The Speedlite EL-5 is a newly designed flash that receives many features from the flagship Speedlite EL-1 while also including modern features all its own. Two popular features found in the EL-5 are the modeling lamp and the use of the high-capacity LP-EL rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. The modeling lamp aids the photographer in seeing the effect of the flash’s light emission, including providing an idea of how shadows will fall on a subject. With this battery pack, and firing at full 1/1 manual flash power, the Speedlite EL-5 emits a guide number of 60m/169.9ft @ 200mm (at approx. ISO 100) with the ability to recycle to full power in just 1.2 seconds, and with the potential for up to 350 full power flashes being possible on a single battery charge. To improve working with the Speedlite EL-5 the joystick and select dial from the EL-1 are featured making operation easy, so adjustments can be made quickly, while shooting. Additionally, the new Multi-function connector at the EL-5’s “foot” enables advanced communication on multi-function shoe equipped cameras1providing more customization and control to be shared between the flash and camera.
(Important: Because of the transition to Canon’s Multi-function accessory shoe, please be aware that Speedlite EL-5 cannot be mounted or used on Canon cameras with other accessory shoe designs.)
The Speedlite EL-5 receives some of the best features of the flagship Speedlite EL-1 flash to improve the agility, and versatility of the working imagemaker, or advanced photographer. With the use of the Canon LP-EL rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, built-in Modeling light (LED), impressive flash output range, and in adopting updated user interface controls, and customization – the Speedlite EL-5 is the ideal tool to elevate your flash photography.
The high-speed charging system of the Speedlite EL-5 is truly impressive and is designed to meet the creative needs of the advanced image maker. With the use of the LP-EL rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, recycle times are greatly reduced even when compared to a Speedlite 600EX II-RT using the CP-E4N battery pack.
With the ability to recharge in just 1.2 seconds during full power flash sequences in Normal flash mode, and recharging in approx. 0.1 seconds2 at minimum power in Normal flash mode – the Speedlite EL-5 is a high-performance flash that can deliver stable flash output even during high action situations. At full power, it can be fired up to 95 continuous times3 or more!
Battery Pack LP-EL is charged with the same Canon LC-E6 charger that’s used for the LP-E6-type batteries used in many EOS cameras.*
Any tool will only be valuable, if there are opportunities to use it to its full potential, and with the Speedlite EL-5 whether shooting indoors or out, dark situations or bright, or with a close-up or far subject – it has numerous features to handle challenging situations with ease.
Whether you need the maximum flash output to capture a deep depth of field scene in a dark environment, or just a kiss of fill-light to reduce the shadows on the face of a subject – the Speedlite EL-5 has you covered with an extended flash output range of 1/1 to 1/1024th power (a three stop improvement compared to Speedlite 600EX-II RT – 1/1-1/128th), with full 1/1 manual power emitting a guide number of 60m/169.9ft @200mm (at approx. ISO 100).
Working with a variety of lenses is also easy, as the Auto zoom functionality allows flash coverage from 24-200mm. The additional 14mm wide panel can also be used for wider-angle flash coverage when working beyond 24mm. With a higher-precision flash output the Speedlite EL-5 will be a trusted companion for creative flash situations.
The new digital connector at the bottom of the Speedlite EL-5’s Multi-function shoe “foot” allows for greater flash to camera communication. In the case of the EL-5 you get superior coordination between the camera and the flash unit compared to previous Canon Speedlites, including the “Menu direct” function, Customize button function, and Custom flash modes. Gold-plated terminals in the shoe improve connection quality, and the installation status is checked before starting communications, to ensure reliable connection to cameras such as the Canon EOS R3, R7, R10, and R6 Mark II.
Speedlite EL-5 sports a modern and refined look, featuring the same joystick, Select dial and LCD panel as the flagship Speedlite EL-1 – creating an intuitive user interface, that enables quick adjustments while shooting. With Camera-linked functions available through use of the “Speedlite menu direct button” in compatible EOS R-series camera’s “Customize Buttons” menu, the use of the joystick can easily display “Flash function settings” or even “Quick flash group control” screens on the camera LCD screen for access to quick adjustments. Additionally, with the high visibility LCD panel on the Speedlite EL-5, it’s easy to check settings, and even available battery during high action situations.
Changing flash modes and settings on the fly in high-stress situations can be extremely challenging – and with the addition of Custom Flash modes, the ability to instantly switch between registered setting including E-TTL auto flash to Manual flash and individual values is now possible. This is extremely helpful in situations where ambient light changes frequently (Ex. shooting a bride and groom kissing on the alter, then switching exposure to a backlit scene as they walk out of the church.) This is also highly desirable when your priority for lighting changes from lighting a scene, to lighting only a face. This versatility can also link C1, C2, and C3 at the flash to C1, C2, and C3 at the camera on compatible cameras – allowing the recall of flash settings registered in Speedlite EL-5 using the camera’s shooting mode. By registering the flash settings in-advance the flash mode is directly switched using the camera’s shooting mode setting.
Previewing the effect of a flash has become easier with the addition of a built-in LED Modeling lamp. Brightness level can be set at five different levels, and can be controlled either by the dedicated button, or by pressing the shutter twice. Additionally, off-camera Speedlite EL-5 Receiver unit’s modeling lamps can now be activated and deactivated from a Sender Speedlite EL-5 to check its flash effect when using multiple Speedlites. Whether using the lamp for checking where your shadows will fall on a subject, or to aid AF-assist this LED light is incredibly helpful.
Canon’s Camera Connect smartphone app allows users to control the wireless flash settings, shutter release, and check photo results. The user can operate and configure these settings from a smartphone without touching the camera or flash unit(s). This is particularly useful for multi-flash shooting, shooting with flash unit(s) placed in hard-to-reach spots, and shooting with a limited number of assistants. The user can choose the placement and direction of each flash unit, and then use the app to adjust the light intensity while checking the shooting results on the smartphone screen.
In addition to the new rubber seal around the shoe locking mechanism, the EL-5 achieves dust and moisture-resistant performance equivalent to that of EOS R5. To ensure airtightness, sealing is applied to the joints of the exterior cover. Even when shooting under difficult conditions, dust and moisture is prevented from penetrating the unit body.
1 Currently supported cameras include the EOS R3, R6 MKII, R7, and R10, and each will require a firmware update to be released in Spring of 2023.
2 Based on Canon’s measurement standards, when using a new, fully charged LP-EL battery.