Chinese manufacturer Yongnuo may have just made flash trigger receivers obsolete. In a bold move, they have openly announced their latest manual flashgun, the Speedlite YN560-III, which was previously hinted at late last week. The device is almost identical in specifications to the YN560-II except for one (possibly game-changing) addition: integrated 2.4GHz flash triggering.
Any user of either Yongnuo RF-602 or RF-603 wireless triggers will be able to sync their camera with the YN560-III out of the box — a surprising capability, considering that the two systems are not themselves inter-compatible with each other. Using the flash’s LCD control panel one can select which of the 16 available channels is preferred. Then you can trigger the device from as far as 100 metres away. A “GRP” button label suggests the possibility for wireless flash grouping in the future.
Other features lend the YN560-III well to a range of off-camera lighting setups, all of them inherited from the YN560-II.
- Guide number of 58 (at 105mm)
- Power control down to 1/128
- 3 second recycle time at full power
- 16-channel radio receiver, compatible with RF-602, RF-603
- Hotshoe, PC port and dual-mode optical slave (alternative options to radio triggering)
- Fresnel head zooms from 24mm to 105mm focal lengths, plus flip-down diffuser panel
- Stroboscopic “Multi” flash mode for creative effects
- External high voltage battery input socket, to speed up recycle times and increase endurance
- User-configurable ready beep
Though it does not look like you can use the YN560-III as a radio transmitter on your camera, if you wanted to use on-camera flash and radio triggering of remote flashes simultaneously, you can mount an RF-603 transceiver on your DSLR hotshoe and then slide the YN560-III into the hotshoe on top of that. Other possible configurations include using a 3rd-party transmitter with a built-in autofocus assist lamp.
Pricing information for this flashgun has not yet been released, but it is easy to imagine that it will be cheaper than other radio-capable flashes such as the Canon 600EX-RT or Quantum Qflash, since the Yongnuo has stripped out non-essential features like TTL control. The RF-603 radio transmitters for your camera — assuming you do not already have a couple — are widely available for under US$30 a pair or about the same for an RF-602 transmitter-receiver kit.
Rival brand Phottix claimed they had a “game-changer” on their hands with the Mitros TTL HSS flash. Have Yongnuo done the same? Share your opinions in the comments below.