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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 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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I started adding YN560 v3's to my collection after using the YN560 v2 (which I haven't had any issues) for awhile. Speaking from a simplicity stand point and having used the Canon 580EXII's and 430EXII's in the past, the Yongnuo flash has an easier interface for someone not looking for all the bells and whistles but want the brightness of 580EXII's. At least according to their data, the full power output is identical to that of the 580EXII's and assuming it's the same for Nikon's top of the line SB flash.

Another plus side of using either flash, the Yongnuo's are MUCH easier to change the manual brightness not having to scroll and turn the jog dial on the 430EX/580EX. While the YN560 v3 adds the integrated receiver which is nice when working with off camera setup with using one or more.

What the YN560 v2's and III's don't have are the high speed sync and rear curtain sync. If you want those options you'll have to pay double for the YN568-EX which will do just that. Obviously if you shoot events and need the flash to be able to communicate with your Canon camera directly (Nikon is more forgiving in that sense with these flash) then buy couple or more YN568-EX's.

With that said, if you don't need rear curtain sync or the high speed sync, save yourself some money and buy the Yongnuo's. I know many pro's that use these flash without any issue.

Who should buy this? Well, if you're a hobbyist just starting to external flash, the YN560 v2's will do just fine. YN560 v3's is nice for anyone looking to do off camera shot but also have the simplicity of buying one transceiver (RF-603 as an example) and not having to buy receiver for each flash which I've done with the YN560 v2's. If you buy multiple III's you can buy YN560-TX specifically for this model to control the flash power individually from the transceiver. This is a nice option for faster workflow and someone that uses the flash in multiple locations that require on the fly change in flash output power.

If you're planning to just buy one flash, you can buy the YN560 v2's. You can use it directly on your Canon t2i, 60D, 70D, 5DMKII's and any Canon DSLR's. But if you're planning to buy two or more, I would probably invest in the v3 and buy a tranceiver. If you want to control each v3's remotely (if you use two or more and is not close together) then definitely get yourself the YN560-TX to control the flash output. It'll save you a lot of time and aggravation of going back and forth between each flash. I do a bit of real estate photography and it's such a hassle to do this when setting up three or more flash.

***Other Things to Note***

Contruction is very sturdy. They pretty much copied Canon's design and while Canon has a tad bit smoother operation overall and the nice latch system to lock the flash in place, Yongnuo flash has held up very well.

When using with FULL flash power, take in consideration these portable flash aren't like a monolight or other high power flash designed for studios. You don't want to use the full power output often or it'll shutdown to prevent the camera from being damaged. This is the same with Canon flash. I would use 1/2 or lower output if possible. It's bright enough for most use but not exactly for lighting up a venue or areas that have tall ceilings. You'll need to use multiple flash with such setup (by then you'll likely use a monolight or strobe of some kind).

Batteries I've been using Energizer for many years but I know many are very happy with Eneloop's from Sanyo. I always carry extra's charged in my case.

Don't let the price fool you. I've been shooting for over 15 years, owned Alien Bee's and Canon flash but Yongnuo's aren't to be discredited. One of the best bang for the buck for amateur's and pro's alike. You just need to understand what flash you need and for what situation. For most hobbyist the YN560 v2's will do just fine. Creative photographers, real estate, events and other on-the-go photographers will find the 560 v3's and 568EX's fit their needs.

Want a simple kids/family portrait but properly lit room? Just aim the flash head behind you or where a wall is start shooting! I'll often times set my 6D to manual mode, ISO100-400, speed to 1/160 and aperture of f/4 and get a very clean image of my kids running around. With the 568EX, you can add the second curtain sync to slow down the shutter speed slower and leave a trail indoor or outdoor for some fun looking image.

It's a very fun way to get your photography in a creative direction!

***Off Camera Setup***

As mentioned earlier, this v3 has the 2.4 GHz receiver built in. So you'll need one 2.4 GHz transmitter like the Yongnuo RF-603. Amazon has that single flash + single transmitter combo.

But let's just say you want to buy two flash and want both to be off the camera. Same setup as above with one transmitter will suffice. Where the YN560-TX comes into play is if you want to control each flash from the transmitter ($50 vs $30 for the RF-603). Otherwise if you're doing small product photography or you don't need a fast workflow then you might save yourself $30. But if you're doing this on a location or needing to step away or bring down the flash from a light stand then the YN560-TX will come in VERY handy.

Even with the v2, if you buy one tranceiver kit, you'll be able to fire off the flash off camera no problem. The only thing about the v2 without the built-in receiver of course needs to have the receiver on the hot shoe. Now here's where people get confused. Reliability wise, yes you want to have receiver on each v2's and any flash that doesn't have the built-in receiver like the v3's. BUT, both v2 & v3 has an option called "S1" that can be triggered by any other flash. As soon as detects a flash of light it'll also flash without having to use another receiver. The limitation of course is the face of the flash needs to face towards the source of the flash. If you're in another room with it triggering it may not trigger the v2 reliably.

And let's just say you don't want to buy a tranceiver! Still works as long as you have one flash on camera, set the other flash to S1 and make sure each flash (the acrylic red plate side) is facing relatively close towards the flash source then you can trigger them to your hearts content!

My personal opinion? For the difference of mere $70, get yourself this v3 version so you have better option to upgrade in the future. I still love my v2's for doing one flash portrait or when I just need something very simple and fast to put on at home but for multiple flash I'll use the v3 for the ease of setup when it comes to multiple setup.

Feel free to ask any questions!
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on May 5, 2015
On the surface, the YN560-III is an excellent flash. It has power, exterior build quality is very good, the wireless trigger system works flawlessly. It was everything I needed for shooting interior architecture shots. I bought 8 of these flashes, along with the YN560-TX transmitter. After only two shoots, one of the flashes lost its wide-angle diffuser panel (broke off), and another flash refused to adjust its power (firing at full-power no matter what it was set to). While I worked out the return with Amazon and had another couple of shoots, two more flashes stopped adjusting their power. I tried pulling the batteries, firing it manually without the transmitter, etc... they were fried. So after only a handful of shoots, 4 of the 8 units I had purchased were broken or stopped functioning properly. I'm really bummed, as I've now went back to Canon speed lights which is are mega expensive.

Early on, I tried contacting Yongnuo support for help in replacement/repair. They wanted nothing to do with me, telling me to contact the seller. After pushing them more, they told me to send it back to them, but gave no address. From other reviewers, I have read that you have to send them back to China. No thanks.

Not recommended if you depend on your equipment for professional shoots. Maybe fine for personal use where cost is a big concern and reliability or down-time from malfunctioning flashes isn't as big of a deal. .
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on February 19, 2016
I bought 3 of these and have used them for a few quickie location portrait jobs. They work well indoors. THE INFRARED TRIGGER DOES NOT WORK WELL OUTSIDE!! Forget the IR and go with Pocket Wizards.

Firing these units with a pop-up camera flash worked very well indoors with my Nikon D-610. I was able to get the units to fire consistently with my pop-up on 1/16th power. That's a good thing if no one else is firing a flash. For weddings, you must use a Pocket Wizard or other radio trigger.

These are totally manual, so expect a learning curve if you didn't serve time in the old school of 'dumb' speedlights. As for me, I like the manual speedlights because they are cheap and they always put out the brightness you set them on. TTL units can be easily fooled.

Battery life is low, because these units may not have a recycle circuit. I didn't get any more flashes on various powers than I did on full power. So every flash, no matter the setting, uses a full power load. Excess is dumped. Too bad. Batteries get hot and fail quickly. Not great for the wedding and event shooters. But for 40 or 50 flashes on a quartet of AA batteries, you get big output.

Summary: Good value
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on January 14, 2014
UPDATE: dropping to two stars. due to wireless function loss.

January 26 2014,
the flash still works. but it no longer allows me to switch to wireless mode. When I press the button the flash locks up. I have to open the batter cover to turn the flash off.. the flash itself still works on the camera. Yes its a $71 flash so I shouldnt be surprised that it has had problems within the year of owning it. I should be surprised that it still works at all.
Its still a well made flash.. it still works, but it doesnt work for everything anymore.. so I am now left in the position where I need to decide if I buy another one or spend the money on a Sony flash..

--------original review ------------

Alright, first of all, I had no good expectations for this thing. I thought it was going to be cheap thin plastic, I thought it was going to have a screen like those old pocket lcd video games they used to sell when I was a kid.. Maybe the fact I was dreading getting this to see what I just wasted my money on helped make me as happy as I was when I opened this thing.. It's awesome.. Its HUGE, much larger than I expected, good solid thick plastic and its put together very very well. the manual leaves you wondering how to use the thing, so that could use some improvement, but if you search Yongnuo 560 III on youtube you will get some video's that show how to use the buttons.

I bought this for a Sony A58 and it works just fine on there.. The A58 has the new Sony "multi interface shoe" I was hoping the A58's wireless flash setting would fire this thing, and it does, but the timing seems to be off, the photo doesn't show any flash in it. If I use regular on camera flash settings I can trigger the flash properly. So of course I have ordered the 603's to help trigger this thing remotely, not that I will do that much.. The 603s do not work with the sony without a mod. open up the unit and solder a 120K ohm or 130K ohm resistor between the VIN (+ terminal) and the J6 terminal (yellow wire). It works, at first you might think that it doesn't, if the screen on your flash has this -- instead of a flash powrer, just hit the buttons to cycle through the powers and then your flash will work great.
Search YouTube for the mod, it will walk you through it.

The thing isnt ttl, so when you get it you will be learning how to use a flash,, Like a moron I started at 100iso in my dark living room with full power and quickly learned I had to move to 800 and bring the flash power down.. And I started playing around with the black foamy thing Neil Van Niekerk has done some videos and written articles about. Do a search on it for your self, amazon removed my links for his page. not affiliated with the guy at all. it helped me a lot to learn about using flash.

I was slow to order this thing thinking it wouldnt work with my Sony, and that is not the case.. If you have the old minolta hot shoe you will need a converter http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sony%20minolta%20hot%20shoe
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on April 16, 2016
I love this flash. And that is saying a lot considering my other flash is a $600 Canon 600EX Speedlite. I primarly use this as a backup in optical slave mode, and it works flawlessly. While it doesn't have the complex features of the Canon, is has a surprisingly comparable amount of light performance. My original plan was to own 3 Canon flashes, which at $1800 would be hard to swallow. Now I have 2 of these Yongnuo flashes that together with my speedlite on camera gives me studio quality results in a very small and portable package. Even on its own, this flash performs. I have the Yongnuo wireless controller, and for studio shots or product photography they do a fantastic job. You absolutely cannot go wrong buying this flash. If you have money to burn, buy Canon. Even if you start with this flash and upgrade later, you will always have a use for a 2nd flash for backup or fill light.
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on July 9, 2014
This is the Yong-nuo 560III and we are testing it to use in a project we are working on, so far the item has performed admirably and meets most of it's promised (advertising tends to bloviate a bit) targets.
But: Two things buyers need to know:
1- It is a totally manual flash unit. NO I-TTL, P-TTL ,D-TTL, power steering or power brakes...this is totally in car terms a stick shift which many pros feel is preferable in commercial work.
2- It comes complete with a warning not to use lithium based ion batteries in it. On a yellow tag in the battery department. Owning a battery company I know why, the open architecture of the Lithium battery cab exceed the units margins.
For those who have ventured forth and taken their cameras out of the "P " mode this is a value packed good piece of merchandise.
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on February 17, 2014
Why anyone would spend $500 on a Canon or Nikon brand speedlight is beyond me. Quite frankly TTL metering rarely if ever yields the most desirable results. If you want to shoot strobes you MUST learn to shoot manually. ISO 100 and 1/125 sec to 1/250 depending on what you want and what your rig can handle. Set your aperture to what you want and then adjust speedlight output to suit. In the studio I use Interfit 458XD 600w/sec strobes but when I'm in the field I want to travel light and easy. The Yongnuo speedlights are exceptional. At $75 they are angels on Earth. For the price of ONE Canon 600EX you can buy SIX of these. Yes, SIX. Then spend $29.95 on each of these http://www.amazon.com/Triple-HotShoe-Bracket-Umbrella-Holder/dp/B00CA9JCEO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1392688534&sr=8-4&keywords=triple+speedlight+bracket

plus a good umbrella to suit your shooting needs and you're in high cotton.

Oh if that's not enough these Yongnuo 560 MkIII's have a BUILT IN RF Receiver. That means you can spend another measly $30 and buy A PAIR the Yongnuo RF-602 Transceivers (make sure you get the right model for your camera)


and you now have a top flight super charged wireless RF speedlight system to shutter like a pro at a tiny fraction of the cost of the name brand DSLR systems.
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on January 13, 2014
First let me get out of the way that I don't like seeing reviews on this flash that contain "great for beginners". Hardly. This is manual flash and few beginners would have the patience or the know how to learn how to use it. But once you do, these are the flashes for you. The YN-560 III has it's limitations, particularly with battery life and recharge time (get an external power pack, you'll be glad you did) but I find it a sturdy, rugged, and professional grade flash unit. It's also very dependable. Like many others I saw the $80 cost and wondered just how good could it be for $80. Well, the lack of TTL cuts the price down, but I have to say the quality and reliability of these flashes is amazing. I have three of them now and I use all as slaves fired off Yongnuo RF603 triggers. These flashes contain wireless receivers that are designed to work with the RF603 so that you do not need additional receivers attached to your flash unit; they communicate automatically up to 100 feet away. Using this feature has made my life as a semi-pro shooter phenomenally easier. However as they are all manual units you do have to work harder to configure them for your shots but that's part of the art of photography. I have always shot with manual flashes as I also shoot everything on my camera in manual mode. For the price you cannot do better than these 560 IIIs. They have not let me down yet and as long as you are comfortable shooting in manual they are the most cost effective means of achieving professional style images at a fraction of the cost of big name gear.
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