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I am a professional event photographer who earns his living by taking pictures of people, usually in the evening in dark venues. I don't usually have to do red carpet press stuff - I am inside the event. That means that I am usually a few feet from my subjects, and often the difficulty is getting far enough away. Many wedding photographers use 5D's, and they would all benefit from the OPTION (AS IN OPTIONAL) to use a pop-up flash. Personally, I would use it as my main flash because Canon does not make a 'professional' flash unit that casts...Show more →
Do you leave the hoods off your lenses and never shoot at wider angles? Because no camera I've ever used with a pop-up flash has been able to clear the wider angles (casts a curved shadow toward the bottom of the pic), especially with a lens hood on. I HAVE TO use a flash with more vertical clearance to fix that. And as far as shadows caused by a flash that is some distance away from the lens, that's actually much more attractive and interesting than flash straight-on from the lens axis that wash out all depth. Shadows aren't your enemies--they're your friends. You just have to know how to control them. Shadows too harsh? Use a flash modifier to soften them.
I won't go so far as to say that everybody would be better off without the pop-up flash, but I don't find much utility in it (and also admittedly look rather skeptically at pros who do, especially for work. Personal stuff is up to you, but paid work should look better than what a pop-up flash can deliver.) and would prefer Canon put the cost of the flash toward something more useful to me like weather sealing and/or 100% viewfinder. That's the downside--Canon are very, very price-conscious in deciding which features to put in, so if removing a pop-up flash makes room for weather sealing gaskets I'm all for it.