Review Yongnuo RF-603 Wireless Radio Flash Trigger and Wireless Shutter Release


The Yongnuo RF-603 Wireless Radio Flash Trigger and Wireless Shutter Release

I was looking for a wireless radio shutter release remote control for my Canon camera’s when I found this on Amazon. I’ve heard about the Yongnuo RF-602 before, but since I already have a set of PT-04 which has almost the same features and specification, I did not pay much attention to it. I bought the RF-603 for two reasons, 1st for it’s wireless shutter release functionality, (which really works by the way) and 2nd for it’s wireless flash trigger functionality.


The Yongnuo RF-603 uses 2 AAA batteries. You can also see that the RF-603′s hot shoe mounting foot is now made of metal. Upgraded to add more strength and durability.

Description:

The Yongnuo RF-603 is a 2.4GHz wireless remote system just like it’s older brother the Yongnuo RF-602. It is a remote shutter release as well as a multi-functional radio flash trigger which can synchronously trigger flashes and studio strobes. Each unit in the pair can act both as a transmitter and or as a receiver, just put one on top of the camera’s hot shoe and you now have a receiver and the rest will function as receivers.  Each unit of the RF-603 are powered by two AAA  batteries unlike the RF-602’s transmitter which is powered by a more expensive and sometimes hard to find CR2 battery. It can trigger 1 flash with one set, since one serves as trigger and one as a receiver. You can also buy additional transceivers to trigger more flashes at the same time. The RF-603 is not compatible with the older RF-602, so if you have an existing RF-602 receivers, it  cannot be triggered by an RF-603 directly. But don’t throw them yet, because the RF-603 has a hot shoe, you can put your current RF-602 transmitter on top of the RF-603 and it will still trigger your old RF-602 receivers without any problem. I have not tested this setup but I’m pretty sure it will work. I have tested it in combination with my current set of PT-04’s and they worked like a charm.


The Yongnuo RF-603 on a Canon EOS 60D with a PT-04 Transmitter on top to trigger my existing PT-04 Receivers.

Also here you can see how the RF-603 is connected to the Canon EOS 60D shutter release input connection to function as a wireless remote shutter release.

The Yongnuo RF-603 on a Canon EOS 60D with a PT-04 Transmitter on top to trigger my existing PT-04 Receivers.

 


The Yongnuo RF-603 Wireless Radio Flash Trigger and Wireless Shutter Release Box Set

What’s in the box?

  • A User’s Manual in English and in Chinese
  • 2 RF-603 transceivers
  • 1 C1 shutter release cord with 2.5mm jack (will only work for Canon Rebel XS/XSi/T1i/T2i/T3i/ and Canon EOS 60D only)

Specification:

  • FSK2.4GHz wireless remote system
  • 16 selectable operating frequencies for eliminating interference
  • Range: 100 meters
  • Flash sync speed: Up to 1/320, but I tested to work on 1/250, best at 1/200 on a Canon eos 40D
  • Shutter release : half-press, full-press
  • Shutter interface : 2.5mm socket
  • Studio flash light interface : Standard PC Socket
  • Battery: 2 x AAA
  • Stand-by time: up to 45 hrs
  • Size : 37mm x 30mm x 81.5mm (W x H x D)

 


The Yongnuo RF-603 (left) has a much lower profile compare to the PT-04 Receiver (right)

 Impression:

The build quality of the RF-603 is really good, I like it better than the PT-04. It feels quite solid and it is quite noticeable that it is made of quality plastic material including the battery doors which as we all know will have the most beating aside from the hot shoe mounting foot. I’ve read some articles about the older RF-602 having weak battery doors which easily broke. It’s a different story with the RF-603, it seems that Yongnuo did some needed upgrades. Also the RF-603’s hot shoe mounting foot is now made of metal and not plastic like the older version which is a welcome changed. A plastic feet can cracked overtime especially when too much pressure is applied from  clamping cold shoes and when used with heavy speedlights.  With a metal mounting foot, it adds strength and you won’t hesitate to use a flash as big and as heavy like the Canon 580EX II combined with a softbox or some sort of light modifier. One thing missing on the bottom mounting foot is a locking ring or lever, it relies on friction when used on the camera’s hot shoe or when placed on a flash stand.  Maybe not a big issue but not having a locking ring can be an issue in some situations. Thankfully Yongnuo didn’t forget to add the hole in the metal plate of the shoe mount that accomodates the locking pin on Canon speedlites.

The RF603 has 16 channels. However the dip switches not only require a tool but are located inside the battery compartment making the channel feature annoying and pretty much useless. I mean, what where they thinking putting the dip switch inside the battery compartment, and underneath the batteries.

Range, it’s rated at 100 meters, I have not tested it that far but in approximately 30 to 40 meters and behind a wall, it works and no misfire.

One great feature of the RF-603 is  it’s wireless shutter release functionality, just put one of the units in the camera’s hot shoe, while you hold the other unit on your hand, hook the included cable from the RF-603 to the camera’s remote shutter release input and you now have an instant wireless remote shutter release. A half-press activates auto-focus, a full-press releases the camera shutter. For Canon users, if you are using your cameras back button focus(like me) to activate autofocus, the half-press on the RF-603 won’t work, you must switch your camera back to the default auto focus (AF) settings by going to your camera’s function menu. I like this remote shutter release better compare to most common traditional ones because it uses radio frequency and not infrared. I can control the camera from any angle even from behind a wall or from afar not just from behind or front like what most common infrared remote shutter release does.

By the way, the included C1 shutter release cord with 2.5mm jack will only work for Canon Rebel XS/XSi/T1i/T2i/T3/T3i and EOS 60D. For owners of the Canon EOS 20D/40D/50D/7D/5D/1D series you will need to purchase the Yongnuo RF-603 C3 Shutter Release Cable separately. I also bought one for my Canon 40d.


The Yongnuo RF-603 works well with my current set of PT-04 .

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Works well. So far, it’s reliable.
  • Great Build quality.
  • Upgraded metal foot.
  • Uses regular AAA batteries.
  • You get 2 devices in 1 packaged. Serves as a wireless remote flash trigger and as a wireless remote shutter release.

Cons:

  • No locking lever on bottom foot
  • Synch speed is limited to 1/200, at 1/250 there’s minimal shadowing at the bottom on a Canon eos 40 and EOS 60D
  • On / Off switch hard to reach when flash on top.
  • Channel Dip Switch is inside battery compartment

Conclusion:
To summarize it all, the RF-603 works. The best thing about it is, you get 2 device in 1 packaged, a wireless flash trigger and a wireless remote shutter release. For me the only thing I don’t like about it is the sync speed limitation. I just wish I can use a shutter speed at least at 1/250. The missing locking lever on bottom foot really doesn’t bother me that much. Would I recommend? My answer is yes, I’m actually getting one more, for my needs, it works, and I actually like it better than my PT-04. And with the RF-603, I can still use my existing PT-04’s. If you are someone who works with lights a lot, has 2 or more flash, and you can get around the limitations that I have mentions above(like me), then this is a great solution, it’s really cheap, build quality is pretty good and it works.

Where to buy:

For Canon:
 
For Nikon:

I will update this post as I continuously use the RF-603.

Yongnuo RF-603 and Cowboystudio PT-04 Comparison

For corrections, inquiries or suggestions regarding this post, please let me know, I do value your inputs, feel free to post a comment below. Thanks.

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