Yes, it does sound like the latest-generation Canon speedlite 600EX-RT. So – will it be radio controlled as well? Maybe even compatible to the Canon radio control system?
Given that Canon charges a whopping $629 for their new flash and Yongnuo’s product usually cost maximum a third of that you might get excited. I definitely was when I saw it.
Yongnuo’s current top-flash is the 565EX, and it was just released some months ago. So what does the new one have to offer compared to the 565? A master-mode, finally? Radio control? And will it maintain its cross-brand capability in slave mode?
Not a YN-565 Replacement
But a look at a picture of the flash foot cleared things up. I was really surprised … that’s not what I had expected from a flash with that name:
OK. What I see here is just 1 electrical hot shoe contact, but Canon uses 5, and Nikon uses 4 on their flashes and camera bodies, so this is not a dedicated flash. This new Yongnuo won’t be able to communicate with the cam, and therefore not receive AF-assist information, or lens focal length info, nor any exposure values.
EX-600 competes with YN-560 II … and YN-565!
This thing is a manual flash (“strobist” flash). The flash foot looks like that of the Yongnuo YN-560 (II), or the Lumopro LP160. If used in the camera hot shoe you have to use the manual mode “M” on the camera body. If used in “P”, the “green auto” mode or the scene programs the results will be useless with this flash.
But this is not just a replacement of the just recently announced YN560 II, either. It’s actually something really interesting, a hybrid between a manual-mode flash in the hot shoe and a dedicated digital TTL slave flash when used wireless.
Confused? It’s unusual for sure, but not that complicated actually. Here’s how the 3 flashes 560-565-600 compare:
|Feature||Yongnuo YN-565 EX||Yongnuo Speedlite 600 EX||Yongnuo YN-560 II|
|Hot shoe support||Canon, Nikon||not a dedicated flash (has only 1 pin on flash foot)||not a dedicated flash (has only 1 pin on flash foot)|
|Wireless TTL modes||E-TTL II (Canon), i-TTL (Nikon)||E-TTL II (Canon), i-TTL (Nikon)||none|
|Canon radio-control protocol support||no||no||no|
|Optical slave modes (non-TTL)||S1, S2||S1, S2||S1, S2|
|Hot shoe flash modes||E-TTL II (Canon), i-TTL (Nikon), M, multi mode (strobo)||M, multi mode (strobo)||M, multi mode (strobo)|
|Max guide number (meters)||58||58||58|
|Zoom range (mm)||24 – 105||24 – 105||24 – 105|
|Price (USD)||170||not known yet||65|
Who is this for?
The answer to the question if this flash is for you depends on what equipment you already have. If you don’t own any speedlight yet, then this flash is not the right one for you. It’s great in wireless mode but won’t be useful when mounted on the camera body. Buy a Yongnuo YN-565 as a first flash, or a Nissin, Canon, or Nikon (or Metz).
If you have a digital TTL flash and you’re looking to build up a wireless system with additional slaves then the 600-EX is one to consider: it supports both Canon’s and Nikon’s wireless slave systems, and Yongnuo have proven with their YN-565 that they master the 2 protocols. So I expect this new Yongnuo 600EX to be an effective and reliable slave flash as well.
And what about the radio-control mode just introduced by Canon? Well, that’s not mentioned by Yongnuo on their product details page, so I still wonder about them choosing a similar model name but I think it’s not a compatible flash with the brand new system from Canon – would have been too good to be true.
Where to Find More YN EX600 News
This post sums up what I know about the newest Yongnuo flash as of now. You can find the Yongnuo page here. You can sign up to email updates, “like” Speedlights on Facebook, or follow Speedlights.net on twitter and you will be notified when there are news coming in.
Available already are the Yongnuo YN-560 II info page as well as the YN-565EX review. I’ll get one of these new flashes as soon as they become available (don’t know dates yet), and I will eventually post test results and a review.
Where to Buy
Yongnuo products can be found on eBay. Search for Yongnuo 600EX offers for the best prices and check warranty conditions. A good option is to buy direct from the Yongnuo manufacturer store with the advantage of a 1-year warranty that usually comes with their sales.
amazon is another good source for Yongnuo products; compare availability and purchase price. If you purchase through one of these links you support the expansion of this website with even more tests and reviews.