Yongnuo YN560-III flashgun announced with built-in 2.4GHz radio

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.

Yongnuo YN560-III

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

Yongnuo YN560-III

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.

Once launched, you will find the Yongnuo YN560-III on sale at the manufacturer’s official store. For further technical information, visit the official product page.

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.

  • mooboy

    Really nice feature, but only problem is, RF-602s and RF-603s really aren’t up to par with lots of the other triggers out there now. They also both just really cater to Canon and Nikon, where as I still think simple triggers like those should be cross platform (a la Pocket Wizard).

    If they’re the same price as the yn-560 mk iis, then I’ll be a little annoyed I didn’t wait to get them. However, I don’t think I’d be willing to pay any extra for the triggers inbuilt unless was for a trigger system I’m already using.

    However, hope this will be start of a new trend, and other makers will build their receivers in! (I’d have loved this if I was still using my yn triggers).

  • DarrenWard

    The one problem with these built in triggers is if the triggers go out of date the whole flash does. If you keep the separate you’ll probably never need to replace a flash unless it breaks.

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      Well, not quite. The RF-602s were replaced by the RF-603s and both are still compatible. And the “GRP” setting suggests a future manual trigger from Yongnuo (with wireless flash grouping) that will also be compatible, but that last bit is just speculation on my part.

    • Peter

      If you switch trigger system, you could always continue to use the flash with the new triggers either via the PC sync port or the hotshoe.

  • Ryan Lindsey

    What to me says that they want to make radio triggers obsolete (which this particular model doesn’t do until its compatible with their 622 TTL triggers), is that they haven’t changed the model name to anything obviously linked to radio ability, like RX.

  • george pahountis

    I m wondering if the would be compatible with the phottix strato triggers.A step to the right direction though..

  • eric_t

    This would be very interesting if they also came out with a more advanced transmitter that allows changing power and zoom level from the camera, like e.g. Odin.

    I don’t use TTL, so a cheap, manual-only system with control of settings from the camera would be perfect for me.

    • Doug Birling

      That’s what I thought too.

      • ed1

        that’s what we all think but they don’t seem to acknowledge

    • george pahountis

      sounds good for me 2!

  • http://www.facebook.com/antlvk Anthony Lam

    622c trigger wont work? dang

  • mooboy

    Thinking about this more, I recently was purchasing a pair of the YN 560iis. At the time, I looked at offerings from Godox and Aputure etc, and could see no reason to go with them over YN-560s.

    However, I just received a set of Aputure triggers that I am quite impressed with. If Aputure had built in triggers to their flashes, and their seeming commitment to maintain standard accros their 2.4ghz range, I would have chosen them over the YNs. I’m sure users of Phottix or Pixel etc would all feel same. Hopefully this is a growing trend among flash makers. But as eric_t said, having abilty to also adjust power would be a huge bonus.

  • http://twitter.com/StuartFawcett Stuart Fawcett

    Super news, I hope i can still fire it from other 3rd party triggers too, I have mix of studio and speedlite flash’s and that would be more normal. I guess in time i could standdardise on the 603 transceiver kit instead for this mix.

  • Wally in Austin

    I want what i have with my nikon d7000 & Pocket Wizzard. For events i/eTTL for flash and camera in Manual mode for shutter and apeture control. The only thing i have to worry about is auto focus and triggering the camera. Make this compatable with Micro 4/3 and Nikanon is in trouble.

  • YNmas

    ” does not look like you can use the YN560-III as a radio transmitter on your camera”
    Does it mean that I can use this unit on my cam to trigger other flashes on RF603 transceivers? The only reason I wanted to upgrade to this is because i have problem securing my RF603 on cam with flash mounted on(no locking mechanism).

    • YNmas

      i mean cannot use to trigger. Cos Rx not Tx.

      • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

        We haven’t tested it yet, but it seems unlikely that it will work as a Tx on-camera, so you may still need to rely on securing your RF-603 on camera.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ciprian-Marius-Lupu/100000714751618 Ciprian Marius Lupu

    i have a d90 and rf 603
    My speed sync with yn 560 II is 1/180..
    The 560 III will use a higher speed?

  • Kev Wyllie

    I currently use Phottix Strato 2’s to trigger my ocf – I’m not too familiar with 602/ 603 etc. and wonder if this will be compatible with the Phottix transmitter?

  • bond4u

    Sound so good to me. I already ordered one from ebay for $85 with additional trigger

  • Immanuel

    Hi, pardon my dumb question but I own no flashgun and I don’t know much about ‘em. The Yongnuo YN560-III is a manual flashgun, so does that mean that when I have it mounted on my camera, I will have to adjust manually the intensity of the flash every time I move further or closer from the subject that I’m shooting?

    • Sonal Kashyap Photography

      yes… most of the time.. you cn also quickly compensate by changing shutter speed

      • bugsy46

        Shutter Speed doesn’t have anything to do with flash power when shooting within sync speed.

  • Tracotains

    Can you tell me if the flash YN-560II and flash trigger yn-622C are able to communicate even in manual?
    Adjustment (manual) can do with my camera EOS 1000D (Rebel XS)?

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      No. You will be able to trigger the YN-560II but you will have to do all adjustments by hand on the flash itself.

  • Garth

    I have a Canon eos 600D. How do I link it to the flash? ( via radio )
    Two RF frequency’s with 16ch’s …. how does this work with the Canon and only 4ch’s? And whet frequency is the Canon on?
    As this is the selling point, and am not able to just turn on and go as advertised, am I missing something?

  • http://www.kellinixon.com/ Bill Nixon

    Great review. I am a pro that shoots weddings for the past 10 years. This looks like a great option for us as we currently use Nikons with Radio Poppers. The problem with the setup we have now is that it is cumbersome. Their is a unit attached to each flash. (Both master and slave)

    However, the Poppers allow for control of the output power (not zoom) for each flash grouped into A, B, or C.

    The issues I see for the Yongnuo 560III’s are these and I wondered if you might address them:

    1. It looks like the flashes are receivers only for RF. What I mean is that I have to mount a RF-603 on my camera to trigger the slaves. I know that the RF-603 has a hot shoe on top of it, but there is no hot shoe lock on the transmitter and it slides around when there is a flash on it. Are they only receivers?
    2. We shoot a good bit in rear curtain sync using off camera flash. I am wondering if these will work in that mode?

  • Flonn

    Is there an af-assist in this flash?

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