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Yongnuo Digital Speedlite YN560-III

Copyright 2014 by Wil C. Fry. All Rights Reserved.

Published: 2015.03.06


All images in this entry are Copyright 2014 & 2015 by Wil C. Fry. All rights reserved.


Introduction



Yongnuo YN560-III
Receiving the Yongnuo YN560-III was a mistake. I ordered another 560-II, but the company sent me a 560-III accidentally — the box had a "II" sticker on it, and apparently someone in the warehouse looked at the sticker instead of the box. It’s a slightly more expensive flash than the "II" model, costing $70 instead of $60, and has a few more features.

I realized that shipping it back and having the company ship me the correct model would likely cost the company more than the $10 difference in price, and decided the ethical thing to do would be to keep it.


Similarities


From a cursory examination, the 560-III seems identical to the 560-II in almost every way. The plastic shell is identical. The buttons and their placement are exactly the same. The weight is 350g — same. The contents of the box are the same — a cheap nylon storage pouch, a plastic stand, and a poorly translated user manual.

For these reasons, I didn’t photograph (and won’t mention here) many of its various parts. See the 560-II review for that.

It is also identical in power output and power/zoom capability, which means it will fit right in with my growing family of speedlights. The triggering options are the same, which means it’s also missing a 1/8” (3.5mm) jack, a nice feature of the LumoPro flashes. Like the YN560-II, the III has a built-in bounce card and diffuser panel and a 3-minute auto-shutoff feature.


Differences




Logos
Where the III differs from the II, besides the logo (see images at right), are a few added features and a slightly more complex user interface. One added feature is a blinking red LED on the front when the flash is in “slave” mode. I wish instead they had added a front “ready” light, which is one feature of the LumoPro flashes that comes in handy. When using off-camera flash, you can’t always see the back of the speedlight; a “ready” light on the front is very useful.

Another added feature, which I will likely never use, is the built-in radio receiver, compatible only with Yongnuo-brand radio flash triggers. Since I already own and use Cactus triggers (and recently bought some V5 units to replace my V4s), it would be a waste of money to buy Yongnuo’s proprietary triggers.

It’s that radio receiver that makes the menu more tricky; see a comparison of the user interfaces below:


Differing user interface between 560-II (left) and 560-III (right)

Since Yongnuo decided to go with the exact same button grouping, it meant each button now has extra functions, depending on mode. It also means the “zoom” setting only goes up, instead of up or down, which was a nice feature to have.


Conclusion


Impressed as I’ve been with the Yongnuo YN560-II, I am confident that I’ll be happy with the “III” version, despite not needing the extra features. I do wish this mistake hadn’t been made, because I know I will hesitate every time I use this speedlight’s menu, since it’s slightly different than my other Yongnuos. A major reason I ordered more of the same model was to have identical units, for efficiency.



Comparison of six flashguns: ProMaster 5550DX, LP160, LP180, YN560-III, YN60-II, and Canon 420EX



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