I enjoy the look of crane/jib camera shots, but wrangling the cable from camera to monitor is always a hassle. Well, thanks to my new wireless monitor from photographer/inventor Robert Benson, that’s not going to be a problem anymore!
On his website http://DSLRwirelessmonitors.com – Benson explains, “This wireless kit came out of a need in real world shooting, and I didn’t see anything else really available … There’s stuff out there, but its horrifically expensive. So I made one for less than $200 bucks.”
The monitor itself is a 7″ TV, with a stated resolution of 480×240 … A long way from HD, but in my preliminary tests, I found it perfectly adequate for checking color, framing and focus. Would I use this monitor as my primary field monitor? No. Is it perfectly fine for a dedicated wireless rig? Absolutely!
One of the more intriguing elements of Robert’s design is that the camera’s transmitter (which runs off a 9v battery) will transmit a signal to any number of receiving monitors. This would be terrific for situations in which clients want to be able to keep an eye on things, but I don’t want them standing next to me.
The fact that Canon DSLRs disable the viewfinder when the video output is working means that his device is particularly well suited to Nikon DSLRs or conventional (or next-gen) video cameras that will accommodate simultaneous on-board and external monitoring.
The more I play with this gadget, the more applications I think of. For example, a couple of months ago, I set up a tripod in the back of my 4Runner, and tried to shoot scenics while I drove. Since I couldn’t monitor the video at all, it didn’t work very well. Now, I could keep the wireless monitor on my lap, and glance at it to see how things are going (Obviously, it would not be safe to do this at any kind of speed, but driving scenics usually need to be shot at around 5-10 MPH, so I think I could get away with it. That doesn’t mean I’m recommending it.)
Congratulations to Robert Benson for having the technical know-how and ingenuity to come up with such an elegant solution. Sometimes, you don’t need a full HD monitor; sometimes, you just need to have a reasonably clear idea of what your camera is looking at. For those times, it’s hard to beat the price and plug-and-play ease of his gadget. I have no affiliation with Robert, and receive no commissions or other compensation for my recommendation. I just think it’s good!