Is Canon's $1,000 flash (with a red ring) actually worth it?

Is Canon's $1,000 flash with a red ring actually worth it?
(Image credit: Canon)

Canon's brand new professional Speedlite E-L1 has just launched – and for the princely price of over a thousand bucks. It's a beautiful flash, with the same signature red ring typically reserved for Canon's premium L-mount lenses, but is it worth the asking price? 

The Canon Speedlite E-L1 is now hitting stores, with an eye-watering RRP of $1,099 / £1,299 / AU$1,699. Obviously, for that price, you're getting the best Canon flashgun on the market – and one of the best flashguns, period. At the end of the day, though, it's a lot to pay for a strobe – in fact, it's almost as much as a Canon EOS RP with a Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM. So what do you get for the cash? 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.