Yongnuo YN-E3-RT radio controller officially released

The first third-party alternative to the Canon ST-E3-RT is going on sale for $150.

Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

The first third-party alternative to the Canon ST-E3-RT is going on sale. For photographers wanting wireless control of their Speedlite 600EX-RTs, Yongnuo’s YN-E3-RT, priced $150, is almost half the price of the original yet isn’t an exact clone.

The YN-E3-RT has the same form factor — clip it to your camera and adjust your flash settings using the top-facing LCD screen. You get E-TTL control, manual power adjustment and high-speed sync to boot. But the Chinese firm has added in one or two extra features that it reckoned were missing from Canon’s offering.

According to the manufacturer it has an operating range of 100 metres (versus Canon’s 30m) though this may be taken with a pinch of salt. At the time of writing the only compatible radio-enabled flashgun is the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, though an aftermarket YN600EX-RT is supposed to be on the way. Note that the YN-E3-RT does not work with the YN-622 or RF-603 system.

Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

The major difference between the YN-E3-RT and the ST-E3-RT — other than the price — is the addition of an AF-assist light on the Yongnuo version. Since Canon EOS cameras still don’t seem to feature such illuminators of their own, this little LED could prove a godsend for photographers shooting in dim environments.

Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

How reliable is it? We will be getting one of these little transmitters in to our offices soon to write a full review. If you need the absolute most reliable option, wait until our review published, save up for the real deal or opt for another tried-and-tested flash trigger. It remains to be seen if the YN-E3-RT will live up to its specs.

BrandCanonYongnuo
ModelST-E3-RTYN-E3-RT
Frequency2.4GHz2.4GHz
Compatible with600EX-RT600EX-RT
Range30m100m
Channels1515
Groups55
High-speed syncYesYes
Built-in AF assistNoYes
Water-resistantYesYes

The Yongnuo YN-E3-RT is on sale now from certain sellers on eBay and Amazon. If in doubt, visit the official Yongnuo store, which should have stock soon. Are you thinking of going for one of these modules or do you prefer another kind of radio trigger? Share your opinions below.

David Selby
Based in the West Midlands, UK, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a statistics PhD student.
selbydavid.com