Canon has unveiled its first professional ‘L-series’ flashgun, the high-performance Speedlite EL-1, which is scheduled for release in ‘Summer 2021’.

The new Canon Speedlite EL-1, which will be available early next year. (Source: Canon.)

Designed to match the performance of flagship mirrorless and DSLR cameras, the Speedlite EL-1 is the first to carry the ‘red ring’ – Canon’s hallmark of professional ‘L-series’ image quality. It is also the first Canon Speedlite with a competitive Guide Number of GN60 and the first with bi-colour LED modelling lamps, which enable photographers to see where and how the light of the flash will fall on their subject and to make any necessary adjustments to colour temperature and brightness.  The new flashgun can achieve the highest continuous firing performance of any Canon Speedlite, being capable of up to 170 continuous full power flashes in a burst without overheating and supporting high-speed flash charging in 0.1 to 0.9 seconds. With a new low-power option down to 1/8192th, photographers can control the flash output across 14 steps of range. It is also possible to connect the Speedlite EL-1 to up to 15 other flashes for studio levels of performance, while radio wireless transmission provides creative options that include second-curtain synchro. Using the Flash Exposure (FE) memory feature, the Speedlite EL-1 can store the last E-TTL flash shot settings, allowing the photographer to switch to Manual Flash mode, making minor adjustments around these settings as needed.

This diagram shows the flash head structure of the Speedlite EL-1. (Source: Canon.)

Other features that make the Speedlite EL-1 ideal for photojournalists, sports, wildlife and wedding photographers include its weather resistant sealing, which is similar to that in Canon’s EOS-1D X series cameras and its high-capacity battery, which supports approximately 335 flashes at full power. For the first time a battery level indicator is provided on the Canon LP-EL battery pack for additional reassurance and users can see when the battery should be replaced. The Speedlite EL-1 also includes an active cooling system with an internal fan to maintain consistent flash performance during extended periods of shooting.

A new user-friendly interface and joystick enables photographers to navigate the menu and change settings quickly. The LCD screen has also been enhanced with a white backlight and white text on a black background making it easy to read settings, even in low light. A greater degree of bounce movement has also been added enabling 120 degrees of tilt for greater bounce control. A bounce adaptor and two-colour filters included in the box. The battery can be recharged with the sane LC-E6/LC-E6E charger as used on many of Canon’s existing cameras.

The Speedlite EL-1 will be available from authorised local dealers in Summer 2021. Pricing will be set at dealer discretion. Click here for more information.

Also announced today is the EOS M50 Mark II, which will not be coming to Australia. Equipped with a 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a single SD card slot, it offers 4K 60p video with no frame cropping but lack in-built image stabilisation. It makes little sense to put IBIS on lower-end consumer cameras when electronic stabilisation is used on high-featured action cams as well as on pro Cinema cameras. Perhaps this model will mark the end of EF-M mount cameras and lenses enabling Canon to concentrate on the more versatil RF mount.