In the rush to supply cameras that shoot images to a fabulously high ISO we often forget that there is such a thing as an on-camera flash. That is until we try the ISO trick in some place that not only has insufficient light, but suffers from foully mixed colour emperatures and a subject that moves faster than we can cope with. Eventually all the high-tech solutions to seeing are exhausted and we either have to light up the subject or go home.
Canon have always made a very popular and capable set of electronic flashes that integrate with their cameras. The latest one - the Speedlite EL-1 is in the Murray Street shop right now.
The basic form of the thing is the same as it has always been - large tilting head - electronics and batteries in the bottom - and a multi-contact foot for the hot shoe. With the EL-1 , however I note some new things that I haven't encountered before:
a. High-capacity Lithium ion battery for 300+ full power flashes and a full power recharge time of .9 of a second. Whole lotta 'lectricity goin' on...
b. 14 stops of power. Heck of an improvement over the dear old days of off, half, and full power shooting.
c. 160 continuous flashes.
d. GN 60.
e. 687 grams with battery mounted.
f. Wireless working.
This flash is not an add-on afterthought - it carries a price tag that means you will buy it when you need it - not before. But the abilities it gives to a Canon pro shooter are enough to justify the outlay.