Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Yongnuo 560-TX Wireless Trigger

Hello once again dear readers. I am very happy to be back and posting. Tonight I bring you a review of the best photography gadget that I have ever owned (apart from cameras and lenses).
I consider this review as the 2nd part of my Yongnuo Family Review. I suggest you read that post first because I am going to build on it. Here's a quick recap of the Yongnuo system I owned from the previous article: I had two Yongnuo 560II manual flashes, one 560III manula flash with a built-in wireless receiver, and four RF603 wireless transcievers (can trigger either a flash or a camera shutter via an included cable, I had cables for Canon & Olympus.) With that system I could trigger 3 flashes and one camera. And if you remember, I hinted at a new trigger that can control flash settings remotely.

Enter the YN 560-TX wireless trigger. This trigger works with Yongnuo 560III or 560IV flashes, where not only can it trigger them wirelessly like the RF603 triggers, but it can change the power and zoom settings remotely from the trigger itself, without having to change anything on the flash. This is an extremely useful feature that relieves you from having to move to the flash put far away or lower the light stand or even poke your head inside the softbox to change the power setting, now you can do it all from the comfort of your camera. Not only this, but the trigger turned out to be way more useful than I imagined, here are some of the extra features that deserves to be mentioned:
  • You can assign your flashes for up to six groups, where you can control each group together immediately.
  • It can trigger, or be triggered from an RF603 set on the same channel.
  • It can trigger your camera as well via a cable that's not included, but I used the one I had for the RF603, and it worked great.
  • It works on AA batteries that last for a long time.
  • It can change the flash mode to "Multi" where it can fire quick multiple flashes at a certain frequency, not that I find it very useful.

I believe you can see how much potential this trigger has, especially when combined with the four RF603 triggers that I already have. Once I heard of the 560TX, I ordered one trigger and two 560III flashes, and sold one of my 560II flashes. So the net result is that I have now three 560III wireless flashes, one 560II flash, four RF603 triggers and of course my Olympus TTL flash. The main thing that annoyed me with the 560TX is that it lacked a carrying case, a hotshoe foot and a release cable in the package. I had to buy a Lowepro camera bag that I use as a protection and carrying case for the trigger.

Below are some examples to show how flexible and useful this system can be:
  • Using this trigger, I can trigger all five of my flashes (3 x wireless, and 2 using RF603), and have two spare RF603s to trigger two more flashes.
  • Or I can have the spare RF603s trigger other cameras instead of flashes, so that I have multiple cameras with different angles all capturing the same moment.
  • Or I can use one of the spare RF603s in my hand far away to trigger the whole system (cameras and flashes together.)
  • Or I can have the 560TX itself in my hand; controlling flash power and zoom settings, and triggering the whole system (cameras and flashes together) at the same moment.
  • Or I can have one or more cameras setup, and carry an RF603 or 560TX in my hand with one of the flashes and go do light painting for an object far away from the camera.

And I believe lots more can be done. This system is extremely flexible and reliable (till now, and I don't treat my equipment in a harsh way) that I think it should have cost more than what it does. And I salute the Chinese for producing such a flexible system at such a price. Bravo.

P.S. The two pictures including my camera were shot using a Canon 60D with the 18-55 kit lens, which had an RF603 trigger in the hotshoe, which in turn triggered the 560TX mounted to my camera, which in turn triggered the flashes lighting the picture with the power settings set from the 560TX. :-D