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I want to get a flash for my Canon Rebel XS for inside sporting events.


Please help me.  I need someone to tell this grandmother what she needs for her Rebel XS in the way of an additional flash attachement --- I am having trouble taking pictures in poorly lighted gyms of my grandchildren that participate in sports such as volleyball, basketball, etc.  Not too expensive.Man HappySmiley Happy




Well Grandma,

I am going to suggest you spend your money on a lens instead of a flash! Most sport arenas frown on folks using flash anyway. It is prohibited at our school.

I am going to assume you only have the “kit” lens that came with the camera? The Canon XS has good low light ability and good high ISO performance. You can take advantage of this feature but it isn't easy with the “slow” glass that comes with the camera.

Also, you didn't mention a budget but a top of the mark Canon flash like the 430 EX II is $300 bucks.

A better choice for you in my mind would be the Canon 50mm f1.4 lens at $399.


Remember, however, a 50mm lens is not going to give you up close and personal photos from the opposite side of the gym. But then neither would the flash at that distance.

Get the lens and set the ISO to 800 and have at it!Smiley Very Happy


A Grandpa



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

The lens I have says 75-300 - is this okay?  I purchased this in addition to the one that came with the camera bundle.  I thought they light being poor in some of gyms the problem.  My granddaughters play basketball, volleyball in the gym.  I would like to be able to get some clear shots of them in action and some kind of close if possible---so at least I know who they are.  I am not a pro photographer for sure and do not want to spend a lot of money for sure.  Any suggestions you can give me will be appreciated.  BonBon

If it's the low end  75-300 it's not up to the task, but nor are a lot of other lenses too. Indoor Basketball gets talked about a lot here & on other forums & the only good solution is fast glass meaning lenses with large base apertures like f2.8 or better. These types of lenses are expensive compared to regular grade lenses but necessary in low light but even more necessary if shooting action in low light. Popular choices when a budget needs to be lived within are 85 f1.8 or the 135 f2.8 but a much better choice is the 70-200 f2.8 L or 70-200 f2.8 L IS but they are expensive to most who don't understand the value of pro grade lenses.


"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Well Mrs. BonBon,

"Any suggestions you can give me will be appreciated." I hear ya and know exactly what you are talking about. I have nine grandchildren myself. Again I am going to go against what others may suggest. You can certainly spend the money for a

70-200mm f2.8 lens and it is likely the best way to go. The cheapest version of that type lens is around $1200 bucks. 

I have the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 and it is a wonderful lens.Smiley Very Happy

But I said I was going to suggest something different than what others will advise. It is a post processing program for your computer. One may have come with your XS but if not Paintshop Pro or Photoshop Elements are under a hundred dollars to a little over it.

With it you can enlarge the photos. You can crop them and do all sorts of neat stuff. You can email them and even post them on Facebook if you want.

So, my "appreciated suggestions" are, get the 50mm f1.4 lens and Photoshop Elements 11.


Sorry to say the often offered with the original purchase of a Rebel is the 75-300mm lens. It is a marginal lens at best. Then only outdoors in proper light. The 50mm f1.4 on the other hand is a great lens, both inside and outside. Also the suggested Canon 85mm f1.8 is a very nice lens at $420 bucks. (Going to give you slightly larger subjects, ((I mean granddaughter)) than the 50mm) You will be happy with either.Smiley LOL

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Thanks for your suggestions.  Will try what you have advised and see what happens. 

Keep in mind, this is not going to produce the photos that a fast, very expensive, telephoto zoom lens would make. The ultimate solution to your situation and why you see those "big" lenses on the Pro's cameras.  A big, fast, heavy and very expensive lens is the answer but my suggestion may work for your needs. A flash is not the answer.


Nobody can give you the proper settings without actually seeing the gym. But as a starting place, take the camera off Full Auto.Smiley Surprised

Try, Av and set it to f1.4 or f2 in the case of the 50mm lens (f1.8 if you opt for the 85mm lens). Set the ISO to 800. Give this a try and make any further adjustments, lower or higher ISO, etc, you may need. You will get slightly better pictures if you can set the ISO lower, so experiment. Also make sure you set the white balance to the type of lights used in the gym. Maybe tungsten?

Import the photos into you post processing software (Photoshop Elements, etc) on your computer and enlarge or crop them to your liking. Here again you can go only so far until it will no longer work.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Good advice re the how to shoot in the gym.


"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."