Almost a year after I purchased the Yongnuo YN-560 II flash I finally sit down and right a proper review for this flash. Before you go out and buy a name brand flash for your DSLR make sure you read this review!
About a year ago I went out looking for a backup flash to my Canon 580 EXII. During that search I came across this interesting looking flash from Yongnuo. The price was right, reviews were high, almost seemed to good to be true. I waited all this time to do a review just so that I can give some solid, real world feedback on this flash.
For starters, the build quality on this flash is every bit as good as the Canon version. I routinely use this flash along side the 580 EXII in studio and often prefer using it over the Canon version. Why is that you ask? Well, the Yongnuo does something that is very useful that the 580 EXII doesn’t do. It has the option to “chirp” when the flash is ready to fire again. As simple as that sounds imagine being in a photo shoot with multiple flashes and noticing several shots in that your flash wasn’t going off. This happened to me enough times that for studio applications I almost exclusively use the Yongnuo flash. The quality of light is (to my eyes) indiscernible and operating the flash is so quick and easy. With just a few clicks you can adjust the power settings, zoom, and change the flash to slave mode when needed. If you’re using it as an off-camera flash there really is no reason to go with the Canon model.
So studio use is where this flash shines. What about as an on-camera, on-location flash? Well, it produces excellent light as mentioned before in just about any scenario. The one thing that is missing is the ability to use ETTL while on the camera. This means you’ll have the manually adjust the settings on the flash as you take each shot. Depending on the situation it may or may not be a big issue, but for me I prefer the convenience that the 580 EXII gives me with ETTL.
At this point, you may be wondering if this flash would be right for you. If you’re shooting in a controlled environment (think studio type situations) then this flash is awesome. It’s great for wedding photographers using it to light the dance floor as well. Best part is that for the price of one high end Canon flash, you can buy anywhere from 6-8 of these flashes! If you’re an event photographer and use your flash mainly on camera, then going with a flash that offers ETTL might be a better way to go. For less than $80 I believe the Yongnuo YN-560 II deserves a place in your gear bag.
My Rating: 4/5 stars