Buying a third-party flashgun from China is a good way to save money, but often it means missing out on features. Until today, no Chinese-branded speedlight has supported “High Speed Sync” (also known as FP Sync or HSS) — the rapid pulsing that permits photographers to use flash at shutter speeds over 1/250 second.
The YN-568EX from Yongnuo (a company based in Shenzhen) is the latest product in their Speedlite EX range, following the TTL-enabled YN-565EX and manual YN-560EX. The new YN-568EX has TTL (including wireless slave mode) for Nikon or Canon, manual adjustment, an optical slave mode and a large LCD control panel. It is also the first hotshoe flash from a Chinese company that can synchronise up to 1/8000 second on Nikon or Canon cameras.
High speed sync is not the only difference between the YN-565EX and YN-568EX. The 568 also has a different body shape, new control panel and has a common 2.5mm jack instead of the outdated Prontor/Compur (PC) sync port on the 565.
There are trade-offs too, though: there is nowhere to plug in an external battery pack on the YN-568EX. And while you’re probably going to be paying more for the 568EX over the 565EX, neither unit can “do a Russell Crowe”, acting as Master/Commander for an advanced optical wireless set-up.
All these model numbers and technical terms can get a bit confusing, so here’s a comparison table of Yongnuo’s EX-series Speedlites to see how they differ in features:
|Guide number (105mm)||58||58||58|
|Recycle time||3 seconds||3 seconds||3 seconds|
|Zoom head||24 - 105mm||24 - 105mm||24 - 105mm|
|Manual mode||1/1 - 1/128||1/1 - 1/128||1/1 - 1/128|
|External power input|
Why buy the YN568EX? Get it if you want a capable system flash with on- and off-camera TTL capabilities and full manual control. With its support for fast shutter speeds, you can pair it with the new Yongnuo YN-622C for a complete radio-controlled off-camera flash system. If you just want a good manual flash and aren’t planning to use it on-camera or with TTL triggers, consider instead the YN560EX or YN560II.
Pricing and availability for the Yongnuo YN-568EX have yet to be announced, but expect to see samples on display at Photokina in September. Upon release, it will be on sale at Yongnuo’s official online store.