"Power related problems" with the LP-EL battery for my EL-5

Hi everyone. It’s been a while. I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced a similar issue as me? In sum, my LP-EL battery for my EL-5 is simply not holding its charge while in “storage”. My flash is less than two months old (55 days to be exact), and by storage, I mean less than 24-hours between speedlite off and on usage.

Situation details:

Step 1: My LP-EL battery becomes empty after a fun day of using it. When the flash is working, I've been happy with it. :)

Step 2: Charge LP-EL battery with LC-E6 charger — that did not come with the product, and is a detail that's become hard for me to forget being an R3 user. ;)

Step 3: Place fully charged LP-EL battery in flash.

Step 4: Turn on flash, battery appears fully charged.

Step 5: Turn off flash, store away for the night, so that I'm ready for tomorrow. :sleep:

Step 6: Next morning, turn on flash, no power in battery. :(

Step 7 (optional): Panic, because I only have the one battery my flash came with, and photoshot starts in less than an hour. :eek:

Step 8 (non-optional): Order a second battery. :giggle:

Step 9: Reach out to my friends on Canon Rumors for insights.

But seriously, this has now happened to me three times in the past week.
On page 28 of the “Speedlite EL-5 Advanced User Guide” (CT2-D256-A) there are several statements that have just caught my concern. Canon notes:

  • Charge on the day of use, or the day before. Batteries gradually lose their charge while in storage.”
  • When the Speedlite is not in use, remove the battery. If the battery is left in the Speedlite over extended periods, the trace amount of current that continues to flow may lead to over-discharge and reduce the life of the battery […] Note that storing the battery when it is fully charged may reduce its performance.”
Ok, with reasonableness, I understand (and respect) the notion that all batteries “gradually” discharge over time, but in my case, we’re talking a complete discharge in less than 24-hours (and yes, the flash is turned off). And while I’m guilty of not removing the battery when the speedlite is not in use over night, with reasonableness, I would not consider 24-hours an “extended period of time”. Is anyone else experiencing this? :unsure:

I'm really hoping I just have a defective battery, and that this is something Canon will replace. I need to check the warranty info. But if the above instructions need to be treated religiously (charge on the day of use), that's just nuts. For what it's worth, I never had this kind of rapid discharge issue with any of my four 600 EX-RTs and PowerEx rechargeable batteries (some of which lasted years, and never once did I remove them nightly). Your thoughts and experiences welcome.
 
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Unlike you, I don’t use flash very often (but like you, I have an R3 and was annoyed to find upon opening the EL-5 package that I had no way to charge the battery).

The last time I used my EL-5 was three weeks ago. I charged the battery fully the day before, fired a handful of shots with flash (<10), then just put it away. I checked this morning and the battery level was 54%.

That seems like expected behavior, what you are experiencing does not. I would contact Canon for warranty service.

I use eneloops in my four 600EX-RT flashes, they can sit for months between uses and still have ample charge left. I guess I will have to change my behavior with the EL-5. I took Canon’s advice and pulled out the battery at its current charge level (that’s general Li-ion battery advice – don’t store fully charged).
 
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Discharging completely overnight isn't what'd I'd call acceptable behaviour. When your 2nd battery arrives you can see if it's the battery or the flash, but either way, I'd have a word with the place you bought it from about replacing the faulty thing.
Agree. I now have a second battery, so I'll run some tests to see if was a faulty battery, or something else. I'll keep you posted.
 
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Thanks for the sound check, guys — it’s very much appreciated.

While I do not know the cause, I most certainly have an issue with my LP-EL not holding its charge, so I’ll be reaching out to Canon warranty services.

Update with details:
  • For the fourth time this week, my battery has died on me within a day(ish) of it being fully charged, and without any flash counts.
  • While I didn’t take any observation notes the first three times, I did on the last. Here’s what I observed:
  • My battery went from full charge to empty within ~30-hours, and with a 0 “full flash count”.
  • For my observations, I only turned on (then soon off) my EL-5 six times, and each time only for a moment that was long enough to check the battery’s “information” (as shown on page 47 of EL-5 manual), which I consider a nice feature to have. (y)
Here’s my results:
  1. 0-hour: 100% charge
  2. ~8-hours later: 71% :cry:
  3. ~12-hours later: 65%
  4. ~16-hours later: 45%
  5. ~24-hours later: 23% :sick:
  6. ~30-hours later: 6% then 0% within two minutes of checking.
I suppose I was lucky to get a reading on my last check because as soon as I pulled out my camera to snap a picture at the 6% mark, the charge fell to 3%, then totally off, but not before I snapped this picture showing a “0” flash count at 3%. What I don’t understand is why the “recharge performance” appears so good.

I received a new battery yesterday, so I’ll run it through a few tests to see if I just had a faulty battery with my flash, or it’s something more serious. I don’t like when my honeymoons with new gear are short, but thankfully I still have one remaining 600 EX-RT as a backup because this time I didn’t sell all my old gear at once. :)
 

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Hi everyone. It’s been a while. I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced a similar issue as me? In sum, my LP-EL battery for my EL-5 is simply not holding its charge while in “storage”. My flash is less than two months old (55 days to be exact), and by storage, I mean less than 24-hours between speedlite off and on usage.

Situation details:

Step 1: My LP-EL battery becomes empty after a fun day of using it. When the flash is working, I've been happy with it. :)

Step 2: Charge LP-EL battery with LC-E6 charger — that did not come with the product, and is a detail that's become hard for me to forget being an R3 user. ;)

Step 3: Place fully charged LP-EL battery in flash.

Step 4: Turn on flash, battery appears fully charged.

Step 5: Turn off flash, store away for the night, so that I'm ready for tomorrow. :sleep:

Step 6: Next morning, turn on flash, no power in battery. :(

Step 7 (optional): Panic, because I only have the one battery my flash came with, and photoshot starts in less than an hour. :eek:

Step 8 (non-optional): Order a second battery. :giggle:

Step 9: Reach out to my friends on Canon Rumors for insights.

But seriously, this has now happened to me three times in the past week.
On page 28 of the “Speedlite EL-5 Advanced User Guide” (CT2-D256-A) there are several statements that have just caught my concern. Canon notes:

  • Charge on the day of use, or the day before. Batteries gradually lose their charge while in storage.”
  • When the Speedlite is not in use, remove the battery. If the battery is left in the Speedlite over extended periods, the trace amount of current that continues to flow may lead to over-discharge and reduce the life of the battery […] Note that storing the battery when it is fully charged may reduce its performance.”
Ok, with reasonableness, I understand (and respect) the notion that all batteries “gradually” discharge over time, but in my case, we’re talking a complete discharge in less than 24-hours (and yes, the flash is turned off). And while I’m guilty of not removing the battery when the speedlite is not in use over night, with reasonableness, I would not consider 24-hours an “extended period of time”. Is anyone else experiencing this? :unsure:

I'm really hoping I just have a defective battery, and that this is something Canon will replace. I need to check the warranty info. But if the above instructions need to be treated religiously (charge on the day of use), that's just nuts. For what it's worth, I never had this kind of rapid discharge issue with any of my four 600 EX-RTs and PowerEx rechargeable batteries (some of which lasted years, and never once did I remove them nightly). Your thoughts and experiences welcome.
I'm glad that I have found this forum as I too have exactly the same issue as Jeffrey. I too obtained the EL-5 after being forced to acquire another Camera Body (R62) after my R6 (bought in 2020) hotshoe came loose and I had to send it to be fixed. Unfortunately, it was not under warranty so cost me €130. This was early December 23 and I'm still waiting for it to come back.
So I upgraded to the R62 and noticed that there was a new Hotshoe on this camera. I'm not a great fan of using Flash but I know there are times when it is required. I normally work with Godox Speedlites due to the fact that they have a very good lithium batt that lasts forever. But I've always wanted to know what the difference was between a Canon Flash that costs x2 as much as a Godox or other brand. I must say that I have indeed found out what that difference is. and I will not be using other brands except Canon again.

However, moving back to the topic on hand, I will also be contacting Canon about this as it makes no sense that you charge up the battery the night before you go to a gig, get there and realise that the flash isn't working due to the battery being totally dead!! Happened to me the first time I used the flash and for a very important gig. Luckily, I carry a LP-Charger in the bag (just in case) but I still had to wait an hour to get it charged before I could use it. IN the meantime I had to revert back to my 5D Mk3 to get the job done.


I'll post any updates from Canon about the EL-5 or Battery as I have it.
 
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However, moving back to the topic on hand, I will also be contacting Canon about this as it makes no sense that you charge up the battery the night before you go to a gig, get there and realise that the flash isn't working due to the battery being totally dead!!
Before the holidays, I charged mine to full. I've used it several times a day for the past week, leaving the battery in and the flash in the hotshoe since before Christmas. I put it away this morning, the EL-5 reports the battery at 80% charge. I do store it with the battery removed, based on the earlier discussion on this topic.
 
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Before the holidays, I charged mine to full. I've used it several times a day for the past week, leaving the battery in and the flash in the hotshoe since before Christmas. I put it away this morning, the EL-5 reports the battery at 80% charge. I do store it with the battery removed, based on the earlier discussion on this topic.
Have you tried to charge it fully, then leave it in the Flash overnight and see what the charge is the next day? Why should this battery be any different to those that are powering the cameras (LP-6, NH etc) I leave them fully charged in the Camera (2 in fact as I have the Grips) and never had any discharging going on...
I'm about to check that I don't have any wireless setting active that could be chewing the battery even though it's not even turned on.
 
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Have you tried to charge it fully, then leave it in the Flash overnight and see what the charge is the next day? Why should this battery be any different to those that are powering the cameras (LP-6, NH etc) I leave them fully charged in the Camera (2 in fact as I have the Grips) and never had any discharging going on...
I'm about to check that I don't have any wireless setting active that could be chewing the battery even though it's not even turned on.
I have, and it's at 99-100% the following day. After ~3 weeks with the battery in the camera with no usage, it dropped to ~55%.
 
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DominoDude

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Can't say I use my flash a lot (an EL-1) - it's a behemoth of a flash - but it eats battery like nothing I have ever encountered before. I toss it into the charger the day before I intend to use it and let it get fully loaded, then on the day of using it, I toss it back to have it recharged just so that I have a better chance of it keeping enough juice for what I intend to shoot.
Could even be the battery itself and how that is constructed since you don't even need to have it in the flash to see its capacity go lower and lower and lower.

It reminds me slightly of a 18650 battery I have in a flashlight: It is supposed to deliver a lot of juice, and it does, but it also drains a lot - a serious lot!!! - even when not in use at all. So it could be something we have to live with for it to be able to "stand at attention" when we really need it.
Canon could (and should) make this a lot clearer to the users of EL-flashes.
 
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