EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R8 have gained a quick way to control the settings for up to five groups of Speedlites when using group mode.

Quick flash group control

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E10 on EOS R6 Mark II with quick flash group control display

It has been possible control the settings of Canon Speedlites from the camera LCD screen since the launch of EOS-1D Mark III and Speedlite 580EX II and I have found it really useful. Now EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R8 have gained an additional choice for Speedlite control that provides the slickest way to change the power level, mode or even switch off any of the five available groups. It’s called quick flash group control.

Changing group mode settings simplified

EOS R6 Mark II quick flash group display

With the quick flash group mode display, the EOS R6 Mark II uses its three control dials to change settings making it super fast. You can use the touch screen, but that’s missing out on the speed of operation that the dials offer.

  • Main dial – changes the amount of exposure compensation for the selected group in E-TTL or Ext.A modes and changes the power level for the group in manual mode.
  • Quick control dial 1The dial on the back of the camera next to the LCD – This cycles through the groups.
  • Quick control dial 2The dial on the top the camera just behind the power switch – This changes the mode of the selected group. Modes can be ETTL, ExtA, M and OFF.

EOS R8 is similar but different as it only has two control dials.

  • Main dial – changes the amount of exposure compensation for the selected group in E-TTL or Ext.A modes and changes the power level for the group in manual mode.
  • Quick control dial The dial on the top the camera just behind the power switch – This cycles through the groups.
  • INFO button –  This cycles through the modes for the selected group. Modes can be ETTL, ExtA, M and OFF.

Access Speedlite settings from the flash or camera buttons

Speedlite EL-5 on EOS R6 Mark II

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E10 and Speedlite EL-5 have a button that provides quick access to the flash setting screen. Press the button  on the Speedlite to display the flash menu on the camera. It’s a replacement for the old way of pressing the flash button on the camera to access the settings. This ability is facilitated by the multifunction accessory shoe connections, and needed as all cameras with the new hotshoe lack a flash release button. Additionally EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R8 have options to customise the function of the flash menu button using the camera’s customise buttons. With button customisation you can choose if the familiar Speedlite settings screen is shown, or the new quick flash group control screen.

What I find even more useful is the ability to access to the flash settings using other buttons on the camera. This means that any of the Speedlites and transmitters that support group mode can be readily controlled from the camera. On EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R8 you can also customise a camera button such as the SET button, to access the quick flash group control screen.

Intelligent Speedlite settings display

One thing I quickly discovered is the intelligence that Canon have put in to quick flash group control. If the Speedlite or transmitter on the camera hotshoe is not already working in group mode, the regular flash settings display is shown. For me this means I set the camera to display quick flash group control, and it does the new display whenever I use group mode, but if I’m not using group mode I get the familiar screens to control the flash.

The gotchas…

There are a couple of points that could be problematic, and the first is when using a Speedlite Transmitter ST-E10.

If the ST-E10 transmitter is in group mode, and you press the menu button to display the group mode screen there’s no way to easily to switch the transmitter out of group mode. You have to go elsewhere in the camera flash setting menus and change the mode there. For the other radio Speedlites and transmitters you can press the mode button on the Speedlite to get round this locked in group mode scenario.

Secondly it is not possible to switch on high speed sync or second curtain sync from the group mode screen. My solution is either another programmed button for the standard flash screen, or add the flash settings screen to My Menu. However if you use Ext.A mode for any group then high-speed sync and second curtain sync are not possible anyway.

How to configure your EOS R6 Mark II SET button to access flash settings

This section uses the screens from the EOS R6 Mark II, but the EOS R8 is virtually identical.

Navigate to customise buttons

Select the SET button

Choose flash function settings for the standard flash settings display

Choose quick flash group control to use group mode more efficiently

Your SET button is ready

 

I also customise other buttons on my camera, so they may not look the same as yours. It is possible to have different customised buttons for each of the custom shooting modes C1/C2/C3 if you choose.

What if you don’t use Canon Speedlites?

I have also tried the new display with a Godox X-Pro C flash trigger on the camera, and I can change the mode and power or compensation level of the five groups on the Godox transmitter. Of course there’s no guarantee that this will work for other makes of triggers, but I was quite pleasantly surprised to see it working at all.

 

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag