The YH-700C offers the spread of features you get on the Canon 580EX II with a very similar interface. The rear panel display of the YH-700C is virtually identical to that of the 580EX II.
While the buttons are somewhat different is design, the rear controls are very similar as well. However, instead of the scroll wheel on the 580EX II, you get a 4-way control button.
In terms of functionality, I found the YH-700C to work just as well with all of the features on first-party Canon Speedlites. It will even play well with Canon Speedlites as a wireless master. It communicates with camera bodies, so you can make changes to your groups and flash output settings inside of the camera menu system.
The YH-700C provides the same guide number of 58 at ISO 100 and zoom range of 24-105mm found on the 580EX II. It is compatible with Canon’s E-TTL and E-TTL II flash modes and seems to work flawlessly.
You can also operate the YH-700C in manual mode with 1/3-stop adjustments down to 1/128 power. E-TTL modes support high speed sync up to 1/8000s shutter speeds. It has an external power input, along with a PC sync port.
Overall, I think the Aperlite YH-700C is well worth the current asking price of $89.99, especially when compared to the $500 retail price point of the previous Canon king.
That said though, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the YH-700C is every bit as good as the Canon 580EX II. There are definitely some corners cut, which should be obvious in the price differentially.
The build quality of the YH-700C is surprisingly good; however, it is not as good as the official Canon Speedlites. The plastic feels cheaper and it has no weather sealing.
Likewise, quality control is almost certainly not as good for the YH-700C. On my unit, I noticed the contacts on the bottom of the flash shoe are much stiffer than my Canon Speedlites and make it hard to dismount from a hot shoe. I will give kudos to the unit for the metal shoe though, which bests some cheap alternatives using a plastic shoe.
Finally, the little catchlight panel doesn’t want to stay out when the YH-700C is tilted at 90°, which is when you actually want to use it.
The Aperlite YH-700C is packaged and presented well – much better than you would expect for a $90 flash. It includes a stand with a 1/4-20 thread on the bottom for mounting on a tripod or other accessory, as well as a carry bag. Again, for the price, I think this flash over-delivers on value. It offers all of the features you expect from a first-party Canon flash with a few forgivable cost-cutting measures to make professional performance within reach for those without a professional budget.
You can find the Aperlite YH-700C here on Amazon.com.
Note: Aperlite provided a sample of the YH-700C for purposes of this review.