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A wireless video monitor for iPhone
 
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What cameras are supported?

FieldMonitor is developed using Canon EOS RP and 80D cameras; Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T100 cameras; Panasonic DC-GH5, DC-S1H, DMC-GH4, and DMC-LX100 cameras; Sony A6300, A7ii, A7Riii, and A7Siii cameras; and Teradek Cube 155 and 255 transmitters.

The current Canon compatibility list is here. Canon EOS mirrorless and DSLR cameras that allow video recording while using Canon Camera Connect should work with FieldMonitor, but I cannot guarantee this. Test Wi-Fi functionality and performance with Canon Camera Connect before buying FieldMonitor.

Only Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T100 cameras are supported. Test for adequate performance using Fujifilm Camera Remote before buying FieldMonitor.

The current Panasonic compatibility list is here. It is likely that any DC- and DMC-series Panasonic camera that works with Panasonic‘s Image App or Lumix Sync will work with FieldMonitor, but I cannot guarantee this. Test Wi-Fi functionality and performance with Image App or Lumix Sync before buying FieldMonitor.

The current Sony compatibility list is here. FieldMonitor should work with any Sony mirrorless or DSLR camera that offers live-view and movie recording capability using Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile app, but I cannot guarantee this. Test Wi-Fi functionality and performance with Imaging Edge Mobile before buying FieldMonitor.


What is the image resolution?

Canon sources: live-view video images are 512x288; live-view still images fit within 480x320. Photo review images are larger; a 3:2 review image may be 1920x1280 (EOS 80D) or 1620x1080 (EOS RP). All images are 8-bit JPEGs.

Fujifilm sources: images fit within 640x480. Some cameras transmit 1:1 images as small 426x426 pictures within that 640x480 frame. Images are 8-bit JPEGs.

Panasonic sources: Max resolution images fit within 640x480 (16x9 images are 640x360). Lower resolution images fit within 320x240 (16x9: 320x180). Images are 8-bit JPEGs. Some cameras, including the LX100, drop to low resolution while recording.

Sony sources: Max resolution images usually fit within 1024x768 (16x9 images are 1024x576). Lower resolution images fit within 640x480 (16x9: 640x360). Images are 8-bit JPEGs. By default, FieldMonitor uses the 640-wide images, for lowest latency. (These numbers are for an a6300; other Sonys may differ. Not all Sonys allow you to select high resolution.)

Teradek sources: depending on Teradek settings, anywhere from 480i to 1080p, 4:2:0, 8-bit.


Is monitoring real-time?

Using a Canon EOS RP, I see a latency of 5 to 6 frames at 24fps. The RP’s own LCD or EVF is 3 frames behind realtime, so the Wi-Fi image is 2 to 3 frames behind the camera’s own display. The RP's HDMI feed is 5–6 frames behind realtime, the same as its Wi-Fi feed.

An EOS 80D behaves the same way, except that when it is recording, the Wi-Fi image lags an additional frame, falling 6–7 frames behind realtime. The 80D’s LCD is 3 frames behind realtime and its HDMI is 5–6 frames behind realtime, whether recording or not.

With a Fujifilm X-T3, I see a latency of 2 to 3 frames at 24fps. The X-T3’s own LCD is only 1 frame behind realtime; its HDMI feed, displayed on a PIX-E5, is 4 frames behind realtime — 3 frames later than a Wi-Fi image.

With a Panasonic GH4, I see a latency of 4 frames at 24fps. By comparison, the GH4's own EVF and LCD have a 2-frame latency, and HDMI out to a PIX-E5 or Odyssey7Q+ lags 5 or 6 frames (HDMI shows more lag than Wi-Fi on a Panasonic).

With a Sony A6300, FieldMonitor shows a 5–6 frame latency. Sony's EVF and LCD lag reality by 2 frames, and HDMI is typically 5 or 6 frames behind; HDMI on a Sony is usually half a frame ahead of the Wi-Fi image. More modern Sonys, like the A1 and A7Siii, have 3-frame latency in FieldMonitor, and their Wi-Fi connections are more reliable overall.

With a Teradek, 8 frames of latency are typical, but it depends on encoder settings and distance.

Wi-Fi links are subject to variable latency and image loss due to interference and network congestion, so I can't guarantee a specific level of performance under all operating conditions. In high-traffic environments, frames can get dropped and image updating can stall for some time; Wi-Fi monitoring and control — whether using FieldMonitor, Camera Remote (for Fujifilms),  Image App (for Panasonics), Imaging Edge Mobile (for Sonys), or TeraCentral or VUER (for Teradeks) — is entirely dependent on the quality and speed of the wireless connection. If you’re seeing too much latency, try these Wi-Fi troubleshooting tips.


Can FieldMonitor control the GH5’s Focus Transition feature?

Not unless and until a command for it is discovered. Panasonic's own Image App doesn't appear to support it, so it's likely there is no ability to control Focus Transition over Wi-Fi. It's also not possible to fake it with existing over-the-air commands (there are no continuous-focus commands, only step-focus commands, so the focus change will always be jerky). Sorry!


Can I still use the camera’s EVF or LCD?

Not with Fujifilms: their displays turn off when Wi-Fi remote control is used.

Most other cameras support two outputs or displays at once, so you can usually use the EVF/LCD with Wi-Fi active. However, if you plug in an HDMI monitor/recorder on some cameras, the EVF/LCD will go dark when Wi-Fi is used.

If you're using a GH5 or similar camera and the EVF/LCD go dark when Wi-Fi alone is used, the camera may be set to "smartphone priority", which locks out on-camera monitoring and control. Go into the camera’s menus: Settings > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Setup > Priority of Recording Device, and select "Camera" if you want the camera‘s EVF/LCD and controls to stay active.

There are reports that some Panasonics (the GX85, for example) blank the LCD after 30 seconds when using Wi-Fi, and there doesn’t appear to be a menu setting to prevent this. I don't have a GX85 to test with, so I’m simply reporting this as something to watch out for. Test with Image App if you have one of these cameras and see what happens.

Some cameras will not display images on the EVF/LCD in certain recording modes. On the Sony A7Riii, images will not appear on the monitor of the camera if you record movies while the camera is connected to an HDMI device with [File Format] set to [XAVC S 4K]. Check your camera’s operating manual for these sorts of limitations.


What about a version for Bolt or Paralinx transmitters?

Bolt and Paralinx send low-latency uncompressed video, but they don’t use Wi-Fi signaling, so their signals can’t be received by iDevices. And even if they could, the data rates would be scandalous.

Some crews simply connect a Cube to the output of a Bolt or Paralinx receiver, and rebroadcast the video for iPhones ‘n’ iPads.


Will you support other Wi-Fi-enabled cameras and transmitters?

A lot depends on whether the camera has a published wireless interface, and whether it transmits video in a form that iDevices can decode, and whether performance with the camera’s native app indicates that supporting it would be useful. Japanese camera companies are very conservative and don’t like to expose their communications interfaces to third parties, so I can’t promise anything or suggest a timeframe when—if ever—support might occur for any particular class of camera.

Panasonic’s remote interface isn’t published but its HTTP commands are unencrypted, so the basic interface was easily reverse-engineered by clever folks at personal-view.com. Once I saw that, it only took a few weeks of inspecting wireless traffic to suss out enough to interpret camera status encoded in frame headers and to issue proper commands.

Many Sonys use a published remote protocol, but when the A9 firmware version 5 was released, Sony quietly switched to using PTP/IP with undocumented Sony property codes. Until I could figure out what those command were, A9s with version 5 or later weren't controllable.

Fujifilms use a modified form of PTP/IP with undocumented property codes. Some property codes and command sequences differ from camera to camera. FieldMonitor only supports the X-T3 and X-T100 because those are the cameras I have available for development, and the code I wrote doesn't work well (or at all) with other Fujifilm cameras. No additional Fujifilm cameras will be supported because Fujifilm video functionality when using wi-fi remote control is very poor, and FieldMonitor cannot improve it.

Nikons will not be supported: with the Z6, at least, the live-view feed is choppy and nearly half a second behind realtime, and the camera itself is inoperable while under Wi-Fi control. These limitations make Nikons unsuitable for remote operation or Wi-Fi monitoring, regardless of how well they work when used directly.

If a company decides to change their protocol and/or encrypt it, third-party apps will stop functioning, at least until the developers figure out the new commands (for example, when Panasonic introduced the S1, it used a different remote protocol for the initial connection than previous cameras did). There is no guarantee that such changes will be reverse-engineerable; if the signal is encrypted and the protocol changes, it is likely that no third-party apps will work — at least for a while, possibly forever.


There’s only one “settings button”; there’s no false-color control!

You have an older iDevice that doesn't support false color. False color needs an iDevice with an A7 or later processor:

If you're monitoring a camera feed (not a Teradek), consider using a false-color LUT instead.


What about an Android version?

I am not currently developing an Android version. One might be possible in the future, but not for at least 9–12 months. (That’s at least 9–12 months from now, not from when this page was last updated. If and when that timeframe changes, I'll update this section of the FAQ.)

An iPod touch 6th generation makes a great FieldMonitor device and (in the USA) costs $200, or less refurbished. Used iPhones (5S, 6, 6S, or later, please) are often even cheaper.


I'm a student: can I get a discount?

FieldMonitor is available through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for education. Your school can buy 20 or more at half price, and give you a code to install it on your iDevice.

Sadly there’s no good online description of the Volume Purchase Program at present, though it’s mentioned here, under “Apps at a volume discount”, and there's some deployment info here. For more details, contact the Apple technology manager or IT folks at your school.


Who needs to see YCbCr WFMs?

I've never needed it myself, but Alex Lindsay said it was essential. So there it is. Who am I to argue with Alex Lindsay?  :-)


Why isn’t my question answered here?

If it isn’t here or on the Support page, it’s because I haven’t heard it yet, that's why. Ask me and I’ll see if I can answer it.

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© 2021 Adam J. Wilt.  Last updated 2021.06.08

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