Friday, February 24, 2012

Control your Canon DSLR with your Android Phone/Tablet

Ok this is awesome.  Probably the most difficult thing about shooting video with a DSLR as apposed to a standard camcorder is proper focusing.  The screens are just not quite big enough or high enough resolution for proper focusing, and most DSLR's don't have a proper continuous autofocus during video (except for the Sony SLT's). This combined with the razor thin depth of field SLR lenses can accomplish, and you have a problem.

There are many solutions, some cheaper than others, but I have yet to see anything as awesome as this (or as cheap).

Meet the DSLR Controller app for Android.  This app allows you to connect your android device directly to your Canon EOS DSLR, and gives you a multitude of features.  For starters, your android device becomes a live view monitor for your camera.  Depending on the resolution and size or your phone or tablet, this can be fantastic, and aid significantly in focusing.

Another feature the DSLR Controller app boasts is tap to focus.  Personally I don't think this would be that helpful, since the autofocus on Canon DSLR's while the mirror is flipped up (it's in live view) is terribly slow.  One of the features that is apparently being worked on however, is the ability to set focus points that you can jump to.  This could be a huge deal as it could be used as a follow focus that's detached from the camera.

I haven't had a chance to try it yet as I have to order the proper cable to connect my phone to the camera (mini usb to micro usb).  There are all sorts of other features already implemented, or currently being worked on.  The app is currently labeled as beta, so it probably still has some kinks to be worked out.  But you can't beat the current price, and the developer says you'll be able to upgrade for free once it moves out of beta.

If I can get this working with my phone (which is technically on the supported devices list) then I'll post a review once I get the cable in.  Until then check out this video demonstrating some of the features, and then hit up the source link to try it yourself.

UPDATE:  It looks like my phone won't work.  Or at least I'm not willing to go through the trouble to make it work.  Turns out, your phone must support USB Host mode (OTG mode) so that you can plug usb devices into it using a USB host cable.  While there are some kernels for my phone that support this (and I'm fairly comfortable loading them), they currently require an outside power source to make it work, which kind of kills the appeal.  

This does make getting a Nook Color more appealing though, as it's officially supported on the DSLR Controller website, and it's pretty much the cheapest android tablet available right now.

Source :  : direct link to market 

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

I don't understand most of this, but I will feel smart using the new terminology. Could you do a post on a your choice for a good lower-cost starter camera sometime?