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04-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
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EVF hack possible?

My K-01 should arrive any day now... I have been thinking of viewfinder options, and it occurred to me that an enterprising engineer might take advantage of the hdmi-out to connect an evf.

One difficulty is obvious: how to connect the hdmi cable to an existing non-pentax evf. This difficulty could be overcome by Pentax engineering an evf of their own. The other problem that occurred to me is that the hdmi connection might not have a sufficiently high refresh rate to make the evf useful.

What else am I missing?

04-16-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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Get one of these ... GGS Swivi Foldable 3X Viewfinder II for LCD screen on Canon EOS 7D 5D Mark II | eBay
INSTANT EVF without any hacks
04-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
What else am I missing?
Where would you mount it? Going up top might interfere with the flash or occupy the hot shoe.
04-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Charles Hueter Quote
Where would you mount it? Going up top might interfere with the flash or occupy the hot shoe.
Initially, I was imagining the hot shoe (I don't use flash very often), but just now I had the thought that with a cabled connection, one could wear the evf..! Cyborg-like.

04-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
Initially, I was imagining the hot shoe (I don't use flash very often), but just now I had the thought that with a cabled connection, one could wear the evf..! Cyborg-like.
I'm thinking that that might be a bit disorientating though...
04-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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At first perhaps, but I think that people can adapt... or be assimilated.
04-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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There's a video thread that talks to this. Plugging a cable into the HDMI port puts the camera in playback mode so that probably won't work for stills either. Plugging a cable into the AV port doesn't - the camera stays in capture mode - so that video feed could be used for a wearable EVF. I don't know if it still works in 'still' (vs video) mode but I'd be surprised if the camera's response is different.
04-16-2013, 01:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
Initially, I was imagining the hot shoe (I don't use flash very often), but just now I had the thought that with a cabled connection, one could wear the evf..! Cyborg-like.
I like your style.

It's a bummer about the HDMI port behavior. Maybe it can be hacked to send the data over WiFi to Google Glass. Then you'd have a cool solution. Is there an Eye-Fi equivalent for HDMI ports?

04-16-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Something like this?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/400464404505?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
04-16-2013, 04:55 PM   #10
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mirror enabling flip hack?

How about a hack to flip the live view to permit using a diagonal mirror as a waist level finder? That should be easy in firmware, I'd expect.
04-16-2013, 05:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by squareeyes Quote
How about a hack to flip the live view to permit using a diagonal mirror as a waist level finder? That should be easy in firmware, I'd expect.
If you use the composite video out and a mini TFT screen, you can position the EVF anywhere you want within the length of the cable
04-16-2013, 08:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rob22315 Quote
Plugging a cable into the HDMI port puts the camera in playback mode so that probably won't work for stills either.
Is this something that could be changed via firmware?
04-17-2013, 05:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
Is this something that could be changed via firmware?
I don't know the internal hardware architecture of the Prime M but my intuition says it's not something that could be fixed in software. Typically embedded live video feeds require a hardware pipeline tuned for the specific application. There's enough processing power or a specific chip on the board to support a real time composite video feed but not to feed a real time HDMI output. In some cases, off-the-shelf video chipsets support multiple formats so it could be a simple wiring change or it may not be supported at all.

Folks more familliar with the specifics of the boards and chips Pentax is using might have better insights.

Thinking about this from the other side, I don't think it's entirely practical to use the output that way. At today's prices, it would cost more than the camera body to get a field monitor with the resolution needed to take advantage of the HDMI feed and much of the detail would be lost in the small screens anyway. That said, my Galaxy Tab 8" tablet takes an HDMI feed and would make a great field monitor and I already own it so all I need is the output feed and a compatible cable. I did a quick check of affordable video monitors and none of the units in the $300 range had a native resolution that could take advantage of an HDMI output. The composite video is probably good enough.

If I can get a composite video cable for my tablet, I'll give it a try. I've already ordered the composite video cable for the K-01 - it's about $10 before shipping. It would be useful to get a sense for how much resolution is needed in practice for a field monitor to allow for composition and focusing. Even with a really good monitor, I wouldn't try to do on-the-spot color correction because nothing in the setup is properly profiled or managed. Getting enough resolution for focusing and focus-peaking is the big question IMHO.

UPDATE - I just did a quick search, I didn't find any way to use my tablet as a monitor. All the cable are for video out, not video in.
04-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #14
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The K-01 has landed... After an afternoon of playing with it, I am not finding the lack of a VF to be as troubling as I thought it might be. Time will tell.
04-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
The K-01 has landed... After an afternoon of playing with it, I am not finding the lack of a VF to be as troubling as I thought it might be. Time will tell.
The only challenge with the lack of an OVF is focusing in sunlight. I've solved most of that by using an LCD shade.
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