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Yongnuo YN-560-III: The Only Flash You'll Ever Need For Real Estate

Published: 31/03/2014

YN560IIIThe YN-560-III is a great all around manually triggered flash that you can use to get started or if you are using Scott Hargis's Lighting Interiors manual flash technique. For details see Lighting Interiors e-book or Scott's Lighting Video series.

The YN-560-III that was introduced in January of 2013 is a slight refinement of the YN-560-II that has a built-in 2.4Ghz trigger compatible with the RF602/603 triggers. That is, when you are using Scott's manual flash system you need to trigger at least one flash wirelessly if you are going to get the flash off your camera and have one flash fire other flashes optically. What I like about the YN-560-III is it eliminates parts and batteries because it has a RF602/603 receiver built-in to it.

So the complete setup would be:

  1. RF602/603 in the hot shoe of your camera. Choose the right one for your Nikon/Canon body.
  2. One or more YN-560-IIIs are triggered from the RF602/603 in the hot shoe.
  3. The rest of your flashes could be either YN-560-IIs or YN-560-IIIs or SB-80DXs and be optically triggered.

For those just starting out with Scott's manual flash system the YN-560-III and an RF603/603 make a great first flash. It gets your flash off the camera, it triggers wirelessly without spending a fortune on triggers, and it minimizes parts and batteries. Then as you learn Scott's system and need to acquire more flashes you can acquire, SB-80DXs, or YN-560-IIs or YN-560-IIIs any of which can be optically triggered by the first YN-560-III. If you have multiple YN-560-IIIs you can trigger them all with the RF602/603 trigger in your hot shoe.

It's worth pointing out that at 2014 prices you can get 2 YN-560-IIIs and a set of RF602/603 triggers for the same price as 1 used SB-80DX. Scott and David Hobby have been promoting the SB-80DX for years and the price keeps going up and up. There are currently 2 available from KEH, one for $189 and one for $194.

I can attest to the build quality and reliability of the YN-560-IIs and -IIIs because I have 3 of the -IIIs and 2 of the -IIs. I never have any reliability issues with mine. The touch and feel of the Yongnuo's is very similar to my obscenely expensive Canon 580EX which I haven't used since I met Scott.

Larry Lohrman

36 comments on “Yongnuo YN-560-III: The Only Flash You'll Ever Need For Real Estate”

  1. Last week I got a YN-560-III and a set of the RF603 triggers. I could never make the triggers work so I sent them back and got two sets of the Neewer flash triggers for a total of four (for the same price of the 603) and they work perfectly. I have another 560-III on the way on Tue. and will get another soon. I'm using my Sony flash also but it's not as easy to use as the 560-III. The YNs really are great flash units and seem to be very well made.

  2. I too have a Canon 580EX, since the YN560 III has the Rx builtin could I attach the 580EX to the RF602/603 so that it would fire the 580EX as well as the other YN560 III's?

  3. @Jerry, I menat to ask about this in my prior post, what is the newer flash triggers you mentioned?

  4. @Jerry, You mentioned Sony flash, but what camera system did the triggers not work on as they were not designed for Sony? I tried looking at your stream on Flickr but EFIX data is missing and that appears to be a Sony you are holding in your photo.

  5. Thank you for this information, i also came across this flash NEEWER® TT850 *LI-ION BATTERY*, it has no triggering system, but it resolves the battery issues, what you happen to have any feed back on this flash?
    i am new to interior photography, and i have been having concerns about running out of batteries on a shoot. i am also researching for the best rechargeable batteries to obtain for the flashes i already have,(sb80dx) , any advise on this point?

  6. Anthony Campbell - The TT850 is one of three names for the same unit, developed by a couple companies working together. I have bought a small pile of the v850 packages from Cheetah Stand. The owner (Edward Tang) provides the best customer service anywhere.
    Package A on the following page is a great place to start:

    The receivers are tiny, and live on mine full-time. The battery life claims are all true. They just don't seem to quit. I'm slowly pulling every SB-80 I own out of my bags.

    For AA power, it's hard to beat Imedion or Eneloop low self-discharge cells.

  7. What's the difference between this setup and the YN568EXII flash and YN 622C hot shoe?

  8. @ Anthony, I, and many others here, recommend the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries. Since getting them I have never had a problem with running out of power. Along with the batteries I got the Powerex MH-C801D charger.

    I agree that the YN560 III's are the only flashes you need. My only heartburn is that the RF602/603 does not have a locking foot. The new RF603 II does have a locking foot and that's the one I would order.

  9. I also use the Eneloop rechargeable batteries withe Maha Charger. When I buy a set of rechargeable batteries, I date and label each 4 sets of batteries using a sharpie. Example: date: 4/13; Group: A/1, A/2, A,/3, and A/4. The next set of batteries would be same date, but start w/group B. I keep each group of batteries as a set.

  10. @Graham: I believe the YN568 has TTL and the 622 enables high speed sync.

    The quality of the Yongnuo flash tubes are on decline! I have 8 of the first generation YN560 that I've been abusing since early 2012 and last August I added 3 of the YN560III to my kit. Since then, the MKII have lost a considerable amount of output - @1/1 they're closer to 1/4 power. I love these lights but I'm seriously considering an alternative. The Godox V850 (Cheetah) are likely going to be my next purchase.

    I did a quick test the other night to confirm that the new YN's are definitely not as good as the original:

  11. I bot a 560II a while back. What do we think about using a pair of wireless send/receive units on my Canon and my 560II to act as the master flash? Vs buying a new 560III?

  12. I have 4 YN-560-IIIs and have been using them for several months. They are really great, and for $75 you can't beat them. One thing that no one has mentioned is that using a pair of RF603s, one in the camera hot shoe, and one as a remote, you can trigger both the camera and flash at the same time.

  13. Thank you Daniel, Kerry, Cheryl and all the others for your comments and help . I really appreciate

  14. @Chuck -

    @LarryG - Yes, I use a Sony A65. I have a hot shoe converter that that converts to a regular Canon hot shoe. I have a Sigma flash made for Canon I used with my first digital camera, the DRebel, that works perfectly in manual mode with the Sony when using the shoe converter. The Yn-560-III works with it too, as does the triggers listed above. I could not get the 603 triggers to work with this setup or with the DRebel.

    With it's newest cameras, Sony has switched to the standard hot shoe. I think it should have been the other way around, all the other camera makers should have switch to the Minolta shoe long ago. Of the tens of thousands of times I've used the Minolta system since 1992, not even once did I have a flash fall off the camera or break a flash shoe. I can't say that for the standard hot shoe, I lost count of the number of times they broke.

  15. SONY USER!

    I just purchased 3 YN560-III and have 2- YN 560II's. Also have the 603 triggers (Canon version) and use a Sony a99 and a Sony a77. I had to modify the 603's and now they work perfectly. The mod is on YouTube. Supposedly the new 603's work without this modification but I cannot attest to that. I use rechargeable batteries in both the 560's and the 603 triggers!

    With the a77 and a hot shoe converter (Minolta on bottom/ISO on top) and the mod, no problems. I can attach a modded 603 directly to the a99 and again no problems!

    Using the opposite converter on the Sony hot shoe flashes, they fire just fine with the 603!

    The range is great..and compared to my old Cowboy Studio Sony units (where I had to use the Sony a99 supplied adapter), these are far far better. I used them for two jobs so far and no a single misfire!!

    Those having problems, I'm sorry to hear that. All my flashes from Youngno have been flawless! Perhaps that will change??

  16. @ Chet - That sounds like the problem I had, I'll search YouTube, thanks!

    By the way, the triggers I have are the same type but for Canon, as the Cowboy units. I've only used it once so far in a 4,400 sq ft home and I had no problem with the range.

  17. Hi there,
    I have been using the YN560II for the past 18 months shooting real estate. I was initially sceptical about the flash due to the price, but a review or to at the time prompted me to buy one and give it a go. After the first week of work i bought another four with the the 603 triggers. After 18 months I have found these flashes and triggers to be more than adequate. I found I needed to adjust the colour temp with a simple gel, but other than that they are fine. Power wise they stack up for what I need and the range of the triggers is exceptional. I when for a walk one day to test the range, and got to the point where I could not see the flash window exposure. These triggers fire 99% of the time and when they don't, it's usually due to flat batts (which I charge up once a monthi)

    The build quality is great. These things have hit tiled floors from the tops of doors, been kicked down driveways and fallen off the roof off of my car, and each time have come back for more. Going by the shutter count on my camera, they must have fired around 30,000 times, so they must be getting up there.... I found that after 18 months my 603 triggers were getting sloppy in the hotshoe, but after a 5 mins on a Sunday with a phillips screw driver, i managed to pop the top off and tighten every screw - waaa laaaa ! new 603.

    I have purchased a couple of YN560IIIs and found them to be up on power from my YN560II. This could be that they haven't fired 30,000 times. Set up from new was simple, put in batts, set to manual rx, make sure the dip switches on screen match the 603 trigger dip switches, and waa la! away they go.

    Rumours have it that there may be a flash controller out soon for the YN560III to adjust individual flash power remotely. if this is the case, then I will be grabbing a controller, trading in the YN560IIs and grabbing a few more IIIs (and gels)

    If you are starting out or you have been shooting for a while and are looking for a good off brand flash that simply works (without the headache of cost) then spend the $70 and give the YN 560III a go.

    Have fun,

    Tony Ujdur - Snap BANG!

    A word of advice, purchase them from the HKyongnuo store on ebay. I made a purchase from one trader which was $10 cheaper. it ended up being a scam with ebay refunding my purchase before I even knew....! go figure..?

  18. I have been using a pair of the III's and they work great. The sensitivity of the power levels is fantastic. They do seem to be well built and have a nice battery door. My older one that is now 11 months old, is not firing at full power. Looks like one bulb is shot. I have been using it for about 4 to 5 times a week. I don't know if this is the normal like or not. But even for the money this is a great strong manual flash.


  19. I haven't picked up any 560's yet, but they are on my list. I currently use some dirt cheap Neewer 520 flashes that will trigger optically and I picked up some Yongnuo RF-603's to replace some nasty eBay wireless triggers that don't work worth a darn when I need to ping lights in another room.

    @Matt brought up the one thing that is really helping my work out. If you have a Nikon or Canon camera, you can use the RF-603's to remotely trigger the shutter. This will work while other units are triggering speedlights. I can handhold a speedlight or have one on a stick and use a -603 to trigger a shot. It's easier to use the 603 than a phone or tablet with a Camranger or DSLR dashboard rig if you are hand holding lights.

    I am planning on picking up some 560 III's very soon to eliminate having a stack of devices. I can still use the 603's PC output to trigger my Hensel strobes when I am photographing larger projects.

    The price is right and one could smash up a crate of these before spending as much as what it costs for a current Nikon or Canon.

  20. While I've not fired my 560-IIIs as often as some who've posted comments on this thread, I have to say that I'm thrilled with mine. I use the 622 triggers to be able to control my 3 canon flashes from the back of the camera and, if needed, use the 560-IIIs for supplemental lighting via their optical trigger. Am very impressed with YN products to-date and their customer service has been great! Dollar-for-dollar (especially compared to the outrageous $$ I spent on my Canon 580-EXIIs), I can't imagine there's anything out there better but I could be wrong.

  21. Its so nice to hear about products that work well and cost less. What a switch.

  22. Tony
    I tried contacting the manufacturer by email with no response -could you post your method of contacting Yongnuo-thanks. Kevin Walsh

  23. NO TTL!!! I see no point in this.
    You could easily save money with cheap radio triggers + other cheaper flashes that also don't have TTL and are much cheaper than this flash unit...

  24. I used to use a 560-II as a slave to my SB900 and was really happy with it. When the SB900 died I replaced it with a 560-III and whilst it didn't have quite the punch as the SB900, I found my (re-educated) shooting technique didn't require so much light. Now I have three 560-III's. I use them and my 560-II every day for 2 or 3 shoots and like many other photographers' 560's, they have fallen, bounced and come back for more. They do lose a little power over time time, especially if you run them hot, but if you follow Scott's advice and setup your camera to get the most from your lights, they will serve you well. As for batteries, I ran energizer and varta for a long time and both served me well enough, but now I have switched to eneloop and cannot believe the difference. Whichever battery you choose, get a decent charger, because that will be the key to battery life. Kerry & Cheryl already mentioned the Maha/Powerex chargers - +1 from me.

  25. Pedro-
    You have no need for TTL shooting RE, hence why they are the perfect RE flash. TTL would be a pain in the butt, honestly.

    I ordered two of them a month ago and couldn't be happier. Just ordered another one yesterday because how great they work. Not using their triggers, though. I use the Phottix Stratos II system, and it has been flawless for the last year or so I've used them.
    Another thing I love about the 560III is the lightning quick recharge using Eneloops. Literally get less than one second recharge after a full power blast.

  26. Everything sounds great and they're on my list of next buys, but what about control with the triggers? Someone mentioned the 622 trigger... is this closer to the "typical" pocketwizard that allows for grouping and power adjustment?

    Any suggestions on the best way/yn trigger to selectively control multiple flashes would be appreciated. I'm shooting a canon system if that makes a difference.

    Thanks for all of your comments above.

  27. @Barry

    There is a video online about fixing the original YN 560's on YouTube. You can buy new parts on Ebay. It's generally a capacitor, or flash tube. Both cheap parts, and not difficult to replace if you can solder stuff. Everything is located right in the flash head. I replaced the capacitor in 2 units, it fixed one, the other must be the tube, but I haven't bothered to yet.

  28. @ Matt

    I use both YN 622's and Cactus V5's, and I usually mount a V5 on a 622 on my hotshoe. (radio stacking) That way I could fire them simultaneously, or one or the other. But I don't. There really isn't any need to. I just do it because I have more flashes, and not enough radios of either brand. Between the 2 brands, I can get up to 14 units firing at the same time. Now that I'm using a 6D, I fire the camera with my phone, preview, adjust, hide in a hallway, and shoot again till I get what I want. (mostly for really large rooms, or views that include multiple rooms) On the 622's, you could go to the trouble of arranging them in groups (if you had enough receivers), and then fire the groups separately. If you don't want to touch the camera between shots, you can setup a transceiver on camera that fires an off camera-stack that is wired together, and then just change the channel on the receiver part of the stack to fire different groups. But it seems like a lot of work to go to. To make money at this, you kinda have to work quickly.

  29. This is a great purchase for those who dont need TTL, ok need but dont have a big budget as me, with YN560 you will do a bit of sport walking here an dthere changing power but this is not a big problem we need to drop stomach. so im purchasing more YN every time i can, cirrently i use 1 YN560ll and a YN560lll and recently reached a YN RF603 set of 3 and a new YN560lll this, now, YN RF603 did more easy ot trigger far flashes, before i just triggered by slave.

    My YN drops a lot of times hiting the ground from light studio flash stands,( fuc..!. universal stands mount flash shoes) and are working yet, YN560 are tough enought to resist drops by my experience, so this chinese company will make difficult things to competitors soon.

    I bought by ebay, i still have not a YN560 death since im using the first one more of one year ago, and mostly i use 1/1 power because fight with luminous Andalusian exteriors views in windows.

  30. Thanks Larry for the recommendation, even Mike Kelley is promoting them. I have been using the 560 III for a just about six months and I love them. I use the Phottix Stratos II to trigger them. I like the Phottix transmitter's build quality and the fact that it allows me to control my groups is a plus for me. My only complaint with all of these is the ability to control flash output from the transmitter. There are times when I may have set a group a tad too high or low and want to adjust the light a bit and have to walk all the way into the other room to make those adjustments. I tried the Odin but it has too many steps to perform this and went back to the Stratto.
    It was rumored that they working on a trigger for the 560 III that would be able to perform this, but it hasn't seen the light of day. Someone on here mentioned that the Cactus people are working on such a trigger for the RF60 and I have read a lot about that unit and it sounds promising.

  31. I have some of the Yongnuo 560 II and III flashes and some of the Cheetah V850s, and it is the V850s that are now my main lights for standard (mainstream) real estate photography, not only because of their batteries, but because their controls make them the easiest and fastest manual speedlite flashes to adjust that I have ever used.

  32. I am using Panasonic FZ series cameras with the 560III's. Using a modified 603C or the new 603II and a Pixel cord (from their wireless remote for Panasonic) which is available from Amazon or eBay, I can fire the camera and the flashes remotely from a long distance. I also picked up a 560TX so that I can remotely change power and it all works fine.

  33. The Cactus RF60 flash with the Cactus V6 is an awesome combo with radio transmitting ,remote power adjustments, high speed sync, optical sensor, stroboscopic pulse flash etc. It does not have ETTL but for property it is not necessary. That said, I have Cactus, Mitros, and Canon 580exii, with the Canon still the very best as far as recycle time and batteries holding up. The Cactus setup is my favorite though.

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