Yongnuo YN600EX RT vs Canon EX600RT

Yongnuo YN600EX RT


Well mine has arrived, I already have 3 x 600EX-RT’s, and on the rare occasion a 4th speedlight would be handy.

Mine was ordered from Yongnuo’s Ebay shop. This was from the first batch sold, and was $175 or £112.77 delivered direct from Hong Kong. The Serial number on mine would indicate it’s about the 325th off the line…At his moment there are no units currently available to buy, they must have all sold out and Yongnuo building the next batch.

I do have the Canon ST-E3-RT trigger, and bought the Yongnuo trigger YN-E3-RT as well, as most wedding photographers know, you can never have enough backups. I  like to have a backup trigger, and the Yongnuo YN-EX-RT Trigger fits the bill perfectly. Unlike the Canon one it does allow you to do Rear Curtain Sync Off camera…all be it in manual mode only.

For me that’s not a problem, as whenever I would be doing Rear Curtain Sync off camera, then the flashes would be in manual anyway.

{Strobist info: All the shots below were lit with a Calumet Genesis on a1/4 power bouncing off the ceiling, the flashes were placed onto a piece of white plexi glass. Canon 5dMk3, Canon 100mm macro lens mk1 1/160 f4.5 ISO 100}

I have had various versions of Radio Triggers over the years from the very first Cactus triggers through to the Pocket Wizard Plus 3’s and Pocketwizard Flex 5’s.

The Pocketwizard Flex and Mini was a fantastic idea at the time, but was always a little iffy to say the least if you wanted to use ETTL, though for the most part I never had any problems using manual and they served me well over the last few years.

I like my gear to earn its money and don’t buy the latest gear just because it’s shiney and new..the Canon 600EX Rt’s replaced my Canon 580EX2’s, Canon 430EX2’s and all of my Flex5’s and Mini TT1. (No more CR2450 batteries to buy !)

For me I liked the idea of a built in transmitter, it’s just neat and tidy and saves me charging even more AA’s. What would have been nice would have been a Lithium battery like the Ving’s but maybe they’ll add that in the 600EX-RT/YN600eEX-RT version 2’s !


Spot the difference!



The build quality of the YN600EX-RT is good. As good as the Canon ? Time will tell, I’ll update in 3 months. Slight difference in button click feel/noise but still feel good quality.


On the Canon 600EX RT you need to press in the little button on the side to swivel the head around, the YN600EX-RT doesn’t have this button, the head can just be moved, it is stiff though and doesn’t move under it’s one weight.


The YN600EX-RT is slightly longer than the Canon 600EX RT


The YN600EX-RT doesn’t have the built in sensor’s to tell the flash if you are using a gel, no biggy…If I’m gelling my flash’s..I know I’m gelling my flash’s and don’t really need the flash to let the camera know. {A bit of a pointless feature I thought anyway, sorry Canon !}


The weather sealing looks about the same on both flashes, no real difference at all.


The YN600EX-RT has a Mini USB port, handy for future firmware updates. I haven’t updated/checked what version this flash is currently on, I shall do that later today. Unfortunately the updater software is PC only. The YN600EX-RT usb port has replaced the 600EX-RT’s remote socket port, I haven’t found out yet whether you can still use the YN600EX-RT to remotely trigger a camera as the 600EX can…though again, not something that would worry me if it won’t do it, as I use Pocketwizard Plus 3’s to do any remote camera triggering.


The quality of the buttons on both units seems similar though the YN600EX-RT’s seem a little louder. The ‘mode’ text is not printed on the mode button on the YN600EX-RT, it is printed above.


Regular ETTL mode


iTTL Mode for you Nikon users, I’ll test the functionality of this when I next have any Nikon shooters in the Studio. Handy if it works when I have Nikon shooters wanting to borrow a flash.


Manual mode S1 – Fires optically from an external flash


Manual mode S2 – Fires optically from an external flash, ignoring an ETTL preflash.


One extra on the LCD display of the YN600EX-RT is a battery level meter, not sure how accurate it is, but a nice addition.


The link light is blue on the YN600EX-RT when not linked, on the 600EX it’s red. When linked they are both green, though just a slightly different shade.

Both flashes in slave but not linked.


Once linked the LED changes to green


All combinations work fine, either flash as a master, or using either trigger, each happily coexist with the others.

One of the benfits of the YN-E3-RT, it has Rear Curtain Sync wireless capability in Manual mode…the Canon ST-E3-RT can’t do this ! As you can see in the photo below, the YN-E3-RT has Rear Curtain Sync activated. Both triggers will happily do High Speed Sync Off Camera in both ETTL and Manual.

In my initial testing though the YN600Ex-RT will not Rear Curtain Sync at speeds slower than 1/3 second (off camera in manual mode), whereas the YN-E3-RT will trigger the Canon 600EX-RT at any speed in Rear Curtain Sync mode, {off camera in manual mode}.

Just to clarify the Yongnou YN-E3-RT transmitter will successfully trigger a Canon 600EX-RT off camera, in manual mode at any speed, even at a 30 second exposure the flash fires right at the end of the exposure as you would expect. This also works in bulb mode, with the flash firing on releasing the shutter button.

Which is the main reason why I bought the YN-E3-RT trigger, winter RCS off camera !


The YN-E3-ST is just slighter longer in length.


Again, as with the flashes, the Yongnou transmitter has had the remote camera trigger port replaced with a mini usb port, for firmware updates.


The YN-E3RT has an IR assist beam, not quite sure why Canon decided not to have one, when there was one on the old ST-E3.


The Canon flash gel holder on the right, this works with the Canon 600EX-RT and senses what gel you have used, telling the camera, in an effort to get the White Balance correct. The diffuser cap that came with the YN600EX-RT is a more cloudy diffuser, similar to a Stofen Omnibounce.

The technical bits…

I’ll update this as I use the flashes and triggers on real jobs.

I have done a quick power test, on a full power 1/1 recycle time appears to be the same on both flashes about 2-3 seconds on a fresh set of white Eneloops. And if I plug either into an external pack then they are both under 1 second.

All measured at 8ft from the lightmeter to the flash, ISO 100.

Yongnuo YN600EX-RT full power = f8 | Canon 600EX-RT full power = f10 Flash head zoomed to 24mm


Yongnuo YN600EX-RT full power = f16 | Canon 600EX-RT full power = f20 Flash head zoomed to 200mm


Yongnuo YN600EX-RT 1/4 power= f6.3 | Canon 600EX-RT 1/4 power = f6.3 Flash head zoomed to 50mm


More to add…testing is continuing!



To follow: Once I have had it for a couple of weeks….

My initial feelings are that they are very good, If I didn’t already have 3 600Ex’s then I would no doubt buy some more. However, as a Photographer who like most, is anti copyright theft…it does go against the grain.

The problem with copying is that at some point the ‘inventor’ will stop inventing. The price difference between the two, certainly in the UK is enough for most people to buy the Yongnuo YN600EX-RT’s and not worry about it….

The fact that they can be produced and sold to an extremely similar quality as the Canon 600EX-Rt’s for less than a 1/4 of the price…most people are happy to pay for the technology/R and D but 4 times the price is hard for most people to swallow….


Update 14th November 2014

My Yongnuo YN-E3-RT came with firmware version 1.09, I have updated this now to the current latest version of firmware version 1.10

It was a bit trickier than expected though…
You need to download the software form the Yongnuo website here YN-E3-ST  Unfortunately this is a Windows only utility. I am a Mac person…but do have Windows 8 on installed via Bootcamp on a Mac Mini, which normally gets me out of the these problems.

I downloaded the driver and the latest firmware, but the Windows machine failed to recognise the YN-E3-ST, it would appear that the driver for the device does not get installed, or is incorrect…I do have a Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet, so I fired that up and still nothing, the Device driver was either not being installed or was not working…after a bit of Google’ing I found a link over on another site that has a separate installer for the driver…this worked. [Hopefully the one on the Yongnuo site will be updated correctly soon]

As far as I can see there is currently no Firmware Updates for the Yongnuo YN600EX-RT.



Update January 16th 2015

I’ve had the Yongnuo a while now so I am just writing up how I’ve got on with it at the last few weddings.

I am also eagerly awaiting Shanny sending me a new flash to review the Shanny SN600C-RT, as soon as it arrives and I’ve put it through it’s paces there will be a review here.. Shanny SN600C-RT ( ShannySN600N ) flash.

Thanks for all the comments please feel free to add any real world experiences, good or bad you have had with any of these flashes.

Any comments I haven’t answered yet will get done today !

There is a new section on the website now just for Photographers…all of my gear reviews will be posted there.

Gear reviews


Update January 23rd 2015

My Shanny SN600C-RT has arrived, I am just testing it now. I have a wedding at the weekend so will give it a real world test !





  1. Martin Cheung

    Great review mate. Be interested to hear how you get on with it. One question though. How does iTTL work for Nikon users? Can this be mounted on a Nikon body or am I missing something?

  2. Tom Astley

    Fantastic review. Can’t wait to see some ‘in the field’ examples.

  3. Tim Stephenson

    Thanks for the review – great stuff! I have a 600Ex-RT & 580EX2 currently and am looking to buy more flashes – was looking at more 600EX-RTs along with the canon trigger but think I might just give the Yongnuos a go instead!

  4. John

    Hi: read your posting on the strobes and it was very informative. I have three 600EX RT’s with the wireless transmitter. You mentioned that you are able to do rear curtain synch with the new strobe, is that a function of the strobe or the wireless transmitter? I was very disappointed that the 600’s can’t do RT’s. Does the new wireless transmitter work with the 600’s? I am assuming they do.

    • Ric Latham

      Hi John, the Yongnuo YN-E3-Transmitter will allow you to do Rear Curtain Sync with your 600EX RT’s ! I have tried this myself and it does work all the way to 30 second exposures and even in bulb mode. The flashes fire as you would expect at the end of the exposure. best wishes Ric

  5. Don-John V. Dizon

    Great review! I’ve been waiting for the YN600EX-RT to come out since they’ve announced it… I have one question… Compare with the Canon flash, do you notice/d any heating issue with the YN flash head?

    • Ric Latham

      Thanks Hector !

  6. Richard Neal

    Im not too convinced by the R&D costs with flashes. A lot of big companies feed off each other and reverse engineer each others products, Yongnuo are only doing what Canon and Nikon already do, they are just being more blatant. I would be interested to find where the internal components are coming from. Canon didnt necessarily invent these components and features, they probably bought them and modified them to work with their equipment. How do we know yongnuo arent actually just using the same supplier as canon and therefore most of the R&D costs are being repaid to the actual original supplier anyway. Granted, yongnuo are probably copying the modifications but as they are still making a profit (otherwise they wouldnt be able to function) it makes me wonder how much Canon actually make from these flashes…..

  7. Jamesy

    I have heard there is an issue with the foot on the YN600’s. I have used YN565 and 568II’s in the past and did not notice any issue. Can you please comment on the foot of the 600’s?


  8. JRA

    Thak you for the attentive review….Now having had the Yongnuo YN600EX-RT for more time what is your latest view of them in comparison to the Canon 600 EX-RT’s?


  9. Paul Brown

    Great reveiw. Appreciate your thoroughness with detail. PB

  10. Gallant

    Great review Ric.

    I went from a PW PlusII setup with 520EX & 580EXII’s to 3 Canon 600EX RT’s for high-speed sync, but use the YN-E3RT’s because of the focus assist beam… and am looking at getting more.

    The power differential at full power doesn’t bother me, now you have shown it’s up to 4 stops, since I can always use my Canons when I need the power. But how is the colour temperature?

    Any other quirks of the YN flash you’ve experienced?

    Thanks again for the review!

  11. Mikael

    I’ve got two Canon 600 EX-RT:s and now bought a YN 600 EX-RT. All three flashes works fine together, but… the YN drains the batteries overnight, even if I switch it off. That has never happened to my Canons.

    I hope a firmware update might fix this problem. Unfortunately I can’t get the firmware update to work. I’ve tried several times on different computers, but the software doesn’t get connected to the flash. I use the software found att Yongnuos site.

    Does anyone have experience from this? Is there a workaround or something?

  12. Eric

    Hello Ric,

    Please help me out. I received the flash today and when I checked the firmware the screen show:
    Firmware 1 2 3
    2014-12-22 10:21:12
    81 04 . 56 29 . 10 07

    How do I know that the version 1.8 is the latest. Strange firmware 123, could it be fake?

    Sorry for my bad English (Dutch)

    Regards, Eric

  13. Chip Radoslavov

    Nice review. According to the video the YN recharges faster than the Canon, is that correct? How would you compare the build between the two. I know it’s too early to talk about durability and reliability, but I’m wondering whether to shell out for the Canon one or buy 4 YN for the price of one Canon.

  14. Margot

    Video I’ve seen that have a SN600C-Rt, where he purchase? thanks

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