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The View: Video Display Hardware and Software
Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old October 10th, 2002, 01:55 AM   #1
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external EVF

I might be coming out of left field with this one but I was wondering if anybody knows anything about having a viewfinder
separate from the camera body.

The first thing I'm wondering is do they even exist.

I'm not looking for a separate LCD screen.

My dream solution would be an external EVF that can be held up to my eye with a set of glasses and both my hands can be free to work the camera or whatever else i need my other hand to do. And i can properly pan and zoom nomatter how i'm holding the camera

The reason I am looking for this is I shoot alot of extreme sports footage and I end up putting my self in odd locations to get some cool angles on the actions and not having the camera attached to my head but still being able to frame the shot.

Being able to move the camera independant from my head but seeing what i'm shooting would be almost priceless to me....I said "almost"

So does anything like that exist or does anybody have a garage solution.

thanx
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Old October 10th, 2002, 03:36 AM   #2
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Check out this thread. Some sort of video glasses.


http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=577&highlight=video+glasses
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Old October 15th, 2002, 11:44 PM   #3
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Hey Jim,

A big salut to a fellow Bostonian! What camera are you using?

here is something that I fell in love with at the LA DV Show when I was demonstrating how to use Tiffen filters and the Filter Flex matte box.

It's called the "Tele-2X" and it works extremely well on the B&W viewfinder of the XL1S, as well as many other high end Sony, Ikegami and other pro viewfinders.
http://www.tiffen.com/tele2x.htm

I had it set up on a tripod with a couple of pan handles and many people were impressed with how it allows you to "stand back" from the viewfinder and still make crucial focus and exposure decisions. It was originally developed by Ira Tiffen for the US Pro Tour, so I thought you may be interested. Will be working with Tiffen to produce a model for the color EVF on the XL1S, should be out by 2003 I hope.

In any case, I have one and if you would like to check it out, feel free to let me know and I can arrange a time to show it to you.

If you are using a handycam, you may also be interested in the "LCD Magnifier" made by Century Optics.
http://www.centuryoptics.com/products/dv/lcd_magnifier/index.htm

Let me know if you have found anything else yet and I will keep you posted if and when I see something new.

Keep in touch,

- don
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Old October 16th, 2002, 04:23 AM   #4
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What's this about an LCD magnifier? Do tell.
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Old October 16th, 2002, 08:11 AM   #5
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The LCD glasses are a great concept but in reality they would be dangerous any place outside your loungeroom. They would do what you want but you wouldn't be able to see anything else which in sports situations could be dangerous
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Old October 16th, 2002, 08:18 PM   #6
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Thanx for extending the offer Don. But i don't think thats really whati'm looking for. I have a GL2 by the way.

LCD goggles are the closest thing to what I'm looking for but they are not fully there for the reasons given by Adrian.

Now what I am looking for and what I think is also very easy to make is a EVF that can be disconnected from the rest of the camera body. The EVF on my GL2 is attached to a hinge so that it can swivel up and down. There is a cable that provides the power and video signal to the EVF from the rest of the camera body.
What i want to be able to do is disconnected the EVF and have a longer cable (about 2 feet) between the 2. Then have the EVF mounted to a set of Eye glasses frames. The set up would not require anymore power than the camera is already using and I would still have 1 eye free so i can look around to see where i'm going. I'd look like I belong at a Star Trek convention though.

But I'm not about to take my GL2 apart to do this. (i have a feeling it might void the warrenty)

I've done a few Bike and snowboard competitions and I know I could use this. I could hold the camera up high or down low or some other odd location and I will be able to properly frame the shot and zoom.

If anybody from Canon on this board, i'm telling you, this would be great.
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Old October 16th, 2002, 09:42 PM   #7
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Hey Jim and Adrian,

With respect, I disagree about the safety issue. There are some models out there that allow you to safely walk around where all you have to do to see the image is to look up.

I think perhaps what has prevented us from seeing *hi-res* models (capable of displaying digital video without any quality loss) hit the market place is the issue of who is controlling the hi-res LCD micro-screen market and are they yet allowing companies to buy them and develop products around them.

Last September, I spoke with a gentleman from a company which back then was called "Optechs" (now called "Optics 1"). They were producing a model called the PT-01 "Hollywood Series" which many camera/ jib operators in the film industry were using. In fact, it was being sold at Birns & Sawyer. I do believe the company still exists, but has shifted their focus somewhat to producing products for the military. As of several months ago, Birns & Sawyer still had a model in their rental department and at one point they told me that I could buy it for somewhere around $1400. Here's a diagram of how it is used:
http://eyetap.org/wearcomp/head-mounted-displays/PT-01-diagram.gif

Here's a blurb from an article found at the International Society For Optical Engineering's website
http://www.spie.org/web/oer/december/dec97/indfocus.html#Small

"When I started as a cameraman 20 years ago, the cameras were so bulky you couldn't even hold them in your hand," said James Mathers, director of photography on the Fox kids' show "Big Bad Beetleborgs." "I used the monitor while riding backward on a motorcycle and holding the camera down low to the ground and got exciting shots of two bikers coming inches away from me and splitting off."

Here's some more informative URLS:
http://www.isdale.com/jerry/VR/HMD_Vendors_1999.htm
http://portables.about.com/cs/headgear
http://wearcam.org/head-mounted-displays.html
http://www.stereo3d.com/hmd.htm
http://www.navysbir.brtrc.com/SuccessStories/opt189186.pdf
http://www.dodsbir.net/Materials/SuccessStories/Optics1.htm

If anyone finds any more information or any hi-res HDM displays that are now currently available, please keep us posted.
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