A new flash trigger looks set to replace the Yongnuo RF-603, with improved features and RF-602 backwards-compatibility. However, it is made by another company with a different brand name.
The Meyin RF-604 is a 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger with TTL pass-through and wireless flash grouping, making it similar in some ways to the Phottix Strato II Multi. Each RF-604 can behave like either a transmitter or a receiver by flicking a switch on the side between “TX” and “RX” modes. The maximum range is reportedly 100 metres and the triggers should synchronise flashes with a camera at shutter speeds up to 1/250 second.
Interestingly, there is also a “for 602” position, which puts the trigger on a frequency compatible with the RF-602 flash trigger made by Yongnuo. This setting makes the Meyin trigger effectively a Yongnuo RF-602TX: it can trigger RF-602 receivers but Yongnuo RF-602s cannot trigger Meyin RF-604s.
Meanwhile, the Yongnuo RF-603 is not backwards-compatible with the RF-602, so the Meyin RF-604 could be an attractive alternative to RF-603s for any customer wanting to upgrade from RF-602s. Another benefit of “for 602” mode is that it should be able to trigger the new Yongnuo YN560-III radio-enabled flashgun.
Meyin is part of the Rikon group, a collection of photographic accessory companies based in Shenzhen with no connection with Yongnuo Photo Equipment, who are based in the same town. The cross-compatibility is as a result of reverse engineering, not any deal struck between the different companies, a source high in Rikon confirmed to Lighting Rumours.
So, Yongnuo may be none-too-pleased when they find out that somebody has improved one of their triggers, given it a similar model number and made it backwards compatible with their products (but not vice versa), presumably in an effort to poach their customers or some similar business strategy. When has something like this happened before? What’s the worst that could happen?
Update: the MeYin RF-604 is now in stock. There are two versions — Canon and Nikon — priced at US$37.99 for a set of two from EachShot.com.
Are you interested in this product? What do you think of this example of Chinese business practices? Share your thoughts in the comments below.