Canon announces EL-5 flash: A compact and affordable alternative to the pro-level EL-1 Speedlite


posted Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT


Alongside the R6 Mark II camera and RF 135mm F1.8 L IS USM lens, Canon announced a new flash, the Speedlite EL-5. We weren't able to test the new flash last week in San Diego at the Canon press event, but we were briefed about the product. The EL-5 is best described as an EL-1 "junior."

The two flashes share some key features, including the same high-speed charging circuits and overall flash power. The two flashes are both 76Ws and have the same guide number of 60m/197 ft. at 200mm (ISO 100).

However, where the two flashes differ is in their inclusion of active cooling. The EL-1 has a built-in fan to keep the flash cool and let it fire 335 consecutive flashes. Without the built-in fan, the EL-5 delivers about 95 consecutive flashes. The EL-5's full power recycling time is 1.2s, which is 0.3s slower than the EL-1.

Canon EL-5

Without a built-in fan, the EL-5 is a bit lighter and smaller than the EL-1. With its LP-EL battery, the same battery as the EL-1 takes, the EL-5 weighs 607g, whereas the EL-1 weighs 687g. The EL-5 is also a bit shorter. Both flashes feature an LCD display and joystick to navigate the menus. Concerning the menu, the EL-5 has three custom flash settings and some flash functions can be assigned to the control ring on Canon's RF lenses. Like the EL-1, the EL-5 also includes an LED modeling lamp, which can also be used as an AF assist lamp.

Canon EL-5

"The new Canon Speedlite EL-5 flash will give that magical kiss of light that brings a picture to life and illuminates your creative vision," said Canon Explorer of Light, Bob Davis.

The EL-5 utilizes Canon's Multi-function shoe connection, so it's only compatible with Canon's EOS R series cameras with the new connection, including the EOS R3, R7, R10 and the brand-new R6 Mark II. The EL-5 will be available in March for $399, $500 less than the EL-1's current selling price and $700 less than the EL-1's MSRP.