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I have the following two new cameras:

Canon 5D-MKIII & Sony A7-MKII

  1. I'm looking to see if I can avoid buying 2 different flash systems, will any of the new Yongnuo flashes (or other flash systems) work with 'both' Canon 5D-III and Sony A7-II?

  2. If, yes, which of the Yongnuo flash will this be?

  3. Regardless of the answer above, (either yes or no), what combination of the Yongnuo flash (or other) flash system do I need to make TTL work on both (or any) of the above cameras?

  • I pretty sure none exist with TTL functionality (camera/flash communication protocols differ), in any case I don't think you'd want to use the same flash for both a 5D and A7, I have used a Canon 430EX on an A7 (in manual mode) and it balances very badly, plus the whole thing will hang upside down if you use the neck strap. I think you need a smaller, lighter flash for an A7, thus you should get one that is compatible with Sony TTL (I haven't looked into specific options yet). – Matt Grum Jan 8 '15 at 9:58
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  1. Yes. There are Yongnuo flashes that will work with both systems. But only because they're manual-only flashes. You could find quite a few similar flashes in other brands as well (e.g., Lumopro LP180). Manual only flashes only require an ISO-compatible hotshoe, and both the 5DMkIII and A7 have those. You can purchase a Canon TTL-capable Yongnuo flash, and have those features work on the 5DMkIII, but it will be a manual-only flash on the A7 II. And vice-versa, if you pick up a Sony HVL speedlight model, it will only be useful as a manual-only flash on the 5DMkIII.

  2. The YN-560III/IV flashes with a YN-560-TX controller. This combination gives you proper syncing of remote flashes over radio, with remote manual power and zoom control. Canon TTL models would include the YN-565EX, YN-568EX, YN-500EX, and YN-600EX-RT, among others. Yongnuo models proliferate like rabbits, but they only make TTL-capable models for Canon and Nikon. [It looks like the YN-622 triggers are incompatible with the Sony hotshoe, and the YN RT triggering is so new, it's an unknown quantity on Canon, let alone other brands].

  3. There is no combination that will give you TTL on both systems. TTL by its very nature is proprietary and brand-specific, since it requires camera/flash electronic communication. If you want TTL on both systems, you're liable to have to purchase two separate speedlights.

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I have a new Yongnuo flash, and although it is specific for the hot-shoe of my Canon, appears to know the protocol for optical slave for both Canon and Nikon. Neither my Yongnuo nor my Metz (Canon version) shows anything concerning Sony in the manual.

You might also look at Sunpak. It appears that the same core flash is used with different foot-modules to give the brand-specific stuff. You might enquire whether different foot-modules can be bought separately and how difficult it is to switch.

I also recall Sunpak making a pro flash that had different modules explicitly separate, but I think they cost more than the common Speedlight (or two).

May I suggest getting 1 (just 1) of each, and using the respective units for TTL on the hotshoe or wireless, and using all your flashes regardless of brand for manual mode multi-flash lighting or dumb optical slave (good for backgrounds).

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