This is post is something of an open letter to YongNuo, so that other people can possibly share their thoughts on the topic as well.
YongNuo have led the way in the past with some popular and groundbreaking products like the RF-602/3 and YN-622 TTL radio triggers.
Though over the last few years YongNuo have been losing a lot of customers to Godox, who are now providing a far more integrated speedlight system, as well as numerous larger compatible strobe options.
And if this is not going to become a complete one horse race, YongNuo really need to get moving on at least 2 things –
- 1. – ONE SIMPLE FULLY INTEGRATED FLASH SYSTEM
- 2. – A LARGER COMPATIBLE OFF-CAMERA CORDLESS STROBE
From my own perspective its often become a bit pointless with all the time it takes to try and explain what does and doesn’t work together within the chaotic (and ever expanding) YongNuo flash and trigger system.
Mainly because once people realize that all of the strobes in the Godox X system simply work together, TTL or Manual, all the speedlites have radio built-in, all master and slave, and all the lights have receiver modes for multiple camera systems, of course they are just going to go with Godox anyway instead.
YongNuo have built up a very large user base over the years though, even of just RF-602/3 users alone. So it seems completely crazy to not open up the system to let those people expand into TTL & HSS etc as they need, rather than steadily losing customers (existing and potential) to other systems.
ONE INTEGRATED FLASH SYSTEM
YongNuo have evolved into providing 2 mostly separate flash systems, between the TTL and HSS enabled YN-622 system, and the Remote Manual only YN560 / RF-603 system.
To this point YongNuo have slowly allowed some compatibility with the YN-560TX Manual transmitter to fire and control some TTL strobes, though not the other way around. (Leading to an overall confusing and inconvenient system).
So the obvious way to start moving towards one fully integrated system, would be to start with a new YN-622-TX II transmitter, which can fire and control both the TTL and HSS enabled YN-622, and Remote Manual YN560 systems, and at the same time (NOT separate YN-622 & YN560 modes).
The transmitter would ideally add at least 2 more groups (Manual are ok), preferably to be displayed on the LCD all together.
And the next step would then be a radio Master and Slave flash unit, with the same capability to fire and control both the YN-622 and YN560 systems at the same time.
And they would also then include radio slave modes for both the YN-622 and YN560 systems.
That includes both Canon AND Nikon YN-622 radio slave modes in each flash.
The Remote Manual only YN560 flashes would continue to provide radio Master and Slave modes as they currently do.
The difference is they can now also be fired and controlled (in Manual Mode) by the TTL & HSS enabled master speedlites, and YN-622-TX II transmitter etc.
So there is now effectively one integrated system of compatible flashes and radio triggers –
And all of the unnecessary overlapping flash models would then be phased out. (Otherwise this is just going to add even further again to the current confusion of what is and is not compatible).
Or at the very least, all flash models in the new fully compatible system would be named either YN*22, or YN*60, so people can then at least identify which flash models are fully compatible –
- TTL / HSS – YN422 / YN522 / YN722 / YN822 / YN922
- Manual – YN560 / YN660 / YN760 / YN860 / YN960
And all Lithium-ion powered speedlites use the SAME BATTERY. (And therefore the same shape flash base if the battery door is part of the battery like with the new YN860Li).
The new YN-622-TX II transmitter may not have to follow the traditional YN-622 design either, it could be something completely different, like the ST-E3-RT style options quite popular now.
The main point is that it can display at least 5 groups together, and retain a fast simple user interface.
And the end goal is then to also to have a TTL master speedlite with a similar interface, so that its easy to swap between the two.
With any transmitter design of this style though its still highly recommended to angle the screen to around 30 degrees, so that it can still be seen even when the camera is mounted on a tripod at head height.
(Note – The YN822 / YN822Li flashes and YN-622-TX II transmitter shown here do not currently exist, these are just concepts).
LARGER COMPATIBLE CORDLESS STROBE
The other major product YongNuo really need is a larger compatible off-camera cordless strobe option.
With the release of the Godox AD200/eVOLV its likely many companies like YongNuo may also be looking into something like that already as well.
Though its worth mentioning the one strobe that is likely to have the largest market, while covering the most needs, is still a 300 – 360Ws compact cordless strobe, with a good 20+ Watt LED modelling light.
So that the one cordless strobe can double as a good studio light as well as a location strobe.
That is the strobe many people are still waiting for, and has been the biggest opportunity still missing so far. The one good strobe would cover a large part of the market, there doesn’t need to be a huge range of different strobes in a system to compete.
I have posted a 360Ws cordless strobe suggestion previously which suits the current Godox flash system.
Though particularly for a company starting out with a first cordless strobe, I would keep it very straight forward, with a built-in Bowen’s S-type modifier mount, and compact light stand swivel built-in.
The minimum size would be limited by the diameter of the S-type mount, though if everything else was kept inside that 120mm diameter cylinder area, this could still provide a nice compact unit for transport etc.
Then concentrate on the main important features –
- Approx 360Ws
- 20+ Watt 5600K LED Modeling light
- Good Color consistency
- Compact as Possible (Within Reason)
- Fan Cooled
- IGBT, TTL / HSS & Remote Manual Options
For location use a regular / smaller battery keeps the complete unit from being top heavy up high on a light stand.
While a larger battery could also be made available for studio use where the LED modeling light and fan are running more often.
A nice compact reflector option with removable diffuser disc cover, and compatible grid options would also be nice.
And this 300 – 360Ws strobe format should then fit somewhere nicely between the AD200/eVOLV, and a full size 600Ws cordless strobe.
Still much easier to manage on location for wedding and portrait photographers etc than a heavy full size 600Ws cordless strobe.
And so finally we would have the complete integrated system with larger strobe options included –
And ideally at least the larger TTL strobes would also include the Canon RT radio slave mode along with Canon and Nikon RF slave modes.
The RT radio slave modes would certainly be desirable in the TTL speedlites as well.