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Yongnuo 600-RT Clone Could Be Released in October

By Anthony Thurston on May 14th 2014

Canon’s new 600-RT speedlights are great, they combine Canon’s reliability with built in radio triggering. Unfortunately, they are also extremely expensive when compared to budget speedlights paired with radio triggers.


Yongnuo, a company known for their inexpensive speedlights and triggers, recently released their own knockoff of the Canon ST-E3-RT, a controller unit for the Canon 600-RT speedlights. Since that time, it has been rumored that Yongnuo was also in the works on their own knockoff version of the 600-RT speedlight. That rumor appears to have been confirmed by the company on their Facebook page. 

[REWIND: Yongnuo Announces First Third Party Canon RT Compatible Flash/Trigger]

“According to the latest news from the R&D department, the YN600EX-RT will be estimate released in ABOUT October, 2014 if in smooth progress. We hope it will perform well and worth being waited.”

The above quote, taken from the Yongnuo Facebook page, confirms the development of a YN-600EX-RT speedlight, which they think could be released sometime in October of this year, assuming the R&D continues smoothly. This could be huge news for budget photographers out there looking to get their hands on a speedlight with a similar performance and feature set to the Canon 600-RT‘s.

What are your thoughts on this news? Would you buy a Yongnuo 600RT knockoff, or are you inclined to stick to the more expensive Canon option?

[via Lighting Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jared Stewart

    With the exception of one YN-565EX, I haven’t had any issues with my other 4. The three 560 IIs and my one 568EX have been flawless.

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  2. Tyler Friesen

    I have 3 Yongnuo flashes and never had any issues. I keep a Canon branded one with me at all times but I use the others more often. Phenomenal value.

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  3. Joseph Elliott

    I totally cannot wait for this to be released. I’ve been shooting with Yongnuo flashes and they’ve yet to let me down

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  4. G.W.

    I believe reverse engineering is happening everywhere these days. When used in life, Microsoft Windows and GUI comes out of a Xerox’s word processor, US fighter jets improved after they worked on a few MiGs, Thanks to reverse engineering we have iPhone and Android devices and not using 3COM Palm Pilot these days with stylus pen. And who is complaining about reverse engineering when Sigma is creating 35mm & 50mm f/1.4 ART lenses that fits Canon, Nikon, Sony while also out performing the original manufacture’s own products in picture quality?
    I believe, it is in our DNA to improve all the time and seek perfection in everything…. Of course, that will not stop Amazon to try to patent something like… circular element that create friction when come in contact with ground to create motion…. tire!☺

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    • AJ

      Amen to that! There is nothing wrong with competition in the market! Not to mention consumers ultimately benefit with more option and that fact the competition drives innovation up and price down.

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  5. Rick

    Smells like these off-brands have done some reverse engineering in order to get their stuff to work. While such a task is not always illegal, in my opinion, it’s never an ethical thing to do.

    I’m definitely in the camp that appreciates companies that spend their own R&D money to produce great products. Remember that part of a product’s price will reflect R&D recoupment costs.

    I started with a single 600EX-RT in Feb and now have three. I have nothing but good things to say about them. Also definitely subscribe to the “you get what you pay for” concept.

    I will admit that I’m glad I picked them up this year as opposed to when they first came out. I got very good deals. First being just $469. And the second two at $499. In both cases, Canon had instant rebate deals.

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    • Eric

      Canon, Nikon, and Sony have all farmed out their R&D designers to China. The same engineers designing the big three gear ALSO design the gear for YN. Therefore as soon as these guys finish something for the big three, they do the same for YN.

      I only use YN flashes, I have a YN-560-III, have had the 465, and have a YN LED Panel. The gear simply works, every time. I might upgrade to this set IF the price is good, and I can adjust the light remotely from the camera.

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    • Rick

      That makes no sense. Even if the engineering team would be the same (I highly supsect not), NDAs would be in place as well as separate contracts. Canon, Sony, etc each own their respective IP.

      It’s one thing if various companies choose to cross-license to each other. But to say that one team is doing R&D for everyone and it’s a huge free-for-all as to ownership is simply absurd.

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  6. Jim

    My problem is a matter of principle. I would not buy it because I don’t like the idea that someone basically steals the property of Canon and produces a knockoff at a lower price. It’s like buying a Rolex on the sidewalk of 5th Ave.

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    • Jeff Ladrillono

      Except Yongnuo isn’t slapping a Canon logo on their flashes and trying to pass it off as a Canon product.

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    • G.W.

      I thought of that before I wrote my post than a voice came to me: “did Canon invented wireless radio technology or, did they adapted the technology like Pocket Wizard and other radio trigger manufactures?” No one would bring up this question if a manufacture create a flash that use optical wireless remote; however, optical or radio, it is using different form of energy to trigger a hardware. Once I asked myself this question, the picture is very clear that no one really “own” the wireless radio technology and everyone is applying it so very differently so they will not get sue by another. Did Canon come out with a great idea and design? Yes. Are they the first ever thought of it on this planet since the beginning of human history? I don’t believe so. Is Yongnuo using the design of Canon to enhance (hardware or pricing) the availability or feature of their own product? Yes. Has Canon ever done the same before (like copying Nikon?) I think you have the answer for that question.☺

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  7. Aaron

    I would really like to know how they get away with totally ripping off canon. Canon of course will have a worldwide patient on their products, I say sue them NOW

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    • Dave

      Simply having a similar feature set does not breach a patent. Ford can’t sue Chevy for having wheels on its trucks too.

      YN would have to duplicate the exact circuitry or copy some unique feature covered by Canon’s patent.

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    • Jon Yoder

      I’m curious about this too. Generally knock off products are clearly inferior and less reliable. But when a product is such a good knock off, it begs to question whether legal action is required. It’s the same radio frequencies and copies almost everything to a T. Even has the same product name minus the “Canon.”

      We shall see.

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    • G.W.

      In that case, Pocket Wizard will be able to sue Canon for using radio wireless technology on ST-E3-RT & 600EX-RT and whoever invented radio remote control will be able to sue everyone else…. Truth is that, just like photographers learn from each other and apply their styles into their shooting, so are the inventors and technology companies. No one really “invented” new technology these days but re-using a lot of good old ideas and improved on it.

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  8. Luca

    I rely on youngnuo’s flash trigger (YN-622C) for quite a long time now and I’m yet to find a situation to tell where I missed a shot because of it. I just found myself in trouble with them twice, both my fault. Once with drained batteries and once by a mistaken configs on the camera. YN’s equipment is quite inexpensive and reliable. I’d get this speedlight.

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  9. Kyle

    I have some YN-560 II’s and also some Canon 430 EX II’s. Hands down I find myself using the YN’s more often. They’re cheap, yet to fail me yet, and easy to use. Sure they don’t have TTL but I honestly don’t have a need for TTL as I prefer to dial in my settings manually.

    I’ll be sure to read the reviews when these come out, but if they’re solid, I’m sure I’ll pick up a few.

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  10. Bokehman

    I’d advise ANYONE to purchase the Phottix Mitros+ or Odin radio triggers, warranted and available from reputable dealers like B&H & Adorama. Besides being solid & reliable performers, IMHO you’ll ALWAYS get what you pay for. . . Why skimp on something so fundamental to the making of great images, for the little money you might save – ain’t worth it !

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  11. G.W.

    I remember when I saw the knockoff of the Canon ST-E3-RT I was excited because it has a AF assist beam which should have been build into the Canon unit like the ST-E2; however, many people have complained that the AF assist beam’s coverage is poor as well. There are good reviews on the knockoff of the ST-E3-RT on Amazon as well.

    Will I buy the Yongnuo 600EX-RT? Depending on the review. I already have the Canon ST-E3-RT & 600EX-RTs; however, if the Yongnuo’s unit is well build at half of the price with many great reviews as Canon’s then I will definitely try one first for my casual use before I put it into business use with my other Canon units for wedding, newborn & family portrait.

    At the end of the day, beside the personal enjoyment of creating photos and the smiles from people who hire me to do the job, no one will be asking me which brand name of camera, flash, wireless trigger, light defuser, tripod or strap I used to create the photo.

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