I’m in the process of setting up my Canon 7D DSLR for an upcoming production project, which has greater needs that what I’ve needed with the 7D before. I’ve set up many camera systems, from almost every type of film camera, to the highest end digital systems out there, but these DSLR’s are tricky as the options are so few, and they are not made with multiple connectors and options, as they weren’t really designed for this use. But since they make great images, here we are.
Right now I’m dealing with the monitor situation, and in a few days I should have some answers back from Black Magic Design on how to do the HDMI conversions needed, and from Anton Bauer on how to power the whole system. And there are still some unknowns… (as to what will really work ulitmately, and what will the signal look like, as we know the Canon 7D scales the image and also sends out a lower quality image once the camera is rolling), so until I gather all the pieces and try out my ideas, I won’t know for sure. I am really trying to build a system that can supply (2) monitor feeds, one at the camera (for the operator and the asst) and one back at the video cart for the director… which is harder to do, and apparently, what most don’t have… or if they do, they are not talking about it.
I have several ideas and options (HDMI-SDI Converters, HDMI Powered Splitters, HDMI-CAT 5) that I’m checking out, so I’ll update this when I get my answer.
Setting up for any production takes time and lots of prep, experimentation and prior knowledge knowing where you are headed, as there is a lot to think about so that when you get out there, the system is reliable and produces guaranteed professional quality results… (why they pay us).
There is so much on the web about DSLR use in production, but there is little about the dual monitoring situation. (There must be many directors out there standing over the camera all day long)!