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09-25-2010, 06:28 AM   #1
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Pentax KX convert to webcam?

I have a Pentax KX and I would like to be able to basically show the live view of the video on my computer or TV screen, essentially make it into a webcam. Has anyone tried this? The problem is that as soon as I plug in the USB cable, it shuts itself down and goes into exporting mode. I am wondering if the optional AV cable would allow me to do this?

09-25-2010, 06:34 AM   #2
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Can't be done. The USB port only allows pictures and videos to be transferred to a PC/Mac. The A/V cable is for viewing recorded videos on a TV. The last Pentax camera capable of tethering to a computer was the K20D. If you want a webcam, buy a webcam.
09-25-2010, 06:59 AM   #3
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Oh too bad. I don't really want a webcam, I want a digital microscope, the optics on the camera would probably be 1000x better than a cheapo usb microscope, but being restricted to the little screen on the back of the camera defeats the purpose. The Canons can do it! there is a "remote shooting" option in the utility. The Pentax utility apparently doesn't have that option, at least not that I can find.
09-25-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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Sigh. The answer to this is so easy - and it's in the manual too.

And I don't know why people like boriscleto say it can't be done:



Plug in the AV cable, press the LV button on the camera, and everything the camera sees is viewable on an external video monitor.

What you see is not in HD, but PAL or NTSC standard definition video, but for many purposes it is good enough.

09-25-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Sigh. The answer to this is so easy - and it's in the manual too.

And I don't know why people like boriscleto say it can't be done:



Plug in the AV cable, press the LV button on the camera, and everything the camera sees is viewable on an external video monitor.

What you see is not in HD, but PAL or NTSC standard definition video, but for many purposes it is good enough.
It says that it is for the play back of images. It says that the camera turns on in video mode and that camera information is displayed on the tv. Nowhere does it say that you can display live video from the camera.
09-25-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
...It says that the camera turns on in video mode and that camera information is displayed on the tv. Nowhere does it say that you can display live video from the camera.
'Camera information is displayed on the TV' is pretty clear, although it may suffer in translation. I think they meant to convey that it did more than just playback pre-recorded images and video.

It would also only take a second to actually test out what actually happens when one plugs an AV cable into the K-x and plugs the other end into a TV.

When I first checked it out after buying the K-x, I used the 'AV cable' supplied with my K200D, plugged the K-x into the lounge room TV, and it jumped straight to displaying LiveView by default. It was pretty obvious what was going on.

I guess Pentax not bundling (in my region) any AV cable with the K-x stops folks from doing the same simple experiment themselves.
09-25-2010, 11:45 PM   #7
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Yes, and to connect to a computer use a 'video capture device'

DealExtreme: $10.91 EasyCAP USB 2.0 Audio/Video Capture/Surveillance Dongle

between the AV cable and the computers usb input.

Pseudo tethering/live-view.
All actuations still need to be made using the cameras controls but the live screen of the camera is transfered to the computers screen (not HD)
IMHO useful for a photo-booth or model feedback but not good enough for macro and other critical modes.
09-26-2010, 12:02 AM   #8
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I'm curious if the AV cable does just playback as well or Live View. I'll have to try it out.

If it does work, I'd keep an eye out for the temperature of the sensor. Can't have it on too long...

09-26-2010, 12:15 AM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
If it does work, I'd keep an eye out for the temperature of the sensor. Can't have it on too long...
Interesting observation, I am very interested..... can you expand on that ? how to monitor sensor temp ?? (K200D)
Tia..
09-26-2010, 04:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobD Quote
Yes, and to connect to a computer use a 'video capture device'



between the AV cable and the computers usb input.

Pseudo tethering/live-view.
All actuations still need to be made using the cameras controls but the live screen of the camera is transfered to the computers screen (not HD)
IMHO useful for a photo-booth or model feedback but not good enough for macro and other critical modes.
Awesome... that was going to be my next question. What I am planning to use it for is cleaning ancient coins... I need 5 - 15x magnification and even the usb microscopes you can buy usually don't go that low. 25-200x is what they seem to have and in order to work for my purposes I need to have the coin at least six inches from the camera in order to use tools, which could be a problem with one of these standard microscopes as it seems that many of them only focus well if you are almost on top of the item you are focusing on. I figure that after messing around with different combinations of lenses on the camera I should be able to rig up something that will work nicely assuming the video quality is half decent to start with.

As far as overheating goes, I found this in the troubleshooting section of the manual:

Error message: Camera overheated. Disabling Live View temporarily to protect circuitry
Description: Live View cannot be used because the camera's internal temperature is too high. Press the OK button and try using Live View again when the camera has cooled down.

So I guess if it happens that the sensor overheats I will know about it.
09-26-2010, 08:04 AM   #11
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I ordered the cable and the usb interface, I will let everyone know if it works when I get it.
09-26-2010, 04:01 PM   #12
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Given that the image is Pal or NTSC not HD then you could probably get the same image quality using a cheap P&S without putting mileage and heat concerns on your Kx.

From my experiments the difference between the view from my Sony 6Mp P&S and my K200D (when used into a TV or the video capture to the computer) is minimal.

Like your idea of a low power large view microscope use !
Must go and try it for hand engraving on metal.

Hmm, might be good for a demo screen when I am teaching Jewellery classes. Right, off to try that too !

Thanks for your inspirations...
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