For many people 2014 is going to be about putting together a nicely integrated lighting system, or at least hoping manufacturers provide some good solutions to enable that.
By integrated system, that is referring to a range of lights, big and small, all fired and remote controlled by the same transmitter unit.
And for many wedding and event photographers that also includes the option of having that transmitter built directly into an on camera TTL flash where its most convenient and reliable. As well as the option of a smaller stand alone transmitter for when the bulky on camera flash is not required.
A number of manufacturers are fast heading towards well integrated solutions now.
And YongNuo have really thrown their hat in the ring now, confirming they have some form of a studio light solution in the works, compatible with their YN-E3-RT and coming YN-600EX-RT radio speedlite system (also directly compatible with Canon’s RT speedlite system).
In response to a question on the Canon POTN forum, asking when there would be a separate receiver option available for the RT speedlite system allowing studio light to be fired as well?, this was the response from Guanchao Liang, YongNuo’s lead radio trigger engineer –
For strobes cooperation with rt system, We will offer a better solution than most of you expect, Stay tuned.
That is a fairly significant and rather bold statement, and its clearly alluding to more than simply firing manual studio lights via the RT transmitter units.
At the least that would mean remote manual power control. And with the release of the Profoto B1 TTL recently, that comment could possibly even be alluding to something more, like TTL or HSS in larger studio lights as well.
Its not clear whether the comment is actually referring to a coming receiver unit, used to fire and control existing studio lights, or YongNuo produced studio lights with RT compatible receiver built in.
As much as I’m sure many Einstein or Elinchrom etc owners would like to hope its the former, I think its much more likely YongNuo are focused on expanding their own product range where possible.
So although we haven’t seen any studio lights from YongNuo previously, I think its much more likely that is what the comment is referring to.
The question then remains, what can we expect in the way of larger lights from YongNuo?
You would have to be living under a very larger rock to not have seen the rise in popularity of portable mid sized lights like the Cheetah Light and Godox Witstro. So will YongNuo have an alternative on the way for those as well?
Once again though, for all the people trying decide which YongNuo system they should go with at this point, this news likely throws up more questions than answers.
For those already happily committed to the Canon or YongNuo RT system it could be very good news, and one major step closer to a nicely integrated system. Particularity for those that need that elusive TTL flash on camera with built in transmitter for a complete system.
Again we will just have to wait as see what unfolds.
And what alternatives will Phottix, Godox, Pixel, Cactus, PocketWizard and Quantum etc have in store?!