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real-time "video out" for digital cameras?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 7th 06, 12:17 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

Hello, Everyone,

I've found that when the light is too low for my FZ30's autofocus to work
properly, I need to perform a manual focus. However, this can be difficult
when using the LCD screen onboard the camera. My question is -- why not
have a "VGA out" jack on the camera into which could plug a pair of lcd
goggles? You could have full vga resolution with a huge angular field of
view (through the goggles) played from the camera through the lcd goggles.
One could then put on the goggles and hold the camera far away from oneself,
swiveling it in all directions but still "seeing what the camera sees" with
ease. Focusing would be much easier then, too. Does this capability exist,
or is it on the horizon for new cameras?

With digital SLR's, this might be even MORE useful, for super-fast lenses
that are really tough to focus manually due to limited depth of field.
Looking at a 2" LCD screen, determining perfect focus is darn difficult.
But I bet such focusing would be much easier when viewing the image
real-time through a much larger screen -- either lcd goggles, or piped
directly into a laptop (or desktop, depending on where you are at the time)
to view the image at larger size.

-Scott


  #2  
Old January 7th 06, 06:37 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

Scott Speck wrote:
Hello, Everyone,

I've found that when the light is too low for my FZ30's autofocus to work
properly, I need to perform a manual focus. However, this can be difficult
when using the LCD screen onboard the camera. My question is -- why not
have a "VGA out" jack on the camera into which could plug a pair of lcd
goggles? You could have full vga resolution with a huge angular field of
view (through the goggles) played from the camera through the lcd goggles.
One could then put on the goggles and hold the camera far away from oneself,
swiveling it in all directions but still "seeing what the camera sees" with
ease. Focusing would be much easier then, too. Does this capability exist,
or is it on the horizon for new cameras?


Hmmm... Several things here. First, small-sensor cameras like the FZ30
don't do well in low light. Second, I understood that the FZ30 could
increase the gain on the display in low light. Does that not help? And
finally, what makes you think an external LCD would improve things?
Sure, it would be cool, but I can't imagine a camera maker thinking that
was a marketable feature worth a higher price.

With digital SLR's, this might be even MORE useful, for super-fast lenses
that are really tough to focus manually due to limited depth of field.
Looking at a 2" LCD screen, determining perfect focus is darn difficult.
But I bet such focusing would be much easier when viewing the image
real-time through a much larger screen -- either lcd goggles, or piped
directly into a laptop (or desktop, depending on where you are at the time)
to view the image at larger size.


Not possible with SLR's, since the sensor doesn't see the image until
you click the shutter.

Keep dreaming, Scott. You'll come up with the Next Big Thing sooner or
later.

Paul Allen
  #3  
Old January 7th 06, 06:50 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 09:37:33 -0800, Paul Allen wrote:
Scott Speck wrote:
Hello, Everyone,

I've found that when the light is too low for my FZ30's autofocus to work
properly, I need to perform a manual focus. However, this can be difficult
when using the LCD screen onboard the camera. My question is -- why not
have a "VGA out" jack on the camera into which could plug a pair of lcd
goggles? You could have full vga resolution with a huge angular field of
view (through the goggles) played from the camera through the lcd goggles.
One could then put on the goggles and hold the camera far away from oneself,
swiveling it in all directions but still "seeing what the camera sees" with
ease. Focusing would be much easier then, too. Does this capability exist,
or is it on the horizon for new cameras?


Hmmm... Several things here. First, small-sensor cameras like the FZ30
don't do well in low light. Second, I understood that the FZ30 could
increase the gain on the display in low light. Does that not help? And
finally, what makes you think an external LCD would improve things?
Sure, it would be cool, but I can't imagine a camera maker thinking that
was a marketable feature worth a higher price.


It's not intended for LCD goggles, but a lot of cameras have video-out
feeds. They typically plug into the same port as the USB cable (with a
different connector at the end, of course), and are meant for displaying
pictures on TVs. Some, but not all, can drive this output while in
Record mode; that's how reviewers usually get all those nice screenshots
of the different LCD display modes and so forth.

I don't think his application is particularly useful, but if someone had
a goggle set that could accept NTSC or PAL input, there's a reasonable
chance that an off-the-shelf camera could drive it.

-dms

  #4  
Old January 7th 06, 09:15 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

Daniel Silevitch wrote:
On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 09:37:33 -0800, Paul Allen wrote:

Scott Speck wrote:

Hello, Everyone,

I've found that when the light is too low for my FZ30's autofocus to work
properly, I need to perform a manual focus. However, this can be difficult
when using the LCD screen onboard the camera. My question is -- why not
have a "VGA out" jack on the camera into which could plug a pair of lcd
goggles? You could have full vga resolution with a huge angular field of
view (through the goggles) played from the camera through the lcd goggles.
One could then put on the goggles and hold the camera far away from oneself,
swiveling it in all directions but still "seeing what the camera sees" with
ease. Focusing would be much easier then, too. Does this capability exist,
or is it on the horizon for new cameras?


Hmmm... Several things here. First, small-sensor cameras like the FZ30
don't do well in low light. Second, I understood that the FZ30 could
increase the gain on the display in low light. Does that not help? And
finally, what makes you think an external LCD would improve things?
Sure, it would be cool, but I can't imagine a camera maker thinking that
was a marketable feature worth a higher price.



It's not intended for LCD goggles, but a lot of cameras have video-out
feeds. They typically plug into the same port as the USB cable (with a
different connector at the end, of course), and are meant for displaying
pictures on TVs. Some, but not all, can drive this output while in
Record mode; that's how reviewers usually get all those nice screenshots
of the different LCD display modes and so forth.


Dang! I would have bet a dollar that the video out wouldn't work in
record mode. I just hooked up my old Oly C700 to the television and
it shows exactly what's on the LCD on the TV screen, regardless of the
camera's mode.

I don't think his application is particularly useful,


Yep, especially since it'll show the same dark hard-to-focus image the
he's seeing on his camera's LCD.

but if someone had
a goggle set that could accept NTSC or PAL input, there's a reasonable
chance that an off-the-shelf camera could drive it.


The available data suggests that you're right.

Paul Allen
  #5  
Old January 8th 06, 02:38 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your thoughts. The main reason I thought of displaying the
camera monitor signal (real-time) on a larger display was that when I'm
shooting in bright surroundings, the LCD screen can be swamped by background
brightness. This happened yesterday, while I was shooting on the grounds of
National Cathedral, so I just used the eye viewer instead of the flip-out
lcd screen, and I was pretty well able to compensate. I'm a complete
amateur here - no professional photo credentials, and I was surprised at how
well the FZ30 did in lower light, inside the cathedral. If you're
interested, my shots are at:

http://www.scottspeck.com/pictures/n...ral/index.html

My longest exposure times were seven seconds. My main failure was in
properly exposing stained glass windows where the window is situated between
me and the sun (bad mistake!). I've learned that I should shoot the window
(from inside the church) with the sun being relatively behind me, at least
until I learn otherwise.

I also want to learn how to build composite images by piecing together
sections of images (of arbitrary shape) that are each exposed properly. For
example, take a short exposure of a stained glass window, then a longer
exposure (to properly illuminate the stone structure around the window),
then build a composite image.

Have a nice day,
Scott


"Paul Allen" "paul dot l dot allen at comcast dot net" wrote in message
...
Scott Speck wrote:
Hello, Everyone,

I've found that when the light is too low for my FZ30's autofocus to work
properly, I need to perform a manual focus. However, this can be
difficult when using the LCD screen onboard the camera. My question
is -- why not have a "VGA out" jack on the camera into which could plug a
pair of lcd goggles? You could have full vga resolution with a huge
angular field of view (through the goggles) played from the camera
through the lcd goggles. One could then put on the goggles and hold the
camera far away from oneself, swiveling it in all directions but still
"seeing what the camera sees" with ease. Focusing would be much easier
then, too. Does this capability exist, or is it on the horizon for new
cameras?


Hmmm... Several things here. First, small-sensor cameras like the FZ30
don't do well in low light. Second, I understood that the FZ30 could
increase the gain on the display in low light. Does that not help? And
finally, what makes you think an external LCD would improve things?
Sure, it would be cool, but I can't imagine a camera maker thinking that
was a marketable feature worth a higher price.

With digital SLR's, this might be even MORE useful, for super-fast lenses
that are really tough to focus manually due to limited depth of field.
Looking at a 2" LCD screen, determining perfect focus is darn difficult.
But I bet such focusing would be much easier when viewing the image
real-time through a much larger screen -- either lcd goggles, or piped
directly into a laptop (or desktop, depending on where you are at the
time) to view the image at larger size.


Not possible with SLR's, since the sensor doesn't see the image until
you click the shutter.

Keep dreaming, Scott. You'll come up with the Next Big Thing sooner or
later.

Paul Allen



  #6  
Old April 3rd 06, 06:29 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

Scott Speck wrote:

Hello, Everyone,

I've found that when the light is too low for my FZ30's autofocus to work
properly, I need to perform a manual focus. However, this can be
difficult
when using the LCD screen onboard the camera. My question is -- why not
have a "VGA out" jack on the camera into which could plug a pair of lcd
goggles? You could have full vga resolution with a huge angular field of
view (through the goggles) played from the camera through the lcd goggles.
One could then put on the goggles and hold the camera far away from
oneself, swiveling it in all directions but still "seeing what the camera
sees" with
ease. Focusing would be much easier then, too. Does this capability
exist, or is it on the horizon for new cameras?

With digital SLR's, this might be even MORE useful, for super-fast lenses
that are really tough to focus manually due to limited depth of field.
Looking at a 2" LCD screen, determining perfect focus is darn difficult.
But I bet such focusing would be much easier when viewing the image
real-time through a much larger screen -- either lcd goggles, or piped
directly into a laptop (or desktop, depending on where you are at the
time) to view the image at larger size.


I doubt that there's going to be a "VGA-out" in the near future, might be
eventually. Why not just use the regular composite video output?

Piping a VGA output into a desktop is expensive, a VGA-in for a desktop
machine is pro equipment. I don't think it's available at all for a
laptop.

As for DSLRs, they for the most part do not have live electronic
displays--to work in that mode you have to lock the mirror up if the
capability is present at all.

-Scott


--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  #7  
Old May 31st 06, 03:03 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Posts: n/a
Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

On 2006-01-07 06:17:54 -0500, "Scott Speck" said:

Hello, Everyone,

With digital SLR's, this might be even MORE useful, for super-fast
lenses that are really tough to focus manually due to limited depth of
field. Looking at a 2" LCD screen, determining perfect focus is darn
difficult. But I bet such focusing would be much easier when viewing
the image real-time through a much larger screen -- either lcd goggles,
or piped directly into a laptop (or desktop, depending on where you are
at the time) to view the image at larger size.

-Scott


Thers is not a reasonably prcied computer screen or electronic imaging
system that mortal man can afford today with sufficient resolution to
allow me to focus a Digital SLR accurately. A decent monitor of
normal size has a maximum resolution of 96 ppi. A 200 dpi print is
higher resolution than that. The optical finder on my Nikon D70s is
100's of times sharper than that. The optical finders on high end
Nikons, Canons , Contaxs and Leicas are many time better than the D70s.
I agree with you on P&S's and zLRS, which is one of the many reasons
I don't own one. If one of these cameras forces you to manually focus
on the LCD on the back of the camera, its a very good reason to leave
it on the shelf in the shop. Useless.



Jim

  #8  
Old May 31st 06, 10:10 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
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Posts: n/a
Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

Jim wrote:
[]
I don't own one. If one of these cameras forces you to manually focus
on the LCD on the back of the camera, its a very good reason to leave
it on the shelf in the shop. Useless.


Jim,

The manual focus on the Panasonic FZ20 (and certain other cameras I'm
sure) works very well with the LCD screen, and is far from "useless".
Their clever touch is to automatically magnify the centre of the image
when the manual focus ring is adjusted, so that you are seeing about a 1:1
pixel magnification image, and hence finding the exact focus point is no
problem. As soon as you stop adjustments, the normal full LCD view is
restored. Clever, and very effective!

Cheers,
David


  #9  
Old May 31st 06, 10:42 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.zlr
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default real-time "video out" for digital cameras?

David J Taylor wrote:

Jim wrote:
[]
I don't own one. If one of these cameras forces you to manually focus
on the LCD on the back of the camera, its a very good reason to leave
it on the shelf in the shop. Useless.


Jim,

The manual focus on the Panasonic FZ20 (and certain other cameras I'm
sure) works very well with the LCD screen, and is far from "useless".
Their clever touch is to automatically magnify the centre of the image
when the manual focus ring is adjusted, so that you are seeing about a 1:1
pixel magnification image, and hence finding the exact focus point is no
problem. As soon as you stop adjustments, the normal full LCD view is
restored. Clever, and very effective!


I don't find it to be all that effective. Something that works better on
paper than it does in the real world. Or perhaps my eyes are worse than I
thought.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
 




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