I recently bought a YN560 III External flash. However the listing said it was only compatible with older models of Nikon, Canon, Olympus etc. The more I think about this the less it makes sense, because manual flashes don't ever communicate with the camera directly, it's always through a transmitter or controller.

Info: Nikon D3200.

  1. Do manual flashes have compatibility criteria?

  2. How do I test if my flash and body are compatible (I may need to return the product if not)?

2 Answers 2


All you can test for compatibility with a manual flash is:

  1. Does it fire properly when mounted on the hotshoe when you push the shutter button?

  2. Does it work properly off-camera with the appropriate trigger on your camera hotshoe? (I.e., does it fire in sync, and can you change settings from the trigger that the trigger allows?)

While the YN-560III comes in a single flavor, the RF-602/603/605 triggers that work with it do not--they come in Canon and Nikon flavors, for the single purpose of allowing access to the camera/flash communication protocol's "wake-up" function with the appropriate TTL-capable flashes. While all the other functions work on other brands of camera, that specific function is protocol-specific.

You are correct that manual flashes typically don't have compatibility issues, because only the sync signal is traditionally relayed, but with today's radio triggers there are other issues. For example, the RF-603 (Mk I) triggers only switch to transmit mode if the appropriate non-sync pin signal is communicated. So those triggers cannot be used on non-Canon/Nikon hotshoes, and is why the RF-603II triggers were created with a switch to explicitly set the on-camera unit into transmit mode.

Also understand that the Yongnuo YN-560III is an older model. It's been superseded by the YN-560IV, which in turn is superseded by the YN-660. And that a YN-560-TX is probably the preferred choice of on-camera transmitter over the RF-60x triggers, because it can control the power level remotely on the YN-560III/IV/-660 flashes.

See also: What are the Yongnuo flash naming conventions?

  • Thank you very very much! 1) It does so, while I don't understand how to use it yet and got some weird images, I think I will update in a new question about that. 2) I will try this hopefully next week when my 560 TX arrives! Thank you very much!
    – ABCD312
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:50
  • Sorry to bother again, but can I ask for clarification on what you mean by 'only sync is traditionally relayed' @Inkista. Would create a new question but the scope would be rather narrow.
    – ABCD312
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:53
  • 1
    @user2440943 The ISO standards for flash hotshoes specify two things: the physical dimensions, and the electronic communication for ground/sync. Ground is the rails, sync is the pin/contact in the center of the square. A manual flash conforms to this, so the "fire"/sync signal is standard across all ISO-compliant flashes and hotshoes. All the other contacts/pins are typically brand-specific in terms of signaling protocol. See also this question
    – inkista
    Apr 20, 2016 at 19:04

Those models listed were probably the most current models offered at the time the item description was written. The YN560 III has been around for a while. It's not likely the product description will be updated every time a camera manufacturer introduces a new model.

  • Understandable but this piece was also sold a a noticeably lower price. So that's why I'm a bit suspicious. Is there anything I'm supposed to test?
    – ABCD312
    Apr 19, 2016 at 22:10

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