Canon officially announces the Canon Speedlite EL-1

Gazwas

EOS 90D
Sep 3, 2018
179
153
If this had come with a range of cool modifiers to buy along with it then I could see the market for a profoto beating £1000 Canon flash but as it stands its just another (rather expensive) Canon Speedlite.
 

Hector1970

EOS R
Mar 22, 2012
1,198
365
It won’t worry Godox. Of course Canon will sell it plenty of them but it represents poor value for money. A flash Is something I’ve no trouble going 3rd party. Yongnues knock offs are just as good as Canon originals. I’m sure they’ll bring out something equivalent.
 
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privatebydesign

Garfield is back...
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,115
3,283
120
There are some nice features, the flash memory function, the battery, second curtain sync (though I have never missed not having it) the led modeling light etc etc, but it is too rich for my blood at this point and I am a pretty heavy 600EX-RT user, I own seven. Maybe if I did more event work and my order book looked strong but my current setup of 600’s and Einstein’s works well enough.

If I was in the $1,000 per flash price bracket then the Profoto seems to make more sense to me as it integrates with a complete lighting system of modifiers, much higher power strobes both battery and mains powered.

The lower power option they are making a noise about really is a gimmick though, I think I only wanted less power than 1/256th once and I achieved that by moving the flash back a couple of feet.
 

FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
CR Pro
Sep 9, 2014
452
119
53
Four things stand out:

1 $$$$ (yikes)

2 faster recycle times (yeah/wahoo!!!)

3 the Power setting options (yessiree!!!)

4 a built-in Fan for cooling (Nice!)


Oh, and it looks pretty cool too!
 

H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
434
568
The lower power option they are making a noise about really is a gimmick though, I think I only wanted less power than 1/256th once and I achieved that by moving the flash back a couple of feet.
I wouldn't call it a gimmick at all.

For a start, I've done plenty of indoor portraits in very space-restrictive settings, including literal caves, where I've had to use multiple layers of diffusion to get the power down to basically cande-light ambient, which is adding more work and time to shoots where I'm already often working against the clock. Secondly, this allows the flash to be controlled in camera to pull off the same power level, including ETTL, which totally takes needing to move anything out of the equation and makes it a lot easier to do this off of just ETTL ratios between lights. Moving the flash also changes the spread, making the flash appear flatter than if it was just a lower power in the same spot.

With it working in ETTL, I can think of dozens of situations where I've been in very low-light environments and on-camera flash is way too powerful even at 1/256th. My normal ISO photographing dances for the newspaper is 6400, and I look forward to this allowing me to add a pop to the foreground using exposure compensation ETTL while keeping the ambient, colorful dance lights filling in the background. With technology today I really don't focus on portraits always ending up at ISO 100, and this makes it a lot easier to work a flash into a natural light F/1.2 portrait on the street at night for fill without having to stick a dozen diffusion gels overtop of it. To me this is an ideal natural-light flash as a news photographer, and I'm sure plenty of wedding photographers will feel very similarly about it, especially ones who typically lean towards natural light.
 
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ashmadux

Art Director, Visual Artist, Freelance Photography
Jul 28, 2011
465
39
New Yawk
photography.ashworld.com
There are some nice features, the flash memory function, the battery, second curtain sync (though I have never missed not having it) the led modeling light etc etc, but it is too rich for my blood at this point and I am a pretty heavy 600EX-RT user, I own seven. Maybe if I did more event work and my order book looked strong but my current setup of 600’s and Einstein’s works well enough.

If I was in the $1,000 per flash price bracket then the Profoto seems to make more sense to me as it integrates with a complete lighting system of modifiers, much higher power strobes both battery and mains powered.

The lower power option they are making a noise about really is a gimmick though, I think I only wanted less power than 1/256th once and I achieved that by moving the flash back a couple of feet.
2nd curtain sync is a big deal - super awesome even. But not for 1100.00.
I wouldn't call it a gimmick at all.

For a start, I've done plenty of indoor portraits in very space-restrictive settings, including literal caves, where I've had to use multiple layers of diffusion to get the power down to basically cande-light ambient, which is adding more work and time to shoots where I'm already often working against the clock. Secondly, this allows the flash to be controlled in camera to pull off the same power level, including ETTL, which totally takes needing to move anything out of the equation and makes it a lot easier to do this off of just ETTL ratios between lights. Moving the flash also changes the spread, making the flash appear flatter than if it was just a lower power in the same spot.

With it working in ETTL, I can think of dozens of situations where I've been in very low-light environments and on-camera flash is way too powerful even at 1/256th. My normal ISO photographing dances for the newspaper is 6400, and I look forward to this allowing me to add a pop to the foreground using exposure compensation ETTL while keeping the ambient, colorful dance lights filling in the background. With technology today I really don't focus on portraits always ending up at ISO 100, and this makes it a lot easier to work a flash into a natural light F/1.2 portrait on the street at night for fill without having to stick a dozen diffusion gels overtop of it. To me this is an ideal natural-light flash as a news photographer, and I'm sure plenty of wedding photographers will feel very similarly about it, especially ones who typically lean towards natural light.
I wish i knew as much as you did about flash. It's been a frustrating learning experience, and I'm still bad. TTL is all over the place, and for the fast moving situations I shoot, manual is not an option.
 
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privatebydesign

Garfield is back...
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,115
3,283
120
I wouldn't call it a gimmick at all.

For a start, I've done plenty of indoor portraits in very space-restrictive settings, including literal caves, where I've had to use multiple layers of diffusion to get the power down to basically cande-light ambient, which is adding more work and time to shoots where I'm already often working against the clock. Secondly, this allows the flash to be controlled in camera to pull off the same power level, including ETTL, which totally takes needing to move anything out of the equation and makes it a lot easier to do this off of just ETTL ratios between lights. Moving the flash also changes the spread, making the flash appear flatter than if it was just a lower power in the same spot.

With it working in ETTL, I can think of dozens of situations where I've been in very low-light environments and on-camera flash is way too powerful even at 1/256th. My normal ISO photographing dances for the newspaper is 6400, and I look forward to this allowing me to add a pop to the foreground using exposure compensation ETTL while keeping the ambient, colorful dance lights filling in the background. With technology today I really don't focus on portraits always ending up at ISO 100, and this makes it a lot easier to work a flash into a natural light F/1.2 portrait on the street at night for fill without having to stick a dozen diffusion gels overtop of it. To me this is an ideal natural-light flash as a news photographer, and I'm sure plenty of wedding photographers will feel very similarly about it, especially ones who typically lean towards natural light.
Well like I said I have needed lower than 1/256th power vary rarely and certainly nothing adjusting the aperture or moving the flash back a little haven't solved. Having said that I also carry diffusion/neutral density gels but can honestly say I have never used them other than to demonstrate what they do.

I don't understand the second point, you can control any of the flashes from the camera now.

As for your other scenarios, it has been shown before that in ETTL the EX flashes will fire at less than 1/256th anyway, I suspect Canon have just opened up to manual selection what ETTL was always doing anyway.

But if it is a feature you need then all power to you, lower power isn't in the top 50 features I would have listed to Canon as important in a new flash.

For instance:-
Why doesn't it have a touch screen?
Why doesn't it have a screen that can display all five groups at the same time?
Why doesn't it have a button per group? You still have to scroll to see or control each group in turn!
Why didn't they go for a round head that would support many more modifiers?
Why don't they make modifiers or even more gels? We were promised more gels for the 600EX-RT, they never came.
Why are we still stuck with a scroll wheel/D pad main interface? How many times have you pushed when you wanted to scroll in the heat of the moment?
Why are we stuck with the same output as the 550EX from 1998? The only thing that changed was the zoom range.

Sure the EL-1 is a nice new flash with some interesting updates on the 600EX-RT II, but considering the competition in the market and the outstanding features and system wide output levels some third parties offer at a fraction of the price I think it is a hard sell and would be very reluctant to recommend it as a solid lighting investment at $1,099! Even if you insist on Canon here is my experience, I bought a brand new 600EX-RT II for $500 and sold it within a couple of months to buy three first generation 600EX-RT's secondhand!
 
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jdavidse

R5
CR Pro
Sep 13, 2012
102
106
Well like I said I have needed lower than 1/256th power vary rarely and certainly nothing adjusting the aperture or moving the flash back a little haven't solved. Having said that I also carry diffusion/neutral density gels but can honestly say I have never used them other than to demonstrate what they do.

I don't understand the second point, you can control any of the flashes from the camera now.

As for your other scenarios, it has been shown before that in ETTL the EX flashes will fire at less than 1/256th anyway, I suspect Canon have just opened up to manual selection what ETTL was always doing anyway.

But if it is a feature you need then all power to you, lower power isn't in the top 50 features I would have listed to Canon as important in a new flash.

For instance:-
Why doesn't it have a touch screen?
Why doesn't it have a screen that can display all five groups at the same time?
Why doesn't it have a button per group? You still have to scroll to see or control each group in turn!
Why didn't they go for a round head that would support many more modifiers?
Why don't they make modifiers or even more gels? We were promised more gels for the 600EX-RT, they never came.
Why are we still stuck with a scroll wheel/D pad main interface? How many times have you pushed when you wanted to scroll in the heat of the moment?
Why are we stuck with the same output as the 550EX from 1998? The only thing that changed was the zoom range.

Sure the EL-1 is a nice new flash with some interesting updates on the 600EX-RT II, but considering the competition in the market and the outstanding features and system wide output levels some third parties offer at a fraction of the price I think it is a hard sell and would be very reluctant to recommend it as a solid lighting investment at $1,099! Even if you insist on Canon here is my experience, I bought a brand new 600EX-RT II for $500 and sold it within a couple of months to buy three first generation 600EX-RT's secondhand!
Solid points. This flash could have launched at $600 and all these points would still be valid. There is no reason not to have a full 5-button row for groups A-E, a screen that shows them all and a more friendly interface. This thing looks like the back of the 430EX.
 
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Juangrande

EOS 90D
Mar 6, 2017
102
134
Profoto's £1000 speedlight has sold well despite it being a little flakey. If this is solid, it has a market.
Flakey? I use the A1 either on camera as a controller/fill in conjunction with other ProFoto lights at events or on commercial shoots on stands, with a VAL, or as an accent light and it’s been nothing but 100% reliable with zero issues, love that light and it’s seamless integration with the rest of the line. I also used to own six Canon speedlights that I would use all together and never had any sync issues or misfires with those either, also an excellent flash system but lacking larger mono lights to add to the mix seamlessly. I am surprised at that launch price though, not sure currently the market will support it well. Personally I wish they’d gone with a round head as it’s a more natural looking fall off and seems to be the standard now.
 
Apr 21, 2015
3
2
If you're buying this, you're getting it for the recycle time. I plan on getting one or two or my main light (when not using my B1's), to group with my 600ex-rt ii's. The ability to charge with the LP-E6 charger is an added bonus.

Sure, it's more expensive than Photos A1/A1x's, but the Profit interface sucks, mostly because the Air Remote's interface does not display the current power output.

People purchasing this are professionals who are willing to invest in a reliable system with the best service around. Cost isn't an issue for those folks.
 
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wockawocka

EOS R
Sep 13, 2011
842
151
1/8192 power

Like, that's nice to have. But everything else is a bit Godox-y and 6 times the price? Am I missing something else outstanding / game changing / evolutionary?

Just that at over a grand I can hire a motorhome and tour Scotland for a week.
 
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