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Canon's new Speedlite EL-1 will sit on top of the company's lineup of on-and-off-camera portable flashes. A command dial and joystick combine with a new menu layout to allow for faster manipulation of key settings for the user, and a very low minimum power rating helps set it apart from other options on the market.

The EL-1 uses a new battery – the LP-EL – that allows for a 0.9-sec recycle time at full power, and a claimed 335 full-power flashes. Though the new battery can be charged via the LC-E6 charger that owners of Canon's full-frame DSLR and mirrorless cameras likely already own, the LP-E6 battery that powers those cameras cannot be used to power the flash.

The EL-1 flash has roughly the same maximum power output as the company's existing 600EX Speedlite (a Guide Number of 60m / 197ft at ISO 100 and 200mm flash coverage), but uniquely, it goes to a minimum output setting of 1/8192; most on-camera flashes bottom out at 1/128 or thereabouts. The flash head swivels 180 degrees, bounces to 120 degrees and has a built-in catch-light panel and wide-angle adapter.

Intended for professionals and advanced users, the EL-1 comes with a similar level of weather-sealing as a Canon 1D-series DSLR camera, and has an active cooling system to keep the flash from overheating in extreme use. There's also an LED modeling light that has both brightness and color temperature adjustments.

The Canon Speedlite EL-1 will be available in February 2021 for a suggested price of $1099 USD.

Press release:

Photographers: Expand your creativity and versatility to another dimension with the new Speedlite EL-1

MELVILLE, N.Y., October 14, 2020 –– As a photographer, the equipment you invest in needs to measure up to the standards you set forth as a creator. In the true spirit of exemplary creativity, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the Speedlite EL-1. This new generation professional Speedlite provides higher performance and reliability unlike ever before, in comparison to previous models, with a new rechargeable Li-ion battery and newly designed user-friendly interface.

“As an extended form of expression, we understand that integrating a flash into your photography is an art form, and having the right equipment to meet your artistic demands is imperative to client service,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of the Canon U.S.A., Inc. Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “We’re excited to bring the Speedlite EL-1 into our product catalog which continues to offer photographers, who are experts in their field, the right high-quality professional imaging tools of the trade.”

The Canon Speedlite EL-1 works seamlessly with EOS cameras and is ideal for any photographer who works in portrait, still-life, wedding or in-studio photography. It’s also a resourceful tool for those photographers who work for news agencies, red carpet events or entertainment reporters. Its durability and reliability are at the core of the newest features, which include:

  • A powerful rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack providing high speed recycle and increase in number of flashes while utilizing the Canon LC-E6 battery charger
  • An increased continuous firing number of approximately 170 thanks to a new active cooling system
  • Wireless second-curtain sync
  • New joystick, FE one-touch memory, LED modeling lamp and user interface display design
  • A high-durability Xenon glass flash tube to provide higher accuracy and durability of the flash head

Additionally, the Speedlite EL-1 provides an expanded power range for versatility of exposure with “micro flash” minimum flash output as low as 1/8192 power, a zoom flash head that covers a wide focal length range of 24-200mm, bounce angle expanded to 120° and the same level of weather-sealing comparable with the EOS-1D camera series. Also included are two color filters and a bounce adapter for additional lighting control making the EL-1 a strong addition to the evolving catalog of Canon Speedlite flashes.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon Speedlite EL-1 is scheduled to be available for in-store purchase in February 2021 at an estimated retail price of $1,099.00*.