Welcome to our ultimate Yongnuo YN1200 Review that we decided to publish after working our way through reviewing a number of the popular Yongnuo LED Light panels. We have noticed a distinct lack of articles covering the YN1200 with a decent number of photographers and videographers reaching out for advice on the light so decided to publish our own review.
Our hope is that our article will help any of our own readers who are considering picking the YN1200 up and adding it to their studio lighting setups. Although the YN1200 initially did get off to a pretty slow start, its sales are starting to pick up pace as more and more people share their experiences of using the light. This has resulted in it earning a solid reputation within the community helping to increase its popularity.
The Yongnuo YN1200 falls between the entry level and mid ranged price points for lighting solutions on the market right now. Although rare, this particular price point is underserved by other brands giving the YN1200 a head start right out the gate over competing products as it offers a unique higher quality blend of performance and functionality for its price point in the market.
User Interface And Control System
The Yongnuo YN1200 light source has a control and interface system that many photographers and videographers will be familiar with as shown in the image above. The rotary dial and a handful of buttons allow you to fully customize the performance of the light to get exactly what you need out of it quickly.
The easy to use system allows you to save time when prepping the light for a session while also making it very quick and easy to tweak the performance of the light if you need to tweak it mid-session too. The buttons on the back of the YN1200 are easy to locate and press while the rotary dial is also very easy to use with a nice level of resistance when you turn it to help you accurately set the light as required.
The battery housing is secure once your batteries have been placed in the light keeping them in place during use rather than randomly giving way letting your batteries fall out as some other lights can. The simple and easy to use slip, slide, lock system for the batteries make it very easy to place the batteries in the light while also allowing you to quickly and easily remove them to place a new fresh set in within seconds if required. The external power input on the base of the lighting panel removes the need for batteries though as well as the need to worry about battery life for those longer photography sessions.
The mounting connector for the light is also very easy to use allowing you to quickly mount the Yongnuo YN1200 on your lighting stands for your sessions. On the flipside of this, you can also quickly unmount it when needed or attach a number of third-party attachments to the mounting connector to allow you to mount the YN1200 on pretty much anything you can imagine.
If you plan to use the YN1200 as a regular studio light the attachments are probably useless to you but if you plan to use the light outdoors or at locations where you may not be able to set your stands up then they really are a godsend.
The LED video light also supports wireless control via the wireless remote control shown in the image above that is included with your purchase of the Yongnuo YN1200 as standard. The remote control is very easy to use, works well, and lets you control the lighting solutions output from anywhere in your studio once set up.
The buttons on the remote control work well, even if your fingers are cold or wet allowing you to use it in most conditions. In addition to this, the technology the remote uses is very good and from what we can tell, it does not have any line of sight issues like some competing products allowing you to use it at a location with lots of clutter without issue.
In addition to the wireless remote control, you can also download the Yongnuo smartphone app for iOS and Android devices for free to allow you to remotely control the light from your phone if required. We would like to point out that some of the older versions of the app had a number of bugs that did make it a pain to use so if you have downloaded the app previously for another one of your camera accessories check for any available updates to ensure it will work seemlesley with the app.
Performance And Functionality
The image above gives a decent indication of how you are able to tweak the brightness of the YN1200 to manipulate the lighting on your subject as required. Thankfully though, when it comes to its performance and functionality, the YN1200 has plenty more to offer helping it to stand out from some of the other studio lighting solutions at similar price points.
The Yongnuo YN1200 adopts 12000 pcs 5500k LEDs with modern long-lasting technology along with an extra high color rendering index to offer you the absolute best initial light output possible. In addition to this, Yongnuo has also ensured that the energy consumption of the LEDs is lower than previous generations while also having a higher luminous intensity too. This gives an excellent initial color temperature base to start with allowing you to tweak it as required for your session.
The extra large lamp panel ensures optimal light distribution for larger areas without the need for additional LED lights in the panel itself too. This allows you to illuminate larger areas with fewer lighting panels while also reducing the amount of energy required.
Speaking of the energy required, we previously mentioned that you are able to power the Yongnuo YN1200 via an external power supply but we know that many people will opt to use batteries as their go-to power supply instead. The YN1200 takes the NP-F series (Click here to check for product prices and availability) while also giving you the potential for an extra long battery life but this will depend on the settings of the light during use.
Although stroboscopic flash issues are common with some light panels at the lower price points, the regulator in the YN1200 has been specifically designed to minimize the effect no matter what power solution you choose. This allows you to power your light via batteries or an external power adaptor as required for your session without having to worry about any stroboscopic flash issues messing up the lighting on your subject.
The Yongnuo YN1200 comes in at around 36.6oz making it a very lightweight light considering its output potential. This ensures that you can mount the light on any lighting stand in your studio as required without having to worry about exceeding your stands maximum payload capacity.
Considering the price tag of the YN1200, we really do think that Yongnuo has smashed it out of the park when it comes to the performance of the light. It can be used in a massive number of photography and videography situations.
The build quality of the LED panel is also decent considering that there are lighting solutions on the market that are double the price of the YN1200 while offering similar performance. Yongnuo has had to keep the costs down somehow to keep the performance as good as it is and Yongnuo has gone with lowering the build quality.
That said though, the build quality is still solid and does its job of protecting the electronics of the light very well. As we have already touched on, the light is very lightweight considering its size and light output but the light is also very robust too. This ensures that the YN1200 will easily be able to take any bumps during use without breaking anytime soon.
Each of the LEDs in the panel has been securely placed and mounted firmly in place to ensure an even light distribution during use. When reading reports from other photographers and videographers who use the YN1200 as their go-to lighting solution of choice we were unable to find anyone mentioning that the LEDs in their lights had come loose or fell out of place. This leads us to think that the light will offer even light distribution for many years to come, unlike some competing older lights.
Although we have already touched on the energy consumption of the YN1200 we just wanted to reiterate that Yongnuo has done a great job ensuring optimal battery life during use even on higher output settings. In addition to this, the heat dissipation of the light is excellent considering its price tag helping to minimize the chance of any overheating issues.
This lets you use the YN1200 for extended periods of time without it overheating and shutting off. There is nothing worse than getting into your swing only for your flash unit or lighting rig to overheat and shut down putting everything on hold until it cools back down. Thankfully, this is not really an issue with this light allowing you to work without having to worry about it.
Question – What is the service life of the Yongnuo YN1200?
Answer – Although the service life of the light is officially listed as 50,000 hours, we would imagine that the light can last longer than this without issue.
Question – Is there an adaptor available for the Yongnuo YN1200 to mount it to x?
Answer – There are a number of attachments available that will mount to the YN1200 to let you attach your light to a large number of stands. That said, a standard umbrella bracket that many photographers and videographers will probably already own will usually get the job done.
Question – Is there a softbox available for the Yongnuo YN1200?
Answer – Although a softbox is not included as standard with your purchase, Yongnuo do have a number of softboxes available with multiple options that fit the YN1200. That said, we have seen people report that this third-party softbox (Click here to check for product prices and availability) mounts to their YN1200 without issue.
Third Party Reports
The video is less than Eight minutes long and offers some excellent points so we would recommend that you watch it if you have the spare time and are seriously considering picking the Yongnuo YN1200 up.
Well, that brings our Yongnuo YN1200 review to an end and we feel that this great little studio light will make a great addition to your camera accessories. It can be used as both a photography light and a video light while being used as the main lighting source or a fill light too. You can customize the light output to get the exact type of lighting you require for your session with very little effort and the lost price tag makes it a no brainer.
We feel that the reputation of the YN1200 is only going to keep on growing at a steady pace over the coming years as more people realize that it offers them a solid little bargain with great performance. If you are looking to add to your studio’s lighting rig then we would highly recommend that you seriously consider the YN1200 as your new light.