Quick hands-on with the Yongnuo YN-622C

We received two sets of the Yongnuo YN-622C, a wireless flash triggering system compatible with Canon E-TTL. Given the number of different functions offered by these remotes (as the 28-page instruction manual attests) this article is not a full review, but a teaser of what’s to come. It will take more time to test each feature, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses and make a formal analysis. We will be testing the triggers in real-life scenarios, including studio sessions with various compatible Canon flashes.

Yongnuo YN-622C

As mentioned in our FAQ, at this stage Yongnuo have not planned to make versions of the YN-622 for other camera brands. It does not surprise me that the firm chose to focus on Canon first, since until the introduction of the ST-E3-RT and 600EX-RT Canon’s wireless E-TTL was fairly rudimentary compared to Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS). The market for improvements to E-TTL wireless transmission is a solid one, especially when you consider the pricing of Canon’s own RT system.

For a complete list of the functions of the YN-622C, please refer to this article.

Note: We recommend buying from local distributors in your country or region. That way, any problems you encounter can be dealt with by your nearby dealer under warranty, rather than having to liaise with one on another continent (in this case Asia).

The YN-622C (so far) are sold in pairs for around $100 (£65). These radio devices are actually “transceivers”, which means they can act as either transmitters or receivers. Mount one on the camera and it switches to transmitter mode, while taking a shot or pressing the test button will tell all other units nearby to become receivers.

Yongnuo YN-622C

The build quality surprised me because I’ve previously used Yongnuo RF-603s on Nikon cameras and they were pretty decent in this area, albeit not bombproof. The quality of plastic used is very good and does not flex when pressure is applied to it. It does not have that cheap plastic feeling. The buttons and switches are good quality too, so in this respect my impression is very, very positive.

One of the features I was most pleased to find on the YN-622C is an integrated autofocus assist lamp, which for cameras like the Canon EOS 5D and 5D Mark II is very welcome (as on these cameras Canon have not built in their own AF-assist lamps). Of course this beam has the same limitations as the AF light found in flashes (580EX, 580EX II, 430EX, 430 EX II, 600EX-RT etc).

Yongnuo YN-622C

 

At close range, the beam can miss the mark, making it less useful, but I still think it’s great that these triggers have this function. There is a novel application for the YN622: now my 5D has a focus-assist lamp even when not using flash (when doing sessions in ambient light, without flash) without having to mount a speedlight in the hotshoe. If, on the other hand, you do not want this feature, you can disable it from the camera menus.

Yongnuo are also to be commended for making these transceivers run on AA batteries (a pair per unit). You can find these everywhere in disposable and rechargeable variants. Universally available batteries like this should be the industry standard, but sadly some manufacturers still make radio transmitters accepting obscure, hard-to-find power sources.

Yongnuo YN-622C

Something that makes the YN-622C’s distinctive is their size. When I say they are big, they are big, but this profile is projected horizontally (forward) over the lens where it doesn’t get in the way and is perfectly manageable.

The hotshoe feet are of good quality metal, with no indication of them straining under the weight of a speedlight. There were no signs of flexing when pressure was applied, unlike cheap and nasty plastic that creaks when squeezed by hand. Since this transceiver is designed to attach to the camera hotshoe, the E-TTL information goes into it that would usually be sent to a Master flash (580EX, ST-E2, 600EX etc).

Yongnuo YN-622C

Mounting the YN-622C directly on my 5D (classic, i.e. Mark I) the maximum sync speed was 1/200 second with my Jinbei DC-600, which left my presently surprised. What normally happens with studio lights (not just the DC600) is that the 5D only manages 1/160 second at maximum, even with a sync cable connecting the camera directly to the flashes. As a result, these radio transmitters become ever more attractive to people like me who still have the EOS 5D or 5D Mark II, cameras normally limited to 1/160 second sync speed.

I can also say that I’ve never had any problems with the YN622C when it comes to interference. Even when they are close to each other, there are no issues (more than can be said for the Cactus V5, for example). The 5D Classic is usually susceptible to radio interference on the sensor causing banding in the final image, but I can say that this is not a problem here either.

OK, that’s all I can say for now until I finish doing the comprehensive testing and cover all 28 pages of the instruction booklet. Stay tuned. Can’t wait? Buy your own and see if it arrives first!

  • Scott B.

    Eduardo F. or David S. which ever one of you who’s doing the test ? Will either of you also try doing some tests with the Nissin Di-866 Pro flash as well as the Canon 580 EX II and the Canon 430 EX II flashes, please. That way, we can see a nice head to head battle and really compare between the Yongnuo YN-622c triggers and the Pixel King’s (Canon). Thanks

    • http://www.eduardofrances.com Eduardo Frances

      Hi Scott, we won’t be able to do tests with the Nissin DI-866 because we don’t have one for Canon cameras, the tests will be done with what we have at hand (430 EX and 580 EX II) :)

  • Andrey

    Hi. Can you please give more details on how AF support beam works? Is it as good as on Canon flashes? Or weaker?

  • FMJ

    I use a 5D classic too, and wonder without the newer on screen flash control, how do i make adjustment if i have to?

    I realize the PixelKing has the same problem too?

    thanks

  • Radek

    Hi,
    Can someone tell me how to trigger strobes with phottix odin(nikon)
    I can trigger it with rf-603 but not with odin :-/
    Maybe I have to change some settings in camera??

  • Ed

    Have you tried super sync with your Jinbei DC-600 yet? I’m curious what the combo will sync up to

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=823250388 Jey Nelson

    My unit is already coming and had a chance to test it a while. Built quality is good, interface is straight forward and all stuffs (except HSS) runs perfectly on the YN-565EX flash.

  • william fong

    we seriously needs a review on these babies quick haha… any updates??

  • stevo

    They should have used AAA batteries and made the size similar to that of RF603.

  • http://twitter.com/Roberito23 Robert Hunter

    I am a big fan of the website, but just starting out when it comes to lighting. This post sort of touched on a question I’ve had. I too have a Canon 5D Classic and just to get started, I purchased a set of RF603′s and a YN460 II. They work great and I have learned a lot with them and getting my flash off camera, but of course my sync speed only gets up to 1/200 (with a fresh set of batteries). My question is what would I need to upgrade to get my sync speed faster than 1/200? Is this even possible with a Canon 5D Classic?

    • QN

      You need to set your camera to hyper sync

  • J Ervin Bates

    I bought one shortly after seeing a review from a photographer I follow. I am extremely happy with it, although a sync cable would have been nice for each transceiver. All in all, a GREAT purchase!!!

Wordpress Ad Management