Yet another lithium flash: Yongnuo YN720

Yongnuo has announced the YN720, the company's third radio-enabled, lithium-ion-powered speedlight in as many months. Does it replace the YN860Li?

Yongnuo Speedlite YN720

Chinese lighting manufacturer Yongnuo has announced a new flash, the Speedlite YN720. The YN720 is the company’s third lithium-powered flash announced in as many months, following the YN686EX-RT for Canon and the manual-control YN860Li.

Confusingly, Yongnuo’s latest device is very similar to the YN860Li, with some minor improvements to the specifications. The YN720 has a 2000 mAh lithium battery (versus 1800 mAh in the YN860), providing up to 750 full-power flashes on a single charge. The form factor is slightly different, with a larger screen and squarer body shape.

Otherwise, everything is pretty much the same: a guide number of 60, recycle time of 1.5 seconds, zoom control from 20–200mm and a built-in 2.4 GHz transceiver that allows the YN720 to trigger and be triggered by other manual flashes in Yongnuo’s wireless system. There is a USB port for firmware updates.

From the back of the flash you can control up to six wireless groups, made up of other YN720, YN685, YN560 III, YN560 IV and YN660 flashes. The YN720 itself can be controlled from other YN720, YN560 IV and YN660 flashes, or the YN560 TX controller. The system is compatible with RF-605, RF-603 and RF-602 wireless flash triggers, so you can add in other flashes but they’ll only support basic triggering.

Yongnuo Speedlite YN720

Interestingly, the manufacturer’s web site doesn’t list the YN860Li in the list of compatible flashes. There’s a chance this means that Yongnuo has cancelled release of the YN860Li in favour of the YN720, which has a bigger battery and otherwise very similar specs. I haven’t seen the YN860Li on sale on eBay or Amazon yet. However, the new YN560 TX II doesn’t appear either, so it could just be an oversight.

Yongnuo Speedlite YN720

The Yongnuo YN-B2000 battery is the same one used in the YN686EX-RT. It is charged by the YN520 rapid charger. You can now find the battery and charger available separately for around $50 on Amazon and eBay.

Yongnuo Speedlite YN720

Yongnuo Speedlite YN720

There are LEDs on the front of the unit where an autofocus-assist lamp would normally be, but since the hotshoe only has a single electrical contact on it, this is probably a blinking LED to indicate the flash’s status when in radio slave mode.

Update: Yongnuo says both the YN860Li and YN720 will be released in November 2017. No word on pricing yet. For more information, visit the Yongnuo YN720 product page.

David Selby
Based in Paris, France, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a quantitative analyst.
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