Yongnuo YN560-TX In-Depth Review and Test

The YN560TX flash trigger is the long-awaited trigger for the venerable and inexpensive Yongnuo flash system.  I have been using Yongnuo speedlights and triggers since before it was cool to use Yongnuo flashes and speedlights.  My one complaint for years has been that there was no trigger that would allow me to change the power of the flash from the camera until the YN560TX was finally released.

The Quick Review: The YN560TX trigger allows photographers to wirelessly sync up to 6 groups of flashes and change the power and zoom remotely.  The device's build quality is sub-par, but the functionality, reliability, and price are fantastic.  For me, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and this little trigger is now my primary flash trigger for all my shoots.

Need a little more info than that before buying?  Let's get started.

Features

The features on this flash trigger are really what set it apart from any other trigger in this price range.  The TX can wirelessly sync with up to 6 groups of flashes.

You can also change both the flash brightness (power) and zoom remotely.  That's really handy for when you have a flash that fits inside a softbox, have a speedlight up high on a light stand, or when you're doing  complex setup with many flashes.  If you have to walk around to each flash and change the power after each shot, it becomes a very slow process.  Not with the TX!

The range of the signal is extremely good.  I had my four year-old son run with the flash down the street and I triggered it from my house.  He got all the way to the end of the street (well over 200 meters) and it never missed a shot.  So what's the max range?  I have no idea.  I'll need to move to a longer street before I can do more in-depth testing 🙂  The 2.4ghz antenna in this thing really does an excellent job.

One handy feature of the YN560TX is that you can use it as a remote shutter release for your camera.  The side of the TX has a small compartment with a shutter release jack.  If you connect a shutter cable from that jack to your camera, you'll be able to trigger the camera remotely.  I like it much better than the infrared remotes that you can buy for most camera systems, because it will work outside even in bright sunlight.  It's handy to have that ability when you're in a pinch.

Two damaged YN560TX units.
The photo on the top is a damaged YN-560TX from a camera drop. Reader Brian Pex submitted this photo but said he was able to glue humpty dumpty back together again. The bottom image is from my old TX that broke from bumping into things in my suitcase.

Build Quality

The build of the YN560TX is acceptable, but certainly does not have a high-end feel.  It's funny, I just read a review from another photographer who described the TX as being “well built with a solid feel.”  I wouldn't agree.  It feels cheap and plasticy, but adequate to do its job.  You don't buy a TX to impress people at the camera club.  You buy it because it's an extremely capable and reliable flash trigger that costs next to nothing.

However, the design does at least include a metal hot shoe, which I consider to be mandatory in any flash product.  When a flash breaks, it's almost always at the stem of the shoe, so I don't even buy any flash products anymore if they don't have a metal shoe.

My main complaint with the TX design is that it stands upright on the hotshoe and does not fold down like the Paul C. Buff triggers do.  That means that if you drop the camera or bump the camera hard enough into something, the TX will likely break in half.  That's exactly what happened to one of our readers, Brian Pex, who was able to glue his back together.

While traveling home from a photography workshop in Guilin China, my Yongnuo trigger broke as well, this time from damage to the LCD screen from bumping into other things in my bag.

While I do think the TX could have a bit more sturdy build quality, it's not enough to deter me from using them.  I think it's just the kind of thing you have to be a bit careful with.  You can't abuse the TX quite like you can abuse the YN560 speedlights (those things are tanks!).

Ease of Use & Reliability

No company makes an easy-to-use flash unit.  Period.  If you've been doing photography for a while and have used several different flash systems, you're probably used to the complexity, but part of me wishes somebody made a sweet trigger with a nice big touch screen and dead-simple operation.  Unfortunately, that doesn't exist.  Plan to spend an hour figuring out how the TX works after you buy it.  But in reality, it's no worse than any other advanced flash trigger out there.  The Canon and Nikon stuff is even more of a mess than the Yongnuo.

The reliability of this trigger is one thing that really attracts me to it.  In fact, prior to the TX, I used a very expensive high-end system for flash triggering but got rid of it once I got my hands on a TX and saw how reliable and full-featured it is.  I can honestly say than in the last year of using the TX, I've never once had a misfire on the flash (as long as I had my settings correct and the flash recycled).  There is no way to fault this thing on reliability.

Unfortunately, the trigger does not have an automatic off feature.  I turned on the trigger and left it for 30 minutes, and it stayed on the entire time.  While that's handy if you're using a walker and it will take you 30 minutes to get from setting up the flash to get to the camera, it means it will run out of battery much more often because the on/off switch can easily be bumped in a camera bag.

yn560tx-explanation-chart
A few of the buttons that you'll need to learn on the TX. I criss-crossed the lines going to the explanations just to make it look more confusing than it really is 🙂 Haha.

Compatibility

The Yongnuo YN560 TX trigger works on any camera system with a standard hot shoe, including Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony, Pentax, and others.  Yes, Sony folks.  It even is compatible with your system (cheers!).  The Canon and Nikon versions of the YN-560TX hav the extra ETTL contact, but does not work with ETTL.  The purpose of the contact is really just to wake the flash.  If you are buying a YN560TX for a camera system other than Canon, I recommend getting the Nikon version because of the way the contacts are placed.  I used the Nikon YN560TX with my Fuji cameras all the time and it works without any issue.

Without any receiver under the flash, the TX can trigger both the YN560III and the YN560IV flashes.  Older flashes or flashes from other camera systems will need a receiver under them in order to fire wirelessly.

Price and Conclusion

While the YN560TX is not a perfect piece of technology (what is?), it's absolutely amazing what Yongnuo has brought to the table for under $50 (check the current price on the Amazon listing for the YN560TX).  This is a very full-featured flash trigger that is reliable and powerful at an unbelievable value.  I do wish the buttons were a bit more intuitive and that the build quality was a bit more durable, but this is still a tremendous value.  Buy the YN560TX on Amazon.

18 thoughts on “Yongnuo YN560-TX In-Depth Review and Test”

  1. A MUST HAVE! I’ve been using this for about a year and it’s fantastic. You cannot beat this value with other branded product. The only drawbacks? Build quality and initial pairing of flashes (I had to view a Youtube video to understand it).

    Besides that, no problem at all!

    p.s. I use this trigger with YN-560 III (3 of them)

  2. Have you tried the YN-622N-TX? It’s designed more like the PCB Cyber Commander and actually does ETTL and HSS.
    I recently got one and like it so far….

  3. Yup, I agree the 622Tx system is pretty great for the price. Unfortunately the two systems aren’t compatible. So if you want manual flashes with no HSS, then the 560IIIs then the 560 system is the way to go. Bonus they have internal radios so you don’t need a transceiver on each flash. But if you want full function, the 622TX system is pretty nice. I am waiting for them to come out with a full function flash with built in wireless like the 560s. It would be awesome if the two would talk to each other.

  4. Yes – it is true. I was doing a product shoot and had the camera angled down with a big lens on (Tamron 24-70 f2.8 is pretty big – 82mm filter). I somehow, VERY STUPIDLY, disengaged the Manfrotto quick release without my other hand on camera. Yup – my right hand was free – should have punched myself in the head. So the D750 I was using, lens and TX controller crashed to the floor. (THICK CARPET) Luckily, I had it aiming down so the weight of the camera flipped it and it actually landed right on the cheap, plastic TX and that cushioned the blow! It broke, I glued it back and now have a backup! They are so cheap, WHY NOT have two?

    Very nice unit. Easy to use and a great value – one of the best values out there in the photography world!

  5. I just bought both the yn560-tx and 3 YN560 III speed lights. I have a Canon 70D. I’m having a big issue. I am unable to use the flashes if I the LCD screen on my camera is actively showing me my shot and/or trying to shoot from my iPad. The green LED on the yn560-tx lights up and the blue LED on the speed light lights up but they don’t flash. If I turn the LCD screen off or turn off my iPad they flash just fine. what am I missing here???? Its a must for me to use my iPad during my shoots to monitor and adjust as I go. Please help!!

  6. Any thoughts on why I can not get the controller to adjust settings on my flash. It will fire, and the blue light indicates a connection. I do not see ‘group’ appearing on the YN560III flash.

  7. i have the 560 tx for nikon hotshoe triggering 3 x yn560 iv flash… it works like a charm.. no hss though

    but if i sell the 560 tx nikon verson to,a canon user is it going to work on canon hotshoe?

    and will the canon version work on nikon hotshoe?…

    i know it sounds silly to ask but sometime you dont have the choice..

    right now im using 622 txn commander along with 622 triggers for hss.. i like the 560 solution better because you need less AA betteries…than the 622 solution.

  8. How does this compare to the Yongnuo YN-622N-TX? Very confusing product line although I hear great things about the products …..

  9. Having trouble pairing controller to flash. I have followed the instruction holding Hz and Zoom and flash screens seems to react but blue pairing light on controller does not engage. What else can I try

  10. Jim,

    Do you know if it is possible to use the TX just as a trigger? I am having an issue. I am using a CamRanger-like product and walking around buildings with a YN560 IV to light them, my problem is I am away from the camera and TX device. This is the opposite of usual where the TX is handy on camera to change settings of flash that is far away, in a softbox, etc. and when I view a photo on my tablet and notice I want to increase/decrease the power, zoom, etc. on the flash I have to go all the way back to the camera and change it on the TX because it overrides the flash. Is there a fix for this? Is the only solution to get a different just basic trigger (RF-602,603,605…)?

    Thanks

  11. Woulsd the Pocket Wizard work better ? I was going to buy 2 of the new IV flashes but not sure what trigger ?

  12. Hi guys

    Is this transmitter working on my Nikn D750, with an Nikon SB900 flash and another YN 568 EX flash? I would be using my Yonugnuo RF 603 N II receivers. Please someone help me

  13. Yeah! Pls help me!
    I bought the yn560tx CANON VERSION, when i have a Nikon Camera (stupid me!).
    What is the problem in my case? Can you explain me what is the meaning of “wake up flash” (it seems that i lose this function)

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