Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II vs Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

For separate reviews see YN-E3-RT II and YN-E3-RT

The updated version of this Yongnuo radio transmitter YN-E3-RT II was released in December 2018. There are basically no big changes, just a higher compatibility with the latest flashes and cameras, a problem that the older model was starting to suffer from and couldn’t be resolved by firmware updates alone. The previous version YN-E3-RT was released back in March 2015.

Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II Speedlite Transmitter
Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II Speedlite Transmitter

Specification for both models:

  • Canon RT 2.4GHz radio system
  • Range 100m
  • Manual power 1/1 to 1/128 (1/3 stop increments)
  • E-TTL II, E-TTL Compatible
  • Flash Mode: E-TTL II/Manual/Multi (stroboscopic 1-500Hz))/GR4
  • 15 Channels, 1 Auto Channel, Up to 10,000 customizable photographer ID
  • 5 Groups (A, B, C, D and E)
  • Supports high speed sync
  • Supports 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain (Only in M mode)
  • Supports ETTL Ratio (1:8-1:1-8:1), Flash Exposure Compensation, Flash Exposure Lock, Flash Exposure Bracket, Modeling Flash
  • AF Assist Beam
  • 9 custom functions
  • Linked Shooting: Provided
  • Powered by two AA batteries
  • Weight 110 g/ 3.8 oz
  • Fast lock mechanism
  • Firmware can be upgraded via Micro-USB

Related posts:
Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II vs Canon ST-E3-RT

Front view of controller sitting in a camera hotshoe
Speedlite controller attached to a camera. The infrared AF assist lamp can be clearly seen.

Compatibility Issues with the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

Yongnuo have tried to copy Canon’s RT wireless system but don’t appear to be in full possession of all the design information. Their products seem to be backwards engineered to be compatible with any products on the market at the time that their products are released but they are not future proofed.

The Canon 600EX-RT was released in 2012
The original Canon ST-E3-RT was released at the same time in 2012.
The Canon EOS 5 Mk III was released in 2012
The Canon EOS 70D was released in 2013
The Yongnuo YN-E3-RT was released in March 2015
The Canon 430EX III-RT was released in July 2015
The Canon 600EX II-RT was released in 2016
The Canon EOS 80D was released in 2016
The Canon EOS 5 Mk IV was released in 2016
The Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II was released in December 2018

When the YN-E3-RT was released in 2015 is was compatible with all Canon cameras and speedlites that were on the market at the time. It does work with some models released after 2015 but it’s not guaranteed. For example my YN-E3-RT works fine with my Canon 600EX II-RT and my EOS 80D but it won’t work with my Canon 430EX III-RT. I don’t own an EOS 5 Mk IV but I have read that their are compatibility issues. Even updating the firmware doesn’t resolve the issue which is probably the main reason why Yongnuo have brought out the updated version YN-E3-RT II. However there is no guarantee that the new transmitter will work with future Canon speedlites or cameras.

The Canon ST-E3-RT version is still compatible with all current Canon products and works fine with the 600EX II-RT, 430EX -RT and also the EOS 80D and the EOS 5 Mk IV. This is one of the advantages of buying the original Canon product.

Obviously if you’re planning to buy a new Yongnuo controller you are best to buy the newer version to allow maximum compatibility although it might not work with the next Canon camera or speedlite you buy.

What’s new with the YN-E3-RT II

  • New designed select dial and display interface for easier operation
  • Compatible with more recent Canon cameras and speedlites that have been released between the first version (March 2015) and the updated version (December 2018). Hopefully firmware upgrades will be able to accommodate new equipment releases.

Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II vs Yongnuo YN-E3-RT

Yongnuo YN-E3-RT II vs Yongnuo YN-E3-RT? Well if you’ve already got the original version and it’s working fine then there are no immediate advantages to upgrading since the features are the same. If you’ve upgraded your camera or bought a new speedlite and your old transmitter is no longer compatible then try upgrading the firmware first to see if that’ll fix it. If not you may have to fork out for the Mark II version.

If you are in the market for a radio transmitter as a cheaper alternative to the Canon ST-E3-RT then you are best to buy the latest release YN-E3-RT II. This will ensure maximum compatibility.

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