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Just replaced my 600D with 70D canon and I am about to buy four units of the new YN600ex-rt and I wanted to know if I can use one yn600 on camera as master to control another three flashes to fire together. Is this possible?

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  • @scottbb I don't think this is really a duplicate of the question you linked. It's certainly relevant, but the question here is just to confirm that you can use the YN600EX-RT as a master. The other is about the relative merits of using a flash vs. the YN-E3-RT trigger. – Caleb Feb 10 '16 at 20:15
  • @caleb agreed, but the answers to that question specifically answer this question, as well as also compare/contrast using an on-body flash as master vs. using a hotshoe flash controller with only remotes (edit: which, I just noticed, your answer below also addresses). The questions have slightly different bent, the answers are complete for this question. – scottbb Feb 10 '16 at 20:34
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    This question is probably as much about being able to control three off camera flashes simultaneously as it is about anything else. The other question or answers don't really get into just how many flashes/groups are covered by different control options. – Michael C Feb 10 '16 at 22:50
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I wanted to know if I can use one yn600 on camera as Master to control another 3 flashes to fire together.. Is it possible ??

Yes. It's not only possible, it's exactly how the system is meant to work. The only thing you need to consider is whether you'll ever need that master flash to function as on-camera flash, or if you're only going to use it to trigger the three slaves. In the latter case, you might consider the YN-E3-RT instead, as it's cheaper, smaller, lighter, makes the camera less top-heavy, requires only 2 AA batteries (instead of 4), and does everything the YN600 does except for providing illumination.

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Yes, you can use the YN-600EX-RT to master three other off-camera RT flashes.

The Canon RT system allows for separate control over the modes (TTL, Manual, Multi) and power levels of only five separate groups of flashes (A:B:C:D:E) from post-2012 Canon camera bodies (the 70D qualities), but within each group, you can use as many flashes as you want.

Masters in the Canon RT system that can control your YN-600EX-RTs include:

  • Canon ST-E3-RT (headless transmitter)
  • Canon 600EX-RT
  • Canon 430EX III-RT
  • Yongnuo YN-E3-RT (headless tranmsitter)
  • Yongnuo YN-600EX-RT
  • Phottix Laso (headless transmitter)

There are also Shanny units, but they don't have a great reputation. Chances are good that over the years, additional 3rd-party trigger manufacturers will create more Canon RT-compatible (and probably Nikon's radio triggering protocol) gear.

Things to be aware of, though. The low-low price of the Yongnuo units does have to come from somewhere. Early copies of the Yongnuo YN-600EX-RTs were reported to have a battery drain issue (i.e., batteries drained even with the unit off) and LCD screen issues. And there are a number of features of the Canon YN-600EX-RTs that are not present in the Yongnuo flash: it has no optical mastering capability, it cannot change the color there's no external sensor (autothyristor), there's no lock on the head tilt/swivel, etc. These are not "just the same" as having a Canon 600EX-RT. of the LCD screen backlight by trigger role (master/slave/unconnected).

See also: What does an expensive flash unit buy over a cheap one?

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