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I use a Canon 6D and Canon EF lenses for my "main" photography. I use a couple of Yongnuo YN-600EX-RT flashes and a Yongnuo YN-E3-RT flash controller for off-camera flash portraits. All the Yongnuo equipment has worked well for me with no problems.

I have a Sony a6000 that I take with me when I travel. The lighter, smaller form factor works well for travel. A couple of years ago, when I was deciding on which mirrorless to get for travel, I really wanted to get a Canon, but my research revealed that the early Canon mirrorless models were not that good—so I bought the a6000 instead. I don't currently use the Sony a6000 for any off-camera flash, just for travel.

Now that Canon has introduced a serious mirrorless camera, the M5, I'm considering selling my a6000 equipment and moving to the Canon M5. The Canon M5 has a standard Canon hot shoe.

If the YN flash equipment I have works with the new M5, I can have 1) my smaller form factor mirrorless for travel; 2) a backup to my 6D in a pinch for OCF, using all my EF lenses (with a Canon adapter); and all equipment in the Canon ecosystem.

I'm wondering if anyone has a Canon M5 and is using YN flash equipment. Any experience from anyone that shows that the YN flashes work/don't work with the M5?

  • It seems a reasonable guess that the M5 will operate with Canon's existing flash system, and to the extent that Yongnuo stuff is compatible with that system it should work fine. But nobody can really say for certain -- any incompatibilities won't show up until someone actually tries it. So I think this question is premature and too dependent on speculation. (It's not a bad question, just a little too early.) – Caleb Nov 1 '16 at 19:36
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it calls for speculation. – Caleb Nov 1 '16 at 19:37
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    I agree with your "speculation" comment, but with my question posed at the end, I was looking for possible responses from current M model users. – markthomas Nov 1 '16 at 19:46
  • If you want the question to focus on compatibility between existing EOS M models and the Yongnuo flashes, I suggest a fairly substantial edit - at the moment, this looks like a speculation question with a tiny bit tacked on the end. – Philip Kendall Nov 27 '16 at 20:44
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    Since the M5 is now out in the wild this question is no longer speculative. It needs to be reopened. – Michael C Dec 16 '16 at 1:31
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Canon seems to periodically throw new wrinkles into their E-TTL protocol that can make third party flashes and triggers that work fine with older Canon models incompatible with Canon's newer models. Canon also appears to do this with battery communication and lens communication protocols.

When the M3 first came out there were wide reports that most of the Yongnuo 622 system and flashes didn't work well or even at all with the M3. Eventually folks discovered that the original version of the YN-622C (not the YN-622C-TX) did work well with the M3. There were similar reports regarding the EOS Rebel T6i/750D and the T6s/760D that came out about the same time as the M3.

The YN-622C II and YN-622C-TX did not work with the EOS M3. The YN-E3-RT did not work with the M3 until Yongnuo released firmware version 1.18 on July 1, 2015 which was five months after Canon released the M3 in Australia in early February the same year. The M3 wasn't released in the US until August, 2015. With the new firmware some have still reported inconsistencies when using the YN-E3-RT with the M3.

Even if there are compatibility issues with the M5 when it is first released third party suppliers such as Yongnuo may release updated firmware that would make their existing products more compatible with the new camera. One nice thing about most newer Yongnuo controllers is that they include mini-USB ports that make it easy for the end user to update the firmware without having to send the hardware to a service center.

If you don't need E-TTL you can control your RT flashes manually with the YN-E3-RT (or YN-622C-TX for flashes compatible with the YN622 system) by taping over the four E-TTL contacts so that only the main pin is connected between the camera and controller.

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April 2017 addendum:

I can answer my own question now. I sold my Sony a6000 and purchased the Canon M5. The YN‑600EX-RT flash does work when mounted to the M5. I have not experienced any problems with the flash on-camera. However, the YN-E3-RT controller mounted on the M5 does not work/fire the off-camera YN flash. So, as of now, I cannot use the Yongnuo controller for off-camera flash on the M5.

  • Which firmware version do you use on the YN-E3-RT? – Daniel Aug 9 '17 at 8:07
  • Thank you for the firmware upgrade suggestion Daniel - that did the trick! Sometimes, we don't think about the simplest things. I had v1.20 installed, and upgraded to v1.24. I can now use the controller on my M5. – markthomas Aug 9 '17 at 19:45

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