Compact Field Monitor For D800

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
jhinkey
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Compact Field Monitor For D800
Mar 27, 2013

Often times I find myself struggling to use live view on my D800 while trying to obtain critical focusing for landscape shots on a tripod either due to the sun on the rear LCD or the position of the camera.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a compact field monitor solution that will allow me to view the what's being shown via live view with enough resolution, etc. to make critical focusing adjustments?

Corded via the USB out or HDMI out is fine and it can either be a dedicated field monitor or an Android-based tablet/phone device.  If an Android device which app?

Thanks -

John

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Nikon D800
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mnodonnell
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

You can try something like the or (pricier) Zacuto Z-Finder.

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jhinkey
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to mnodonnell, Mar 27, 2013

mnodonnell wrote:

You can try something like the or (pricier) Zacuto Z-Finder.

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That only helps when the sun is in the frame, but not when the camera is at a strange angle/elevation, hence I have not considered solutions such as the Z-finder.

Thanks - John

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rubank
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Here´s your answer
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50992027

It works just as well with a tablet as long as there is USB host support.

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rgolub
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

I have a Marshall 5" monitor (around $250, I believe) that I don't particularly recommend - cheap Chinese third tier construction, seems to work on a random basis.  Color is fair. With batteries and cable it weighs in at 1100 gm - quite a bit to carry around.  I do use it for video as it's much better than the camera LCD.

There are pricier and better functioning monitors - some with focus peaking which could be helpful for video.  The newer Atmos Ninja does raw video recording as well as acting as a monitor.   It's expensive but probably worth it if you do video.

I've gravitated to the Cam Ranger- a small Wifi hotspot that connects to the camera via USB and has a iPhone app to control it.  My current set up includes the CamRanger and a mini iPad - total weight 360 gms with cables and covers.  Allows you to view the camera from up to 50 - 60 feet reliably.

The main downside is that you need to come up with some sort of mount on the tripod so you can look at the image while framing.  Trying to move a ball head and camera while simultaneously  holding an iPad is a hassle.  You also get for almost free a general purpose computer to run maps, DOF calculators, sunrise calculators and the like.

No, I'm not paid by CamRanger (this is my 4th or 5th post suggesting them), it's just a nice system.  Decent support (you email the developer).

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jhinkey
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Re: Here´s your answer
In reply to rubank, Mar 27, 2013

rubank wrote:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50992027

It works just as well with a tablet as long as there is USB host support.

Thanks - I suspect my Android phone will have too small of a screen, but a 7" or so Android tablet might just do the job.

I'm concerned about being able to critically focus using a tablet that has lower screen resolution than the D800 LCD - but now that I see that the resolution of the D800 LCD is VGA, this should not be a problem if I get a small tablet that has 1024x600 pixel resolution (e.g., the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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jhinkey
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to rgolub, Mar 27, 2013

rgolub wrote:

I have a Marshall 5" monitor (around $250, I believe) that I don't particularly recommend - cheap Chinese third tier construction, seems to work on a random basis.  Color is fair. With batteries and cable it weighs in at 1100 gm - quite a bit to carry around.  I do use it for video as it's much better than the camera LCD.

There are pricier and better functioning monitors - some with focus peaking which could be helpful for video.  The newer Atmos Ninja does raw video recording as well as acting as a monitor.   It's expensive but probably worth it if you do video.

I've gravitated to the Cam Ranger- a small Wifi hotspot that connects to the camera via USB and has a iPhone app to control it.  My current set up includes the CamRanger and a mini iPad - total weight 360 gms with cables and covers.  Allows you to view the camera from up to 50 - 60 feet reliably.

The main downside is that you need to come up with some sort of mount on the tripod so you can look at the image while framing.  Trying to move a ball head and camera while simultaneously  holding an iPad is a hassle.  You also get for almost free a general purpose computer to run maps, DOF calculators, sunrise calculators and the like.

No, I'm not paid by CamRanger (this is my 4th or 5th post suggesting them), it's just a nice system.  Decent support (you email the developer).

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RG
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Too bad the Cam Ranger only works with iOS.

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rgolub
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

I believe they are working on an Android app.  For those poor unfortunates on the 'other' platform, there is Helicon Focus which is a USB tethered solution and I believe a couple of others.

I actually was going to get a small Nexus and play with those and then an iPad mini dropped from the sky...

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Just a Photographer
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

I have choosen to go by an iPad mini and a camranger (look for camranger.com)
Meaby it suits you as well.

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Billstek
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to rgolub, Mar 27, 2013

I have a Sony CLM-V55 monitor which connects to my d800 with an hdmi cable. It works well, but being a gearhead I am thinking about the Camranger since I have an Ipad.

I'd be willing to sell the Sony (with battery and charger) if you're interested.

Let me know.

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Robin Casady
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Does Helicon Remote work with CamRanger?
In reply to Just a Photographer, Mar 27, 2013

Are you limited to the CamRanger app on the iPad, or will it work with Helicon Remote and other apps?

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digital ed
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

jhinkey wrote:

Often times I find myself struggling to use live view on my D800 while trying to obtain critical focusing for landscape shots on a tripod either due to the sun on the rear LCD or the position of the camera.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a compact field monitor solution that will allow me to view the what's being shown via live view with enough resolution, etc. to make critical focusing adjustments?

Corded via the USB out or HDMI out is fine and it can either be a dedicated field monitor or an Android-based tablet/phone device.  If an Android device which app?

Thanks -

John

I use my Surface Pro 128. USB 3.0 connection to the camera. Excellent resolution (much better than D800 live view). I have loaded ControlMyNikon, PSCS6, LR4, DXO Optics Pro 8, Helicon Focus/Remote, Focal and many more PC programs. This morning I used it to check the calibration of some of my lens in a location that was not near my primary desktop. I have set it up so it boots and looks just like my desktop Win7 Ultimate. For all intents and purposes it is a small and fast 64 bit computer.

I also have an Android Zoom tablet which will also control the D800. Can process photographs using Adobe PS Touch. The Zoom is just not flexible enough and with the Surface Pro I have not found a PC program it will not run.

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rubank
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Re: Here´s your answer
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 27, 2013

jhinkey wrote:

rubank wrote:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50992027

It works just as well with a tablet as long as there is USB host support.

Thanks - I suspect my Android phone will have too small of a screen, but a 7" or so Android tablet might just do the job.

I'm concerned about being able to critically focus using a tablet that has lower screen resolution than the D800 LCD - but now that I see that the resolution of the D800 LCD is VGA, this should not be a problem if I get a small tablet that has 1024x600 pixel resolution (e.g., the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

I have (access to) a Samsung 8.9 which has a resolution of 1280x768, it works very well.

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Just a Photographer
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Re: Does Helicon Remote work with CamRanger?
In reply to Robin Casady, Mar 27, 2013

Robin Casady wrote:

Are you limited to the CamRanger app on the iPad, or will it work with Helicon Remote and other apps?

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Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
— Bertrand Russell

I can't tell you as I am not a Helicon user.
I use this setup for interior photography, portrait shoots and general landscape shoots and like the fact that its a wireless solution. For now there is a iOS and a Mac OSX (beta) version of the camranger software only. But I believe they are also working on an Android and PC version.

The app itself its very easy to use and it works very well to control your camera in every aspect. Checking critical focus is easy as you only have to pinch to see if you've got the focus right.
Haven't yet tried any other app to see if that would work too with the camranger as I have only been using it for one week now.

Another nice feature is that your customers can easily view the pictures you've taken and you don't have to worry that they fire the camera. For so far I am happy with what it can do.

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jhinkey
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Mar 28, 2013

Well, I ended up grabbing a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and when I get it I'll install Helicon on it (assuming it has ICS installed, which it should).  I figured that the 7.7" is a good size to carry in the field - not too big/heavy, but large enough that the live view image will be much nicer than on the rear LCD.

Just need to get the right cables and I'm all set.

I'll let you guys know how well it's working after I get it all set up.

John

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jhinkey
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Apr 3, 2013

My Galaxy Tab 7.7 just came - gorgeous screen BTW - and fortunately it came with ICS already installed.  Very very nice version of Android.  I'll load Helicon Remote on it this weekend and give it a go.

John

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jhinkey
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Apr 4, 2013

Just an update for those who care -

My Galaxy Tab 7.7 with Helicon Remote works beautifully with my D800.  I bought an USB OTG adapter for the Galaxy Tab and used the USB cable that came with the D800.

After playing around with Helicon Remote for 15 minutes or so it looks like it will be a very useful tool to have for tripod work.

I'll try to report back after some real field experience.

John

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tsitalon1
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Re: Compact Field Monitor For D800
In reply to jhinkey, Apr 4, 2013

Great!

My otg cable should be here soon, plan to use my nexus 7.

Also bought a hard back cover and will look at ways to Mount the tablet to the hot shoe.

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