YongNuo will release a new MK II version of the very popular RF-603 manual flash trigger and shutter release next week.
The new RF-603 II will have higher sync speed, locking rings, and improved flash/shutter control.
Also importantly, the new RF-603 will work with other non Canon/Nikon and single firing pin cameras, so they are likely going to be the best transmitter option for the the YN-560 III flash (with compatible receiver built in) until the new YN-560 TX transmitter arrives in a couple of months (also compatible with the new RF-603 II).
( Image is the current RF-603 )
As mentioned the inexpensive RF-603 have very likely been the most popular flash trigger made to date, following on from the original RF-602 (which were the first really good inexpensive flash trigger option).
But in increasing the RF-603’s capability as a combined flash and shutter release (transceiver unit), the RF-603 took a number of steps backwards, incorporating and retaining some very blatant design flaws and limitations. Lack of locking ring, low sync speed, and camera compatibility, are certainly some of the major issue which have reportedly been updated now, but there still quite a few other questions remaining –
- Sync Speed
- Locking Ring (with pass through hotshoe)
- Compatibility with non Canon/Nikon cameras
Questions Remaining -
- Is the Pass Through Hotshoe full TTL ?
- Is the safe trigger voltage still a low 12volts ?
- Is the On/Off switch still inaccessible with a flash mounted ?
- Does the Test fire button work when off the camera hotshoe (for light meter use etc) ?
- Is there Sync-In from the camera PC sync port ?
- Is the PC sync port upgraded to more reliable 3.5mm miniphone socket ?
- Are the groups still tiny dip switches instead of a simple switch ?
- Is the locking ring finally a decent size (like on the YN flashes) ?
Most of these issues were well and truly resolved quite a while ago in higher priced trigger options like the Phottix Strato II, but also in even lower priced options like the Commlite T320. Admittedly these are traditional transmitter and receiver options, compared to the RF-603 transceivers, which do have an advantage in shutter release function and back up transmitters.
But YongNuo have still really been lagging behind with the RF-603 design, so it will be very interesting to see how far they have really improved now that there is a much more competent design team on the case.
In any case the RF-603 II are very likely going to be the best current transmitter option available for the very popular YN-560 III flash units (with compatible receiver built in) until the new YN-560 TX transmitter arrive with remote power control (reportedly still at least a couple of months away). The RF-603 II work as both transmitter and receiver, so purchasing one now for the YN-560 III would simply mean you have a spare transmitter unit, and receiver for firing other flashes without a receiver built in.
Prices will likely settle around the $25 for single, to $35 pairs, as the current RF-603 units generally are.
The YN-560 III flash units are available now Amazon fulfilled from $77.