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Mulling real estate photography with Yongnuo YN-560 III and the new YN-560TX

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In a few months, we will be moving to a new house. While I am not looking forward to the actual transporting of stuffs, there is an aspect of it which I am about: Taking picture of the current condo for listing.

I have started to use an Olympus FL-600R flash with my Panasonic GX7–my first external flash–and had been happy with the results. But I know real estate photography is a whole new ball game.

After hearing about Scott Hargis’s The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors, I decided to get the ebook for 2 reasons. First, it looks to be easy enough to follow for a newcomer. Second, the approach taken in the book relies on a few small flashes, rather than larger lightings.

Example of Scott Hargis's works
Example of Scott Hargis’s gorgeous, gorgeous works.

In the first few pages, Scott laid down the assumptions, which include having at least 2 lights. Boy, I know my lone FL-600R is not going to be enough. But this thing is not cheap at $299. And he seems to imply 2 is only the minimum. This project might cost too much!

Olympus FL-600R
Olympus FL-600R

But in the 2nd Chapter which deals with equipments, it was quickly made clear that Scott’s approach rely on manual flashes, instead of Through The Lens (TTL). He uses multiple Nikon SB-80 DX, which is an old model not available new anymore. (Used, it is about $150) But the point is that any flash can be used as long as they can be reliably triggered off-camera. Scott himself advocate optical trigger for its reliability.

So, I started to look around for manual flashes I can use with my GX7. Very soon, I found that the Yongnuo YN-560 III is a very popular choice. The reviews sing praise of the build quality, feature sets, and most importantly its affordability. And inded, at $77 a pop it is a steal compared to the Olympus flash. The Yongnuo does not support TTL and has no video light. But it is has stronger maximum output and should be sufficient.

Yongnuo YN-560 III
Yongnuo YN-560 III

And as luck would have it, the YN-560 III has just got even better. How?

YN-560 III uniit has built-in radio receiver. So, one doesn’t need an extra receiver to use it with radio transmitter like the Yongnuo RF-603 II. But the RF-603 will only trigger the flash to fire. Power and zoom adjustments had to be made on the flash unit itself. But in fact, the YN-560 III is designed so these settings can be adjusted remotely with upcomign transmitter. Only said transmitter, the Yongnuo YN560-TX, is not availabe until a few weeks ago! This is working out to be even more convenient than the optical trigger I first sought for.

Yongnuo YN560-TX
Yongnuo YN560-TX

And the best part, I can potentially grab THREE of the YN0-560 III flash plus the YN560-TX trigger for $282. Yes, that is still cheaper than a new Olympus FL-600R. And shipping is free if you order from Yongnuo’s Ebay store.

Time to go strobist?

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