Yongnuo Speedlites

Based out of China, the Yongnuo company entered the scene of strobist flash units as recently as 2009 with their first model, the YN460. And despite the lack of a PC port or even a zoom reflector, with it’s 7 stop range of manual settings, the thought-out operation and a decent build quality it has established itself as one of the benchmarks in record time. Within a couple of months, additional models were launched, and it seems like the pace of innovation won’t stop anytime soon.

The “Strobist” Flash Line

Yongnuo offers 3 manual mode-only models, with the YN462 playing the underdog role:

  • YN460 – the classic, outdated now
  • YN462 (simplified 460 with continuous power control)
  • YN460-II – the 460′s faster and stronger replacement
  • YN560, the first model of the new Yongnuo ‘professional’ line; strobist flash unit with zoom reflector, PC port, power pack socket and 8 step manual power control. Full in-depth review. Will be replaced in December 2011
  • Yongnuo YN-560-II – the 2nd generation full-manual flash of the 560-line; additional features such as LCD display, additional multi-mode, battery warning; info page.

New Digital TTL Models

Only some months after their first flash, the company offered a TTL version on top, and they have been adding new features since then:

  • YN465 – i-TTL or E-TTL version without optical slave sensor. This was the only Nikon i-TTL flash from Yongnuo until August 2010. Full in-depth review.
  • YN467 with auto-zoom – both Canon E-TTL model as well as Nikon i-TTL version available now. Full in-depth review.
  • Outdated now: YN468 – an enhanced 467 with more features as well as an LCD screen. Available only in a Canon version. In-depth review.
  • YN-468II is available since November 3, 2011; improved Yongnuo 468-speedlite for Canon
  • YN-565 with ETTL for Canon (Nikon version expected for November 2011)

Feature Comparison

A high level feature comparison can be found on the Yongnuo guide numbers overview page, focusing especially on specs versus test results for the flah guide number and the recycle times of Yongnuo speedlites.

Yongnuo YN-460 vs YN-460-II vs YN-465 vs YN-468

Yongnuo Compatibility with Canon Camera Bodies

Check the Yongnuo-Canon compatibility table for information on combinations that work or don’t work with YN-465, YN-467 and YN-468.

Where To Buy

You find a wide variety of Yongnuo speedlites on eBay, either in the Yongnuo manufacturer store or check all eBay offers.

amazon is another good source for Yongnuo products but does not always have the same wide selection.

14 Responses to Yongnuo Speedlites

  1. Ken Pleiss says:

    I was wondering if the YN-560 would be compatable with an older Canon D60 SLR.

    • fransener says:

      Hello Ken

      The YN-560 is compatible with any camera as long as you don’t expect to do the exposure automatically. For every shot you will need to set the output level of the flash by hand.

  2. David says:

    I understand the 465 does not work with the Canon 10D, but does it work with the 20D? The 20D is the first model to use E-TTL II.

    • fransener says:

      Hello David

      I don’t know any report of a positive experience with the combination of 20D plus any Yongnuo ETTL speedlite, so I would not do it if I was you. 30D yes, but not older.

  3. Simon says:

    Hello,
    Great review. Thanks for sharing.
    I was wondering if you know the 465 model is compatible with Nikon D2H? I need a flash to shoot wedding for a friend but I was wondering if the balance fill flash feature would be available with Yongnuo. May be a SB-600 is better? Would I be missing much apart from lost of FP High-Speed Syn and slave feature?

  4. Michelle says:

    I have a Nikon D60. Can you tell me the best non-nikon flash to use? Would it be the YN465? I have read your reviews but not a lot of people have reported that they use the D60. I have a wedding to shoot, am concerned re red eye (dont want to do a lot of processing in photoshop). I have had bad experiences with off-brand flashes before (probably bad advice), and the flash I have currently keeps making my on-camera pop up (non nikon, but purchased from proper camera shop). Needless to say, I am getting fed up and just want a flash that will do its job without making the on-camera flash pop up. Any info anyone can add or tell me would be fantastic. Perhaps its just my camera settings re issues with current flash?

    Thanks for your time. :)

    • fransener says:

      Hi Michelle: you need a flash that supports “i-TTL” to prevent the popping out of the built-in flash. Look here at the reviews, candidates are YN-465, YN-467, Nissin Di622-II, Metz 48 AF-1, Metz 50 AF-1. But if you made bad experience with 3rd party flashes in the past, why not try a Nikon? Maybe you can find a slightly used SB-600?

  5. Hannah says:

    Hello,

    I recently bought a YN460 for my Canon500D. When I took it home, I got it straight out of the packaging, put batteries in it, turned it on and attached it to my camera body, and my camera won’t recognise it. Everytime I go to change it to external flash settings, it says “This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash’s power is turned off.” However, when I go to switch to built in flash, the camera says “This menu cannot be displayed. External flash is attached.”

    I was just wondering if you had any ideas as to what could be wrong?

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Hannah

      The behavior you see with the YN-460 is – sorry to say this – as expected, and there’s nothing wrong with the flash. Your Canon body can’t performs the external flash adjustments with any accessory flash, but only with special speedlites that are compatible with Canon’s “E-TTL II” protocol. The simple YN-460 has no TTL control mode – it’s a “dumb” flash that only works in manual mode. Switch your camera on the control dial to “M”, set a shutter speed of 1/200 or longer, and you’ll be able to work with the flash. If you want automatic flash, get another model, e.g. the Yongnuo YN-468. Frank

      • Tanika Mackay says:

        Hey, I have the same issue, however I have the YN-468 which I’m using with a canon 1000D, is there anything I can do to fix it?

  6. Ruben Parker Jr says:

    This is a great site for info on flash. My hat’s off to you for your expertise and fair analysis of all products. Thanks again.

  7. derrick schwieters says:

    Hi,
    I have purchased a YONGNUO YN-465-i didn’t realize I bought the Canon version until after i got an email from Amazon telling me it shipped. Will it be compatible with my Nikon D5100?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Derrick – no, the Canon version of the flash will not communicate properly with your Nikon camera. Nikon uses 4 electrical pins on the flash foot while Canon has 5, and positioned differently. It’s also that the software protocols are incompatible. You will be able to use the flash in purely manual mode, but no TTL/auto mode. Frank

  8. Raul Malhotra says:

    Why such a step motherly treatment for Nikon fans from Yongnuo ?

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