Dorset Wedding Photographer Equipment Review: Yongnuo YN560-III
I love using Off camera flash at weddings, it can add an extra dimension to portraits. A nice kick during speeches, and a great lighting during first dance. I recently saw that Yongnuo had released a new flashgun, the YN560-III. Now I have a SB900, SB800 and a SB700 (the SB700 is my favourite from these) so why would I get one of these new Yongnuo flashguns? Simple. Wireless triggering. I have Pocket Wizard Flex’s and they’re great, but expensive. if I was to drop one then it’s a bit repair bill. I’m used to using flash manually at weddings, for first dance etc. so if i’m using manual only then I can use any flashgun. The Yongnuo is about £55 from ebay and the thing that attracted me to it was that it has a built in wireless receiver. This isn’t a first, Canon also have a 600EX flashgun that does this, but it’s over £500! Admittedly that will do full metering, but, for my use manual is fine.
Here’s a recent example image shot with the triggers and flash:
So if you want to get into wireless flash the cheapest way is to use the Yongnuo RF-602 or RF-603 triggers. The 603 replaced the 602’s and has the advantage that they are transceivers (can transmit AND receive) rather than just receivers OR transmitters like the 602’s. So I’ve had a bunch of these in my bag as great inexpensive backups to my Pocket wizards (it also means that I can very cheaply add more flashes to my setup as each new 603 is about £15 rather than £180. As always you have to be aware that these are fully manual and not metering triggers. Though Yongnuo offer wireless triggering modules for canon and nikon cameras that support metering but I’ve not tried them.
So back to the review. The YN560-III has the advantage over the other flashes in that if you have 602 or 603 units then this flash can be triggered automatically without having to buy any extra transceivers. This has the advantage in terms of less things to take/break and also less batteries too. So anything that keeps the kit bag down is a bonus!
So if you’re looking for a cheap way to get into off camera flash that also has great range and reliabilty then take a look at the 603 and the YN560-III as they will do you proud.
Looking at the Yongnuo YN560-III unist itself it feels very much like my old canon 430EX flash. The battery loading is very similar, as you can see the buttons even look similar too.
You’ve even given a pc-sync socket should you wish to use is that way (something canon have only just added in recent years), a nice pouch and also a stand to put it on. What you don’t get (which you do get with the nikon flashguns) are any gels, or a stofen type diffused. Though give it’s off camera use these aren’t big deals given you can pick up gels for pretty much nothing. (£10 from flashgels.co.uk).
All in all this is a great flash for the money – I get up to 1/250 sync speed with both my Nikon d800 and D3s, and it didn’t have any trouble keeping up at 10fps burst mode at lower power settings.
So the conclusion is if you’re looking for a flashgun then this is worth a look if you just want simple off camera usage.