Has anyone had any experience with the Yongnuo YN-565EX ETTL Speedlite Flash for Canon. I got an email from Cowboy studio with this listed as $160 and did a bit searching around and seems like a a good starter flash.
I've had 2 of these. One I bricked with an external battery pack (PiXeL TD-381) but Amazon gave me a full refund + postage. The other I'm still using for more than a year now and it is a great wireless ETTL-II flash that my 7D or my Meike MK-580 master flash can trigger. It is also very powerful GN=56 at least. The only drawback is that the flash head has loosened with use - it is not like the Canon 580EX-II in that it doesn't lock into position, which matters if you plan on putting any attachments or diffusers (like a softbox) on it - works fine with Stofen type diffusers.
The Yongnuo 565-EX is a great value flash (for its price) either in the hotshoe, on a cord, or wireless on its stand. It is not weather shielded, has the old screw type mount (but metal foot in the hotshoe) and it does not support HSS nor can it operate as a Master, but does fine as a Slave.
The new 568 does have Hi-Speed Sync, but does NOT have the ability to take an external battery pack socket - probably for the same reason that I bricked my 2nd sample - the battery pack sends power direct to the capacitor head in the flash, whilst the 4xAA internal flash batteries are used for flash functions etc.
btw re-cycling time on the Yongnuo's is very fast. I can get 1.2 secs in Manual 1/1 power, plus I've taken 40 to 50 flash shots in a 5 min period recently at an outside birthday (garden) party without any overheating.
edit: I've also used it successfully with 2nd curtain sync for 'painting with light' as well as the Multi-Stroboscopic functionality to make my nephews appear like they have multiple arms etc.