Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The Yongnuo YN565EX flash is a near clone of the Canon flagship 580EX II. I say “near clone” because the YN565EX does not look exactly like the 580EX II and is not controlled exactly like the 580EX II. Even so, the YN565EX is obviously intended to be a low cost variation of the 580EX II. Although I already have a 580EX II, you can never have too many and at one-third the price, the YN565EX was well worth investigating. I ordered my YN565EX from ThePhotoGadget and waited more or less patiently during the two week delivery period.

I’ve had good experiences with my Yongnuo YN460-II and use it regularly as an off-camera manually adjusted flash. My intention was and is to use the YN565EX as an ETTL slave unit to be wirelessly triggered and controlled by either my 7D on-camera flash or by the 580EX II. Alternatively, the YN565EX can be triggered as an optical slave or by the RF-602 wireless triggers; however, these simpler alternative triggers do not include ETTL control.

Because my Canon G12 has bugs – undocumented features – in flash mode, I was fully prepared for the YN565EX to be incompatible with the G12. In this I was not disappointed as the YN565EX does display a few quirks when mounted on the G12 (more on this in another post). As I’m always reminding others, flash on the Powershot G is not the same as flash on Canon’s DSLRs.

ThePhotoGadget site and the Yongnuo store but especially Speedlights contain specifics and technical details of the YN565EX so I’ll just say that it is generally expected to perform like a 580EX II. On the other hand, the YN565EX does add the two optical slave trigger modes that have been very useful to me on my 460EX-II.

YN565EXMy YN565EX arrived in a sort of soft and squishy cardboard box but the package inside (top photo) was well protected and undamaged. The flash survived its journey from China apparently intact and undamaged. My quick inspection and abbreviated tests so far indicate that my YN565EX works as it is supposed to work but I’ll have more on this in future posts.

YN565EXAfter a few test shots, I was forced to skim through the instruction manual in order to turn off the very loud and irritating BEEP-BEEP (page 58, custom function 14).

YN565EXThe YN565EX is a nice looking flash and much more robust than the YN460EX II – especially the battery door.  I do prefer the foot locking mechanism of the 580EX II but the more conventional screw lock on the YN565EX is OK.  The YN565EX flash head is swiveled and tilted without having to press and release any locking buttons.  If the friction resistance holds the head in place, this is an advantage -- time will tell.
The controls are just enough different from the 580EX II that I’ll have to remember both systems but, if anything, the YN565EX controls actually seem more intuitive.  Button presses all seem OK to me. 

Next: Using the YN565EX with the Canon 7D

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