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Thread: Speedlite EL-5

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Speedlite EL-5

    I forgot to post about the other announcement, a new Speedlite EL-5.

    I am not in the market for new speedlites, but I do like what I am seeing. Granted, it isn't compatible with my R5, as only the R6II, R7, R10, and R3 have the new multi-function hotshoe.

    Speedlite EL-5 (canon.com)

    https://youtu.be/ZOrFhFtU_p0

  2. #2
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Mine arrived on Thursday of last week, from B&H's first allottment. They were delayed from the original late March shipping date, but earlier than the revised late June date. My first realization was that Canon does not include the LC-E6 charger needed for the included LP-EL battery, and since I don’t have any cameras that use LP-E6 type batteries, I had to order an LC-E6 to charge the drained battery. That came on Saturday.

    Overall an excellent flash. Blazing fast recycling compared to my eneloop-powered 600EX-RT units. Onboard controls are ok, better than the 600EX but the camera menu controls are still easier. The one-button access to the camera’s flash menu is great (ST-E10 has it, too).

    The EL-5 is slightly larger than the 600EX, and also the head on the EL-5 does not lock. The head on the 600EX-RT locks for swivel and bounce at forward-facing 0 and 90, with a push-button release on the hinge. The EL-5 head moves freely (with detents, of course). I first tried the EL-5 on the R8 with the RF 24/1.8, the flash felt quite ungainly. Better balanced with the 28-70/2, but then it’s almost like the camera itself is not there. The EL-5 balances perfectly on the R3 with any lens.

    The red/IR AF assist grid on older flashes like the 600EX does not work with MILCs, so instead the flash emits an intermittent burst from the main tube for AF assist. The EL-5 (like the EL-1) has an LED assist/modeling lamp. The EL-5's is variable intensity on the newer compatible R cameras but not R3, rather the flash LED is full brightness for a dim or dark scene, and the intermittent main flash tube firing happens for assist when there’s almost no light (or with the lens cap on). On the R8, the flash’s LED assist is the go-to. I can’t get the intermittent main tube assist to fire even with the lens cap on. The brightness of the flash LED assist does vary, even within the same acquisition – with a very dim scene it starts dimmer then goes to full brightness. In practice, there’s typically enough light to focus with either camera, I find assist beam activation to be rare. It’s much less frequent than with a DSLR (which makes sense with the improved AF sensitivity).

    My initial feeling is confirmed – I’ll use the EL-5 as a go-to on-camera flash and use the 600’s off-camera. The only advantage of the 600 is that I always have fully-charged eneloops available, whereas I may not have the LP-EL fully charged if I don’t anticipate needing a flash. Not a big deal, as the 600’s would get the job done in that case.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Again, thanks for the insight. The rapid refresh rate would be tempting. I do not use flashes a lot, but when I do, I will often have underexposed image or two where the flash didn't recycle fast enough with my 600 EXs. It would be nice to avoid that. I hadn't appreciated that the LP-EL batteries were not LP-E6s and can't be substituted. So, they use the same charger, sure, that is nice, but from what I read, the LP-EL is slightly larger and can't be used in my R5, for example.

  4. #4
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    I hadn't appreciated that the LP-EL batteries were not LP-E6s and can't be substituted. So, they use the same charger, sure, that is nice, but from what I read, the LP-EL is slightly larger and can't be used in my R5, for example.
    Correct. The LP-EL is ~3/8" longer than the LP-E6, it overhangs the edge of the charger.

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