them together. The flash head is used on all cameras. You buy the base unit that is compatible with your camera.

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 21:35:17.
07/12/2005 09:44:17 PM · #13
For a budget flash get teh Sigma EF500DG Super. The cheaper 500 (the ST i think it is) may not work with the 20D/350XT.

Anyway, the 500DG SUper will work with the canon flashes for wireless uses and is fully ettl - not sure about ettl-2 (the 20d and 350XT have it, the 10D and 300D do not)
07/12/2005 10:02:56 PM · #14
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

For a budget flash get teh Sigma EF500DG Super. The cheaper 500 (the ST i think it is) may not work with the 20D/350XT.

Anyway, the 500DG SUper will work with the canon flashes for wireless uses and is fully ettl - not sure about ettl-2 (the 20d and 350XT have it, the 10D and 300D do not)


The EF500 DG super is a little bit more expensive than the 420ex but have spec more like the 550 and is a lot cheaper than that one. I have one and don't regret it at all. Metz seem to build good flash too.
07/12/2005 10:28:47 PM · #15
I know i shoot Nikon, but my feeling has always been to stick with the brand. it is made to work correctly with YOUR camera, not mad to work with a number of brands. If I were you I'd stick with the Canon.
07/12/2005 11:07:45 PM · #16
I am currently selling a promaster 7500DX because it doesn't work with my 1D. It worked perfectly with my 300D, I'm not sure if it will work with the 350D. It's the original version of the flash, not the newer updated version (same model number). I'd let it go for ~$140 shipped.
07/12/2005 11:57:19 PM · #17
Originally posted by nicklevy:

Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

For a budget flash get teh Sigma EF500DG Super. The cheaper 500 (the ST i think it is) may not work with the 20D/350XT.

Anyway, the 500DG SUper will work with the canon flashes for wireless uses and is fully ettl - not sure about ettl-2 (the 20d and 350XT have it, the 10D and 300D do not)


The EF500 DG super is a little bit more expensive than the 420ex but have spec more like the 550 and is a lot cheaper than that one. I have one and don't regret it at all. Metz seem to build good flash too.


The Metz units are great, but they are more expensive than the Canon flash units.
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