YongNuo YN-E3-RT Features

YongNuo have released details of the soon to be available flagship YN-E3-RT Speedlight Transmitter, which will be directly compatible with the Canon 600EX-RT flash unit and ST-E3-RT transmitter.

The new YN-E3-RT transmitter will provide practically all the features of the original Canon ST-E3-RT, plus a number of important extra features. These include a built in AF assist light, 2nd Curtain Sync (Only in M mode), USB port for firmware upgrade, and added range to 100 Meters.

If you may have missed the original announcement, YongNuo will also have a fully compatible YN600EX-RT flash unit coming at some point in the near future as well.


YN-E3-RT Features –
  • Two-way 2.4G radio communication, fully compatible with ST-E3-RT/600EX-RT
  • 15 Physical Channels, 1 Auto Channel, Up to 10,000 customizable photographer ID
  • Transmission Range: 100M
  • Multi YN-E3-RT can share slave flashes
  • Firmware can be upgraded via USB
  • High resolution Dot-Matrix LCD, Back-light for LCD/keys
  • Fast lock mechanism
  • Built-in AF Lamp, buzzer
  • Remote shutter release, Linked Shot (Need extra shutter cable for cameras released before 2012)
  • Flash Mode: ETTL/M/Multi/GR (GR Mode only works with cameras released since 2012)
  • A/B/C/D/E Five groups
  • Supports 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain (Only in M mode), High speed Sync
  • Supports ETTL Ratio, Flash Exposure Compensation, Flash Exposure Lock, Flash Exposure Bracket, Modeling Flash
  • 9 Custom Funtions
  • Settings saved automatically


UPDATE – Full GR Group Mode functionality has also now been added for pre 2012 model cameras. This allows older cameras (with flash control menu) like the 5D II and 7D etc, to have access to the full 5 groups, and mix ETTL and Manual groups etc. Pre 2012 cameras also retain full X-sync speed, instead of loosing 1 stop like the Canon ST-E3-RT does.

YongNuo YN-E3-RT


One small exception to the full Canon ST-E3-RT functionality, is that the ST-E3-RT supports 1/2 and 1/3 stop adjustments, according to the custom function set on the camera. While YN-E3-RT only supports 1/3 stop adjustment.

Until the YongNuo YN600EX-RT flash is available, the new YN-E3-RT transmitter will need to be used with the original Canon 600EX-RT flash units (which are also at a fairly good price of $499 at the moment).

The AF assist light in the new YongNuo transmitter will be reason enough for many people to be adding one to their existing Canon flash system.


Price and Availability –

The YN-E3-RT transmitter is now available now from around $140 on Amazon,

EbayYongNuo Ebay Store

Eachshot.com also offer Flash Havoc readers a 6% discount.

YN-E3-RT User Manual

Also see more detail in this post.


  1. plevyadophy 8 years ago

    At last!!!!!

    I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for someone to release a radio trigger with AF assist. I only hope that the AF assist is actually useful; that is, it has a good hash pattern that creates good contrast for the AF sensor to pick up on, and that the beam is powerful to give enough reach (more than the mere, and almost useless, 20 foot reach one is accustomed to), and that the beam spread is wide enough to cover all of the AF sensors on the top 1D cameras.

    If the AF assist doesn’t fulfill that wish list then it’s a waste of time really; just something used as a spec sheet filler.

    The other thing that amazes me is, how on earth Canon released their new radio trigger with so many obvious feature omissions. It’s insane. They have pretty much created a cottage industry whereby these Chinese companies can fill the obvious gaps in the Canon feature set; it’s laughable that the Canon trigger doesn’t have an AF assist, it was pretty much the first feature I looked into when their trigger was announced.

    The only irritation for me in this YongNuo product is that 2nd Curtain sync works only in Manual Mode. It’s also a pity that they couldn’t get the GR mode to work with all cameras rather than just newer 2012 cams, but i guess with firmware upgradeable via USB port there’s hope for the future.

    • Jacques 8 years ago

      This is not the first trigger with AF assist: the YN-622 have it already.

      • plevyadophy 8 years ago


        but if I recall, the YN-622 trigger’s AF Assist lamp, was really just that ……….. a lamp, and simply rubbish. I think I recall that there were issues with lining up the AF Assist with one’s camera’s AF points. So basically, it was a pile of junk just there to pad out the spec sheet tick list.

        Therefore it doesn’t count in my book.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 8 years ago

          The first Pixel King AF light was just a lamp (as is the current Godox/Cheetah Light), but the current YN-622 has a very bright and sharp lazer pattern projected in a circular area. The same as the YN-568EX flash etc.

          It is basically meant for center focus point only, but provided it does line up ok I think it works pretty well. Much better than not having anything anyway. Peoples opinions vary on that though.

          There’s been no mention so far if the YN-E3-RT has the same AF light, or a new multi focus point one.

  2. plevyadophy 8 years ago

    Oh, and one more thing.

    Will/have YongNuo be/been smart, unlike those idiots at Canon?!!! That is to say, are there going to be TTL radio flash triggers that one can attach to non-radio Canon compatible flash guns and trigger with this new YN-E3-RT commander? If so, that would be super cool (and is another glaring omission from the original Canon kit)

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 8 years ago

      We have asked the receiver question a number of times now, and YongNuo are not commenting at this point.

      That makes it a little hard for people trying to work out whether to move on from the YN-622C system to this one now.

      The YN-622C actually have some advantages and features over this RT system, so the other question is will there be a flash with YN-622C built in as well?

      • plevyadophy 8 years ago

        Hi Flash Havoc,

        Please get me up to speed on this; what advantages does the YN-622C have over this RT system?


        • Author
          Flash Havoc 8 years ago

          With the new YN-622-TX the 622 system will have –

          – Group support for pre 2012 cameras
          – 2nd Curtain Sync in TTL & Manual
          – SuperSync manual timing adjustment via group
          – Remote flash zoom.
          – Receivers to fire studio lights
          – Receivers to fire most non RT TTL speedlightes.
          No issue with waiting for all slaves to recycle so any flash can fire.

          That’s just off the top of my head. And as new features are added to the 622 they may not be able to be added to the RT system (as we are seeing already) because its limited by the way Canon have set it up.

          It really makes it very difficult to know which way to go at the moment. Until YongNuo make their intentions known regarding things like separate receivers for the RT system, or YN-622C built into a radio flash as well, there is just no way to know.

          So we just have to wait, but in the mean time the Phottix Mitros + has the system all layed out nicely covering everything (not 2 (or 3) systems with bits and pieces in each).

          Having said that, it will all come out in the wash eventually, and Canon RT compatibility is a big step for the future.

          • lianggc 8 years ago

            With YN-E3-RT, no need to wait for all slaves to recycle so any flash can fire. And to me, one of the most promising feature is, you can see if each group has been recycled fully.

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 8 years ago

            Ok great thanks, that is obviously another good improvement.

  3. John 8 years ago

    Does this mean that I won’t be able to use groups being the fact that I have a t3i that was released in 2010. ? Or does it mean just the ones that were purchased before 2010. I have a t3i that I purchased about 6 months ago If I can’t use groups then I’m not buying it. I love the idea of controlling different groups at different levels.

  4. John 8 years ago

    I mean purchased before 2012. Sorry

  5. Dave R 8 years ago

    This is great news!! They appear to have brought over the entire feature set of the ST-E3-RT intact and added AF Assist and at least manual second curtain sync. I can’t wait to see where they set the price point.

    This is just being greedy at this point, but any idea if the LCD is green/orange selectable, like it is on the Canon equipment? I can certainly use the orange display that is shown but I prefer to use green for TX/Master units and reserve orange for remote slaves.

    PS. Keep up the great work on this site! I, and I’m sure many others, consider Flash Havoc the premier site for quality info on all things flash related.

  6. Dave R 8 years ago

    I am slightly disappointed that the photo of the unit is not real. I was quite excited to think that the UI was nearly identical to my Canon 600 series flashes until I noticed that the display is lit up but the power switch is in the off position. 🙁 Still, the listed feature set looks very promising.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 8 years ago

      Hi Dave,

      Sorry yes, I made up the image just as a graphic representation. I would expect the UI will be nearly the same as Canon, as this has the high res dot matrix LCD as well.

      Everything is supported like the ST-E3-RT except the YN-E3-RT only supports 1/3 stop adjustments as mentioned.

  7. john 8 years ago

    I really hope that this is not the case…… please if anyone can help here it would so be appreciated
    I can not see how this could even be if so many of the other company’s are making it possible to shoot in group mode regardless of what you have like phottix odin, pixel king pro and even yn 622c tx. Maybe that’s what I have to do is go with the pixel king pro or phottix odin. But I don’t want to I want the yn e3 rt. Please help

  8. Dave R 8 years ago

    Hi John.

    From what I’ve read of the comments of Yongnuo’s lead engineer on this project it is not technically possible to implement the 2 way RT protocol communication required for group mode on pre 2012 camera bodies. This is apparently a firmware limitation of the older bodies. I am positive that Yongnuo would have made their new YN-E3-RT trigger support group mode on all Canon DSLR’s if it were technically possible to do so. Unfortunately it is not. The “group” mode implemented by the 3rd party trigger vendors you cite is not based on 2 way communication with the camera firmware the way the Canon group mode is. That is why they work with older cameras. I guess it is hypothetically possible that Canon might release updated firmware to enable this functionality in their older cameras but I would not hold my breath on that. The cold reality is that Canon, or Nikon for that matter, is in the business of continually selling new cameras. Coming out with new exclusive features is what sells new cameras.

    • lianggc 8 years ago

      There are several reasons why canon didn’t support GR mode for cameras released before 2012. One is that GR mode supports 5 Group, each group in ttl mode is metered individually, that is, maximum 5 preflash will be triggered. Cameras before 2012 won’t support that.

      Some products mentioned here isn’t a real Canon wireless ETTL actually, as they only trigger one preflash with 3 groups and calculate the output by themselves.

      I might enable GR mode for cameras before 2012 later, by limiting group number from 5 to 3.

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 8 years ago

        Hi Lianggc,

        This group support would be very important. As would 2nd Curtain Sync in TTL. SuperSync (global) timing adjustment, and remote zoom would be handy.

        Any features of the YN-622C people are going to want in a higher priced RT system as well. But 2nd curtain sync in TTL is a high priority, otherwise that really limits its use.

        The other thing (as mentioned previously) is the separate receiver. Otherwise people are in the same predicament as they are now with the Canon system, trying to run multiple TX on camera just to fire studio lights etc.

        • lianggc 8 years ago

          Don’t expect one product to meet all the need of all customers. This is not practical and the world is not perfect. We are trying to offer several systems, from low end to high end, each has advantages and disadvantages. People certainly can choose what they need.

          To make a product, there are a lot of things to consider. I intend to make a product useful for 99% and try my best to keep it simple.

          Sorry, but, sometimes your ideas are too geek and different from most of photographers.

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 8 years ago

            Thanks Lianggc,

            But my ideas are not “too geek”, they are trying to solve real problems that real photographers have to deal with every day.

            These are exactly the same things that people say to me every day, and you will read in comments here, and everywhere else.

            Most photographers see these issue as common sense and wonder why on earth the manufacturers just don’t see the obvious sometimes.

          • Amir 8 years ago

            Remote zoom control and 2nd curtain sync in ETTL mode are not “geek” functions. They are both useful tools for creative flash photography. I agree that any manufacturer has to make compromises in terms of features they implement. If it was trivial Canon would have probably implemented it. But then again, other 3rd party triggers like Phottix Odin and Pixel King Pro already support both features so it should be technically feasible.

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 8 years ago


            YongNuo have already implemented these in the YN-622 as well.

            Its just the RT system that may be adding limitations on what can be done there. Remote zoom is not going to be a deal breaker for most people, but 2nd curtain sync in TTL ( in combined with other things) will have people thinking twice about which way to go.

      • Dave R 8 years ago

        Hi lianggc.

        Thanks for the clarification and your willingness to engage with your customers. I do have a question about one of your comments though. If you modified the firmware later to offer 3 flash group mode on pre 2012 bodies would that mean 5 flash group mode would no longer be supported for cameras that support 5 groups? I’d hate to see that tradeoff. Ideally that could be user selectable on the trigger/flash as a custom function so it could be tailored to which type of body the flash was paired with.

        • lianggc 8 years ago

          Dave R,

          Could you contact me via lianggc at gmail.com? Thanks

  9. John 8 years ago

    Hey thank you so much for your response to my situation
    I guess I’m going with phottix odin

  10. john 8 years ago

    Actually if I’m not going with this I should just go with canon. Phottix is 320 and canon is 280 .
    And even when the mitros + comes out that’s going to be around 400 when I can get a 600ex rt for that. Looks like I’m sticking with canon. Now I know this is for the yn e3 and I thank you so much for the response but I won’t have any problems with the Canon being the fact the I have an old camera right?

  11. lianggc 8 years ago

    It’s the same for Canon. After all, the limitation was introduced by them.

  12. john h 8 years ago

    yeah your absolutely correct as i just researched the st e3 rt as well….. .
    flash havoc is right …I feel like there’s always something that you miss out on in every new product
    however i understand as well that it cant all be so perfect like you said….
    The only way im going to get group mode is by going with a system that doesn’t matter what year body i have ……….. so upset right now

    (open to suggestions ) anyone?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 8 years ago

      Yes the Phottix Mitros + and Odin.

      But Lianggc said he may implement this with 3 groups.

      I can tell you already its massive issue with the MANY 5D II owners, so pressure is pretty sure to have this one implemented sooner than later (provided it is possible).

  13. john h 8 years ago

    Lianggc is that even possible to do ?

  14. john h 8 years ago

    flash havoc you would take photixx odin over pixel king pro ????

    • Amir 8 years ago

      I have had and used both. I would only take Pixel over Phottix if you need on-camera flash (King Pro has TTL pass-through while Odin does not). Otherwise Phottix has the better interface (King Pro’s LCD is too small) and it can also fire fantastic Strato II manual triggers if you are mixing studio lights and other non-TTL flashes. In fairness, King Pro is priced very competitively and is also very solidly built.

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 8 years ago

        The Phottix system has the Mitros + now though, which has an Odin Tx built in. So that (should) be a better / more reliable solution for flash on camera use if you’re doing that a lot.

        The Odin itself could do with an AF light, but the Mitros + covers that for now.

        • plevyadophy 8 years ago

          Yeah, but the problem with that solution is that you are wasting a flash atop your camera just to get AF Assist.

          Furthermore, for folks who shoot people, having a huge flash on your camera (to non-photographers, a flash is huge) is a little intimidating. Quite frankly, I regard it as beyond stupid for companies to be making flash triggers that do not have AF Assist (unless they are strangely assuming that anyone who uses flash either does so only in broad daylight or in a studio!!).

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 8 years ago

            I’m sure any new Odin TX would have an AF light (and multi focus point like the Mitros).

            It was definitely frustrating of Canon to leave it off the ST-E3-RT. But the Chinese manufacturers did not have AF lights until recently, and they were not something they could buy off the shelf easily either.

            A stand alone AF light was actually the reason I started lobbying the manufacturers a number of years ago now.

  15. John 8 years ago

    Yeah thanks guys I really appreciate everything
    I think I’m going to go with phottix odin as I am interested in the mitros +.
    Let just ask this. When the mitos + comes out
    Can I buy multable flash and put one on the camera to fire off others without having the flash that’s on camera fire. If not no biggie as I will just buy the odin.
    But if I can do that then I get Af and off camera flash

    I just want to say this site has been so helpful and I really thank all of you for all your help
    And maybe if we push hard enough we can get yn to make a system that will work with older bodies
    thanks again

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 8 years ago

      Hi John,

      I haven’t used the Mitros + yet, but I think its safe to assume you just toggle the L (light) group to OFF.

      The first group showing at the top of the screen is the on-camera flash group L. So you should be able to set that to OFF, TTL, or Manual (and pretty quickly).

      You can see the interface here.

  16. john h 8 years ago

    Hey flash i don’t 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 access the group features,,,,,, and not just 3 but all 5 groups now ……
    this is one happy guy 😉

    no need for the phottix odin anymore

  17. Ahmed Agbabiaka 7 years ago

    this is such a huge predicament. i need a flash that has a built-in transmitter. i also want to be able to use a transmitter when i don’t need the flash on camera. it also must do TTL and HSS.

    if the RT series has a receiver i will be able to cover both scenarios. if not it looks like my best alternative is the 568EXII+622tx+622c.

    so my question is, can the 568EX II trigger 622 receivers?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 7 years ago

      Hi Ahmed,

      You would need to mount the YN-568EX II on top of a YN-622C pass through hotshoe on the camera, as the YN-568EX II or other flashes alone can not fire or control the YN-622C receivers.

      It would certainly help if YongNuo would tell us if they are going to make an RT receiver, but for now we just have to wait. Certainly ask them directly though so that they are aware of the need for this. The more people that ask the more they will get the message. Thanks.

  18. jp1958 7 years ago

    The YongNuo YN-E3-RT works with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III. But, it doesn’t work with my Canon EOS 6D.

  19. Mel 7 years ago

    Does si world with the canon 6D? I want yo buy this transmitter but not sure if works or not, cheers.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 7 years ago

      Hi Mel,

      It should work with the 6D, but you may have to update the firmware if you receive one of the early stock.

      There will likely be more firmware updates to come though anyway. Thanks.

      • Mel 7 years ago

        so, you are not sure if the tYN-E3-RT work or not with the Canon 6D

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 7 years ago

          Hi Mel,

          Yes it will work with the 6D, but you need to update to the latest firmware.

          Its a good idea to update firmware regardless of which camera you use. Thanks.

  20. Paul 7 years ago

    Hello, I am sorry to be stupid I have a canon 5d mk 3 canon 580ex ii and a canon 430 exii will the yn-e3-rt support this set up?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 7 years ago

      Hi Paul,

      Sorry no, only the Canon 600EX-RT, and coming YongNuo YN-600EX-RT are supported with the YN-E3-RT.

      You might want to look at the YN-622C. You will need YN-622C receivers attached to each flash though. And there will be a YN-622C-TX coming as well. Thanks.

      • Paul 7 years ago

        Many thanks for the swift response there will be a yn-622c-tx for canon produced soon then?
        Many thanks.
        Paul Clegg

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 7 years ago

          YongNuo have a number of products still to be released, and a very busy production schedule at the moment, but the YN-622C-TX should be one of the next to come. How soon exactly that is I’m really not sure.

          But you can use the YN-622C with control through the camera menu for the mean time, and pick up a TX when they become available.

  21. Paul 7 years ago

    Many thanks for the heads up
    Paul Clegg

  22. Rich 7 years ago

    Hi so is this system fully compatible with the canon 7D – Thanks

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 7 years ago

      Hi Rich,

      It should be compatible with the 7D. I’m not aware of any compatibility issues there. Thanks.

      • Rich 7 years ago

        Ok if I be more specific I mean in HSS as apparently the canon version
        ain’t on pre 2012 cameras, ask do any recent updates on the canon TX

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 7 years ago

          Hi Rich,

          Yes HSS works on pre 2012 cameras with the YN-E3-RT.

          Though it generally does on the Canon ST-E3-RT as well. Canon seem to have just been covering themselves for the situations it may not work, which doesn’t seem to be the often.

          I’m not sure what you meant with “ask do any recent updates on the canon TX”, but the Canon ST-E3-RT can not be updated (not through firmware updates anyway).

  23. Les 6 years ago

    Camera: Canon 1D Mark II,
    Flashes: 2x 580 EX II + 1x 550 EX.

    As expected – 550 EX can only be fired in Manual mode, not ETTL, and adjustment of power is on the flash.
    Essentially – the Yongnuo gizmos work as wireless trigger for 550 EX. No surprise here.

    Both 580EX II work fine in Manual mode, adjustments of power in groups A and B works fine.

    However – ETTL mode seems to be completely out…huge overexposure, by more than 3 stops. Looks like the flashes are firing at full power.

    Question: would that be the fault of the camera – which seems to be unable to communicate ETTL settings to the transmitter ? Does anyone have experience with the above Youngnuo devices on 1D Mk II ?
    The transmitter has the latest firmware upgrade, BTW.

  24. Les 6 years ago

    Well…the issue appears to be resolved. While the transmitter reported firmware V 1.16, I bit the bullet and overwrote it with V 1.16 downloaded from the Yongnuo website (apparently “same” version…)

    As a matter of explanation (before firmware update):
    -ETTL with ratio disabled (set to ALL) produced good exposure (ratio fixed 1:1)
    -ETTL with ratio A:B enabled and set to 1:1 produced huge overexposure
    -ratio A:B could be adjusted on transmitter – but no effect on the exposure
    -I was shooting with f2.8 – but I checked exposure in M mode with lightmeter and flashes set to 1/128 to make sure that there is ample room for ratio adjustment
    -M mode was just fine (lightmeter used)

    After update:
    -all seems to work OK.

  25. Manto Z 6 years ago

    I just want to ask one quick and simple question.
    Does the YN-E3-RT be able to trigger Yongnuo YN-560 III speedlite?

  26. Niels Gram 6 years ago

    No, not directly.
    Yes, through the YNE3-RX or via an other flash using the optical slave function on the 560.
    Please read the specs 😉

    • Rhym 5 years ago

      Does the yn e3 rt work with yn 560 mark iv?

  27. Niels Gram 5 years ago

    Yes – the YNE3-RT can fire the 560 mark iv.
    No – the YNE3-RT can’t control the settings of the 560 mark iv.
    As I wrote above: Please read the specs 😉

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