Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yongnuo RF-603 + Olympus OM-D: Reloaded

Do you remember my RF-603 modification post? In that post I was able to modify my Canon version of the Yongnuou RF-603 trigger to make it work with my Olympus camera to trigger external flashes.

Now thanks to member Earlack and his post in this dpreview thread, I was able to further modify the camera cable of the triggers so that they can also wirelessly trigger my camera. Full details after the jump.

Below is a typical YN RF-603 kit, except that there is another transceiver. I have bought two kits, so I have four transceivers in total. With these, I can trigger up to three external flashes, and I can even trigger the camera (from one of the other triggers) using the supplied cable, however, this cable has only a Canon connector, and Yongnuo doesn't sell cables with the Olympus USB connector.

This brings us to the modification, thanks to dpreview member mentioned above, I did exactly what he did, and instead of buying a USB connector and connecting it, I bought the cheapest wired trigger for Olympus I could find, the one shown in the opening picture.

Here's the Olympus USB connector, this is what I bought the intervalometer for, to salvage the USB connector (don't feel sad for the intervalometer, I have a much better one, with an on-off switch, not fully-on-until-the-battery-runs-out like this one).

Operation begins by cutting the two ends of the RF-603 cable, and the intervalometer. Thankfully, they both have the same color code.

I connected both whites together, red with yellow and yellow with red, the picture below is not the final one, just roughly made for demonstration.
 Once done and tested, I insulated each of the wires separately.

And because I didn't have a good black sealing tape, I used Gaffer's tape to hold both ends of the cable together. I will be removing the ugly looking tape and using a more elegant solution.

And it works, however not fully as expected, the half-press doesn't do anything, and only a full press initiates the focus and triggers the shutter, but I don't mind since most probably, when remotely triggering the camera as such, I will use fixed focus. In case you're wondering, it doesn't matter if the RF-603 is mounted to the camera hot-shoe or not, and I also tried connecting the reds and yellows together, but when I tested it, the camera had the shutter "half-pressed" all the time.

This modification will give me two important uses:
  1. I can trigger the camera wirelessly, useful for group photos, self photos, camera positioned far away (on a pole for example with a fisheye for a unique perspective).
  2. I can trigger both the camera and flash together, for example if I'm light painting a large area with flash, I can leave the camera on the tripod, and take the flash with me and point it at different areas of the photo, and every time I trigger the flash, the camera will snap a picture. How cool is that?

Finally, all these pictures were shot handheld with the OM-D and the 12-50 lens in macro mode, ISO 3200, shutter speeds ~ 1/10 to 1/20 seconds, ACR standard noise reduction.


Yongnuo RF-603 + Olympus OM-D


  1. Or you could just buy this from ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Remote-Switch-Shutter-Release-Cable-3L-f-Olympus-E620-E600-E520-E450-EM5-EP3-EP2-/271160315793?pt=Camera_Camcorder_Remotes&hash=item3f226a0f91

    1. Well, that's neat, thanks for sharing the link. I searched Amazon for some time before attempting this.
      I will be buying one of it next time.

  2. I'm curious to know what intervalometer you have for the OM-D.

    1. The RainbowImaging LCD Timer, it is small, well built, and has an on-off switch.
      Here's the link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/RainbowImaging-Remote-Control-Olympus-SP-510/dp/B008XWS1TO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1388130103&sr=8-7&keywords=Olympus+intervalometer

    2. Thanks. I've got the Neewer version for my now sold 5DMII. I hate that I can't turn it off.

    3. I had one like that for both my APA-C Canons, and the same for the FF bodies, both didn't turn off, it bugged me, but the batteries last forever.

  3. You do realize that this is redundant on an OM-D E-M1 as you can trigger the camera from an iOS/Android device via WiFi?

    1. Yup, but I haven't got my EM-1 yet.

    2. In my experience the WiFi tethering is buggy. It will sometimes freeze, and the range available in surprisingly short. The system was not very reliable for me. You do get an image on the iOS/Android device which is good for framing.


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