The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ doesn’t have as much of an effect on people these days as it did back when many companies had shady manufacturing processes. However, some think there’s an added value that can be placed on a name. With prices of photography-related gear descending, it always makes your eyes water when you see the prices of some of the new gear that’s hitting the street. Enter the Elinchrom ELM8 LED – a small, continuous light source that costs as much as some cameras. Join us after the break for details about the light, and to see why we think it’s time for marketing companies to stop scaring our wallets.
The idea behind the Elinchrom ELM8 LED (or ‘Eliminate’, which I assume they are going for) is excellent. Carry smaller, lighter gear that can eliminate (see, I told you) multiple pieces of lighting you would otherwise have to carry around with you. Huzzah! What a novel idea.
The spec sheet reads nicely. A warm 5600k color temp, 8000 lumens at full power that can take on the sun (somewhat), a native beam angle of 120 degrees, water resistance rated at IP54, a battery that lasts anywhere from 50 to 245 min with a recharge time of two hours, a weight of 2.6lbs, and the ability to be fired remotely from 100m. Sounds nice. The problem is that it doesn’t seem too dissimilar from other products on the market. The main difference with the Elinchrom ELM8 continuous LED is the price. This bad boy will set you back (this is where you cover your wallets eyes) a cool $1,699. The price does not include a transmitter either. Yeah, it boggles our minds too.
Look, we get it. We know how nice it is to be able to say you use brand X (go ahead, stroke that ego). But at the end of the day, there are many more cost-efficient options on the market that will get the job done equally as well. There is nothing spectacular about the product apart from the name that it carries. Okay, the cheaper options might be a bit heavier to lug around, and your pants may fall down from the extra weight of saved money in your wallet, but trust us when we say cheaper options are not bad options.
You could easily buy a Flashpoint XPLOR 400 Pro strobe from Adorama (I use Flashpoint lights, and they have never failed me), and you would walk away with a light that works well in bright sunny conditions, and only weighs slightly more than the Elinchrom ELM8 LED. If you went this route, you would have $1,000 left over after buying the trigger of your choice, and you would not be left wanting more performance-wise.
Everyone is different, of course, and everyone has their own preferences. It’s all good: you are free to spend your money as you wish. But today, with the technology available in even the small brands, it’s hard for a company like Elinchrom to justify the prices they are charging for gear that likely comes from the same factories in the same hoods as the vast majority of equipment on the market. The Elinchrom ELM8 LED is available now for $1,699. What do you think about the Elinchrom ELM8 LED? Do the specs and portability justify the eye-watering price? Let us know in the comment section below.