YN-E3-RT – Adds GR Group Mode for Pre 2012 Cameras!

The recently announced YongNuo YN-E3-RT are not even shipping yet, and already they have had a major feature update, with new firmware now allowing full (Gr) Group Mode functionality with pre 2012 model cameras!

This is a major advantage to the many Canon 5D II, 7D etc owners who otherwise have only limited functionality with the original Canon ST-E3-RT or 600EX-RT transmitters.

All older Canon camera models having a flash control menu, will now have full access to the Group Mode, with 5 groups which can be individually set to ETTL / Manual / External Auto / & OFF.

There is no control through the cameras flash control menu itself (as that is not possible on pre 2012 cameras), but all Group Mode settings can be made through the YN-E3-RT interface.

YN-E3-RT Group Mode


Group Mode functionality is a big advantage in the Canon RT system, as it allow access to 5 groups (instead of just 3), but most importantly it allows the mixture of ETTL and Remote Manual groups used at the same time, which can’t otherwise be done without access to the Group Mode. Any group can be set to set to ETTL / Manual / External Auto / or OFF. (Seen more clearly here).

Flash Exposure compensation (FEC) can also be set by group, which is generally much more intuitive than Canon’s old ratio selection.


Sync Speed – Another big advantage over the Canon ST-E3-RT with pre 2012 model cameras, is that they will now have access to full X-sync speed. Using the Canon ST-E3-RT X-Sync speeds are reduced by one stop. So that’s just 1/100th for the Canon 5D II (down from 1/200th). 

YongNuo YN-E3-RT

So this update really expands the practicality of using Cameras like the 5DII with Canon’s RT radio system, which will be music to the ears of many wedding photographers, even if the 5D II have already been relegated to the second body.

And that is on top of the advantages for all Canon camera owners, including built in AF assist light, 2nd Curtain Sync (Only in M mode).

Hopefully the new YN-E3-RT’s USB port may get a work out with more new features added down the track –


YongNuo Updater


Please see the original YN-E3-RT release here for full details on the coming transmitter.


  1. plevyadophy 8 years ago


    Really good news.

    The only thing for me now, is to learn whether or not the AF Assist is really offering AF ASSISTANCE or whether it’s just there on the spec sheet taking up space; so it needs to be of wide enough radius to cover the outer AF points on the high end cameras AND have a hash pattern, thus creating enough contrast for even single line type AF sensors to pick up on AND be powerful enough to be used at distances of more than a mere 15 or 20 feet.

    If this device, does that AF thing well AND we have the ability to add receiver-flash-triggers for non RT flashguns, then I will be all over this device like a rash; I will probably sleep outside the factory waiting for the first shipment. 🙂

  2. plevyadophy 8 years ago

    Second Curtain Sync

    I am just curious (it’s the geek in me), why is 2nd Curtain Sync limited to Manual Mode Flash only?

  3. NG 8 years ago

    This is quite interesting…

    For me the big downside of the Canon radio flash system has been that the 600EX-RT report recycle instantaneously while recycle done is reported with a 0.5-1 second delay. I’m an action shooter and fire the flashes at 1/8 power or below with external battery pack so the flashes are able to follow the 8 fps frame rate of my 7D. However because the the voltage on the HV cap in the 600EX-RT will occasionally drop below the recycle voltage threshold the flash will at times be recycling very briefly but it will always be fully charged before next time it needs to fire. The delay imposed on recycle-done reporting by the Canon radio system mean that I will get 2 or 3 frames with the flashes firing followed by 4-5 black frames. If I mount a 600EX-RT directly on the camera I avoid the black frames – the flash is able to keep up with the 8 fps frame rate of the camera. I’ve reported this to Canon which took a long time acknowledging the design bug and has refused to fix it. My solution to the problem has been to sell my Canon E3-RT and replace it by first Phottix Stratos II and now Pixel King Pro. Maybe YongNuo will be less arrogant…
    Regarding 2nd curtain sync: The reason the Canon system doesn’t support it is that they can’t make ends meet timing wise and guarantee that it will work on all cameras when they take sample variation into account. YongNuo probably are less conservative in their approach. The reason that YongNuo only support 2nd curtain sync with manual mode flash is most likely that the delay in the system is too big to allow for pre-flash firing and evaluation before the main flash burst for 2nd curtain sync.

  4. Scott B. 8 years ago

    This is GREAT news ! Already some major upgrades before it’s sold to the public ! I see where it’s said that the new YN-E3-RT Transmitter will also have Canon’s FEC ! At least that way we can add or subtract power output. BUT what about adjusting the flashes zoom head wirelessly !?!

    Not being able to adjust the zoom head wirelessly and change the speedlites light beam from 20mm to 200mm and anywhere in between, seems kind of lame !?! That means we have to get up and walk over there, how ever far away the speedlites are and adjust the zoom manually !!

    Other than that, this is sounding like the biggest bang for the buck !! Beating out Pixel King Pro and Phottix Odin’s as well as the new Mitros +, Pocket Wizards, Radio Poppers, etc…etc… ! !

    Now I have to sell all my old Pixel King Mk I, and old Nissin Di-866 flashes, and make a major change to Yongnuo’s new YN-E3-RT AND many YN-600-RT flashes !! I can’t wait !!

  5. john h 8 years ago

    Hey flash i dont know if you remember our conversation but its almost like ( ask and you shall receive)

    i was seriously about to go and buy the phottix odin and said to myself maybe i better wait just a little while because lianggc said that maybe they would make it so pre 2012 would be able to acces the group features,,,,,, and not just 3 but all 5 groups now ……
    this is one happy guy 😉

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 8 years ago

      Hi John,

      I think you may have he golden touch!

      The Odin / Mitros + still haves a pretty large advantage of separate receivers available, if firing any other lights in the mix is important to you. Maybe if you ask again you may receive there too 🙂

  6. DMWard 8 years ago

    I think this is going to make the YongNou E3 a must have for Canon shooters. 2012 camera owners get Focus Assist, pre-2012 get Gr mode in addition.

    Now if we could convince lianggc to incorporate the high voltage Lithium Ion rechargeable ala Godox into their version of the 600EX-RT life for an event photographer would be really good. 🙂

  7. john h 8 years ago

    yeah well a big part of me would love to take all credit for that but we all know this has been a huge problem,
    many thanks to YN for the listening and doing the best they can to work with there customers …..

    I know i am now fully confident going with this system and I understand that it would be 100%
    AMAZING if we were able to fire off our mono-lights but i wont push my luck

    But hey maybe they are listening now 😉 😉
    I wouldn’t put it past them

  8. Bryan 8 years ago

    Considering that Yongnuo claims that the YN-E3-RT is fully RT compatible, I wonder if the 2nd curtain sync option in YN-E3-RT will somehow ‘FORCE’ or overwrite the Canon 600EX-RT’s protocol & go 2nd curtain sync?

    If it does, you all guys better check eBay very soon as you may find 2x ST-E3-RTs at very cheap price (from me :D).

  9. john 7 years ago

    So i have been cheking back here for any new updates on when we will see this for sale?


    Just cant wait anymore lol

  10. lala 7 years ago

    Personally, I’m getting a little impatient by the lack on information about this YN transmitter and flash. They said we should have something by the end of October. But it’s already November and we’re still talking about rumors. I’m just gonna go ahead and buy the canon st e3 rt and canon 600 ex rt. I’m out.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 7 years ago

      Hi Lala,

      Don’t worry, you’re no the only one.

  11. john 7 years ago

    Yeah I hear that…….totally getting impatient hear
    I wonder what they are doing over there.
    I have 0 flash and ready to buy buy buy

    Even just a little info would go a long way ,, at least with me

  12. Abraham 4 years ago

    Any chance the group mode will be added to the 600 ex RT ii? Any time I set a group on ettl it resets back to manual, this happens when using the 600 on camera as a radio master.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Abraham,

      I assume you’re referring to using a pre-2012 camera?

      I don’t know why, though if YongNuo still haven’t added it to the MKII YN600EX-RT then I think its pretty unlikely at this stage unfortunately.

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