I don’t do a lot of flash photography so i’ve been considering selling off a few of my Canon 580EX II speedlites and replacing them with some cheaper off brand models before the new Canon 600EX-RT drives used 580EX II prices into the ground.

But before I sell off two out of the three 580EX II’s in my collection, I though I would get my hands on both the Yongnuo 565ex, and the Nissin DI866 Mark II to see how well they stack up. Both the 565ex and Di866 are popular off brand equivalents to Canon’s 580EX II and both support E-TTL. More on the Di866 once it shows up.

Setting the Yongnuo 565ex next to the Canon 580EX II, it’s easy to tell what flash the 565ex was modeled after. Even with the white buttons on the Yongnuo, at a quick glance it’s hard to tell them units apart. Holding the two units in my hands, the 580EX feels slightly heavier, the rubber flaps on the 580ex also feel like they might be made of a higher quality material then the flaps and seals on the 565ex, however the plastic body of the 565ex feels just about as solid as the Canon 580ex II.

Both units have a metal attachment shoe that should last longer then some plastic options. On the left you can see that the Yongnuo 565ex uses a threaded twist tight adapter with no weather sealing, while the Canon 580EX II has a rubberized seal around the mount with a quick slide to lock adapter.

The Canon 580EX II has the ability to act as a Wireless TTL optical IR master, while the Yongnuo 565ex can only be used as an optical slave. Which means I’ll still be holding on to at least one of my 580ex speedlites.

In the little bit of time I’ve had to play around with the Yongnuo 565ex, the controls and menu seem very similar to Canon’s setup, so if you’re used to using the 580ex’s hold and long press menu system there shouldn’t be a huge learning curve with the 565ex. Even though the Yongnuo is missing the slide lock shoe, locking battery door, and flash head swivel lock, it still feels surprisingly well built for $135. I’ll have to see how well it performs on and off camera. It’s in the review list, now I just need to find time to do some testing.

Tags: , ,