Canon EOS R6 Mark II, RF 135mm f1.8L and EL-5 Flash – What You Need to Know Updated mid range FF camera and updated fast portrait lens for RF shooters

As part of a huge day of gear announcements, Canon introduced three new professional products – the updated Canon EOS R6 Mark II, RF 135mm f1.8L IS USM lens, and the new SPEEDLITE EL-5 on-camera flash.

Canon EOS R6 Mark II vs. the Canon EOS R6

The original EOS R6 was introduced back in mid-2020 (alongside the R5) and while the EOS R6 Mark II is definitely an incremental upgrade it does bring in quite a few interesting updates and changes. We tried to make a list of all the most important ones below (including some of the things which stayed the same):

  • Sensor: a new 24MP sensor vs. the 20MP of the R6.
  • Processor:  DIGIC X processor (updated version compared to the one on the R6).
  • Auto Focus:  693 phase-detection point grid with sensitivity down to -4 EV.
  • Sensitivity: 100-102,400 ISO (like the older model, at least on paper).
  • Video: 4K 60p with no crop (the R6 had a tiny 1.05x crop) and 1080p at 180p (up from 120p). Also no record limit and better heat management (up to 40 min 4K 60p). 6K RAW (over HDMI).
  • Monitor: same 3-inch, 1.62 million dot, vari-angle LCD as the R6.
  • Viewfinder: 3.69 million dot electronic viewfinder up to 120fps (like the R6 but with a new OVF simulation mode taken from the R3).
  • Flash sync speed – 1/200sec mechanical shutter / 1/250th electronic 1st curtain.
  • Body: Environmentally sealed (like the R6).
  • Continuous shooting – 12 fps mechanical (same as R6) but 40fps electronic (twice as the R6). the buffer also improved with 190 JPEGs, 140 Compressed Raws, or 75 Uncompressed RAW.
  • Battery: LP-E6NH – same as the older model but with 580 images per charge (about 70 more compared to the R6).
  • Audio: Multi-Function shoe for digital audio.
  • IBIS: updated 8 stops IBIS (the new IBIS is said to work better than the one on the R6).
  • Memory card: Dual SD UHS-II (like the original).
  • Connections: USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 for in-camera charging and file transfers (faster than the previous version). 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi (only 2.4GHz were supported on the R6), Bluetooth like the original version and so is micro HDMI (sadly).
  • Weight: 670 grams (10g less than the original version).

Besides the simple specs there are some interesting new features worth mentioning:

  • Focus breathing compensation (we have seen the same from Sony and it will be interesting to see Canon’s implementation and limitations – Sony’s system only work with very selected Sony lenses).
  • pre-capture – similar to some GoPro and other cameras allows for half a second of ongoing footage for events that you don’t know when they might start exactly.
  • False colors – a great addition to the camera assist tools and a first for R cameras.
  • New Stills/video switch on the top left.
  • New shooting modes – multiple exposure mode (JPEGs only) and a Panorama mode (seen first on the R7).

Canon RF 135mm f1.8L IS USM

After many (many) years, Canon finally updated the fast telephoto portrait lens in its arsenal but not to an EF version but to an RF one (people have been talking about a new for a new version of the EF 135mm f/2 L USM way before Canon announced even the original R camera).

The new lens has 17 elements in 12 groups with a UD element, a 70cm min focus distance with Air Sphere and fluorine coatings, and maybe especially interesting a 5.5 built-in stabilization (we can’t think of any sub f/2.8 135mm lens with a stabilization system on the market right now. The lens weighs in at 935g and is about 13cm long.

Canon EL-5 Flash

Finally, we also have the first Multi-Function shoe speedlite (which the R3/R7/R10 and R6 II has) in the form of the EL-5. You can think of it as the smaller brother to the Canon SPEEDLITE EL-1.

The EL-5 features a maximum guide number of 60 at ISO 100 and 200mm. Manual power can be adjusted from 1/1 to 1/1024, and the zoom from 24-200mm (or even 14mm with the built-in diffuser panel).

It has a LP-EL rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack (rated for 350 full-power flashes) and a recycle time between flashes of 0.1-1.2 seconds. You can use the 2.4GHz wireless radio transmission from a range of up to 30m/98 feet (and can control 15 other flashes).

Official Canon video with photographer Bob Davis and the Canon Speedlite EL-5

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Pricing and availability

  • The Canon EOS R6 II will start selling in late November for $2500.
  • The Canon RF 135mm f1.8L IS USM will start selling in late January 2023 for $2100.
  • Canon EL-5 Flash will start selling in March 2023 for $400.

Hands-on and reviews from across the web

There are already quite a few first hands-on with the new Canon products – here are a few of them:

Chris and Jordan using the EOS R6 II

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PROAV TV looking at the video features of the EOS R6 II

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Dan Watson hands-on with the EOS R6 II

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CVP looking on the Canon R6 II 

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Gordon Laing  with a look at the EOS R6 II

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Gordon Laing  with a first look at the  Canon RF 135MM F1.8L IS USM 
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Peter McKinnon playing with the RF 135MM F1.8L IS USM 

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If you don’t want to miss any new photography products be sure to check out our product photography section on our photo gear channel.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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