Yongnuo has officially announced the YN568EX II, their first flashgun able to act as a wireless TTL master. Photographers will be able to put this new flashgun on their camera and use it to control the settings of nearby EX-series Speedlites. It is similar in spec to flagships such as the Canon 580EX II and the new Phottix Mitros.
Until now we only had a couple of Yongnuo banner adverts and a Weibo post to go on, but now the manufacturer has listed the product on their official web site. The YN568EX II will have an “ultra powerful” guide number of 58 (at Iso-100, 105mm zoom), E-TTL exposure control, manual adjustment and Multi (stroboscopic) mode. The head will zoom from 24–105mm.
Everything can be controlled from the rear-facing backlit LCD panel. There is a 2.5mm port for synchronisation with older cameras and triggers. From a full power pop the flash unit will take about three seconds to recharge (or 4–5 seconds with older AA batteries) but unfortunately there is nowhere to plug in an external power source if you wanted to speed this up. It will make a beep when ready, but you can turn this off if it’s distracting.
It may be no Russell Crowe, but the YN568EX-II can act as Master and Commander over your remote flashes. If you’ve been buying from the same brand, that means you’ve got the power to tell the YN500EX, YN560EX, YN565EX and original YN568EX what to do from afar. It’ll also work with Canon EX-series speedlites and the Nikon Speedlight SB-600 or better (when the Nikon version is released). Various Metz, Nissin and other third-party flashes should be compatible too.
In slave mode, Yongnuo’s EX-series flashes are (for one reason or another) actually compatible with both Nikon and Canon’s flash systems at the same time, so it doesn’t matter which variant you buy so long as you have it set to the right mode. High-speed sync (HSS) is supported up to 1/8000 second, along with the depth-of-field preview modelling light, flash exposure compensation and rear curtain sync.
Pricing and availability have not been announced, but the first release will be a Canon E-TTL version, with a Nikon i-TTL variant likely to make its way to the market some time (months) later. For reference, the original YN568EX currently goes for about US$170 on eBay.
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