Canon Speedlite flashes are the most desired by most photographers and can rightly be considered one of the best on the market. But they have such a property: high cost. This property makes it difficult to buy several flashes at once to create a complete lighting system. Today I will tell you about the Yongnuo YN600EX-RT, an almost complete copy of the amazing Canon 600EX-RT. The original may be a little better than the copy, but the nearly double price difference makes up for it. Does it make sense to invest in a system of such outbreaks or is it a useless undertaking?
Design and build quality
Yongnuo YN600EX-RT looks very similar to its counterpart from Canon. The difference becomes noticeable only if you hold both flashes in your hands. For example, some of Canon’s flash buttons have labels, the SEL/SET button on the Yongnuo rotates with the setting dial, and the Yongnuo’s display has a more rounded shape with orange backlighting instead of green.
The flashes also have a design difference: to turn the head of the Yongnuo YN600EX, you do not need to press a button, unlike the Canon 600EX. The head itself can rotate 360 degrees horizontally and within a range of ‑7 to +90 degrees vertically.
Build quality is high, though not up to par with the original 600EX-RT. But still, progress is noticeable in comparison with Yongnuo flashes of past generations, like the Yongnuo YN560-II: over the past few years, the company has done a lot of work in this direction.
The main connectors are located on the left side of the flash: PC-port, USB-port, 1/4″ thread for mounting to a stand and a connector for connecting an external battery pack. The entire right side is occupied by the battery compartment, and the rear panel is equipped with the main controls and LCD display.
The flash provides exactly the same guide number as the Canon 600EX-RT: 60 meters at ISO 100 and 200mm focal length. Auto zoom is adjustable within the range of 20–200mm. There is a high-speed fast sync mode HSS and built-in support for master mode. The most interesting thing is that, unlike the Pixel X800C from our last review, the Yongnuo 600EX-RT can work with original Canon RT systems.
Mounted directly on the camera, it performs well in TTL mode, producing excellent results, fast recycling times (3 seconds at full power) and excellent exposure. The Yongnuo 600EX-RT was tested on a Canon EOS 60D, with which it was possible to adjust the flash settings directly from the camera menu. By the way, this device is also compatible with Nikon cameras: the built-in flash on the Nikon D750 perfectly commands the Yongnuo 600EX-RT, although the power control was not available for control through the camera menu.
However, the only way to really unlock the potential of this flash is to mount it far from the camera and combine it with another flash, the YN-E3-RT transmitter or similar solutions from Canon.
Synchronization occurs almost instantly, remote control is very simple and convenient. Menu navigation is convenient. Yes, the menu is copied from the original Canon 600EX-RT, but developing your own system would increase the final cost for the buyer.
Yongnuo got a pretty decent flash with decent performance. It can be safely advised to photography lovers who plan to do more advanced and serious shooting. In addition, it is perfect for professionals, even those who already have the original Canon 600EX-RT in their kit, because these flashes are backwards compatible. Thanks to this, you can safely build a whole lighting system without significant damage to your wallet.