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on May 22, 2013
This flash is excellent for SO MANY REASONS! If you are just beginning in photography, you should check out this flash. If you are a pro and you need either a back-up, a slave, something to experiment with, and/or if you love to work in manual, you should check out this flash. Yes, it doesn't have any automatic functions, but for the price to feature ratio, you get more than enough to up your game with flash photography.

I have been shooting as a pro for about 2 years now. Before that, when photography was just a hobby, my first flash was the Canon Speedlite 270EX Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras. Even though it helped, it was not by much however, my knowledge of strobist photography was non-existent at the time. After a while, I graduated to the Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras. When I got the 580EX II, I realized that I missed out on sooooo much just shooting with the 270EX. In addition, I ended up getting a Canon 430EX II Flash and the Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites. After studying this book, my photography has not been the same since.

Even though I love my 580 & 430, I could not afford to buy 2 or 3 more of those flashes and even if a miracle happened, how much harder would it be for me to replace those flashes if one or more is lost or damaged. So I did my research and came upon the original YN560. For a cheap flash, it had the best reviews I came across, especially for a flash under $100. I was skeptical at first because I was so used to Canon equipment, however, I thought $70 couldn't hurt me tooo bad. When I finally got one I was COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY!!!!! This is EXACTLY what I needed as a slave only flash! The build quality is similar to the 580, they take the same accessories, and it is just as powerful as the 580. I bought a second one that same day.

2 years after using the original YN560s, I saw that Yongnuo came out with the YN560III, which has a built-it receiver for the YN602/603 triggers! At one time, this flash wasn't in stock for almost 2 months because they were selling out SO FAST! As soon as they were available, I purchased as many as I could since demand was and still is crazy for this flash.

If you are a pro looking for a cheap flash, here are my reasons why I would recommend this flash to you:

1. YN560III has a built in radio trigger, which adds a crazy amount of convenience to your workflow!
2. YN560III has also 2 built in optical slaves modes, 580 has one but is limited to work with canon flashes only.
3. Cheaper to replace & add additional flashes.
4. Provides a sound when the flash has charged to fire again.
5. Similar build quality as the 580.
6. Accepts the same accessories as the 580.
7. Just as powerful as the 580.

If you are a beginner, and/or someone who is considering the cheap route when it comes to buying your first flash:

1. Built-In Radio Receiver.
2. The YN560III can be triggered by ANY on-camera flash, whether you have a professional camera or a simple point-and-shoot camera. Unless you have a Canon 7D or newer with a pop-up flash, triggering most of Canon's flashes have complex limitations.
3. Price to feature ratio.
4. Pretty much the same reasons why a pro would buy this flash!

If you are a beginner and are not aware of the 580EX II, it is a very good old school Canon flash. Take away the automatic functions and the weather sealing, you pretty much have the YN560III. If you are a pro, yet again, the YN560III is just a cheaper and manual-only version of the 580 (With a Built-In radio receiver!).

Also, as a comparison to Canon's new flagship model flash, the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash (Black), you can purchase 5 YN560IIIs plus a set of Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger/Wireless Shutter Release Transceiver Kit for Canon 1D/5D/7D/50D/40D/30D/20D/10D Series for the price of only ONE of Canon's own built-in radio flashes! Having an automatic flash with a built-in radio triggering system is AWESOME I must say however, you WILL PAY a large sum for Canon's system. Pretty much, five 560IIIs and one set of RF-603s is less than $500 total. 3 Canon 600EX-RTs and one ST-E3 transmitter is about $1,800 total! If you have the money and Canon equipment, go for the Canon system however, most people are like myself and cannot afford Canon's top notch system as of yet.

If you are a beginner, the reason why you want radio triggers is so your flashes can be triggered with fewer limitations. Triggering your flashes by radio waves is MUCH MORE RELIABLE than triggering them by a flash of light from a camera or another flash in general. The science and math behind how this works can get very technical and is much easier to understand if the system is seen in action. Check out YouTube for several examples of 'off-camera lighting.'

Also, for most photographers using off-camera flashes, you had to at one time, have a receiver for every flash you have; (You still do in some cases.) If you have 4 flashes, you would have to buy 4 receivers and also have a trigger on your camera. With the YN560III, you now only need one RF-603 Transceiver (a receiver & transmitter built into one device), which is awesome since you are saving money and also, you don't have to buy extra batteries for those receivers you would have needed before! NOTE: RF-602 and RF-603 triggers from Yongnuo are the only triggers compatible with the built-in receiver inside this flash. I hear that the RF-604 X2-C Wireless Flash Trigger for Canon EOS 1D series, 5D series, 7D, 6D 60D, 50D, 40D, 30D, 20D, 10D, 650D 600D 550D, 500D, 450D, 400D, 350D, 1000D Powershoe G10, G11, G12, G15 G1X SX50 may be compatible as well. NOTE: If you decide to purchase the Meyin 604, I hear that it only works on channel 16 with this flash, which might be a deal breaker to some ;-).

For a lot of situations, I only need to shoot with the YN560s. If I needed to have an automatic flash, my Canon flashes will do just fine. Also, I like the challenge and consistency of shooting in manual.

The YN560s work really well at weddings & events when you need multiple off-camera flashes to bounce light off of the ceiling to illuminate dark venues. Because they are relatively in expensive, being able to purchase multiple YN560s take the stress out of shooting in poorly lit conditions. Also, I've found that the more flashes I have, the more creative options I have like overpowering the sun, applying color gels, etc! Make sure you look up tutorials and books on strobist photography to learn this stuff! :-)

Truly, these flashes are one of THE BEST INVESTMENTS I'VE MADE TOWARDS PHOTOGRAPHY! I'm very grateful to God for being able to share some knowledge with you! I hope it helps. Take care and happy shooting!
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on June 9, 2013
First off, I am a professional photographer for the last 7 years. I've been working with Canon only equipment but in this economy the opportunity to get a flash for a fraction of the original Canon was too tempting to pass by....and I am amazed at how well this flash works right out of the box.

So far I've used it in a studio setting as a backlight (slave, with a little octabox attached to it) and it worked like a charm. Full output is fantastic for bigger events. With the Yongnuo wireless transmitter this is amazing for fashion shoots on location, headshots etc. As a lightstand, I'm using my Manfrotto tripod, works like a charm as well.

If you understand how to model your light and shoot in manual you get an amazing flash for a great value. I'm about to order 2 more for on location lighting.

Also props to the shipper, product came well packaged 20 days earlier than expected!! That's service!

EDIT 7/12/13

Unfortunately the flash suddenly stopped working in the middle of a shoot. Suspecting the batteries at first I tried 3 different batches and then called the company to get a replacement. Now I have to pay for the return shipping cost to have a new one send to me... Let's hope that doesn't happen every 4 weeks... 2 Stars of the original review.
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on June 20, 2013
Let me start this review off simply. BUY THIS. Is it as good as the more expensive alternative? It very, very, very nearly is. It's the right price, it has surprisingly good build quality, excellent recycle time (better than my Canon), and consistent results.

This is my second Yongnuo unit (I have the 2 also) and unless I end up having more money than I care to count, I may never buy another Canon unit. Don't get me wrong, the Canon IS better, but $300 better? Absolutely not. My first Yongnuo was bought as a cheap second unit for a specific job that I didn't want to invest too much in. It has, since then, become my primary unit. I have two 430 EXII units that I use as backups now.

My concern with most low price alternatives from China are usually quality related. This flash has taken several spills already (see my upcoming review of my new sandbags to avoid that) and hasn't skipped a beat. It's build quality is EXCELLENT. I can't say that part enough.

So what do you give up from the Canon? For starters, ETTL. I don't use it, so I don't miss it. Canon 600EX zooms to 200mm, Yongnuo zooms only to 105mm. I believe the Canon trigger system used in the 600 are superior, but I used a pocket wizard type product anyway, so that isn't a deal breaker for me.

At the end of the day, this flash can be delivered to your door for $85, versus $400 for the Canon equivalent. Imagine what you could use the extra $325 for. For me? I'll buy three more of these and take my girlfriend out for a nice steak dinner.. all for the same price as one Canon.
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on May 15, 2013
I've been buying photography equipment from Amazon for 10 years and have never been compelled to write a review. However, this little flash has impressed me enough to let everyone know how good it is. If you use off camera flash in studio or on location in manual mode this is the flash for you. Buy one set of the C3 radio triggers for your camera and you are ready to go. I've only had the flashes for about a week but I have been using them extensively and have had great results. I bought two of them to go along with the 7 other flashes that I have and they are now my favorite. This includes my canon 580 EXII. The built in radio trigger makes all the difference in the world. Put four batteries in the flash and stick it on a stand and you are ready to go. No more external triggers to worry about having batteries for or weither they are on or off. I trigger these with the C3 on my camera and the other flashes in S1 mode. In summary, great flash.
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on November 17, 2014
I have used a few Canon flashes from the 540ez to the 430ex and these are wonderful! No color issues that I can see. I used these quite a bit in the last few days and I can't stop myself. I am a semi professional photographer and I am impressed! I love these, with a controller it's a great bargain for the price. They are so cheap they are practically disposable. I don't have to cry if one breaks, I don't have to worry if I lose one. Peace of mind because of the great price. Finally a good reliable flash that doesn't cost a fortune!!!!.......Canon, sorry, I will never spend on your flashes ever again! You lose. That 430ex was $299, biggest waste of money ever! That has to be one of the worst purchases I ever made....

As far as TTL, ETTL, those features are nice but they are not reliable nor are they worth the added expense in my opinion. Manual control of the flash is always better than letting the camera make your choices for you....

Update, I have six of these, it's been several months now and no issues. I am very happy I decided to buy these.
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on August 19, 2013
Very happy I went with YN 560 III and not the II or I...quality and performance are excellent. I will be ordering a couple more of these ASAP!!!
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on March 6, 2014
Not sure about quality control on the Yongnuo, seems pretty positive with all the reviews but I got a lemon, died after 2 months of very light use. Not sure if I'm willing to gamble on another set.
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on June 16, 2014
I loved this flash. I used it three times and then it died. The second time it worked at first and then stopped. I thought it was a fluke, but then last weekend in the middle of a shoot - it just stopped. The unit was on and nothing was happening... not even when I push the test button. I tried to use it again yesterday and it still wouldn't fire. Now I'm past my 30 days to return and sending it back to China for Yongnuo to check it out would cost about $300. Yeah, not doing that. Bummer.
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on May 4, 2013
I got this in the mail just this morning as a second strobe to my Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras. I don't need the TTL functionality of the Yongnuo YN-565EX ETTL Speedlite Flash for Nikon, so despite the fact that there were no reviews for this model, I took a chance because it syncs directly with the Yongnuo RF-603 N3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger/Wireless Shutter Release Transceiver Kit for Nikon D90/D3100/D5000/D7000 which I already own. I am not usually an "early adopter," but I have seen many, many reviews for previous versions of the YN-560 and YN-565, so I am fairly confident in its quality.

For practice, I set up the YN 560 III as my key light triggered with my RF-603. I put my Nikon SB-700 in slave mode as my fill light, triggering it when the key light fired. It worked perfectly. I also put the YN560 III into slave mode and triggered my SB-700 with my RF-603. The YN560 fired as expected. I was considering buying another set of RF-603s, but this strobe eliminates that as an option. With either of these setups, the strobes are full manual mode only, but for an amateur photographer just getting into flash photography this worked well for me.

I'll update if I have any issues.
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on August 2, 2013
I've been shooting with a Nikon SB-600 and some Vivitar HV285 and 283 flashes. This Yongnou seems to have the best elements of those combined into one unit. Feels solid, and I like that the tilt/swivel doesn't require an unlocking button. Menus are a little weird, but make sense after about 5 minutes with the manual. They aren't any weirder than the SB-600, and unlike that flash, you can do most operations one-handed. The built-in wide angle diffuser and bounce card are one less thing to lose. The head of the flash is just tall enough to be covered by the small gels in the Rosco Strobist kit, but too big to have those gels curved out - be careful not to melt them with full-power usage.

The optical slave works well so far with both my Nikon D200 and my Fuji x100 triggering. I have not tested the radio receiver function yet, as I only own the Cowboy Studio radio triggers, which use a different frequency. The only thing I would do to improve this product would be to include a diffuser dome or hard plastic color correcting covers like the SB-700, or maybe to have a minijack for wired sync in addition to the PC jack.
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