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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old November 3rd, 2009, 09:10 PM   #1
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Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D

I received the Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder. Here are a bunch of photos of it in use with the 7D. In a word - it works. I think it's pretty rockin for taking photos.

As for shooting video, the resolution is low, so you have your range of options on how to focus - wing it and hope, use magnification before recording, then shoot fixed focus, or try to have people hit marks dead on and use a follow focus with marks. But if I was getting that serious with follow focus and marks, I'd bring out the Marshall.

Here's a list of observations:

- Hot Shoe mountable - very cool. Very lightweight and compact.

- The cable to the Gigtube is 4 conductor, breaking out to a split to a 2.5mm 3 conductor (stereo) plug and a 2 conductor (mono) 3.5mm plug. The Mono plug is the mono feed which I adapted to the video RCA out of the breakout cable out of the 7D like frankenstein. If you hate cable mess, you'll hate this. If you can make a 7D A/V to that 3.5mm plug, you'd have a pretty damn clean setup.

I don't see a way you can use the shutter release button on it, which feeds out the 3 conductor plug. I haven't spent enough time looking for a proper adapter. But this was close..

FlashZebra.com: Shutter Release Cable for Canon — 3 Pin — N3 Connector to Pocket Wizard (Item #0090)

Would be interesting if it worked with wireless gadgets like PocketWizards. Lastly, the Gigtube comes with an extension cable for the 2.5mm plug which at the moment is worthless.

- If you lose video connection with the Gigtube, you have to toggle the view(play) button on the 7D to get it back.

- Auto sleep (called LIGHTOFF in the menu) is on by default. It gives you the option to set it to sleep in 20 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or off.

- There are settings for Brightness, Contrast that are pretty weak looking in practice. You can also flip the image vertically.

- Batteries are internal and can't be swapped out, but you can use the USB connector with some juice from a USB battery pack. It comes with an AC-USB charger. They claim 3 hour continuous use on a charge. I say no way jose. But I have yet to test it. It shows you a battery life bar, and in the menu it tells you a percentage of life left. I think it may be set to hard intervals like 99%, 75%, 40% and You're Hosed.

- The LCD flips around in all directions you'd expect. Changing direction from left to right is very positionable and stays put. Changing height position is clunky and wants to plop into it's 3 positions (closed, middle, open). So that's bound to annoy from time to time.

I see it being pretty impressive for certain kinds of shots on the run, but again, it would be far cooler to have an A/V-3.5mm cable.

-steev
Attached Thumbnails
Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4315.jpg   Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4317-1-.jpg  

Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4326-1-.jpg   Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4333-1-.jpg  

Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4338-1-.jpg   Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4340-1-.jpg  

Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4345-1-.jpg   Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-img_4346-1-.jpg  

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Old November 4th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #2
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I think you ended up with wrong model. There's a GT3C model for Canon DSLRs with the correct N3 connector, and there's the GT3CII for the 5Dm2 which is probably the correct model for the 7D as well. My guess is that you ended up with the GT1C which is for the Rebel series.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Yeah, you're right. I didn't know they had different models. I'm going to send it in for an exchange.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #4
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Additional reply - Just wanted to clarify.


It seems that the correct Gigtube model for the 5D will have a cable that has the N3 connector for shutter release, and the video *might* be a 3.5mm plug that *may* work with the 5D. They will have had to make the correct AV multi-conductor cable to fetch the video out. The one that I have doesn't work (2 conductor 3.5mm - mono). All the photos I've seen of this cable supposedly for the 5D looks like that mono plug.

However, that plug will not work the 7D because the 7D has that proprietary plug they used so it could function as a combo USB/AV port.

So it looks like you'd still have to use adapters to get from A/V breakout/RCA to 3.5mm plug for the 7D. Or buy this - Canon | AVC-DC400ST STEREO AV CABLE f/EOS 7D | 4076B001 | B&H - and hack it to feed straight to a 4 conductor 2.5mm plug with the correct wiring. Chances are they'd make this and sell it sooner or later.

-steev
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Old November 5th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thanks Steev.
Its for video. I am not sure it'll like me. I don't want to feed it with external power. I also need a mic. I will need to connect too many gadgets at the end. I also don't like the wires. I might better bend my sour neck deeper then I used to. Regarding this, you might be able to tell me how the lcd on the 7d holds under angles??
Rob
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Old November 5th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rob deJong View Post
Thanks Steev.
Its for video. I am not sure it'll like me. I don't want to feed it with external power. I also need a mic. I will need to connect too many gadgets at the end. I also don't like the wires. I might better bend my sour neck deeper then I used to. Regarding this, you might be able to tell me how the lcd on the 7d holds under angles??
Rob
Yeah, power is an issue with built-in battery. The wires, again, you'd have to hack together something neat and tidy.

Regarding the 7D LCD off-angle, I'd say it's excellent. However, that doesn't mean it is even remotely close to having an articulating display. With the 5D and 7D, the fact is you have to physically move a lot, and often in ergonomically torturous ways.

Although not perfect, the GigTube is the most compact and stealth solution I've seen. I'd recommend getting one to have in the toolkit.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #7
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Doh!! The 5D version arrived. But my 5D is in for repair for hot/stuck pixels. So I could only test on the 7D.

In short... It's does NOT work!! Ack. The shutter release does work. But I can't get the video to work no matter what I try. I got close though. By varying the conductors for the video in, I can get the Menu and Playback out of the 7D into the Gigtube. But the liveview for shooting goes dead and the Gigtube states no image.

So... I'll have to wait till my 5D gets back to try that. But as for the 7D, this is sucking.

My biggest question is, are the cables the only difference? Or is the Gigtube body different as well. My idea of making a direct cable out from the 7D to the Gigtube are dead, unless I can get the other cable from the previous unit.

I'm seeing if I can get any answers.
Attached Thumbnails
Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-p1010979.jpg   Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-p1010980.jpg  

Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D-p1010981.jpg  
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Old November 12th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #8
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The saga continues. Fotodiox sells the cables separately. The Gigtube itself isn't camera specific. So I have one on order (GT3C) that will work with the 7D. The shutter release connector will be correct. However, It'll still require adapters or a hacked cable for video. The 5DMkII connector (GT3CII) should perfect. I'll update one more time once everything is in.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #9
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Well, the cable arrived and although shutter release works, live view out of the 7D with the GT3C cable plugged into the GT3CII Gigtube does NOT work - it's all scrambled like a scrambled pay-per-view channel. The menu works, but not the live view video.

So my 5DMkII arrived back from canon service, and I tested the GT3CII cable with the GT3CII Gigtube, and everything works - live view, menu, and shutter release.

I thought the Gigtube was agnostic and only the cables were different, but now I suspect differently.

So, given that I got this thing working perfectly and simply with the 5D, I'm keeping it for use with the 5D. It works, and works well.

As for the 7D, maybe the GT3C model works with video. Who knows! The first model that I received was the GT1C, and it did work with the 7D video out with adapters but the shutter release connector was wrong.

If you have been following this, I bet you're pretty sick of this thread.

I'm done with futzing around and not willing to purchase another one of these for the 7D when it's not ready to go out of the box.

In summary,

The GT3CII works perfectly with the 5D - video and shutter. The GT3CII video doesn't work with the 7D, but the shutter release does.

The GT1C works with the 7D video output, with the 7D video breakout cable and adapters to convert to 3.5mm mono plug, but the shutter release is wrong.

The 7D with the GT3C cable doesn't work with the GT3CII tube.

The 7D with the GT1C Gigtube and cable? I haven't tried.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for going thru the pain so we don't have to :)
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 12:08 PM   #11
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-----------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the detailed description of how Gigtube worked out on your 5D and 7D. I've had a similar experience with my EOS 450D and 500D (Canon's low rent district). The GT1C works great with the 450D, both shutter control and video. Even though the Fotodiox description on Amazon listed the 500D as supported and the box was also labeled that way, the video out connector is different between the 450D and 500D, and there was no 2nd cable or adapter in the box. I've contacted Fotodiox and they have agreed to send another cable. In the meantime I tried using adapters and had similar results to some of what you reported; the menu or the status display shows up fine, but live view video is sometimes a scrambled image. It seems like a signal quality problem that is keeping the Gigtube from syncing to the video signal. The 500D video out is similar to the 7D in that it is on the same connector as the USB. I think the only difference is the 7D has stereo audio while the 500D is mono. I did find what seems to be a work-around for the sync problem. If I get the scrambled video, I hit the menu button and the Gigtube will sync to the video out of the menu display, then hit the menu button again and, at least so far, the Gigtube will then sync to the live view video. Don't know if it will work for the 7D but it might be worth a try. I also found that the problem showed up much more often with just the short cable (with adapters). When I add the 2M extention it hardly ever has a sync problem.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 03:38 PM   #12
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If I get the scrambled video, I hit the menu button and the Gigtube will sync to the video out of the menu display, then hit the menu button again and, at least so far, the Gigtube will then sync to the live view video.
Chris, I know this is responding to someone who probably won't get this message, but I'll continue on with the knowledge base.

The technique above didn't work for me.

The latest development was an email from Fotodiox stating that the manufacturer is sending a connector for the 7D and 500D cameras. And they'll be sending me one when they get them in.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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Any new updates?

Hi.. very interested in knowing more of your experience using this cool gadget. Any additional updates on this?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #14
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Raymond, I don't have any updates. As it stands, I have this working with the 5D, but not the 7D. I'm awaiting a cable, maybe, at some point, that will work with the 7D.

-steev
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Old December 16th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #15
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I have a conclusion to this thread now. I received an adapter from Fotodiox Inc. at no additional charge - very cool! At this point I can highly recommend this company.

So I tried out the adapter on the 7D. The hook up is as follows - 7D AV breakout cable plugged into 7D, with the other end into the adapter then into the Aputure Gigtube.

The good news is, that the live view works. The bad news is that it's really undecided about the video signal. You have to power up the camera first, then power on the Gigtube to even get the video signal going. Then if you go the menu, or playback, or shut off the camera, or take a photo, etc. (anything that stops the video signal), the Gigtube will not pick up the video signal again, unless you power it off then on again. This is very frustrating.

So there - it works, and kinda doesn't work. It works great on the 5D, and it's finicky on the 7D. For a significant shoot, I totally would not use this thing. For stealth, casual/fun, and odd situations, I probably would.

I think it's a cool tool to have around, but buyer beware of the pitfalls.

-steev
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