Yongnuo YN-565 EX Flash Review

Yongnuo YN565EX on Canon Rebel T1iFinally the new Yongnuo YN-565 EX has arrived in the Speedlights.net office! Buying a flash is a quick thing thanks to the internet. What’s very time consuming is the testing, reviewing, and the writing process itself.

Which is why I’ll do it differently this time – this review gets published now, and will be updated and completed over time so that you don’t have to wait forever before the whole text comes together.

Here’s the full review program – available parts as of now are linked from the table of contents:

Intro: Flash Modes and Wireless Flash
Build Quality
Flash Head Features
Operation & Ease of Use
Power Supply
Test: Flash Recycling Times
Test: Guide Number
Speedlights.net Power Index
Test: Flash Duration
Dedicated Remote Slave Mode
No Wireless Master Mode
Radio Triggering
Optical Slave Modes “S1″ and “S2″
AF Assist Beam

coming soon:
-E-TTL Performance & Exposure Quality
-Flash Sync Modes
-Other Features
-YN-565 Review Conclusion

An overview of the YN-565 features can be found on the YN-565 info page – make sure to also check out the user comments and discussion there. For the instruction manual, go here.

Yongnuo TTL flash YN468 YN467 YN465 YN565

In the picture above you can see the new digital flash among its ancestors; all four models are available in Canon version, but for Nikon the choice is still was limited to either YN-465 or YN-467 as of October 2011.

Update: As of December 2011, the YN-565EX can be purchased as a version for Nikon as well! I’ll get one of the new flashes as fast as I can and will add Nikon-specific information to this review.

Flash Modes Intro: Digital TTL, Manual Mode “M”, “Multi” Mode, Wireless Slave

Yongnuo’s YN-565 is the new top flash in their lineup and positioned against the Canon speedlite 430EX II (picture left) – to be competing with the professional 580EX II, the master mode and high speed sync / FP sync are missing.

Yongnuo 565 vs Canon 430EX II

In the table you can see what flash modes are available on the previous Yongnuo top flash YN-468 (picture right) and the Canon mid-range flash 430EX II.

Yongnuo YN-468 Yongnuo YN-565 EX Canon 430EX II
  • E-TTL II
  • M (manual mode)
  • Multi mode
  • (no E-TTL slave mode)

  • E-TTL II
  • M (manual mode)
  • Multi mode
  • E-TTL wireless slave mode
  • film-based TTL
  • E-TTL with newer analog and old digital cameras
  • E-TTL II
  • M (manual mode)
  • (no multi mode on camera)
  • E-TTL wireless slave mode

E-TTL II Mode for Canon EOS DSLR

Yongnuo first became known for their manual-mode flashes, especially the YN-460 model. Then, in summer 2010 they released the YN-560 – a manual mode flash that looks like a clone of the 580EX II from Canon – except for the missing LCD display, and the reduced feature set lacking the automatic E-TTL (II) mode.

Yongnuo YN565EX in ETTL mode for CanonThe new YN-565 EX integrates into the Canon E-TTL flash system. Just attach it to the camera hot shoe, power it on with default setting “ETTL”, and start your shooting – your digital EOS body takes care of the rest. The YN565EX Yongnuo is compatible with most entry and mid-range Canon camera bodies (including 600D, 1100D, 60D, 7D, 5D mk II) but make sure you check the Yongnuo-Canon compatibility page to see if your body is really supported – some Canon bodies are not compatible officially, e.g. the “1″ series pro bodies, or the original Canon 5D. And please don’t forget to leave a comment there with your own compatibility info when you have one of these flashes.

In E-TTL (II) mode the Yongnuo behaves pretty much like a Canon 430 II for the most part. Either use it in full auto mode, or dial in a flash exposure adjustment, or set one of the custom features to fine tune (e.g. AF assist firing, or power saving mode).

The flash can also be controlled through the camera menu system, but this was already possible with the YN-468 before. Change the camera mode dial to “P”, “M”, “Av” or “Tv” if the “Flash control” settings don’t show up on the camera screen (the “green auto mode” does not permit access to flash settings e.g.).

Manual Flash Mode “M”

Yongnuo YN565EX in manual modeA manual flash mode might seem like a relic from the past, but it’s indispensable for more serious shooting with any speedlite. It’s the only mode where you have 100% control over your light. Luckily, all Yongnuo flashes have a manual mode – the same can’t be said about all flashes from Canon, by the way.

In the case of the new YN-565 the manual mode is as good as it gets: all full stops from full power down to 1/128 – that’s 8 settings overall. In between third stops are provided, even between 1/1 and half power. This is the sequence:

1/1 — 1/2 +.7 — 1/2 +.3 — 1/2 — 1/4 +.7 … — 1/128 +.3 — 1/128

Switching to manual mode is equally easy – just push on the “Mode” button on the back of the flash. To dial in a power step use the left/right buttons – no other keys (such as “OK” or “Set”) are required. For the third steps use the up / down keys. As can be seen from the photo there’s no labeling on the “command pad” buttons, but you learn their functionality pretty fast.

Multi Mode (stroboscopic flash)

Yongnuo YN565EX in multi modeI’m starting this with my usual disclaimer: I don’t think multi mode is an important feature in a flash; in fact I think it’s useless pretty much. But if you want to play you find the stroboscopic flash feature on the Yongnuo YN-565.

Multi mode can be set direct on the flash or through the camera body (I’m testing with my Rebel T1i / 500D). In multi mode the following settings are available:

  • flash output:
    1/128 – 1/64 – 1/32 – 1/16 – 1/8 – 1/4
  • frequency:
    1 Hz – 100 Hz max
  • flash count:
    zero – 100 times (depending on power level)

Again, theses settings can be performed on the flash or in the camera menu. Compared to the YN-468 the frequency band has been increased, Yongnuo allows now up to 100 Hz while the YN-468 is limited to 50 Hz max. The other multi mode settings seem to have remained unchanged over the previous model.

YN-565 EX As Wireless Flash (Intro)

Yongnuo YN565EX as wireless slaveThis new flash is the first ever Yongnuo speedlite supporting the Canon wireless slave mode – a big step up from previous Yongnuo flashes that supported ETTL auto exposure already, but only when mounted on the camera body. What you can do now with the YN-565 is keep shooting automatically, even if the flash is on a light stand or hand held for a more natural look of your light.

Owners of a 7D, 600D (Rebel T3i), and 60D can use the built in flash on the camera body to control the YN-565 in remote slave mode – no other accessories are needed. On top of that a Canon 580EX II can be used, or an ST-E2 commander.

The Canon version of the YN-565 can even be controlled in wireless TTL mode by a Nikon flash or camera body (!): Yongnuo lists SB-700, SB-800 and SB-900 as compatible, as well as Nikon camera bodies with built-in master mode (e.g. D70 / D80, D90 / D7000).

The YN-565 master-compatibility table further below in this review shows the official specs, the Speedlights.net test results, plus user reports from the web.

Further testing for the review will also include a range test outdoors as conducted for Nissin Di-622 II or SB-700 before – both under daylight and at night time. Yongnuo gives an official range of 15 meters outdoors – let’s see if that can be replicated.

Contrary to first rumors there’s no wireless master mode (commander mode): the YN-565 can be controlled by another commander flash (in the same way that Canon’s own 270EX II, 320EX, 430EX II and 580EX II can be controlled) but it does not have the ability to control other flashes itself – like the Canon 580EX II can as the only Canon speedlite in the current lineup.

But the Yongnuo offers even more options for wireless slave flash:

  • it is compatible with non-TTL radio triggers such as Cactus V4 / V4 or Yongnuo RF-602 / 603
  • it’s compatible with Radiopopper ETTL triggers (see here for more info)
  • you find Yongnuo’s simple optical slave mode “S1” on the unit
  • plus, there’s also the optical slave mode “S2” with pre-flash detection

Apart from these wireless options, you can also use a TTL remote cord.

Supplied Accessories

The first piece of information posted here is the “unboxing” video where you can see the flash, its accessories, and a test shot with the Canon Rebel T1i (the Nikon version of the flash has not been released yet).


Yongnuo has always been shipping their speedlites with a complete set of accessories, and the new YN-565 is no exception here. The box itself does not provide much cushioning but, as you can see in the unboxing video, there are 2 layers of protection inside to prevent any damage from shipping. First, the YN-565 is packed in its soft case which has been upgraded from previous YN flash models. It’s not a simple bag anymore but a padded nylon semi hard case, very similar to the Nikon and Canon soft cases. Second layer is an additional bubble wrap envelope around flash and soft bag, inside the flash box.

There were concerns previously about Yongnuo flashes being shipped in thin envelopes and damaged during the transport. I would think that with the much improved packaging these problems are a thing of the past now.

Here’s what you find inside the box:

  • the flash
  • instruction manual
  • YN flash “purchase guide” leaflet
  • semi hard case
  • flash stand

The instruction manual is provided in 2 language versions, Chinese and English. The 31 English pages describe the flash features, battery handling, basic functions, flash modes and wireless flash with a good amount of detail. The instruction manual can also be downloaded from Yongnuo direct, or also from here: YN-565 instruction manual.

The “purchase guide” lists 10 products: YN-565, the less popular Yongnuo wireless flash system YN460-TX / RX, their wireless commander ST-E2 (which can be used to control the YN-565), the YN-560 with identical casing as YN-565 but only a manual mode, their other 3 digital flashes YN-465, YN-467 and YN-468, and finally the first 3 manual-mode speedlites YN-460, YN-460 II, and the ‘exotic’ YN-462 – basically a simplified YN-460 but with continuous power control.

The semi hard case is really a great upgrade. It’s padded, nicely made (although not 100% on Canon / Nikon standard), comes with an internal pocket for the flash stand and a velcro closure. It’s also large enough so that the flash conveniently fits, not as tight as the Canon case for the 580.

The flash stand is also a new design and resembles now the Canon flash stand design. This means however that the metal tripod mount insert from the previous YN flash stand design is gone and replaced by a simple plastic thread, but that’s maybe a minor detail.

In addition to the accessories listed above I received a diffuser cap / “stofen” with my flash but that’s labeled as a “free gift” and technically not part of the accessory list. It also doesn’t fit in the box but came as an additional loose item in the shipping envelope.

Build Quality

Yongnuo YN-560 vs 580EX II CanonWith identical dimensions to the Yongnuo YN560 and the Canon 580EX mk II (which they’re both modeled after, see photo on the right) the digital YN-565 is not a small sized flash that fits in your coat pocket.

It’s a full size unit which requires as much space in your photo bag as an average tele zoom lens, something like a 70-300.


With their latest product Yongnuo demonstrates that they don’t rest but have kept working further on improving the quality of their flash units. With the YN-565 Yongnuo has brought their flash to a new quality level – there’s no similarity anymore to the Yongnuo 460 or the YN468, for example.

The outer casing is made of high quality plastic with a finish that feels just like the Canon 580. Everything fits together perfectly, there are also no rough edges or any other imperfections that would take away from the premium feeling the product evokes. You can tell the manufacturing quality is on a high level with little or no tolerances allowed, it actually feels on a slightly higher level than a Canon 430EX II and pretty close to the SB-700 from Nikon even. Time will tell how well it holds up in the long run but I would not have any doubts at this point.

Also details such as the battery compartment cover, the buttons, and the flash foot feel solid and well made. The flash has also a healthy weight of 380 grams without the batteries, that’s only 35 grams lighter than the pro flash 580-II from Canon.

Flash Foot

Yongnuo upgraded their whole range of flash units with metal flash feet as of 2011. It’s actually not the whole foot but the base plate which is made of the new, higher grade material. A positive side effect is easier mounting – the metal material shows less friction in the hot shoe mount.

The base plate has a plastic insert housing the central X sync pin as well as the 4 additional ETTL contacts, plus the retractable locking pin near the front side (this is for the Canon version, the upcoming Nikon version of the flash has 1 + 3 additional pins).

The flash is secured in the hot shoe with a traditional locking wheel rather than the lever-based design chosen by Canon and Nikon. The plastic wheel nut doesn’t look exactly high tech but there’s no disadvantage whatsoever when it comes to achieve a secure mount in the hot shoe. In contrast, it can even be superior for non-camera mounts. The wheel itself has a good size, it’s easy to operate with a good grip.

External Interfaces

The flash’s two external interfaces can be found on the left side of the body under a common rubber flap that can be conveniently moved to the side.

First there’s the non-threaded female PC sync port: use it for connecting a trigger cable, e.g. from a Yongnuo RF-602 radio trigger, or a cable connected to your camera direct. Using radio triggers on the flash foot I do find that a PC sync connection is more of a nice to have feature but your mileage may vary. And it sure does not hurt to have one.

The second external interface is an battery pack connector allowing external power supply via Yongnuo’s SF-17 and SF-18 battery packs – both in their Canon version officially labeled as “SF-18C”, “SF-17C” respectively. It’s not known at this point whether the Nikon version of the flash will feature a Nikon-type battery socket, but I would not expect that, actually.

Flash Head

The YN-565 shares the same adjustable flash head with the manual-mode-only Yongnuo 560. It is pretty large in size but this in turn allows a larger front screen and should help reduce the risk of thermal problems caused by the heat from the flash tube. In the photo below you can see the YN-565 together with Nikon’s SB-700 on the left, and the 2 Canon speedlites 580EX II and 430EX II. The whole flash is quite big but still handles well on a small Canon Rebel T1i body without tipping over.

Yongnuo YN-565 vs Nikon and Canon


The flash head allows adjustment in 2 axes. For bounced flash against ceilings or to use with the reflector card you can tilt it up to a maximum of 90 degrees (straight upwards). For close-up shots or macro photography a -7 degree position can be selected – just push the flash head slightly downwards from the center position.

Swivel is available from minus 180 degrees to the left to plus 90 degrees in the clockwise direction, useful for portrait photography for example or bouncing off walls, e.g. when the ceiling is too high or too dark. The swivel feature is also very useful because it allows to rotate the flash body – with the built-in wireless sensor on its front side – towards the master flash while the flash head can still face the subject that’s usually in a different angle.

There’s no flash head lock button / release but the adjustment mechanism provides a good amount of resistance to keep the flash head in place, except maybe for a situation where a heavier modifier is mounted directly on the flash head, for example a Lumiquest mini soft box III. In that case the weight moves the flash head down to the close-up position at minus 7 degrees – not a big deal if you adjust the light stand to compensate.

Auto Zoom

Yongnuo’s YN-565 provides an auto zoom feature that changes the angle of illumination with the lens zoom position, automatically covering the range of 24mm to a maximum of 105mm with a full frame camera body. This range is identical to the two Canon speedlites mentioned before, while Nikon’s recent models go further into the tele position with 120mm max zoom for the SB-700 or 200mm for the SB-900, respectively. More zoom on a flash is certainly useful for achieving creative lighting effects, the gain in sheer power between 105mm and 200mm is relatively modest, however – smaller than what you’d hope to get out of it.

Sensor Size Zoom on Yongnuo 565For Rebel series cameras with EF-S crop sensor the new Yongnuo automatically detects the smaller sensor size and adjusts the zooming behavior. This ‘auto zoom for sensor size‘ mode works like on a Canon flash, and also the iconography is the same: you can tell the feature’s active from the nested-rectangles symbol in the upper right of the screen.

The YN-565EX chooses a longer zoom reflector position for EF-S than what you see on the lens: it moves the zoom head to 80mm with a 50mm lens, for example. Since 50 * 1.6 = 80 this still provides full coverage of the frame while using the battery power a bit more efficiently by avoiding some waste of light which is otherwise thrown at the surroundings outside of the frame.

The benefit is not drastic but it’s an intelligent approach and a nice feature to have. It’s also a testament to Yongnuo’s progress designing products more and more capable to fully compete with the camera manufacturers’ speedlites, yet still at an attractive price point.

Yongnuo’s flash always zooms with the lens in auto-zoom mode, even if the flash head is pointed to the side, or upwards for indirect flash (some other brand flashes stop zooming in these use cases).

Manual Zoom

On top of the auto zoom feature there’s also manual zoom to be found on this flash. Manual zoom is important for any kind of off-camera flash, be it in a completely manual or “strobist” fashion, or be it within the Canon / Nikon wireless mode. Even Canon’s and Nikon’s own flashes require you to set the zoom length by hand in wireless ETTL/iTTL, i.e. on the speedlite itself.

YN-565 Manual Zoom ModeZooming by hand works a bit differently from the YN-560 (the dedicated “+” and “-” buttons are gone) but in the same way it’s operated on the Canon 580: press the “ZOOM / Lightning stroke” button at the top right until the zoom indicator blinks, and then use the arrow keys to zoom up, or down, or change between “auto” and “manual” mode. Manual zoom mode is incompatible with sensor size zoom (that means the flash always displays full frame values in manual mode). The available zoom steps are identical to the 580 from Canon: 24 – 28 – 35 – 50 – 70 – 80 – 105mm.

Wide-panel plus Bounce Card

By default, the flash head covers the whole picture starting from 24mm wide angle with a full-frame camera body such as the 5D mk II, or from 15mm with an EF-S body such as the Canon Rebel series, or the 1100D.

Yongnuo YN 565 with wide PanelIf you should be using a wider lens than that, you can pull out a wide-angle diffuser screen from within the flash head. With this wide-panel you achieve 18mm coverage with a full frame camera body, or roughly 11mm with EF-S (Rebel series, 60D, 7D).

This wide-panel is also useful as additional light softener together with soft boxes, umbrellas etc. Just remember that this ‘coverage’ doesn’t mean a totally even illumination; expect a significant amount of light falloff towards the frame borders (this is something that almost all compact speedlites display, see further below). In general, indirect flash is clearly the better choice for vignetting-free lighting in a wide angle scene.

The second modifier built into the flash head is a thin white plastic card aka ‘bounce card’ or ‘catchlight panel‘ in Canon’s terms. This card is indeed present on the 580EX II and missing on the mid-range 430EX flash (displayed on the right in the photo below). It’s nothing but a piece of white plastic, roughly business-card size. Unlike the wide panel it does not cover the front lens of the flash but just stands out straight.

Yongnuo 565 wide panel catchlight panel

When taking portrait shots with flash head pointed straight up to the ceiling you can avoid the typical harsh flash looks. This usually comes at the price of dark shadows in the eye sockets, also known as ‘raccoon eyes’. But with the catchlight panel a portion of the flash is reflected and sent straight to the subject for a frontal fill effect, thus leading to a more balanced lighting ratio.

Test: Wide Angle Coverage

Yongnuo YN-565 VignettingTo test the light falloff / vignetting on the frame borders and in the edges each speedlite is tested under identical conditions with a 12mm DX (Nikon) lens, which equals 18mm full frame (the Canon flash was used on a Nikon D90, and set to manual mode).

The flash was set to 24mm with additional wide-panel for the official 18mm full frame coverage, exactly corresponding to the lens-camera combination (converted to full frame equivalent).

So how’s the result? As you can see on the right there is some limited level of light loss towards the borders, but then some clear vignetting in the extreme corners. Keep in mind that this is a test under lab conditions, nothing you’d notice in real life to the same extent. But let’s put this in context.

When you compare this to the Canon 580EX II below (left side), you can see that the Yongnuo is not as even across the whole image area as the pro flash from Canon, which scores as one of the very best in this test. The performance is quite similar to the mid-range 430EX II which is displayed on the right, which means it comes with slightly better vignetting results than the average for other speedlites tested to date – and a better result than the YN-560 which you might expect to have identical score.

Zoom reflector vignetting 580EX IICanon 430EX II light falloff with wide panel


Yongnuo’s YN-565 has a total of 11 control elements: 4 buttons in the top row, one power button, the test flash button, and the 4 command keys with embedded “OK”.

Yongnuo 565 Control ElementsWhen mounted on a compatible camera body such as the Rebel T1i used for the review it can be fully controlled via the camera’s menu system (it’s not a given that every Canon-compatible flash provides this level of control, esp older speedlites such as the first Canon 430EX, and some 3rd party speedlites do not allows this).

The YN-565 comes with a very similar button layout as the Canon 580, apart from 2 details where a different approach has been selected: first is a simpler power button (instead of a turn-switch), and then you find a command pad with 4 “arrow” keys on the flash instead of a wheel.

Responsiveness of the flash is excellent, there is absolutely no reaction time or delay after the flash has been powered on. The buttons are made from hard plastic now rather than the rubber material that Yongnuo were using before (including the YN560). The feel of the surface is excellent, the pressure points well defined – a pure joy to use.

The buttons are even with the surface of the back of the flash which helps prevent any accidental actuation. Their larger size still guarantees good ease of use – unlike the Canon 430 with its tiny buttons that are too small to press down (which is why you’ll use it via camera menu system exclusively).


On/Off is a button, similar to the YN-560 released in 2010 but plastic, not rubber. Keep your finger on it for about 2 seconds to power the unit on, lighten up the display and move the reflector into position. As said above it’s a button and not a switch as found on Canon speedlites; the 2-second delay is a small compromise due to the design simplification (and corresponding, the smaller price tag).

But this can be changed with C.Fn-16: if “quic” is set to “on” this delay is eliminated, and turning it on or off can be done without the delay.

On the bottom left is the test flash button, the only control with a slightly different feel: to fire a test flash requires a stronger button push, but not excessively as was the case with the first series YN-560′s. It’s maybe not so bad to have more resistance for that key, for obvious reasons.

Underneath “test flash” is an indicator LED for flash exposure, similar to the indicator light found on the Canon 580EX mark 2: a correct exposure in TTL mode shows “green”, otherwise the light remains idle. Again, like on Canon’s own speedlites, this is information that should be displayed inside the camera viewfinder where it belongs, and not on the flash; it’s certainly not Yongnuo’s fault that Canon has designed their system the way it is.

In leftmost position in the top row is the display light key – just press briefly to bring up the orange color illumination. The light comes from the left only but is very even and also pleasing to the eye. Keep your finger on the button for about 2 seconds to bring up the custom menu with 12 + 4 functions (see next paragraph) to fine-tune your flash, using the arrow keys.

Setting custom functions is generally much better via the camera menu system, simply because there’s more explanation and text around each option than a segment-type LCD can display. The one exception are custom functions “14″ through “17″ which don’t even display on the Rebel T1i used for this review – these Yongnuo-exclusive custom settings are only accessible on the flash direct.

MODE is the next button, and it simply toggles through ETTL, manual mode “M”, Multi and back to the digital TTL mode ETTL. Slave mode is not available here, nor is the “S1″ or “S2″ mode – all three are selected using other controls; there’s also no way to decide between ETTL or ETTL-II as this is always the camera’s decision. What can be done in terms of ETTL configuration is deciding between “E-TTL II Evaluative” and “E-TTL II Average” – but only using the camera menus.

Flash sync mode, the third button from left in the top row, allows “normal sync” and “rear sync” where the flash fires at the end of the exposure rather than at the beginning when the shutter curtains just opened. You can use the Yongnuo flash under review also in slow sync; this is traditionally something that’s set via camera mode for Canon and not on the flash. But what’s missing is high speed sync mode on this flash, unfortunately.

The top right button with ZOOM/”lightning bolt” label is for both zoom and slave mode operation; this works like at Canon again. A short press give access to the zoom mode, where adjustments are done with the arrow keys. Keep your finger on the button for about 2 seconds until the display changes and you see a flash unit icon on the screen with flashing lightning bolt and “OFF” lettering above. From here you can set the Canon-dedicated wireless slave mode, as well as the Yongnuo-exclusive “S1″ and “S2″ features (exclusive compared to Canon flashes, not in absolute terms because Nissin, Metz, Nikon and others have similar slave modes available on some of their models).

The last control element is the 4-way controller with embedded “SEL/SET” in the center. The keys are used to browse through the custom features, for example, or set a certain channel and group for wireless mode, or a flash exposure compensation, or a manual zoom step.

As said above: the alternative to adjusting the flash with its own control interface is to use the camera’s menu system – Yongnuo’s 565 is fully compatible there. Due to the better button design it’s less of a necessity than in the case of the Canon 430EX II (who’s buttons are too deeply recessed to use them properly), but it can be more convenient in some cases, while direct button access is faster in others.

430EX II Sub-Mode Evaluative on T1i

LCD Display

The Yongnuo’s LCD panel is pretty large. It’s using the “segment-type” technology, not a dot-matrix screen. With this it’s not as flexible in terms of characters or images to display (you notice the limitation most when it comes to the custom features) but the contrast is very good and it’s easy to read.

Yongnuo Segment Type LCDYN 565EX Display Light

The display lightens up in orange rather than the green light used by Canon and Nikon. The light is coming from the left side of the screen, but the illumination is very even and pleasing to the eye. The display light is not coupled with the shutter on the Rebel T1i, so the light doesn’t turn on with a half-press of the shutter release, but that’s the same with Canon’s 580EX II as well as the 430EX II – a Canon limitation, not a Yongnuo peculiarity.

The picture here gives information on the symbols and icons used on the display of the flash.

Settings and Customization

Yongnuo’s YN-565 offers 14 custom features that can be adjusted using the camera menu system – that’s the same number available on the Canon 580EX II, and more than what their mid-range 430EX II allows. On top, there are 4 more custom functions which are accessible through the flash only.

Rebel T1i menu screen C.Fn-08Here’s not the full list but only the list of custom features the YN-565 has more than the 430:

  • C.Fn 3: FEB auto cancel
  • C.Fn 4: FEB sequence
  • C.Fn 5: Flash metering mode – can be accessed, but only “E-TTL II” available (the menu jumps back after another mode was keyed in)
  • C.Fn 6: Quickflash with continuous shot – can be accessed, but only “disabled” available (the menu jumps back after another mode was keyed in)
  • C.Fn 12: Flash recycle with external power – can be accessed, but only “Flash and external power” is available (the menu jumps back after another mode was keyed in)
  • C.Fn 13: Flash exposure metering set. – can be accessed, but only “Speedlite button and dial” is available (the menu jumps back after another mode was keyed in)

Since modes 5, 6, 12, and 13 don’t permit any settings to change it’s actually only the FEB = flash exposure bracketing feature where the Yongnuo looks better than the 430EX mark II when it comes to its custom functions.

Yongnuo Custom Function 14As a Yongnuo-exclusive development you get 4 more custom functions with the YN-565; these can’t be set through the camera menu system but through the speedlite’s custom functions menu direct:

  • C.Fn-14: the sound prompt feature with flash recycling “beep” (displayed in the picture; “SOnd–” stands for “SOund off”)
  • C.Fn-15: provides “sleep mode” fine tuning with settings between 3 minutes and 5 hours
  • C.Fn-16: eliminates the 2-seconds delay when powering the flash on or turning it off with the main switch
  • C.Fn-17: allows a reset of the flash to restore the factory defaults

Power Supply

Like all modern flashes the Yongnuo YN-565 runs on 4 AA sized cells, either alkaline or NiMH type are usually recommended. Alkaline batteries are a cheaper investment upfront but they can’t be recharged which is why you always have to keep a stock of them handy; they also don’t provide the same kind of throughput rechargeable NiMH cells deliver so flash recycling times are longer, and the maximum number of shots per battery is also less.

Battery loading and unloading for the YN-565 are super easy and fast: exchanging a pair of batteries just takes seconds. The battery compartment door opens very wide and stays open thanks to a spring mechanism at the hinge. First thing you see in the battery case is the easy to read polarity sticker – it’s amazing how many other models of flash have left me puzzled at first as to how the 4 cells must be loaded.

Yongnuo Speedlite YN 560 Battery Chamber

There’s a center divider in the large battery compartment keeping each cell in its place, much like individual battery silos but with easier access for your hand (the pic above shows the YN-560, which is 100% identical when it comes the battery bay).

The mechanism is a slightly simplified copy of Canon’s 580 EX II design, the only thing left out on the Yongnuo is the additional round sliding lock switch in the middle of the door. But the door keeps shut without it very reliably and the entire layout combines safety with great ease of use – it can be easily operated with one hand, even in a stressful situation.

YN 565 with SF17C / SF18C Canon SocketOn top of – or in addition to – the internal battery option there’s also a socket for external power available on this flash.

The socket is a Canon type (we’ll have to see until the Nikon version comes out if it will also use the Canon type socket, or if it will have a Nikon type; I assume it will also be Canon-type, because that’s what the instruction manual says).

Yongnuo’s own Yongnuo SF-18C or Yongnuo SF-17C battery packs can be used (the “C” stands for “Canon”, make sure you get a Canon version!). Use of an external battery pack does further shorten the already very fast recycling times – see next paragraph for the impressive results with the internal cells – but it also does increase the number of flashes per charge.

Test: Flash Recycling Times

Modern flashes have full-power recycle times between 2 and 6 seconds, depending on their maximum power and battery type. Speedlights.net recycle times are tested according to ISO 2827; see details.

Alkaline and NiMH Results

According to the official specs the flash recycle time is 3 seconds with alkaline batteries which is in the range of a Canon 430EX II or Nikon SB-700 and faster than the pro models 580EX II and SB-900, respectively. As can be seen from the graph below this mark is reached in the test for the first 4 – 5 shots in a series of flashes fired with maximum cadence (i.e. right after the red full-charge indicator lights up again after the previous flash). From the 5th shot on the recycling time goes up a bit and stabilizes at around 3.5 seconds, which is still a good performance given the high guide number.

Yongnuo YN-565 Flash Recycling Times Test Table

NiMH times are not provided by Yongnuo, but they are always metered in the Speedlights.net testing as a 2nd energy source. Not surprisingly the result is even better here with 2.0 seconds as the average. Canon 580EX II achieved 3.0 sec in our test, 430EX II came in at 2.0 sec as well, and the less powerful SB-700 scored 1.8 seconds with NiMH. Click on the thumbnails to see flash recycling graphs for Canon and Nikon.

Canon 580EX II Review Flash Recycle Times with NiMH and alkaline batteriesCanon 430EX II Flash Recycle TimesNikon SB-700 Recycle Times alkaline NiMH

The following video shows the flash recycle test, Yongnuo RF-602 was used for triggering:


Overheating Protection

Yongnuo builds an overheating protection circuit into all of their speedlites and consequently it’s also present on the new model Yongnuo YN-565. When the flash gets too hot the electronics block the firing mechanism for around 3 minutes, and there’s a corresponding signal for the user in the form of alternating red and green blinking of the flash-ready LED. Overheating protection mode did not occur in testing nor practical try-out, so there’s no issue with over-sensitivity (as opposed to the SB-900 where the feature kicked in during the tests).

Test: Flash Output and Guide Number

The guide number (GN) of an electronic flash is a measure of the maximum light output – visit the test details page to learn more.

Official Specification: 58 at 105mm

Guide number tests are always fun (I mean it seriously). It’s the moment of truth for any flash, the neutral & objective test of how much light you can get. As you’d almost expect – depending on your personal level of paranoia – there are some games going on with bloated guide numbers that can’t be achieved in real life. Among others, Yongnuo have also been on the optimistic side when it comes to their guide numbers specs.

With an official guide number of 39 meters at wide angle and 58 at full tele that’s identical values for the new YN-565 and the one other 56x-series flash YN-560 (this is a completely different flash, and not made to use with digital cameras). If you check the guide number test part of the YN-560 review you will notice that the real output is lower; the flash does not reach GN 39. To get a read on the new YN-565 the usual Speedlights.net light meter test is performed.

Flash Meter Results

All flashes are tested using the same standardized method using a Sekonic flash meter in a controlled environment. Speedlites are never tested alone, but always together with re-tests of other models to guarantee consistent results between sessions.

These tests are always performed at the 35mm reflector position so that they’re comparable between flashes, even if they have different tele zoom ranges.

Model Light meter reading
Nissin Di866 f22 +7/10
Canon 580EX II f22 +6/10
Nissin Di622 Mark II f22 +4/10
Yongnuo YN-565 f22 +3/10
Nikon SB-900 f22 +3/10
Canon 430EX II f22 +2/10
Metz 48 AF-1 f22 +1/10
Nikon SB-700 f16 +7/10
Yongnuo YN-465 f16 +5/10
Yongnuo YN-468 f11 +7/10


For the maximum zoom setting of 105mm, the flash meter reads f32 +5/10 – that’s also a strong result.

Real World Guide Number: 54 (105mm) – Guide Number Table

The calculated guide number is obtained by adding exactly 1 f-stop to the flash meter test results. Learn more about this method on the test details page.

Using the Speedlights.net methodology the 35mm-value of f22 +3/10 translates into a calculated guide number of 35.5. This is not quite as high as the official GN spec of 39 (all in meters, as always), but it’s still a strong value, and higher than what the previous YN-560 could achieve in our testing – let alone the previous top-TTL flash YN-468.

Yongnuo YN565EX guide number table - specs vs test results

At the tele position a guide number of 54 is achieved rather than the official GN of 58. With this result, the flash is exactly 1/10th of a stop less powerful than the Canon 580EX II (it had a test-GN of 56 while official GN is also 58).

Compared to the Yongnuo YN-560 the new model fares even better: at the 105mm tele position (both models share the same zoom range of 24 – 105mm) the official guide numbers are identical, but it’s GN 54 for the YN-565 versus GN 48.5 for the YN-560 – the older model was not very efficient at the long end.

By the way, if you look very closely at the official part of the guide number table you’ll notice the specs for the full power settings between 24mm and 105mm tele are identical to the YN-560 specs, but there are a couple small differences in the official Yongnuo specifications for the YN-565 EX.

Speedlights Power Index

The light blue bar in the Speedlights.net Power Index shows the official 35mm GN, and the dark blue bar indicates the test results. Go to the test details page for more information on the Speedlights.net Power Index.

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It can be easily seen from the power index that you get a strong flash with the new YN-565. If power is a concern then the YN-565 is a much better choice than the Yongnuo YN-468. This model, however, should still be sufficient for the occasional user especially due to the fact that Canon cameras automatically switch to ISO 400 (or even higher) when a flash is attached. This higher ISO setting doubles the flash range automatically compared to the ISO 100 used here as default.

Test: Effective Output Range

All Yongnuo flashes offer a versatile manual mode with a wide range of possible settings, down to the 1/128 step on the YN 565. At maximum power a flash meter reading of f22 + 3/10 was achieved, at 1/128 the meter showed f2.0 + 6/10.

Yongnuo YN-565 output range spec Output range from tests
7 stops 6.7 stops

This means that there’s a 6.7 stop range available, 3/10 less than the 7.0 stops as in the specs. This is still a good result; few speedlights achieve their full range in this test.

Test: Continuous Shooting Output

All flashes lose some power when fired with maximum frequency; read the test info page to learn more about the effect and the test procedure.

Here’s the result from the continuous firing power test for the Yongnuo compared to some other flash units:

Model Calc. guide number at 60 sec wait Calc. guide number at continuous fire Difference in f-stops
Canon 580EX II 39.4 34.3 -4/10
Nikon SB-900 35.5 29.9 -5/10
Yongnuo YN-565 35.5 32.0 -3/10
Canon 430EX II 34.3 26.0 -8/10
Nikon SB-700 28.8 26.9 -2/10
Canon 320EX 27.9 23.4 -5/10
Yongnuo YN-468 20.4 19.0 -2/10

Yongnuo’s new flash shows a pretty consistent performance in this test. Even when it’s fired with the maximum cadence, that means as fast as the flash will allow, its guide number stays well above 30 (meters). A loss of three tenths of a stop is better than average. The Yongnuo keeps up slightly better than Nikon’s SB-900 even.

Test: Flash Duration

Flash duration is the time between the beginning of the flash and the end of the light emission. Go to the speedlite test methodology page for information on t0.5 versus t0.1 flash durations and the method used here for reviews.

Yongnuo YN-565 Flash Duration Compared

Typical values for t0.1 flash duration times are usually in the range between 1/200 sec and 1/400 sec for a full-power flash shot. The more powerful speedlites are usually found at the longer end of the spectrum, that’s the case e.g. for the 580EX II from Canon; see the following table for test results from other flashes plus the result for the Yongnuo YN 565.

Model t0.1 flash duration metering at 1/1
Canon 580EX II 1/285
Nissin Di622 Mark II 1/375
Canon 430EX II 1/350
Yongnuo YN-565 1/325
Nikon SB-700 1/305
Yongnuo YN-468 1/405
Yongnuo YN-467 1/405

t0.1 Flash Duration Times Table

Yongnuo provides only full-power flash duration data as 1/200 sec, plus the minimum time of 1/20,000 seconds for the 1/128 step. The Broncolor FCC used for this test has a measurement range down to 1/8,000 sec which is why flash durations at the low power settings can’t be validated. The values where a time could be taken are all in the normal range, including the full power t0.1 time of 1/325.

Output level Manufacturer spec t0.1 metering
1/1 1/200 1/325
1/2 na 1/935
1/4 na 1/2150
1/8 na 1/3500
1/16 na 1/4900
1/32 na <1/8000
1/64 na <1/8000
1/128 1/20000 <1/8000

Wireless Flash

Yongnuo’s YN-565 can be used as a remote slave flash – i.e. outside of the camera hot shoe in a variety of ways, from simple and low cost to expensive and sophisticated use cases.

Slave indicator light on YN-565The following setups are possible:

  1. using the dedicated, digital Canon / Nikon infrared TTL slave mode – this is what you should try first esp. if your camera body has a built-in master mode / controller mode
  2. radio triggered through flash foot or PC sync port – tested here with non-TTL triggers such as Cactus V4 / Yongnuo RF-602
  3. with the non-TTL optical slave modes “S1″ and “S2″
  4. TTL cables (see here for example) should also work without problems, but this hasn’t been tested
  5. there’s some information available now with regards to radio TTL trigger compatibility: positive Radiopopper ETTL trigger results (see here)
    the YN-565 does not seem to work with Pocket Wizards
    Here’s a positive report about YN-565 triggered by Pixel Knight TR332
    YN-565 doesn’t work with Phottix Stratos II as reported below in the comments

Options (2) and (3) require manual flash power adjustment whereas options (1), (4) and (5) come with the comfort of TTL.

Option (5) is the most expensive way to trigger wireless flash. Another downside is the fact that the technology used is based on reverse-engineering by third party companies and therefore not all trigger-flash-camera combinations will automatically work.

Please use the comments if you have more radio-TTL-triggering insights to share!

Dedicated Remote TTL Slave Mode (Canon and Nikon)

If your camera has a built-in master mode then give it a shot right away with the YN-565 and wireless flash; there’s really no need to buy any other equipment to get started right away. The technology uses infrared light instead of radio waves for the signal transmission so it requires a direct line of sight between the commander/master and the slave flash. Another limitation is that the triggering reliability may suffer under extremely bright ambient conditions, e.g. on a sunny summer day at the beach – but it may also work very well in your case (and at close range it should almost always work fine).

What’s really special about the Yongnuo 565 is that it speaks – or better: understands – two languages (no, I don’t mean Chinese and English here). One and the same YN-565 can be used as a slave flash in the Canon wireless E-TTL system, as well as in the Nikon wireless i-TTL = AWL mode.

Yongnuo with Canon and Nikon slave compatibility

Not many people use both Canon and Nikon systems, and the hot shoe of the flash is not universal but either Canon or Nikon only, but it’s still pretty cool. No other compact speedlite can do that!

Wireless TTL Mode (dedicated, infrared based)

Yongnuo 565 "cn" slave modeSwitching to wireless slave mode works in a similar fashion as on the Canon 580EX II: keep your finger for 2 seconds on the ZOOM/”lightning bolt” button until the flash icons appears with blinking “OFF” label. Pressing the right key on the 4-way controller activates wireless slave mode – the display changes from “OFF” to “SL on” with an additional “slave” icon on the display.

The display now shows channel and group, and an additional “cn” label which indicates the concurrent Canon/Nikon slave mode (Canon’s flashes obviously don’t work with Nikon camera bodies).

Setting a channel or group is easy but not super intuitive (unless you know the necessary steps from Canon already) so you want to check your instruction manual when doing it for the fist time. To access this type of adjustment repeated short pushes on ZOOM/”lightning bolt” are needed; the menu switches between zoom length, channel, group, and then slave type (Canon+Nikon, Canon only, Nikon only).

Yongnuo’s flash offers 4 channels and 3 groups (A-B-C) which is the same range as Canon and Nikon (btw, this is one of the advantages over the Nissin Di622 mark II, which is limited to channel 1 & group A only).

The speedlight indicates this slave mode through a flashing red LED on the front in a similar location as on the 580EX II from Canon, using the AF assist beam emitter (which projects the AF pattern displayed below). This flashing light can’t be switched off.

Wireless TTL Mode with Manual Control “M”

Another option for the dedicated infrared wireless mode is switching to manual power control rather then relying on automatic ETTL / iTTL flash exposure. This can be easily achieved by setting the Yongnuo up as a wireless slave as just described.

Now, it’s important that you do NOT follow the instructions in the Yongnuo manual (p. 52 in the English version), so do NOT switch over from “ETTL” to mode “M” on the 565 (you won’t be able to dial in a different power level than what’s displayed already!). To be clear: leave the slave flash in “ETTL” at this point.

Instead, switch your master flash mode from “ETTL” to mode “M”, and assign a power level for the slave flash between 1/1 and 1/128, either using the master itself, or the camera menu system. What you’ll notice after the first flash gets fired is that the Yongnuo display shows “M”, and the value you’ve dialed in on the master.

It’s also possible to combine the dedicated wireless mode with the stroboscopic “multi-mode” as an additional sub-mode within wireless flash (again, use the master to set a power level, # of flashes and frequency can be set on the slave, however).

Light Sensor Position

Canon and Yongnuo (and also Nissin) position their wireless sensor eyes on the front of the flash body. In the case of the Yongnuo YN-565 it’s placed under the additional, darker red screen that’s embedded within the red cover on the front of the flash, above the AF assist beam.

Light sensor on front side of flash YN-565Downside of this design choice is the fact that the sensor is facing the subject instead of the commander (camera) in default position – which is why Nikon and Metz place their sensor eyes on the side of the flash body which is a better location for direct line of sight in a typical multi-flash setup.

An easy trick to improve signal reception in case of issues, however, is to twist the flash body away from the flash head until the sensor is facing the camera, while the flash head is still pointing at the subject you’re shooting.

The photo illustrates how this can be done.

Master Flashes – Compatibility List

Owners of a Canon 7D, 600D (Rebel T3i), and 60D can use the built-in mini flash on the camera body to control the YN-565 in remote slave mode – no other accessories are needed. On top of that a Canon 580EX II can be used, or an ST-E2 commander – both the Canon ST-E2 as well as the Yongnuo ST-E2 are compatible according to the Chinese manufacturer.

The flash can also be controlled in wireless TTL mode by a Nikon flash or camera body (!): Yongnuo lists SB-700, SB-800 and SB-900 as compatible, as well as Nikon camera bodies with built-in master mode (e.g. D70 / D80, D90 / D7000).

Here are the results of hands-on tests with my own equipment (see on the Speedlights.net Facebook page) – so far I only checked the basics = TTL mode with 1/200 sec in “Tv” / “S” mode, master flashes were set to “- – -”.

Master flash Official Yongnuo compatibility info Speedlights.net test result External test results
Canon 600D yes not tested yet na
Canon 60D yes not tested yet tested OK (see comments section)
Canon 7D yes tested OK (10/11/11) tested compatible (1)
Canon 580EX II yes tested OK (10/11/11) tested compatible (1)
Canon ST-E2 yes replacement unit tested compatible with Canon ST-E2 on Rebel T1i* tested compatible (1)
Yongnuo ST-E2 yes works with Yongnuo ST-E2 on Rebel T1i tested compatible (1)
Nikon D80 yes works with D80 as master flash na
Nikon D90 yes - not firing in mode “cn”
- but OK in mode “n”
tested compatible (1)
Nikon D700 & D7000 yes not tested yet tested compatible (1)
other Nikon bodies yes not tested yet na
Nikon SB-700 yes tested on Nikon D90 – works na
Nikon SB-800 yes tested on Nikon D90 – works na
Nikon SB-900 yes tested on Nikon D90 – works na
Sigma EF-610 DG Super (Canon version) na not firing na
Sigma EF-530 DG Super (Canon version) na not tested firing but not in sync (see comments)
Metz 58 AF-2 (Canon version) na replacement unit tested with success na

(1) tests conducted by Leo from Image Melbourne – see this discussion thread
* Yongnuo confirmed that the YN-565 is designed to work with Canon ST-E2, and the replacement unit was indeed tested with success. Serial # of the unit is YN21629020.


My first sample with serial #YN20110121 could not be controlled by the Canon ST-E2 wireless commander, only the Yongnuo version of the ST-E2. I’ve received a replacement unit from Yongnuo and this new flash with serial #YN21629020 performs as expected and specified: in slave mode “cn” it fires in sync with a Canon ST-E2 mounted on the Canon Rebel T1i. A re-test with the Metz 58 AF-2 was also successful. Initial problems with the D90 commander flash could also be resolved (by switching the YN-565 EX to from mode “cn” to mode “n”.

Official Yongnuo Wireless Remote Range: 15m Outdoors

Yongnuo gives a 25 meters maximum range for indoor use and 15 meters outdoors as the longest distance for the wireless TTL mode. These values are above what Nikon for example recommends for their flashes, but based on the very positive experience with the wireless sensor of the YN-560 I’m hoping to see a good performance.

Tested Wireless Range: 20 – 35 meters Outdoors

My replacement flash from Yongnuo delivers a very good performance in wireless ETTL range testing where it was triggered with Canon ST-E2 speedlite commander as well as Yongnuo ST-E2 speedlite commander on a Canon Rebel T1i. The following pictures show test results for daylight (EV 11.1 to 11.3) and in complete darkness.

Day, with Yongnuo ST-E2:

YN-565 trigger test with YN-ST E2

Night, with Yongnuo ST-E2:

Yongnuo 565 triggered at night with YN ST-E2 range test

Day, with Canon ST-E2:

Yongnuo 565 triggered with Canon ST-E2 during day

Night, with Canon ST-E2:

The updated chart as of (11/1/2011) displays a summary of the results and shows what you can expect. Please be advised that the practical range will be lower in direct, very bright sunshine (about EV 14 to 15).

Maximum range for YN-565 wireless slave

If I moved the flash out of the shade and into the sun – light meter showed EV 15 – it did not fire off reliably anymore. This was the same problem with Canon 430EX II and Canon 320EX so it’s not a Yongnuo issue; it’s simply due to the limitations of the technology used.

No Master Mode on YN-565

Contrary to first rumors there’s no wireless master mode (commander mode): the YN-565 can be controlled by another commander flash (in the same way that Canon’s own 270EX II, 320EX, 430EX II and 580EX II can be controlled) but it does not have the ability to control other flashes itself.

If you need a wireless master flash look at Canon 580EX II, Nissin Di866 / Di866-II, Metz 58 AF-2, or maybe at the Sigma EF-610 DG Super.

Radio Triggering For Wireless Flash

Why should one invest in external radio triggers when the dedicated TTL wireless mode is built in? First, these radio transmitters are near 100% reliable, even without line of sight which is required for the dedicated mode using infrared light. Second, they can be used to mix TTL with non dedicated speedlites. And third, a simple radio trigger like the Yongnuo RF-602 costs only a few bucks so it’s not much sunk cost anyway (get them from eBay or amazon). And some models can even be used as a remote for your camera shutter!

YN-565 Works Well With X Sync Radio Triggers

YN 565 with Cactus and RF-602 RF-603 triggersAs you’d expect from a Yongnuo, the YN-565 operates without issues together with radio triggers, and thanks to its low trigger voltage of 3.97 Volts there is no danger of damaging their electrical circuits.

To use the YN-565 with radio receivers, don’t set it to the “SL On” mode, but always deactivate the slave mode. Also, don’t use “S1″ or “S2″ in conjunction with radio triggers; just switch to the plain manual flash mode “M” using the MODE key on the flash.

PC Sync Socket

One option to attach radio receivers is mounting them on the foot of the flash, but many photographers prefer a PC sync socket for that. That’s no problem with the Yongnuo as it offers both options; the PC port is found on the left side of the flash body under a thick rubber flap that can be conveniently twisted sideways.

Sync Speeds with Radio Triggers

The flash was tested together with a Canon Rebel T1i = 500D and a Nikon D90 which both offer 1/200 sec as the maximum (that means fastest) sync speed for flash – with the type of non-TTL radio triggers used here, no shutter speeds faster than that can be achieved theoretically.

The table shows the results for 3 different types of radio triggers. For these tests, the flash foot was used to attach the receiver; you might get different results when using the PC port.

Trigger Model on Nikon D90 on Canon T1i
Cactus V4 1/200 1/250
Yongnuo RF-602 1/200 1/200
Yongnuo RF-603 not tested 1/200

The Yongnuo triggers fulfill the expectation in this test with 1/200 seconds sync while the Cactus V4 proves to be an over-achiever, at least in conjunction with the digital Rebel EOS 500D: it masters the trick of faster sync with 1/250 sec than what you can do with the flash in the camera hot shoe (when the camera detects a flash in its hot shoe, all shutter speeds faster then 1/200 are blocked).

When you use faster speeds than 1/200 / 1/250 you start seeing a black band at the bottom of the picture that grows with even faster speeds until the entire frame is dark – this is normal and not alarming in any way. Just go back to a longer exposure and everything is back to normal again.

Using the Manual Flash Mode

Using the YN-565 in full manual mode is very easy; the MODE button provides direct access to the mode “M”, and the keys on the 4-way controller allow adjusting the power level between 1/1 and 1/128:

  • the “left” and “right” keys increase or decrease the output in full stops, e.g. from “1/1″ to “1/2″ and “1/4″
  • when using “up” or “down” the increments are third stops, therefore the sequence is “1/1″ – “1/2 +.7″ – “1/2 + .3″ – “1/2″

Manual zoom is available between 24mm and 105. Thanks to the LCD display there’s permanent zoom information available (in contrast to the YN-560 where the zoom only shows up when a zoom button is used). Zoom steps are 24 – 28 – 35 – 50 – 70 – 80 – 105mm, and then back to 24mm with the “auto zoom” step in between. Using the arrow keys again you can zoom up or zoom down, just as desired. In contrast to other designs the manual zoom is not disabled when the wide-flash panel is used.

Optical Slave Modes (non-TTL) “S1″ and “S2″

Most Yongnuo flash offer two optical slave modes to use them without any additional trigger in an existing lighting setup. While the slave modes were of limited use in the first gen models of the 460 series they got greatly improved for the first 560 series flash, the fully-manual YN-560 from 2010 where you get excellent range as well as reliability under all lighting conditions.

Please note that optical slave mode is not set through the MODE button but by using the ZOOM/”lightning bolt” key. In both optical slave modes the display shows “slave” to indicate this special mode (in contrast to the TTL slave mode, there’s no display of “c”, “n”, or “cn”). The slave mode indicator LED on the front is flashing in the 2 optical slave modes as well.

Digital Optical Slave Mode “S2″

YN-565 digital optical slave modeIn mode “S2“, the YN565 ignores the E-TTL (or i-TTL in the Nikon world) pre-flashes used for flash exposure metering and triggers the strobe with the main flash burst only – this is not possible with a simple optical slave mode, e.g. the Nikon “SU-4″ mode or Nissin’s “SF”.

This was quickly tested with 1 Canon 580EX II in the hot shoe of a Canon Rebel T1i:

  • when the 580EX II is used as a regular ETTL flash the YN-565 in mode “S2″ fires in sync with the Canon, up to the 1/200 seconds sync speed of the camera
  • when the 580EX II is used as a master, however, the YN-565 doesn’t contribute to the exposure although it fires off with the master flash (your workaround here is to use the YN-565 in “cn” slave mode)

Simple Optical Slave Mode “S1″

YN-565 simple optical slave mode S1S1” mode fires the flash with the first flash from any other speedlite it sees. This light signal can be a manual flash used as a trigger, or a studio flash.

But it will also trigger the Yongnuo with digital pre-flashes used for exposure metering at Canon and Nikon, which is why the S1 mode does not help much in a digital setup.

Slave Mode Reliability

Slave mode reliability will be tested as part of the range testing for wireless ETTL mode at a later point in time. It is expected to show the same performance as the YN-560 flash from the same model family.

Adjustable “Standby” and “Power Off”

Standby (custom function 01 allows “on” or “off”) and power off (custom functions 10 and 11) can be adjusted with identical parameters as on the current flash generation from Canon which means the flash is not limited in its usability as a “strobist” photography tool.

But interestingly there’s even more customization offered because the custom functions don’t end with the “13″ as on the 580 mark II. The YN-565 has 4 more of them = 14, 15, 16, and 17; these are not visible in the camera menu but can be set on the speedlite itself – they were designed as extensions of the Canon custom functions protocol that has 14 fixed “slots” from “00″ up to “13″ as it seems.

On of these custom settings, C.Fn-15, give you the option to fine-tune the standby mode to be entered with varying delay between 3 minutes and up to 5 hours. See the following excerpt from the instruction manual for a summary of the options available.

Yongnuo 565 Standby Options

Off-Camera Flash Score

Its TTL features make Yongnuo’s YN-565 much more than a manual flash, but it’s still an excellent choice for that use case: powerful, with a wide range of settings, a very handy manual mode implementation, plus the 2 optical slave modes.
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The flash cooperates without problems with radio triggers and standby can be adjusted in a very wide range. This feature set makes the YN-565 not the cheapest, but surely one very well designed “strobist” flash for manual mode shooting.

AF Assist Beam

All Yongnuo speedlites for digital TTL feature an AF assist light which typically consists of a red LED on the front of the flash. The red light is the most unobtrusive way to get additional light on a subject under low light conditions, where the camera would have trouble focusing quickly and correctly if no help is provided.

Yongnuo uses a new AF assist design on the YN-565, which looks more like generated by a laser beam than a regular LED. It’s actually very much possible that a laser is used; they did that before on their version of the ST-E2 speedlite commander. The picture below simulates the AF beam coverage with an EOS Rebel T1i and 18-55mm lens at approx. 24mm.

Yongnuo YN-565 AF assist

The covered frame area is rather small, it’s limited to the spot metering circle, but the AF assist lights up with all AF fields, even the ones at the border. Due to parallax the AF assist can be used from around .80 – 1.00 meter while it’s aiming too high at close-up distances.

The following 3 pictures show other AF assist solutions. First is the Yongnuo YN-468 with a classic red LEO in doughnut shape. The beam appears here much brighter than it actually is; the YN-565 has a much higher range due to the laser that’s used. What can be seen in the middle and on the right is the Canon 430EX II AF assist, using a dual-beam construction. Depending on the AF field selected the flash activates one of 2 different LED’s with special pattern projection.

Summary: The Yongnuo YN-565EX has a very effective AF assist light, superior to the classic single-beam LED solutions. It covers the center AF field very well, and the pattern also helps with generating contrast for low-contrast scenes. When it comes to the AF fields at the frame borders it’s not effective, and more sophisticated Canon (and Nikon) AF-assist designs play out their advantage.

Upcoming Review Parts

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Where to buy the Yongnuo YN-565

The Yongnuo YN-565 for Canon is now available from the manufacturer store on eBay for $180 with free shipping as well as from other sellers.

Check for YN-565 offers on amazon (I talked with the seller “cheaplights” and he ships from the US and offers 30 days own warranty).

If you purchase through one of these links you support expanding this website with even more tests and reviews. Thank you very much.

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181 Responses to Yongnuo YN-565 EX Flash Review

  1. mocha says:

    I may contribute some of my experience. I used Canon 60D and tried to use the remote wireless flash by the pop-up flash. The flash works flawlessly. I just forgot to try using a 580II EX as master with 5D Mark II. However, other people rise a question of the ISO information exchange between the wireless YN565EX flash in Manual mode. Some people doubt that is the flash able to synchronize the ISO with the camera since there is no display on the flash.
    I think it is worthwhile to prove in the test. Just look forward your test.

  2. Leo says:

    I’ve just tested the YN565 with a friends D90 and it works well. Not sure why you had problems, perhaps you missed a setting somewhere? I used CN mode, Group A, Channel 1 and both TTL and Manual work 100% OK.

    It also works with a Canon STE2 (& radiopoppers) as you can see here :

    • Jim Colton says:

      Using it with radio poppers is relying on the shoe contacts for information and trigger transfer. Using it with an ST-E2 relies on the infrared communication path. The fact that it works with poppers has nothing to do with incompatibility of it working with the ST-E2 system otherwise.

  3. Brian S says:

    Agree with your comment about Multi Mode – cute but rarely used by most people.
    Instead they should have included HS Sync – which is essentially also a stroboscopic output i.e. the flash strobes at a rapid rate to accommodate high shutter speeds. This is a much more useful capability.
    BTW, by 565′s work as claimed with my 50D and 580EXII’s

  4. I’m testing both on the camera (Canon 1D mkII and 1Ds mkII) with ST-E2 and 580EX II also. The Yongnuo firing, but only the first ( preflash ) flashes. If you see my pictures here: https://picasaweb.google.com/asznasz/YongnuoTest?authkey=Gv1sRgCPzGrvTLx8G_LQ , you can see it, and the picture which is taken with the testing camera

    The other problem, nobody was looking for a taked pictures with 565EX in slave mode. Cause it is flashing , but in a bad time.
    And: if I want to testing it with * taste with ST-E2 on the camera,the yongnuo fired on the same time of testing, don’t wait like the really E-TTL flashes. When using only with the testing taste on ST-E2, the yongnuo doesn’t works!
    I’m looking again, three times and testing with my son’s EOS350D, it’s the same problems with Canon E-TTL slave mode.
    On the cameras, the yongnuo works good. But I wanted it because the slave mode, and it is so bad for that.
    It’s also working good in other mode, the S1 or S2 slave in manual mode, but the first feature was on the official site is the slave unit mode…
    It’s bad…to change of the 580EX-es

    • Don says:

      The YN 565ex was a real disappointment when used with the Canon ST-E2 and a Canon EOS 40D. The YN 565ex fired, but it there wasn’t any use light output. I think that it was just a pre-flash because the beeper didn’t go off as it does when it is used as a main flash on the camera or as a slave with the Canon 580ex.

      However, when used as a slave of the Canon 580ex, the YN 565ex works great. Other than the ST-E2 issue with the Canon 40D, the Yougnuo is an excellent flash. I wish it had the high speed sync so that it would be a flash for all lighting situations, but I purchased it mainly because I needed a cheap slave.

  5. Freddy says:

    I can’t understand why Yongnuo especially with this big and heavy flash model replaced the metal tripod socket from the flash stand with a plastic one.

  6. Iosif says:

    I’ll be anxiously waiting to read about recycle times (although some people report there is no conceivable difference to the 580EXii) and eTTL-ii exposure quality.
    I am looking to upgrade my 465 with this one for semi-pro usage, and this is the only info I wait for to make an order – great site, keep it up :-)

  7. Mike says:

    My main flashes are Sigma Supers (530) which are supposed to communicate with Canon flashes as either Master or Slave using Ettl, although I’ve never tried it out – I’ve read a couple of reviews online that say they work fine together.

    That being the case I’m hoping that I can use a Sigma and Yongnuo will communicate with each other. If they don’t, well I’ve got an on-camera spare and another off-camera manual slave for under £100 which is how I tend to work anyway. Just waiting for the slowboat from China so I can test it out…

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Mike; we’d be super interested to learn how Sigma works with the ETTL slave mode of the YN565 so yes please post your results; I hope your flash arrives soon, mine took also a bit longer this time around – Frank

      • Mike says:

        Sure, no problem. I placed the order on 23/8 so hopefully in the next week or 2 I’ll be able to let you know.

      • Mike says:


        First piece of good new is that it turned up today so shipped pretty quickly.

        Second piece of sort of good news is the Sigma does talk to the Yongnuo as Master and Slave… The channels work like they should and the Yongnuo does fire.

        Bad news is very bad… I can’t get them to sync! It seems like the Yongnuo is firing too early. I’ve tried it with the Sigma on both my 5Dii and 40D with no success with shutter speeds from 1/200th down to 1 second and the flash from the Yongnuo isn’t visible. Oh well…

        • Joel says:

          It’d be interesting to borrow a canon flash to see if it will command the YN-565 or take orders properly from the Sigma. Then we’d know if it’s the YN-565 with the problem or the Sigma.

          I’ll likely pick up a YN-565 if this review turns out to be positive. Can’t wait to see the rest. Thanks Frank!

        • Speedlights says:

          sorry to hear that – I added your info to the table. To be fair it should be added that Yongnuo made no claim of compatibility with any other third party equipment as far as I know. Frank

          • Mike says:

            Yeah, I was half expecting it not to work with my Sigmas so I lay no blame with Yongnuo. Apart from that I’m incredibly impressed with the flash overall so far both in terms of performance and build quality (these are so far removed from the 460II as far as build goes!). So much so that I’ve decided to sell the 2 Sigma 530 Supers that I have and buy a 580EXII along with another Yongnuo.

          • Mike says:

            I’m now the proud owner of a shiny new 580EXII (and another 565EX) so can round off my findings with the Yongnuo flash…the 565′s perform flawlessly with the 580EXII as the master.

            I still have the Sigma Supers and tested them out with the 580EXII as well. Both the Sigmas can take commands from the Canon and as slaves the ETTL results are extremely similar to the Yongnuo flashes. However the Canon cannot act as a slave to the Sigmas which in kinda proves that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Yongnuo flashes.

          • Speedlights says:

            Hi Mike – thanks again for sharing your findings, very interesting!

  8. Stanley says:

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    I have a Nikon Coolpix P7000. Do you think the Yongnuo 565 (I am led to believe that there is only one model, mentioned as for Canon) will work as the main flash on this camera? Many thanks.


    • Speedlights says:

      Hello Stanley! The Canon version of the YN-565 will not work on a Nikon camera. Even though the wireless mode is cross-brand compatible, the electrical contacts on the flash foot are different for Canon versus Nikon. You have to wait for the Nikon version of the flash, and then hope it will work on the P7000 which is not guaranteed; I’d maybe look for a used SB-600 which should be in a similar price range? Frank

  9. Stuart says:

    I can confirm that, in slave mode, the Yongnuo 565EX is successfully controlled by the Canon 60D’s built in flash. Camera’s first menu: Flash control – Built in flash func. setting – Wireless func. and you can choose to disable it, have both the built in flash and the external flash fire, or fire the external flash only.

    My Canon MT-24EX also successfully acts as master. This is the main reason I bought the 565 – I do a lot of macro photography of insects using a macro lens and the MT-24EX and I want to use the 565 in slave mode to light the background. Preliminary tests show that setting the MT-24EX to A:B + C and setting the 565 as slave C works fine.

    One oddity: according to the MT-24EX manual, the slave (presumably they are talking about Canon units here!) indicates it is ready by flashing its focus assist light for 1 second. However, the flash assist light on my 565 keeps flashing once it is charged up and ready. I am not sure it is a good idea as it must surely run down the battery faster than otherwise. Is it supposed to do this?

    Setting the various parameters of the slave mode (channel number, which flash group it belongs to, choosing between Nikon, Canon or N+C mode) is a bit fiddly and not well explained in the manual – which could have done with proof reading by an English speaker! (Extract – “Setting method: long press on ZOOM for 2 seconds to make OFF flash on the LCD screen, this means that it is in the setting state.”)

    • Dear Stuart, can you looking for the picture, which you taking with the 565 in slave mode? It is flashing correctly in e-ttl or not? Because my 565 didn’t flashing in that mode with 580II or ST-E2. It’s firing for the test flashing ( the first, pre-flash )
      Please send me some pictures, if it is working good, because my dealer of this flash cannot understand my problem with this unit. Thanks.

  10. Alfred says:


    does anyone know what is the highest speed that YN-565 EX can Sync if I use Canon 500D? Thank you very much.

    • Joel says:

      The max sync speed has more to do with the camera body than the flash. That info should be in your camera manual, but I believe for the 500D it is 1/200. An easier way to find out would be set the camera to Manual mode and pop up the on-camera flash. Then increase the shutter speed and see where it stops. That would be the max sync speed. That method works for my 450D anyway. The YN-565 does not have High Speed Sync capabilities, so it would not be able to sync any higher.

      • Alfred says:

        Dear Joel, thanks for your useful info. Does that means I can go for higher shuttle speed if I use flash with high speed sync feature such as canon 430EX II or 580EX II? Thank you very much.

        • Joel says:

          You are correct, Alfred. A flash unit that has the High Speed Sync (HSS) feature will allow shutter speeds above the max sync. I’m not sure if there is a limit as I do not own such a flash. I believe all the canon flash units have the HSS feature along with some third-party units. Hit the Specs link at the top of this page to look up the features of a flash unit.

          Feature request for speedlights.net:
          It’d be cool to be able to select a feature, like HSS, and get a list of all flash units that have that feature.

          • Alfred says:

            Thank you very much Joel. I am planning to buy my first flash. Still new in photography. Thanks again for your help.

  11. Daniel Zamora says:

    First of all, I would like to thank you for all this extremely useful information we can find here.

    But I have a question, and be absolutely sure that I’m not complaining, just curious: why is this review taking so long?

    • Joel says:

      I, too, would like to encourage those involved in this review. I’m very interested in the YN-565. It looks great, for me at least, on paper; but I want to make sure it’s as good in practice before I buy. This site is the best place I’ve seen to get that information. It has the most complete, scientific information on flash units, of all brands, I’ve seen, anywhere. I’ve been anxiously checking multiple times a day for updates, hoping that you just forgot to send out a note on Twitter :P

      Thanks for the great information and making it available for free!

  12. Iosif says:

    I too was hoping that this review would conclude some time soon. But it’s been 2 weeks now (don’t get me wrong, I really respect the job that’s being done here), and if I don’t place an order today or tomorrow, I doubt the slowboats from China will make it on time for my next event…

  13. we2b says:

    Anyone know anything about this flash?

    I use Nikon cameras and am looking for a YN-565 equivalent. The specs for the Oloong SP-690 look good for $125US, but I can’t find anyone who has actually seen, much less used one. I saw elsewhere (Strobist), about 4 months ago, that Fransener had received what sounded like a SP-680, and was not impressed. The SP-690 is only about $25 more and has much better specs, including 24-180mm auto and manual zoom and 22 level output control. Perhaps it would be safer to just get another Di622 MarkII?

    • Joel says:

      I’ve also tried to find information on Oloong products. I didn’t find much, but what I did find was not good. They look good on paper and in price, but are very unreliable it seems.

      If this review on the YN 565ex doesn’t find any problems, I will definitely be ordering one of these. There’s suppose to be a Nikon version of the YN 565 coming soon, but not sure when, maybe a couple months.

  14. Mau says:

    Hi, I need a new flash unit for my canon cameras (500D and 40D).
    I already have a Yongnuo YN-465 but i had some problems with two features about it: 1) low GN; 2) veeeeeeeeery slow AF in low light conditions due (I think) to the cheap AF assist beam.
    1st problem was known when i bought it but i couldn’t expect the 2nd problem.

    now my budget is 150€ and I was going to buy the Nissin Di622 II. Now i noticed this new yongnuo…
    what do you think it’s better between the two of them ?
    what would you buy with my budget ?? something else ?


    • Iosif says:

      I was in the same place as you. 40D, a YN465 and 130€ for a more-powerful TTL speedlight with a better AF-assist beam.
      I didn’t go for the 622, just because I was used to Yongnuo’s interface/controls/design and didn’t like the multi-color LED approach to selecting different modes. Silly reason, but that was me…
      If I had to get technical, the only downside I would care about would be the “No manual zoom (by default)” thing, since I do a lot of off-camera work.
      I will only know if I made the best choice, when I get the 565 – except the review gets completed sooner than that.

  15. aldrin says:

    hello, i would just like to ask if the 565 is a good starter flash, im a newbie at photography would this be a good flash unit to start with?? thanks for the useful info on this site…

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi aldrin – yes I would definitely say this is a good starter flash. use it in the automatic mode “ETTL” first, then start exploring the more advanced features such as wireless flash, or manual flash, as you learn more.

  16. jams says:

    I am a beginner, I want to buy my first flash
    for nikon d 90. whether all functions in the 565 works well with my camera? or maybe there are some functions that fail? please its support.

    • Speedlights says:

      Hello jams! The Nikon version of this flash is not out yet, it’s expected for November as Yongnuo have said. The YN-565 does not have 100% of what a Nikon speedlight has to offer, but 90 – 95% = more than enough for a beginner.

  17. Dembo says:

    Hi, I am looking into the YN-565 as a wireless slave to be used with Canons optical system. The master will be a Nissin Di866 (Mark I version).

    Since you reviewed the Nissin on speedlights.net would you mind adding the Nissin to your compatibility chart in the YN-565 review? The two would make a great cheap combo for wireless E-TTL II.

  18. Ho Sing Ung says:

    Hi, How does this flash compare with Nissin Di622 Mark 2, which better?

  19. David says:

    Hey Speedligths could you help me, what do you think this one vs. Nissin ND622MKII-C Speedlite Di 622 Mark II? Maybe in the future i will buy a flash with Master capabilities. Thanks

  20. Joel says:

    I’ve got a question about the zoom:

    If the flash is in auto zoom and you tilt the head away from strait forward, either up or left, right, does the flash head continue to zoom with the lens or does stay in one place until you move it back to strait ahead?


    • Speedlights says:

      Thanks for the question Joel – the flash always zoom with the lens; I’ve added a sentence to the ‘auto zoom’ chapter. Frank

  21. Joel says:

    Just curious, would you have any idea how long a production run might be for something like the YN 565? I’ve heard, in the past, that Youngnuo sometimes has issues with units produced in the first run, but then works out the bugs by the time the second run starts. I thought I might wait and see if I can get one from at least the second run. I don’t know if this information would be available anywhere, though.

  22. Kench says:

    First of all, your website (which I recently discovered) is very useful for ‘curious’ amateurs like myself. Thank you very much for your time and effort.

    My question is: You say when it’s mounted on Rebel T1i, it can be fully controlled via the camera’s menu. Can you confirm that it is also fully controllable within EOS 40D menu? I ask this because 40D is a bit outdated body.

    Also, I’ve read some posts above about problems when syncing the unit as a wireless TTL slave when used with 40D. It is bad, but it does not bother me much since I’m planning go with non-TTL radio triggers when I’ll come to off-camera shooting. But I wonder if there are any other downs with this flash when it’s coupled with 40D. (or when compared with “Di622-II + 40D” duo?)

    I am willing to buy my first flash which I will mainly use. Then I’m planning to add cheaper manual flashes for strobing (like YN-560 or 460-II. So I will either;

    -Go cheaper and buy YN-565 or Di622-II, along with all-manual flashes. Experiment and grow. And then maybe buy a better main flash later if I ever need more features. And if that happens, YN-565 or Di622-II would seem to be an overkill.


    -I will expand my budget and get Di866 II or Metz 50 for their HSS feature. And then I will add all-manual extra flashes later.

    Which way would you recommend for a curious amateur who is mainly into portraits, macro and table top product photography?

  23. Justin says:

    i really don’t know anything about flash guns, but i just bought a canon 600D .. and i was thinking of buying a flash gun..
    i was looking at the canon 580 and this one the yongnuo 565 ..

    i don’t afford the canon one, but i really wish to know what are the main differences between the two? will i have less features or less quality with this new yongnuo?
    why does the canon has 5 pins and this one has only got 1 pin?

    please help me!
    thanks alot :)

    • Iosif says:

      The advantages of Canon 580 vs Yongnuo 565 are 1) High Speed Sync and 2) Wireless master. I think both of these features will not be on your must-have list for some time. So, the 565 looks a good choice for you right now.
      Btw, where did you get that 565 has only one pin? – it’s got 5, like every eTTL-II flash for Canon cameras.

      • Justin says:

        thanks alot for that!
        and about the 1 pin.. i was mistaken.. this one has got 5! so yeah ..

        i think i will go for the yongnuo.. it looks good for me.. and its not expensive..

        • Leon says:

          If you’re going to use the flash mainly for night time or when the light is really dark, I would go for the YN-565. This might sound like a dumb argument, but I use my flash almost 95% of the time as fill in flash on sunny days. This improves your images vastly, especially if you’re going to photograph people a lot.

          Why don’t you scout for a secondhand 550EX, that’s the one I’ve got. The 550EX has HSS plus master/slave functions.

          Again, I’ve you’re going to shoot people during daytime you are going to use HSS a lot more than you think, promise.

          I myself will be buying the YN-565, but that’s for a totally different reason.

  24. Ola Göstasson says:

    Thanks for great testing!!
    What would you say in a fast comparison between YN 565 and Nissin Di866?

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Ola! If you don’t need the master mode then I’d get the YN-565. But this is for the comparison Di866 vs. YN-565; the new, upgraded Di866 mark II offers some enhancements vs the “mark 1″, esp. wireless HSS / FP sync, which makes it more versatile in some situations than the Yongnuo; see here for more Di866 mk 2 info: http://speedlights.net/nissin-flash-di-866-ii/

  25. Kelvin says:

    I juz bought one as my 2nd flash & tested it across different cameras. I would say it’s great especially for the affordable price.

    On-camera: It works well on my 550D & 600D. Only 1 thing wierd I observed is that when used with my Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6, the aperture is displayed as f2.8 on LCD when I dailed to the max aperture, f4. Otherwise, it works well on my other lenses.

    E-TTL II Slave: Triggered with my 600D body & 580EXII without any problem. Tested all channels, groups, flash compensation & all are functioning well. Triggered with my friend’s Nikon D90 body as well & it works well.

    Manual S2 Slave: Works well. It ignores pre-flash & sync with master flash output.

    I was considering to get either this or Nissin Di622 MKII coz they have similar output power & prices. I ended up getting this coz of its advanages below:
    – Full Canon E-TTL II support + Nikon support
    – Better AF-assist beam design & more accurate position
    – Has nice LCD display, similar to 580EXII

    I recommend this flash to beginners who’re looking for the first external flash at affordable price & to anyone who is looking for extra/slaves flashes.

    • Joel says:

      I have question about your comments, Kelvin:
      You said that the wrong aperture is displayed for the Tamron lens. How is the flash exposure when using that lens? Are photos underexposed because of that? Or is it just a problem with the display on the flash?


      • Kelvin says:


        When I dial the aperture to the left at wide open (f4), as usual the aperture stays at f4 (my lens max aperture) on my camera display but the aperture showed on flash LCD jumped to f2.8.

        Anyway, the flash exposure is the same. Based on histogram, the flash exposure is very similar at flash LCD f2.8 & f4. Thus, I guess this might be a minor bug on the LCD display itself & luckily this does not affect the flash exposure.

        On other lenses, it was perfect.

  26. Cactus says:


    For what purpose uses Multi Mode? At first read I thought that it is HSS, but later understand my mistake – frequency is not enough.

  27. Iosif says:

    My ΥΝ565 arrived this morning, and boy, am I happy :D

    As I’ve written earlier, the two main reasons I bought this instead of another 465 (I’ already own one) were =>
    1) I wanted more power – I love bouncing.
    2) I wanted a better AF-assist. I suspected that most of my mis-focused shots on dark places, were due to the donut-shaped LED of the YN465.

    My observations/conclusions (and I repeat: MY observations on my Canon 40D) =>
    1) After fixing my camera on a tripod, completely killing any ambient and taking 1/1 power shots with both flashes, I had to raise 465′s exposure about 1 full and 1/2-2/3 stops in Lightroom, to make photos match.
    2) TTL exposure of the two flashes is quite different. 565 seems to emit about 2/3 stops more light than the 465. The histogram on my 40D seems to like this. I have no blown-out highlights, yet the flash seems to be Expose-To-The-Right-oriented.
    3) The AF-assist => fantastic. I’ve never owned/used a Canon/Nikon flash, so I can’t compare – I don’t even know if it’s a LED or weaker laser on this flash. Still, the 565 makes my Tamron 17-50 2.8 focus instantly (in a dark room) on anything, even on surfaces with no detail such as white walls, floors, or cupboards. The donut-shaped LED of the 465 would take a few seconds to focus on the same wall, IF it did manage to focus. That alone, makes the 565 worth its price tag FOR ME.

    Happy owner here. Hope everyone’s happy, whichever flash they choose.

    • Iosif says:

      One thing I forgot to mention. The bounce card and the wide-panel gave me a feeling of poor tolerance. They feel like they will easily break off. I certainly hope this will not be the case, as my 465′s card and panel fell apart only a few days earlier, after one year’s use (and they felt stronger to me).
      Anyone who has a guide on how to replace these thingies, will be of great help.

    • Kench says:

      It’s great to see a 40D user satisfied with 565EX. I just ordered this flash for my 40D also, and i was a bit worried because I couldn’t find any review of this flash tested on 40D. I hope I’ll receive the package within a week. I’ll post my opinions too.

      I have never had much focusing problems with 40D (without any assist) as 40D already has a great low light AF performance. But I mostly use a f:1.8 lens indoors, which helps focusing a lot. But laser AF assist of 565EX is definitely a bonus, one of the main reasons I picked 565 over Di622 mkII.

      • Iosif says:

        It’s not only a matter of the camera’s focusing capabilities Kench – the lens is important too.

        I too have 2.8, 1.8, and 1.4 lenses. All of them will struggle more or less as the environment gets darker or as contrast diminishes (like in a dark church during a wedding) The white wall is an extreme example, but a good one too.

        Anyway, by the end of the month, I will have my opportunity to test this baby in demanding field conditions, to compare it’s real-life performance to that of my 465. I’m definitely confident about it.

        Btw, mine took 20 days to travel from China to Greece (I had experiences ranging from 8 to 65 days for the same trip in the past)…

  28. Vincent says:

    any news of when the Nikon version will come out? :)

  29. Steve says:

    Hi All,

    I add some more infos
    Classic Canon 5D
    Canon 580 EX II
    Yongnuo YN565
    TR332 Pixel Knight receiver and trigger

    1st test:
    580 EX II on 5D body as master…it triggers YN565 slave and sync up to 1/200

    2nd test:
    580 EX II on TX332 RX as master and still triggers YN565 slave but sync up to only 1/160 (cant get 1/200)

    3rd test:

    YN565 on TX332RX and it works both ETTL and M (sync up to 1/200)

    Hope this helps.


    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Steve – thanks so much for sharing! I also just added more results for 580EX II, an update for the Nikon D90 (it works in mode “n”, had only tested mode “cn” before, and two unsuccessful tests with Metz 58 AF-2 and Sigma EF-610 DG Super. Frank.

    • Tim says:

      Hey Steve, does the yn565ex work on camera (using your classic 5d) with ettl function and focus assist like the 580exII?

    • Gustavo says:

      that means you can change the flash power from de trasmiter?

  30. Johannes van Roest Dahl says:

    Thank you for this great review Steve. Now I’m 100% sure that i’ll buy YN-565ex instead of the 580ex II.

  31. Iosif says:

    One more thing I noticed about this flash after some testing, and would like someone WHO HAS USED IT to comment on:

    from times to times an in certain moments, it seems really inconsistent while on eTTL-II mode. This means that, while it gets exposure nailed down correctly, sometimes it will fire at full power for no apparent reason, while nothing has changed in terms of available light compared to the previous exposures.

    This happens more often, on the first period of time after the flash has been powered on than later. It also seems to happen almost exclusively with the flash facing forward (0-degree swivel – no matter what angle it’s tilted on), and especially after changing camera orientation (horizontal to vertical and vice-versa). Having the flash head swiveled to any degree except dead-center, seems to cure the problem.

    Has anyone else noticed something similar?

    • Iosif says:

      Needless to say, 465 had no such issues, whatsoever…

      • Kench says:

        Hi Iosif,

        My 565 arrived last week but I haven’t experienced such problem (also using on a 40D btw). But I can’t say I fully tested the flash. But for the 40 or 50 test shots in E-TTL mode, was all ok. I will check for this specific issue next time I get my hands on the flash.

        The only downside for me is that the recycling times seem to be inconsistent. Sometimes it takes too long to recycle. But maybe this is just normal. As this is my first external flash, I’m not sure what to expect.

  32. Iosif says:

    As it seems, it was a faulty unit. Just a few minutes ago, after firing a few more shots (some with correct exposure, some not), it stopped firing.
    It still powers on, responds to all commands, meters, fires the AF-assist laser and zooms automatically, but it doesn’t fire – not even with the test button.
    The fact that it shows to be instantaneously ready after power on, leads me to believe that it’s a dead capacitor…

    • DMZamora says:

      Much probably the same old problem, the small trigger capacitor (located on the head). Easy fix.

      But, c’mon YongNuo, you will never correct this flaw? :/

    • Joel says:

      I’ve heard of a couple cases that are similar to this. They blamed the capacitor too. Has anyone tried opening one of these units up? Or has anyone confirmed that it’s the capacitor? If it is, it wouldn’t be a big job to replace it yourself if you’re comfortable with a solder iron. I’d think that would be cheaper then sending it back to China. Just curious to know what others have heard.

  33. Iosif says:

    Cheaper or not, I can not trust this SPECIFIC unit does not have other problems too, so I’m packing it up for an exchange as I write…

  34. DMZamora says:


    The chances of problems in your replacement unit will be exactly the same. I would always fix this one, unless you’re afraid that the problem isn’t on the capacitor, but somewhere else. Or if the seller isn’t on the other side of the planet.

    I had to fix my YN-468 (yes, the damn capacitor) almost a year ago and no problems since then.

    • Iosif says:

      I’m not that good with little electronic parts, unless they lay inside a PC :-) Chances are that I would get to do more harm than good. And then, even if I somehow made it fire again, I still wouldn’t be able to trust it for serious work on the field…
      And if anyone wonders, yes, I know Canon makes flashes too. But, judging from my 460 and 465, Yongnuo flashes are absolutely reliable if they work from the beginning…

      • DMZamora says:

        Mine arrived today, and guess what… AF-assist light failed after 3 shots, becoming very weak. You surely can imagine how I’m feeling now…

        • Speedlights says:

          Hi DMZamora – very sorry to hear that. Are the batteries full? Try different ones if you’re not sure. If everything else works and it’s only the AF assist which is affected then return it for an exchange. Frank.

          • DMZamora says:

            Hi Frank.

            The AF assist on your unit is working OK even with somewhat used NiMh batteries?

            I’m working with the seller (thephotogadget.com) to return it. It is, however, a very time consuming operation, as I live in Brazil. I will probably buy another and send this one for a refund.

            Folowing your suggestion, I tried some brand new Duracells and the AF assist lit brightly for a dozen times, but then started to get weaker again. It’s a bit weird, on alkalines it lights up strong, but immediately starts to dim, and this cycle repeats every time. Seems like some kind of overheat protection is engaging on the wrong time. I popped out the flash feet too, and measured the voltage on the laser with fully charged NiMh batteries: 3.4V, which I think its under the bare minimum for it to work, as the recommended for these small lasers is 3.5 to 4.5V. In this case, the culprit would be the AF assist control circuit.

            These lasers are very cheap (less than 5 bucks anywhere) and the replacement is easy, but with this low voltage reaching it, it really would be better to make use of the warranty.

  35. Jan Englund says:

    This review was “Posted on August 28, 2011″

    When is this GREAT review going to be finished?

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Jan – now that I have the replacement unit and got it to work with the Canon ST-E2 wireless commander I’ll be able to continue with the review. Thanks for the feedback, and the reminder that something’s still missing! i’ve also been working on some other stuff for the site that was overdue…

  36. Kench says:

    When my YN-565 in S2 optical slave mode, it can successfully sync up to 1/250 along with the pop-up flash of my 40D. I tested towards a white wall and no black binding at all. I prevented the pop-up flash to illuminate the wall, by blocking it with my palm. As the pop-up flash hardly illuminates anything, YN-565 still triggers. I’m surprised that it could only sync up to 1/200 in your test.

    I will test my unit with also RF-603 when my trigger set arrives. I don’t think it will reach 1/250 with RF-603 though.

    • Speedlights says:

      Hello Kench – thanks for the info and feedback! My Rebel T1i, as well as my Nikon D80 / D90 have 1/200 as their max sync speed – that’s why I can’t reach the 1/250. Your 40D is simply faster, the sync speed always depends on the camera model. Frank

      • Kench says:

        Oh ok. I knew about the Nikons. But I thought 1/250 is the common max flash sync for all Canon DSLRs. My mistake.

        Btw, since my radio trigger set hasn’t arrived yet, I’ve been having fun with S2 mode a lot and it is working great, even in very bright conditions. I don’t see any reason not the trust S2 mode, in the right conditions. It is clearly a great feature have over the original Canon speedlites.

    • Gilroy says:

      Hi Kench

      Can you please explain how do I go about doing what you are saying in your follow statement: “successfully sync up to 1/250 along with the pop-up flash of my 40D”. I don’t fully understand your statement.

      • Kench says:

        Hi Gilroy,

        If YN-565 is in optical slave mode, when it detects another flash light, it will fire itself with it. So you can trigger YN-565 by using another flash (as long as it’s optical sensor can “see” the illumination from the other flash).

        I tested this feature with my 40D’s built-in flash. I got successful results even at 1/250 second shutter speed. I was expecting some latency in this mode, so I wasn’t sure if YN-565 could synchronize with the built-in flash within 1/250 seconds of shutter time. But it can.

  37. joealb says:

    Does anyone know whether the 580ex Stofen diffuser fits the YN-565?

    • Kench says:

      The diffuser comes with the YN-565 fits the EX580-II head. The flash head design is identical between two. And as far as I know EX580 and EX580-II has the same head design. So I think it will also fit on EX580 and vise versa.

      Btw, almost all YN-565EX offers on Ebay include a free diffuser anyway.

  38. Chris says:

    How is the iTTL system? I’m interested in this flash, but wondering about the accuracy of the iTTL system. I’m now using Nissin flashes and they tend to overexposed and underexposed all on its on even after you’ve properly set the settings. Thanks.

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Chris – the Nikon version has not been released yet for the YN-565, only Canon. From previous YN flashes I can say that their exposure quality is not always and in every situation 100% on Nikon level but pretty good. From my Nissin experience I can say that the Di622-II gives very good exposure with D80/D90, whereas my Di866 is not always convincing in that respect. What are your Nissin experiences, and which camera bodies are you working with? Frank

      • Chris says:

        Hi Frank
        that’s interesting. I thought di866 gives a high exposure quality just like 580EX does .
        I’m using the canon 500D (I believe the model in the US call t1i ). So, I was quite curious about the situation when YN565 works with canon’s camera.

        • Speedlights says:

          Hi Chris – exposure quality impression is good with that exact combo = YN-565 and T1i. I’ll write about it very soon now, was heads down in the new homepage launch but that’s done now.

          • Joel says:

            Still patiently waiting for this review to be complete. It’s been almost a month since you made this “very soon” comment and almost 3 months since you started this review. I’m very interested to see your thoughts on the TTL Exposure quality and your concluding remarks.

            Thanks again for a great site :)

  39. Robin says:

    Don’t know if this helps anybody, but I purchased a couple of 565ex’s to use only as off flash slaves (i-ttl and/or manual mode). I have a couple of SB-800′s for commander or on camera flash, so I wasn’t worried about waiting for the Nikon version to finally (whenever it actually does) come out. Anyway, my first little problem is that when in commander mode using my D7000, with the flash in “cn” mode, the flash fires, but not at the prescribed i-ttl value (i.e the flash value set in the commander dialogue). I had to go to the flash, change it to “n” and then it worked perfectly. Anybody else find this happening? It isn’t a biggy, ’cause I could care less if it works for Canon and Nikon at the same time, but wondering if this is a firmware issue.

    • Armin says:

      “cn” = Canon
      “n” = Nikon

      If you are using a D7000 you should set it to “n” of course. Why should that be a firmware issue?

      • Kench says:


        “c”= Canon
        “cn” = Canon and Nikon
        “n”= Nikon

        So theorically cn mode should be OK with both Canon and Nikon cameras. But in reality, it is not. In the user manual, it is advised to switch to n mode if you’re having issues in cn mode with Nikon cameras.

  40. DMZamora says:

    Frank, as additional information, I just found out that the YN565EX Multi mode works flawlessly off camera with radio triggers, something that was not possible with the YN468.

  41. Kench says:

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to work on Canon G-12 in E-TTL. Manual mode should be OK, but I haven’t tested yet. My G-12 is borrowed by a friend. I will test it when I get it back.

    As expected, it doesn’t work on old film SLRs such as my EOS 300. Not even in manual mode. Probably because incompatible trigger voltage. But you can make it work if you add a RF-603 transreceiver between camera and the flash (or two RF-603s to use it off-camera). I haven’t test this method on a film then develop it to see the result. But it fires with the shutter.

    And still works flawlessly on EOS 40D. But I’m not very happy with the full power recycle times with GP 2700 Ni-MH batteries (around 3 seconds or more). But my GP 2700′s may not be in good condition as they have served for few years in a RC helicopter transmitter. I would like to hear reviews from others who use GP 2700′s with their YN-565.

    • DMZamora says:

      Your GPs may be a bit worn. I’m getting 2s recycle times on full power shots, with 2000mAh Eneloops. LSD cells are known for not having the same peak discharge capacity as regular NiMh cells, so yours look a bit “tired”.

      • Kench says:

        According to some direct comparisons on Youtube, Eneloops 2000 mAh’s are slightly faster than GP 2700 series (which are actually 2600 mAh). Eneloop batteries seem to be the absolute choice for speedlights, but my new RC transmitter use a li-PO pack, so I already had these eight GP’s to use somewhere. They may perform better after few discharges as they haven’t been used for quite sometime.

        BTW, it was terrible with Duracell alkalines. After some test shooting, I couldn’t even make a full power shot. The flash was turning itself off when i pressed the shutter, displaying p.l. message on the display. And I noticed the batteries were quite hot when it does that.

        • DMZamora says:

          Alkalines are bad for power hungry applications. At GN 36 and with a 2s recyle time, I think they simply can’t handle the current demanded.

    • Kench says:

      I don’t know what I was missing at my first attempt but YN-565EX surely works on Canon G-12 with E-TTL and Manual mode. Multi-Mode is not supported by G-12. But if you set it to Multi-Mode on the flash, it acts as E-TTL mode.

      • DMZamora says:

        That’s weird, as I’ve found that Multi mode works even on radio triggers, so I can’t see why not on G12.

        • Kench says:

          Hi DMZamora,
          Probably because it was on the camera hot shoe. Multi-Mode works wirelessly via RF-603 triggers even with G12. And what surprised me is that YN-565 can read the shutter speed information thru RF-603′s. The flash fires only during the shutter is open. If the shutter close before the strobo set is completed (freq. and flash count), flash stops firing.

          But I just discovered YN-565 does NOT work in G12′s “manual exposure” mode. Everything seems to be ok and the flash and camera communicates well as far as I can read on the displays. But it just not fire. The other exposure modes (P, Tv and Av) are ok though. Flash works as it should. And when used off-camera via RF-603′s, all exposure modes works flawlessly.

          • DMZamora says:

            Quite peculiar behavior :P

            About the Multi on RF-603, the flash is not reading the shutter speed. As with Cactus triggers, the 603 transmitter keeps the signal while the shutter is open. As soon as it closes, the signal is off and the flash stops firing, even if the cycle is not complete.

  42. DMZamora says:

    I just tested my YN565EX on camera, flash set to Manual mode, and if I follow the distance indicator, I get extremely overexposed shots. I need to reduce power by 3 stops to get a correctly exposed shot. And no, I’m not misinterpreting meters/feet :) . Anyone else noticed that?

    • Kench says:

      I just quickly tested mine. Close ups (0.5 to 2 metres) with 50mm lens seems ok but slighty over-exposed. It is obvious with bright and reflective subjects (around 1 to 1-1/5 stops). But with dark or non reflective subjects, exposure is acceptable.

      I also tested with 28mm focal length in a corridor for long distance shot. The result was highly over-exposed. I believe the reason is the light bouncing back from the walls and the ceiling.

      I think the distance indicator works as if there are no reflective surfaces around (like walls and ceilings). For instance, when shooting outdoors at night, or in large indoors. And you need to compensate your exposure setting for the additional flashlight bouncing back on your subject. This makes sense. But since it is daytime here, and I have a limited indoor space, I cannot test the result right now.

  43. plevyadophy says:

    Firstly, thanks for a wonderful site. The internet really needed such a site; it’s the only site that I know of that specialises in the review and rigorous testing of flashguns. Great!

    Now I would like to make two comments about your excellent review.

    (1) Sync test

    Personally, I don’t think your sync test is as useful as it could be.

    What you have done, it appears to me, is simply shown us that this flashgun will sync correctly up to the limited Canon sync speed of various Canon cameras. You have not, in my view, shown us the limits of the FLASHGUN itself.

    What I would have done is used the flash on a camera body like the original Canon 1D, which has a flash sync speed of 1/500. If the flash is not compatible with the 1D or you don’t have access to one, you could try covering all the contacts on the hotshoe except the central standard ISO contact. Why? Because I have noticed that on some cameras if there is no dedicated communication between flash and camera body, and one is just using the “dumb” central ISO contact, the camera will fire at any shutter speed. Doing this you can trigger the flash in manual flash mode at various speeds to see how it behaves, and you could also do a similar test with this flashgun using it’s standard slave mode.

    Of course yet another method is to mount the flash on a non SLR type camera as such cameras don’t usually have any flash sync speed limitiations.

    Of course this method doesn’t tell you if, theoretically, the flash could sync faster than 1/200, 1/250, 1/300, or 1/500 in TTL Mode given that to work in TTL mode the on camera signal would talk to the flash and stop it from firing in normal non-HSS mode at any speed faster than x-sync. But at least one will get a rough idea as to the flashgun’s abilities using my testing method.

    2) AF Beam pattern

    I think there is some mileage in your suggestion that perhaps a laser beam is being used.

    I say this because the AF Beam pattern looks identical to the Sony Hologram AF laser beam pattern introduced around ten years ago, and in my humble opinion it’s the best AF system ever placed on a modern camera. The hash pattern is especially wonderful as it creates contrast where non exists and the bright laser doesn’t get “lost” in the subject you are focusing on, and finally, unlike those horried orange AF lamps found on many cameras the Sony Hologram AF laser doesn’t cause people to squint (you can focus on people’s faces and they are none the wiser that they are being photographed).

    Sony, to my mind, and that of very many Sony camera users, were stupid beyond belief to have stopped using the sytem.

    You can see a review of a Sony F707 and the Hologram AF (scroll to half way down the page) http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscf707/page14.asp

    Again, thanks for a great site.



    • Speedlights says:

      Hi plevyadophy

      Thanks a lot for the comment! With regards to the sync speed, I’m trying to show its practical limits with an average camera, that’s correct. Using a camera with faster sync speed would give additional data with regards to the flashgun’s abilities. I’m going down another route and use a flash chronometer (Broncolor FCC) to measure the t0.1 times.

      When it comes to the AF technology, I’m sure you’re correct and it’s the same ‘hologram’ AF type that was used on the Sony! If Yongnuo finds a way to provide coverage for more AF fields it would be a great system.

      • plevyadophy says:

        Yes indeed that “Hologram” AF is superb. Sony seemed to have the same issue too, in that they too limited AF assist to a central zone.

        As you say, using such a system to cover a much wider focus area would be superb.

        The laser type system really is much better in my view as it has longer reach than the standard red or orange lamps used on many camera AF systems.

        Of course the other issue for a nerd like me, is how they have managed to employ this “Hologram” AF technology without upsetting Sony? ;o)



      • plevyadophy says:

        Oops! I forgot to add to my earlier comment a moment ago.

        The one thing that worries me about this flash after reading your Review and the review comments of other users is that Yongnuo, like most Chinese own brand makers, seem to have worrying quality control problems. I was gonna buy one but then I thought about the hassle of waiting maybe two weeks for delivery, finding that there is some fault with it and then having to send it back. If that happens the turnaround time could be as long as six weeks to two months to get a properly working product.

        A lot of these Chinese companies are great on features for their products but are woeful when it comes to quality control, which is a pity really. I would buy this flash in a heartbeat if I could be sure of it’s quality control.

        If I knew of a U.K. supplier then maybe I might take the risk given that I could get a replacement pretty quickly if the item was faulty.


        • DMZamora says:

          Thanks to that, I now have two 565s, one with a failed AF assist light and a new one. It would be expensive and time consuming to send it back to China, so I ended buying another one.

  44. Nicky Hampson says:

    I’m a beginner and have recently purchased a Canon 550d will the YN565 be compatible?

  45. Dee says:

    Is there any one in this forum that owns a Cannon S5 IS?

    If yes! Is Yongnuo’s YN-565 compatible with it?

    I am a newbie to photography have been taking photos forever but not with any real knowledge of what the heck I am doing. Finally took a beginner’s class and realize that I need more flash to take better photos at nights among other neat things.

    Love this site. Thanks

  46. Mike says:

    I got a question. I’m curious, how was the YN565ex with the Pocket Wizards test done? According to PW, the Flex TT5 and TT1 in manual mode (with the latest Firmware upgrade 6.0) works with any flash/studio strobe in Hypersync mode. Their Hypersync also replaces the need for a built in HSS feature.

    Appreciate if you could explain a little more about your PW test. Or perhaps do a TT5/TT1 Hypersync test, if you have not. Thanks.

    • Speedlights says:

      Hello Mike! The info in the article was collected from other users’ experience, it’s not based on own tests. Unfortunately I won’t be able to run my own tests, but I will update this section once I hear about someone being able to make the combination work. Frank

  47. Alexandre says:

    Well, it is November 25 and no Sign of a Nikon version.
    Did Yongnuo say something until now?

    Great review! Great site!

  48. ash says:

    When the flash is on non-TTL wireless trigger, e.g., RF-602, the camera does no pass the aperture, iso and zoom information to calculate and show the correct flash distance. However, in Canon 580EXII and Metz 58 AF-2, also in Vivitar DF 383, there is a option to input those in the flash without the aid of camera. Is it possible to input those values in Yongnuo 565EX flash?

  49. jayakumar says:

    whether the yn565 speed light for nikon is released? since it is expected in the month of November 11

  50. Dan says:


    If not already done send Santa a letter. It’s finally coming for us, right before Christmas!
    (see below)
    From: YONGNUO
    To: Dan
    Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 1:43:16 AM
    Subject: Re: YONGNUO TTL Speedlite YN-565EX for Nikon
    Hi Daniel

    It will be available next week.

    Kind regards

  51. Iosif says:

    Oh, come on!….

    Two months after my first YN-565EX died on me (you can read my story in previous posts), just this morning I received my replacement copy from the chinese seller (very kind and helpful guy).

    This copy turned out worse. It only fired a single (1) full-power shot and died like the previous one… By “died” I mean it won’t fire, despite all electronics functioning properly. Probably another bad quality capacitor.

    For a moment I was tempted to have the capacitor replaced by some electrician, but just in the off-case it’s anything else that causes the problem, I am sending this one back too – this time for a refund.

    It’s a real shame for Yongnuo, since my 465 and 460 have been proven workhorses that I do trust for paying gigs for over a year…

    • Joel says:

      That sucks! I’m sorry to hear about your trouble. Was that one, full power shot expected or was it “for no apparent reason” like the problem you described on Oct 17th? I wonder if that problem you were having with the first one was caused by the same thing that eventually killed it. Maybe that may be a way to detect the problem early?

      Who is the seller you’re dealing with? Can you tell if they sell a lot of them? I wonder if they just got a bad batch. Maybe people should try to avoid them. Maybe once you get your refund, you could buy another one from someone else.

      I got mine about two weeks ago from ThePhotoGadget.com and have roughly 700 shots on it and it’s working perfectly. Hopefully it continues to do so.

      • Iosif says:

        No, it wasn’t expected Joel – according to my settings on camera, I would expect something like a 1/16th-1/32nd of full power.

        First time, it was definitely a bad capacitor. This time, I’m not so sure, as I just switched it on again for a final test before packing it up, and the green light takes a few seconds to turn red. To me, that means the capacitor could be OK, and the problem could be elsewhere (maybe the lamp, as I heard a “pop” during that one flash).

        I don’t think there is anything to detect early. In my case, both times there was a problem from the first moment. My other 2 flashes (465 and 460) have never had an issue.

        The seller I’m dealing with is an eBay one with great ratings. Even if it actually is a bad batch, I don’t think it would be fair to name him, as this would probably hurt his business with any of this being his fault.

        I’m just disappointed because 565 seems like an awesome speedlight, but I got unlucky twice. I will have to wait some time before getting another, to make sure newer batches come around…

  52. Paul Abrahams says:

    I just picked up the YN 565ex, after a little fiddling around with settings I have it firing as a slave to my 60D. One thing though, I thought the YN controls were accessable from the camera menu which is not entirely correct. The settings don’t show up in the Ext func menu. The YN settings are affected by the settings in the built in flash (as master)…. So, no access to power settings or zoom only FEC from the master setting. Is this correct or am I missing something?

    Overall a very solid and powerful unit for the price $149.00 here in Australia

    • Joel says:

      That is correct. If the flash was in the hot shoe or if you were using a TTL cord then the camera and flash would be constant communication and the settings would be available in the camera menu. When in slave mode, all the communications happen with a series of light pulses when the shutter button is pressed. The camera is not even aware that there is a slave flash out there until these communications happen so it wouldn’t know what to put in the menus. I don’t own a Canon flash, but I believe this is the way they would work as well.

    • Speedlights says:

      As Joel said: there are settings which simply are not accessible from the camera menu, no matter which flash you use. Zoom setting is one of them – this must always be set on the flash direct. When it comes to power level, you can apply FEC in the camera menu, but you can also switch over to manual mode “M” in the camera menu and then, also there, set a manual output setting (e.g. 1/16) – this works with Canon flashes, and also with this Yongnuo.

  53. Mohsin says:

    YN 565 EX iTTL for Nikon is released – available on ebay from Yongnuo :)

    • Paul Abrahams says:

      Thats interesting because my unit, which the add said was for Canon has the option to choose c – n – or cn (canon nikon). Maybe the new units are universal to both Canon and Nikon?

      Which means the sales pitch, for Canon or for Nikon doesn’t make sense.

      • Joel says:

        Never go by the descriptions in eBay! They are undependable. Always verify specs from other sources, preferably in depth reviews like this one.

        This flash will work as a wireless TLL slave with both Canon and Nikon, but if you are connecting it to your camera’s hot shoe you will need to make sure you have the version for your camera in order to use the TTL mode. The layout of the electrical connections on the hot shoe are different for each camera manufacture.

  54. George says:

    I want to use the 565EX only in slave mode with ETTL. Should I only be using the first slave option and disregard the S!-S2 options.

  55. Bruce says:

    Does anyone know if an update/upgrade to include high speed sync for the YN 565 EX is planned, and ETA?

  56. Bruce says:

    If using a transmitter (or 580) to fire a ettl/ttl in high speed sync – is there a way to use the optical slave in manual to allow the 565 to interact properly for a well measured exposure. Thanks all!

  57. emmsys says:


    First off, this website is a diamond in the rough! Thanks for taking the time to review so many flashguns, and in particular, to compare them in great detail! I am a complete newbie to DSLR cameras and photograpghy in general. My old point-and-click Sony died 2 months ago and I replaced it with a Canon Rebel T3 (1100D) kit. It is an entry level DSLR but so far I love it! I’d like to add a flash and am torn between manual flashes like the YN-560 (or even the YN-460) and this YN-565EX because of the E-TTL support. For a newbie, are manual flashes that difficult to setup correctly? I would have jumped on the 565EX but I am a little paranoid about the quality issues that people have been experiencing. The YN-560 is less than half the price but if the E-TTL support will make this newbie’s life so much easier than the price difference of the 565EX might seem worth it. Sorry if this post seems unclear…I know I want a flash (to be used on the camera 99.9999% of the time) but I don’t know enough about flashguns to decide which to get! Thanks in advance for any information you can provide!


    • Speedlights says:

      Hi emmsys! If you’re not into “strobist” type stuff but want to use the flash on camera I’d really recommend a TTL model, so no YN-560. Try to find a local dealer for the Yongnuo in your country with warranty conditions you feel comfortable with. If that’s not possible then maybe consider a used Canon, e.g. a first-gen Speedlite 430EX? Or go for the cheaper YN-468-II from Yongnuo!

    • Daryl says:

      Hi emmsys!

      In short, iTTL is a fine place to start and also great for very dynamic situations like shooting children, who won’t stay sill for 5 seconds.

      But for more static, managed settings, manual is fine, but it involves a reasonable learning curve. It requires a good grasp of f-stops and you’ll need a meter for good (predictable) results.

      The YN565EX leaves both options open for you at not much extra expense.

  58. MikeG says:

    Just got the 565 a few weeks ago. Its a fantastic flash; however, It won’t work with Phottix Stratos II radio triggers. I guess it has something to do with the auto wake up feature or the ETTL pass-thru, but the flash fires the DOF preview while attached to the hotshoe. I’m going to see if the problem persists when attached via sync port, but thought I’d share the find.

  59. msgill says:

    Excellent review. I have eos 5d mk1 and using in manual mode with old metz flashes. Earlier i picked YN 468 after reading review on your site but unfortunately it died after three hundred click and no authorize repair here in Lahore, Pakistan. Canon own speed lite are expensive and hesitant to pick YN-565 due to earlier critical experience. On some reviews/posts it is not mentioned full compatible with eos 5d mk1. Will appreciate comments on its compability, durability, build and its performance in all modes of 5d.

  60. Ronee Valeriano says:

    May I ask why the full review isnt finished yet? Almost 6 months has passed and theres no information on the review yet on these parts,

    coming soon:
    -E-TTL Performance & Exposure Quality
    -Flash Sync Modes
    -Other Features
    -YN-565 Review Conclusion

    I hope this will be completed. I already have the yn-565 but it would still be helpful if this review is finished as I am not that knowledgeable in testing the flash extensively like you can.

  61. Philipp says:


    I just tested the 565EX with my 600D/T3i and everything works like it should. Wireless-ETTL (which is way better than I thought), ETTL on camera, full in-camera menu control, automatic sensor detection, automatic Zoom – it’s a very nice product, especially at this price.


  62. Peter says:

    my yn 565ex has just died. I made some 250-300 shoots. First there was some issues with shooter sync. After it taken photos didn’t shows up on my screen even after flash was fire. This was become more and more often. Now, it not react even on a pilot button. Menu still works and everything looks well, but the flash bulb is frozen. I think its probably capacitor, but i will check it very soon.

    • DMZamora says:

      Typical faulty capacitor, common problem on YN flashes. Look at: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1000969

      Obviously there will be differences (the flash pictured is a 468), but the principle is the same. The trigger capacitor on some YN flashes may be a yellow surface mounted rectangular component.

      WARNING: only open the unit if you know exactly what you are doing. The main capacitor stores very high voltages and can give you a *huge* shock.

  63. HSS says:

    I know that the YN565EX does not have HSS feature. However, can you enable HSS from the Canon camera allowing you to shoot at higher speeds than normal? Even if the Yongnuo will only fire ONCE and not real HSS this can help!! Does anyone know?

    • Speedlights says:

      this doesn’t work as you’d get uneven light across the frame b/c the shutter travels over the frame and with times shorter than x-sync it’s not completely open at any point in time.

  64. Gabriel C says:

    Im about to make a buy. For starters, there is a budget issued, so said that, here goes: Family ask me to take the Birthday Party pictures this weekend, all i have is Nikon D5100, 35mm f/1.8, a kit lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, and a 55-200mm f/4-5.6, some home made reflector, but no external lights, soft boxes and everything else. Now here is the question, I found on Amazon.com some real on the budget Speedlite’s that i would like you feed back before i make the buy: YONGNUO YN560 Flash Speedlite $70.59, Yongnuo YN-565EX ETTL Speedlite Flash for Nikon $163.99, Yongnuo YN-560 II Speedlight Flash for Canon and Nikon $99.38, and CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Trigger for External Speelights with 1 Trigger and 2 Receivers (NPT-04+extra receiver), which one should i go for? Any other suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks in advanced.

    • Daryl says:

      This response is way too late for your target birthday, but I’d recommend the YN565EX, and to avoid excess complexity, I’d shoot with the Speedlight on camera, bouncing off the ceiling, with a bounce card fitted to help create some keylight.

  65. Saulo says:

    nice review; I’m looking for a flash unit for my Fuji S3 Pro; it uses a nikon flash system called D-TTL, can someone tell me if this flash (the nikon unit) can handle that? is there any non-nikon flash that does that?

    thanks a lot!

    • Speedlights says:

      Hello Saulo

      Yongnuo can’t handle D-TTL, only older gen Nikon and Metz flashes qualify. Have a look at Metz – it’s a well respected company.

  66. Daryl says:

    I landed the Nikon version of the YN565EX three days ago, and could not be more delighted with it. It makes exceptional value for money, and the build quality is beyond reproach.

    The only disappointment is the manual, where I think the Asians so often sell themselves short, but I could make my way around most its deficiencies.

    Two small issues the manual didn’t clarify. 1) I gather option 5 is full frame vs DX format??? They label it as Full or Half Frame, 2) option 8 is Quick start, but I can’t figure why anyone would want the slow start!

  67. DMZamora says:

    @Gabriel C: YN565EX hands down, TTL is a must for these kind of photos. About the triggers, personally I would recommend Cactus V5 transceivers, but three modules would cost you $90 plus shipping at thephotogadget.com.

    @Daryl:Slow start function requires that you press the On/Off button for a few seconds before the flash really starts up. This can prevent accidental powerups.

  68. Sohail Malik says:

    Hello Friends!
    I have a Nikon D60 camera. Can i use YN-565EX, YN-560 II or YN465 flash? Which flash is better for D60?

    • Speedlights says:

      Hello Sohail. The YN-565 EX is officially listed as compatible with D60 by Yongnuo (I checked one of their eBay listings for the flash from the official store). The YN-465 will also be compatible. These 2 flashes support automatic flash exposure in i-TTL. The YN-560 / YN-560II is a manual-mode flash: it can be used with the D60, but exposure must be set manually. Therefore, it’s only really usable in the manual camera mode “M”, but not in “P” or the “auto” shooting program.

  69. Exposure says:

    I bought 2 YN-565ex. For a month they’re both working just fine. Now, one powers up for a second and eventually gives me the p.l error. The other one, as soon as you release the power button, it just powers off itself. What to do?

    • Speedlights says:

      Return it – get in touch with the seller of the product

    • Kench says:

      Hello Exposure,
      I got the same error with my YN-565EX. And it happened just when I was taking my first test shots, when the flash was set to 1/1 or 1/2 power. Then I realized it has to do with Duracell alkalines I was using.. The batteries were just unpacked but they were a bit old. The problem stopped when I switched to GP 2700 series Ni-MH batteries. Flash cycle times were also improved significantly. It should even get better with Eneloop batteries. So if you are using alkaline batteries, switch to rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. I recommend Eneloops, as they are the best for speedlights. If that does not help, return the flash.

      • Kench says:

        Oh. Sorry. I didn’t read your post carefully. Your problem can be a little different than mine. In my case, when I press the shutter on the camera, or press on the PILOT button on the flash, the flash showed “p.l error” and then powered off. And it happened only if the power was set to 1/1 or 1/2. Also I noticed the flash got quite hot when it did that.

        But you say you have two units, one shows the error code, and the other one just powers off itself as you turn it on. But try them with good Ni-MH batteries anyway, if you haven’t already. I hope it helps.

  70. Kench says:

    A nice thing I just discovered with Canon 40D + YN-565 + RF-603 combination, is that you can sync it up to 1/250 “wirelessly” if you use the Liveview function of the camera. As I mentioned on my previous posts. YN-565 can sync up to 1/250 successfully when used on camera, but only 1/200 if it’s used off-camera (with RF-603 triggers). But if you use liveview, you can set the shutter 1/250 without getting any un-illuminated areas.

    This works with 40D, but it may not work with other cameras with liveview feature. I’ve heard that EOS Rebel series cannot trigger third party flashes in liveview mode. Because in order to trigger a flash when using Liveview, you should disable “silent shooting” modes. And in some EOS rebels, there is no such option.

  71. DMZamora says:

    @Kench: Just tested on a 450D (Rebel XSi) with Cactus V5. It really don’t trigger the flash in Live View mode, but there’s a workaround: just enable Continuous Shooting. It will still miss the first shot, but will trigger the next one(s).

    • Kench says:

      That workaround is helpful when taking still life photos, macros, product photos, which are almost always the case when shooting in liveview.

  72. Raffaele says:

    Hi everybody, what is better, aside price, between YN 565ex and Nikon SB-600?

  73. DMZamora says:

    @Raffaele: YN565EX has GN 36 (SB-600 has GN 31), multi-flash (stroboscopic) mode, and can be controlled wirelessly by Nikon *and* Canon cameras, even simultaneously. But if money is not a concern, always go for an original ;)

  74. Mike says:

    I have the canon version of this flash on a 10D I also own a Nikon D70.. they say it works with TTL on the wireless feature with a D70?

    Are they talking about the commander mode? The TTL setting does not seem to work for me.. I set it to the same setting (channel & group) as my SB-600 and the 565EX will not fire.

  75. Daryl says:

    I recently was using my YN565EX in autumn sunlight mid-morning in Australia, with the IR sensor pointing into the sun, and I found it could not differentiate the camera signal. I can to swap out the YN for my Nikon SB600, which worked fine under the same conditions.

    Anyone else experienced this and found any work-around?

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