$whoname
Greg's external GPS monitor
Photo page index
Greg's photo albums
Greg's photos
Greg's photo index
Deutsche Version
Groogle

In June 2011 in a forum discussion on the German Oly-E web site, Chris mentioned an external monitor for use with cameras. I had no particular use for such a device, except maybe for macro photography, but it occurred to me that it had a 5:3 aspect ratio, unlike any current camera, but like the GPS navigator that I had just bought. And this navigator had a video input.

I did a bit of thinking, and the monitor didn't make any sense to me. It had the wrong aspect ratio, it's very expensive, € 400, and it only has a 5" display. I paid the equivalent of € 110 for the GPS receiver, which has a 7" display. To try it out, all I needed was a cable. And I found one on eBay for only $1.50 (€ 1.16), including postage from Hong Kong. So I ordered one. It took a couple of weeks to arrive, as warned, but you can't blame them for choosing the cheapest form of postage. And yes, it works, though (as I knew in advance) I needed a female-female adapter to connect it. Here are some first impressions:


This should be Camera-with-viewfinder.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Camera with viewfinder          Dimensions:          2816 x 2112, 960 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 7 July 2011 Complete exposure details

 

The receiver is on the table, connected by a couple of cables. A bit of a mess, but for macro photography it's possibly acceptable. The biggest problem is that I don't have anything to mount it on.

Under normal circumstances, of course, the navigator shows a map:


This should be Navigator-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Navigator 4          Dimensions:          3868 x 2442, 2016 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 7 July 2011 Complete exposure details

 

It switches automatically to the monitor display when the camera is turned on:


This should be Navigator-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Navigator 7          Dimensions:          3278 x 1842, 1248 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 7 July 2011 Complete exposure details

 

And with Live View mode (on the Olympus E-30) it shows the image, and with the standard camera controls I can zoom in for precise focusing:


This should be Navigator-6.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Navigator 6          Dimensions:          3284 x 1880, 1200 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 7 July 2011 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Navigator-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Navigator 5          Dimensions:          3294 x 1892, 1376 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 7 July 2011, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 7 July 2011 Complete exposure details

 

That's potentially useful for macro work. Yes, I have a swivelling display on the camera, but this is much easier to move to where I want it, and the display is several times as large.

So how does it compare with the Sony monitor? One thing is clear: the only mounting is designed to attach it to the car windscreen. I haven't tried that, but it could be a problem. The Sony fits into the accessory shoe. And it expands the image width, from 4:3 to 5:3. I can live with that, but it would be interesting to see if the Sony does any better.

One thing that makes the Sony monitor useless for me, at least if you believe the web page, is that it only accepts HDMI input. My camera doesn't have that. But I'm not convinced that that's correct; there's really no reason not to accept composite video as well.


Greg's home page Greg's diary Greg's photos Copyright

Valid XHTML 1.0!

$Id: external-GPS-monitor.php,v 1.3 2012/04/29 00:26:21 grog Exp $