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Brian, funny you should mention that, I ordered it once but it never came, my money was refunded. I may try again.
Lost in the mail?
I haven't seen the new, EX II-specific version, but I have the first edition and I found it mostly informative. There were a few things I disagree with the presenter about (like him using a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce outdoors), but mostly my quibbles are minor ones.
Speaking of Manual exposure with ETTL flash...
I picked up a 7D and a 430EX II on Monday. It's the first camera I've owned that had the ability to control wireless slave flashes via the pop-up flash, so tonight I tortured a coworker until he relented and let me take his picture.
I didn't have my lighting kit with me, just the camera and the 430; no light stands, modifiers, etc., so I just placed the 430 on a shelf about three feet from the subject and a foot above eye level (I would have gone higher if I could have), and at about a 20-degree angle from the camera-left side.
I used an exposure of f/8 @ 1/200 and 160 ISO, to prevent the overhead fluorescent lights from contributing to the exposure, and set a 430 : pop-up ratio of 4:1.
Considering that this was literally a less-than-five-minutes-from-setup-to-shoot process, I'm very happy with the results. If I'd had my 580EX with me I could have used the 580 as the main light, the pop-up as the fill again, and the 430 as a background light; that would have eliminated the shadow on the BG for a better (in my opinion) look, but overall I think this is fine for a quick portrait.