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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 May 10th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #1
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Removing the t2i LCD for modding?

OK this is a way way crazy idea - but it occurred to me the other day - I love the quality, accuracy and lightweight 'run & gun' set up afforded by the zfinder BUT there are many instances where its very limiting or even imposable and a monitor would be better.

But good monitors cost thousands, are WAAAAY bulky and even with hoods fall short in sunlight...BUT

what if there was a mod, a way to remove the back LCD, add an extra length of cable to still have it tethered and functioning but with an added 50 or 100 cm of freedom - and then just affix the zfinder to the removed screen?

That way you could position the 'zmonitor' anywhere or anyway you wanted, just like a real monitor and if you wanted to get really crazy and the length of cable allowed it, you could rig it up to some kind of suitable head gear to have it permanently positioned over your eye (like some wacky futuristic cyborg shooter) and you could do all kinds of crazy camera moves yet still get rock solid focus?

Now Im no electronics whiz so what Im suggesting might not be possible...but if it was, hell id hack open my t2i or give it to someone with some know how for such a mod.

What does everyone else think?
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #2
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Don't think this is going to happen to be honest. It's a fabulous screen, but it's not a standard component, and Canon are not likely to release any data on it's power /connectivity requirements .

Anyway, the cost / effort / risk is too high compared to the relative merits of more conventional solutions.

If you are willing to consider external monitors, but are put off by the price of HD field monitors, it would be worth bearing in mind that the 550d outputs 480p during recording, so an HD monitor is a waste. For HD monitoring you need a 7D

I have bought an ebay 40 7" TFT monitor, and while the picture is far from ideal, if you tweak it, it works great for monitoring and focusing. It needs 12v, which you can supply with a lead battery from Maplin for 20. I am planning to buy a cheap ebay video transmitter and see how that goes. They are 20.

Also, since you mention being tethered by a long wire, you would be better off just plugging in a laptop / umpc / netbook via USB and using the EOS utility.

Better still, do what I do and use a WUSB tranmitter/receiver. Yes, WUSB did happen, but try finding the devices. They are rare, but dead cheap. Mine cost 40. Had to get it from a German site. Easier to get in USA. I built a battery box for mine that takes 4xAA's for the device side dongle. I plug the other end into a Wibrain UMPC, which has a 1024x600 screen and a great form factor.

This compares well to the cost of the Canon WFT, which is expensive, but has better range.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:33 AM   #3
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James, do you have pics of your setup anywhere? I'd love to see the rig you've got going.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:38 AM   #4
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I'm at work, but I'll see what I can do tonight.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #5
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Hi Paul,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cook View Post
...some kind of suitable head gear to have it permanently positioned over your eye (like some wacky futuristic cyborg shooter) and you could do all kinds of crazy camera moves yet still get rock solid focus?...
I've thought about that for years. This would probably be the most efficient way to do it:

video glasses - Google Search

Something like that would need no modification. Just plug them into the output of the camera. They are even making hdmi versions.

I spent $60 for an off-brand portable media player that has a video-in function. Its the JXD318 available on eBay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2GB-JXD318-PMP-3...-/180504688967

All I need it for is when I put the camera on a monopod and hold it over my head. I have a chunk of velcro on the back of the pmp that attaches to the monopod leg and run the cable down to it so I can see what the camera is seeing. Its SD resolution and not the highest quality but for composing the shot its perfect.

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Last edited by Joel Peregrine; May 10th, 2010 at 06:06 PM. Reason: added a link
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #6
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As requested

Wireless USB set with DIY battery pack. You get about half the speed you would get over the wire, which is useable. I wouldn't want to pull focus with it though. For that I would use a video transmitter and a DIY wireless follow focus.




Remote control on steroids. If anyone is unfamiliar with these things, it's a full PC, running XP with a 1.2ghz CPU and a 60gb HD. When you get bored of cameras, you can fire up Quake 3 or Logic Audio. It records 24/96 audio too!




Ebay 7" display. Takes A/V and VGA inputs. Native resolution is 1140 x 468, quoted contrast is 350:1. Built in 1/4 screw into metal bracket mount for mounting directly and securely onto tripods/light stands/rails. My DIY rails system isn't finished yet :(





This thing is designed for cars, so it runs on 12v. It drinks 10w, so the 12v 4.2 Ah sealed lead acid battery should run it for 5 hours! Haven't timed it yet. The battery weighs 1.5k.


Last edited by James Donnelly; May 11th, 2010 at 03:29 AM. Reason: wrong image urls
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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My images don't appear embedded to me. I just get links. Anyone know how to get the images to appear in line? Says I don't have permission to attach.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Hi Paul,



I've thought about that for years. This would probably be the most efficient way to do it:

video glasses - Google Search

Something like that would need no modification. Just plug them into the output of the camera. They are even making hdmi versions.



http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/images/attach/jpg.gif
HA HA! I was just looking at these last night. Was curious about how they'd fare while flying the T2i on my Blackbird. Problem is, I think I'd get motion sick and puke!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Donnelly View Post
My images don't appear embedded to me. I just get links. Anyone know how to get the images to appear in line? Says I don't have permission to attach.
Should have read the FAQ. It seems you need to edit the generated [url] tags and change them to [img]
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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:06 AM   #10
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Joel, what sort of video input does that little video player use? It seems to only be 1/2 SD resolution, but for composing the shot that should be sufficient. Small and cheap is fine for some things as long as it works nicely. What batteries does it use and how long do they last?
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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Hi Marcus,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
Joel, what sort of video input does that little video player use?
The input is an analog 1/8" that combines stereo audio and the composite video - the same that the canon cable puts out. For now I just have adapters between the two cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
It seems to only be 1/2 SD resolution, but for composing the shot that should be sufficient.
You're right - 400 x 240 .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
Small and cheap is fine for some things as long as it works nicely.
It does. I looked all over for a small screen with built in batteries and and video-in. There are a ton of options for rear-facing cameras in cars, but those don't have built in power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
What batteries does it use and how long do they last?
Li-Ion internal batteries supposedly good for 15 hours of music listening. The only test I've done so far is watched a movie on it and it was down to about 50% power. External power is through the 5v usb connection.

One caveat - and it may be addressed in future firmware updates - when the video-in mode is on you can record the incoming signal. There is a meter at the top of the screen that shows how much space remains for recording. That never goes away, so you don't see the full image your camera sees - the top is covered with the meter. Many owners of this player are complaining about it.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #12
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Have you tested the audio recording capabilities? It says it records wav, but doesn't mention the format on that ebay page. Be interesting if it's half decent.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #13
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Hi James,

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Donnelly View Post
Have you tested the audio recording capabilities? It says it records wav, but doesn't mention the format on that ebay page. Be interesting if it's half decent.
I haven't listened to it critically. Are you thinking of tapping into the cable to record double system sound while it records video from the camera?
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Old May 11th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #14
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Joel,

Dual use! Double system sound OR video monitoring. Two devices in one. At that price, buy two. Two functions served, plus a backup device for if (when) it goes tits up.

If you get a chance, could you let us know if it does at least 16bit stereo 44.1khz with half decent separation on a line (not mic) input.

Well done for finding this by the way. I never imagined there was a PMP with TV-IN in this bracket. Looking at Ebay, it seems it's the only range with that feature. It pays to keep checking what the latest gizmos are.

Thanks.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Hi Paul,

I spent $60 for an off-brand portable media player that has a video-in function. Its the JXD318 available on eBay.

2GB JXD318 PMP 3.0'' LCD DC DV FM Games TV IN/OUT MP4 - eBay (item 180504688967 end time May-10-10 21:02:47 PDT)

All I need it for is when I put the camera on a monopod and hold it over my head. I have a chunk of velcro on the back of the pmp that attaches to the monopod leg and run the cable down to it so I can see what the camera is seeing. Its SD resolution and not the highest quality but for composing the shot its perfect.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/images/attach/jpg.gif
Hi Joel,
thanks for sharing it. And does it work for focusing?
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