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We have all seen the announcement today of the oversized Apple iphone/ tablet thingy called the “ipad”. It looks the next gadget to have for sure…but what intrigues me is would it be possible to get an adapted version of the Canon live view software for the Mac onto the ipad, connect up a USB lead to the Canon HD-DSLR cameras and we would have a very nice monitor that doesn’t disable the camera’s LCD screen, like we can do with our laptops currently…I know it’s not running OSX but surely it must be possible…?!

We have the camera connection kit which turns the dock connector into a USB port…so it must be possible!?

Am not saying I want to use the “iPad” as a dedicated monitor, for that I recommend a dedicated monitor! But just something instead of giving director my laptop which is current situation.

Only one thing though…SURELY Apple had seen this MadTV spot from 2006 before they decided on the name?! Please do not watch the below video if you are a bit prudish!


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  1. Leuke says:

    I was thinking the same thing. We’d also need a new cable or some sort of adapter as there’s no usb port on the iPad.
    It’s an exciting thought, and I look forward to seeing if any of your readers can come up with a solution for us all. =]

  2. Check out the specs page for the iPad. At the bottom they have the “iPad Camera Connection Kit” that puts a USB port on the 30pin connector, so surely there must be a way!

  3. Ross says:

    I would think you could pull that off actually using the DSLR Remote app, the iPad should run all the iPhone apps, don’t see why that wouldn’t work! :)


  4. Edubits says:

    Apple has a Camera Connection Kit which could solve the lack of USB:

  5. Rich Danby says:

    There is a camera connection kit that gives you a USB to connect cameras to (see bottom of but I doubt it would be able to do anything other than access files off the camera – and it may not even be able to do that with Canon DSLRs as they don’t behave like external drives without a driver installed.

    I’m not sure if a typical Apple high gloss screen would make a nice monitor anyway.

  6. Joel says:

    They do have a Dock to USB adapter for importing images from your camera via the USB cable, it was around when iPods were all HDD based and I bought one, however it doesn’t work on any flash based iPods including iPhones (Nevermind the fact that it worked on my 20GB iPod and not my 32GB iPhone, so it’s obviously not storage).

    Hopefully they’re re-opening that pin/port up in the connector and maybe someone will be able to develop an App that will use that interface? (down at the bottom).

    Here’s to hoping a LOT of dock connected external hardware starts showing up; sometime last year they opened up an API for that connector to allow developers to develop hardware that interfaces, but thus far nobody really has done so. Perhaps the iPad was the main reason behind that?

  7. Eugenia says:

    As I replied on Twitter, this won’t be possible. Not only doing things via USB is not easy since it would require the implementer to also make up a brand new gfx connection protocol, the Apple SDK does not allow users to write drivers. Even on a jailbroken iPad this would be super-difficult to achieve. So I don’t expect anything like this on an iPad personally.

    I don’t think that this is the device to use for the job. Instead, someone just needs to contact an Asian manufacturer that can provide an HDMI-in and RCA-in 720p monitor for $250. As I discussed with @Timescapes on Twitter last month, that price is totally possible when considering this product. So close… and yet so far away. :-)

    Last year I had one such Chinese manufacturer visiting me in my house discussing the possibility (he found me via my blog and he wanted to learn more about videographer’s needs as a possible product). I don’t have any news if he’s going to implement anything like it or not, but I did take the time to explain our needs and he did get it and acknowledged the need.

  8. Marcus O'Brien says:

    Absolutely cracking idea – the ability to have a high res ‘iPad’ to use as a field monitor would be solid – using it in the same way as a laptop but more portable. Imagine setting up your DSLR for a timelapse and being able to watch what the camera is capturing on your iPad in another location (like your hotel room!)


  9. Steve says:

    If this did work it is probably the only thing the iPad would be useful for.

  10. […] Posted on 27-01-2010 5DMrkII + iPad = ? Filed Under (Video) by admin The conference was not over this afternoon and I had already received a few emails and SMS from friends telling me how great of an external screen the iPad could be. And now even Philip Bloom  talks about it. […]

  11. 16x9cinema says:

    Let’s take it one step further… Not only would it be great if the iPad served as a monitor, but also as a control surface for the camera. That would be snazzy indeed.

  12. Dave Griffin says:

    If Canon/Nikon/etc. had a published specification of the USB camera control protocol, this seems well within the capabilities of the hardware (subject to the OS letting you yack over the USB port in an unfettered way). Anyone who has reversed-engineered those protocols may have themselves quite a head start on such a cool controller.

  13. rosho says:

    I think is like the old iPod camera connector, one way only… but… this is a new connector… I hope

  14. Bostjan Majcen says:

    that would be great indeed, but…
    but they need to save some cherries for new releases :)

  15. Josh Gooden says:

    Really hoping this could be possible with the USB! They should call the app iMonitor.

  16. […] users. A question that's been circulating around the internet, in user groups and on blogs like Philip Bloom's, is whether or not the iPad can be used as a field […]

  17. David Berglund says:

    I don’t see that happening on a locked down Apple OS, as other people mention. Probably more likely on some upcoming Android/Windows-based tablet, though I rather buy a rugged high res field monitor for that kind of money, when they exist.

  18. Paul Ream says:

    The iPhone already has USB connection and personally I’d find the OnOne DSLR Camera Remote software more useful if it connected via the camera’s USB out rather than needing a wireless network. (ie. cut out the laptop)
    If someone wrote an app to do this on the iPhone then it follows that it would also work on the iPad as the apps are compatible…

    Trouble is using USB for live-view is always going to be laggy (slow) because of all the coding/decoding going on.

    What both the iPhone and iPad need are video inputs?

  19. Josh says:

    If they can make that work then im sold on it. So much cheaper than a marshall moniter. Plus i can have hitchcock open on it at the same time. 😀

    1. pbloom says:

      it won’t be as good as a dedicated monitor through live view mode but it’s only way to use keep LCD on and have a monitor.

      No multitasking on the ipad I believe though

      1. C.T.Daniel says:

        but i think will be enough for focusing … or … i hope

      2. Andrew Reid says:

        There is a rumour doing the rounds that multitasking will be coming to version 4.0 of the iPhone / iPad software. The iPad is currently on v3.2 and that release of the OS is iPad only (doesn’t work on the iPhone).

        Technically possible but I don’t think Apple want to risk muddling the user interface by having a windows-like system of side by side multitasking apps going on.

        They aim to keep things simple.

        Would be cool to have the story-board and actual camera feed side by side on one screen though :)

  20. Andrew Reid says:

    As the screen technology is so cheap and the chips so thin, I am surprised an Asian manufacturer hasn’t entered the field monitor market with a very cheap and simple 10 inch screen, with nice thin form factor and a HDMI input.

    All technically possible, there just doesn’t see to be the supply.

    But we all know there is a demand. Just in the same way there is a huge niche for Steve’s Z-finder.

    However comes to the market with a iPad form factor HDMI input screen at the right price is going to make a lot of money.

    The iPad is too sexy to risk in the field anyway! I am already using my Macbook as a tea coaster so I have a good excuse to buy an iPad :)

  21. […] Totusi pe mine ma framanta intrebarea: Would the Apple “iPad” be possible to use as a live view monitor for the Canon HD-DSLRs? […]

  22. Dave Grant says:

    I predict, There will be an app for that.

  23. ed says:

    What about an ipad app that gives enhanced control over your camera. Such as an advanced intervalometer that allows smooth exposure changes throughout a lapse? then you can go from day to sunset to stars. hmmmmm

  24. Cipo says:

    It should be possible to get a cheap monitor 720p with HDMI input for the DSLR world. Probably a matter of time Eugenia stated. Some asian biz guy should see this market …..

    1. pbloom says:

      i think people are missing the point…i don’t want hdmi input on my “ipad”, i want it via USB for the simple reason that HDMI disables the LCD screen of the Canon…USB doesn’t. That is why the live view app is very cool way of giving a director a monitor without you losing your LCD or your own monitor…

      1. Paul Ream says:

        In that case PB, just get a netbook tablet, run EOS Utilities on USB, and give it to the director. Cheaper and easier than an iPad. Most of the directors I work with would only drop it anyway!!!

        1. pbloom says:

          isn’t that a ….shudder…PC?!

          1. Adam Weiss says:

            It may look like a PC, but I have a Dell Mini 10v running Snow Leopard and EOS Utility that I use as a monitor and a Mac OS X netbook. The Dell is also a fanless machine, so it doesn’t add any noise to the shooting environment.

            1. green says:

              Indeed Dell Mini 10v is a fantastic machine for MacOSX and it is much smaller than macbooks.
              Still the keyboard is kind of annoying at times and I wish there was a way to disconnect it.
              Unfortunately all the tablet netbooks I have seen are less than ideally compatible with MacOS X.

              There is a short lovely tutorial from gizmodo on how to get Snow Leopard on 10v at
              the only thing they left out for some reason is you need to get VoodooPowerMini extension installed to slow down the cpu when nothing is running to cut on heat and battery usage (get it at )

      2. chard says:

        I look at the same way as you think, I have photo studio with “canon live view” as crucial thing for taken a photo. If I can replace laptop and use iPad as portable monitor for live view, woow, bye-bye assistant, hello iPad! And maybe with the new 1 Ghz chip it will enough faster for live view app.

  25. Andres says:

    What I think would be even cooler is to make a interface for pulling focus. With the wifi unit it could work wirekessly.

    with we can have it as a remote an a liveview.

  26. David Taylor says:

    I was thinking it might make a nice DIY teleprompter! Like this one for the iPhone/Touch:

  27. Adam Weiss says:

    I think that it will work as a WIRELESS live view monitor, if a developer can take the idea of an app like DSLR Camera Remote Professional ( and get it to work with video live view — if it doesn’t already (I have a 7D, not a 5DII, so I can’t test the app).

    At that point, you’d still need a laptop to get the signal out of the camera, but the director wouldn’t need to be right next to you to see the screen, and could move around as needed.

    This is very close to working on an iPhone/iPod Touch already, in an app that will work on the iPad on launch day, albeit at lowe resolution. With a few tweaks to the app, you could have wireless live view for the director. If the developer ( makes those changes, we could have a solution pretty quickly.

  28. Sebastian says:

    what do you guys think about this one?–7–.html&XTCsid=l3g44vvstn2ji7u6rh6em1pna7

    it has 7”
    WVGA (800×480)
    contrast 250:1
    and 350 cd/m²

    only problem:
    power via: USB
    and connect via USB

  29. Marcus From Philly says:

    It would be great to know if this device could be used as a remote (wireless) LCD when shooting in DSLR. Would be interesting

  30. Andrew Howe says:

    One possibility might be the latest version of the wireless grip – the WFT-E4 II. With the older version you still needed a PC or Mac as a server and DSLR Remote to get a remote screen/control but it did mean it did not need to be tethered. The two bits I have copied below suggest that the server bit may now be built in. Difficult to find more information on the net, just endless copies of the press release. Pity it costs as much as a MacBook

    This is from Warehouse Express’ product details
    The WFT Server takes full advantage of Java-enabled internet browsers, providing more opportunities for photographers to change camera settings like ISO, focus, aperture and shutter speed, from a computer or portable wireless device such as a PDA or smartphone. This allows photographers to control their cameras whilst on the move or when in remote areas where carrying a computer may be impractical. One camera can be accessed from up to three different computers or mobile devices, allowing photographers convenient and flexible remote control over their photography.

    This is from a conversation on :
    William the newer version adds some bells. It enables wireless connection on 802.11a as well as b and g. It also allows wirless linking of multiple bodies (if they all have WFT-E4II’s) it also has a bluetooth link in it for GPS logging via that rather than the usb port. It has a few other features too, internet enabled linking so you could fire your camera with live view from any where with internet access etc. Probably means you can fire your remote camera with your iPhone without a computer connected to it.

    Not very fast still but a good upgrade.

    Hope this helps, Scott.

  31. Jim Culp says:

    ipad resolution is 1024×768

  32. Christopher says:

    People people, once again I find yet another version of this topic with the obvious overlook that kills all this talk right away. All Apple’s “i” devices can not accept a video feed through their port. It’s only a video out. This is because Apple wants to control media on the phone. If you had a video or audio “in”, then all you would have to do is make an app to record this feed and you could then rip movies on to your I-device. It’s never never never never NEVER going to happen. There is no app that will be able to do this since the hardware is not designed for it.

    This is why the DSLR remote is acting like a proxy of the laptop’s screen using Canon’s EOS utility and why DSLR remote has to have the camera tethered to a computer. So in essence DSLR remote is streaming a file feed over an internet (which the app is creating via computer-to-computer network) which is also why there major lag when it comes to the video you see. Also being stuck in this situation of the limitations of the EOS utility is why OnOne hasn’t been able to get movie mode to work with this great app.

    The usb thingy that everyone keeps showing here is for file transfer.

  33. […] sooner was the news out about the Ipad that Phillip Bloom speculated on how, with the iPad “camera connection kit,” whether it might be a great in-your-lap […]

  34. Zack McTee says:

    what would be great is if DSLR Remote made it possible to have live view on their iphone app while not disabling the 5D’s live view. This would make everything possible.

  35. Antony Middleton says:

    If you check out the websites below, you can see that with the new Wireless Transfer grips, you can send the liveview over WIFI to an iphone. I would assume that this would work for an iPad. Also, you can have 3 connected devices at the same time. Potential for having a iphone near the camera and a ipad for a director etc! I haven’t tried liveview over wifi so it could be a bit laggy.
    It also has options for camera control such as focus, aperture and stop/start.

  36. Adam C. says:

    The iPad is an innovative device in terms of how it’s going to change the landscape of computing for the casual user. The closed OS will remove the headaches for a lot of people. And that’s great. Apple will probably have a solid device on their hands by the second or third iteration of this device (never by first gen of anything in the electronics world).

    That said, the iPad just isn’t an adequate solution for a photographer or cinematographer’s needs. Suppose you need a cheap, ultraportable device to take out in the field when you can’t lug your full-sized laptop along with you. What do you need that device to do? Well, using it as a client monitor is a start. Next, it also needs the ability to not only import photos and videos from the camera, but to then export those photos back to a secondary storage device (like a USB HDD).

    On top of that, it needs a simple preview and file management structures tailored to your particular needs. Let’s face it: everybody manages their files differently. The iPad has a hidden file structure that simplifies things for the casual user, but removes all control for the power user. The files get stored in directories specific to each program, and that’s it. You never see file structure, you just open the picture browser and look at the photos. To me, that’s a nightmare not a blessing.

    If you’re a Mac user, as I imagine a lot of us reading this are, you really don’t have a lot of options. But there’s always hope Apple may release something equivalent to an iPad Pro within the next year. Hope and Rumors. In the meantime, I have to echo what a few of you have already said: everything you really want in an iPad already exists in the hackintoshed Dell mini10v. It gives you a lot more than the iPad does, and at fraction of the cost.

    I’m running a mini 10v with 10.6.2 currently. I’m actually typing this post on it. It runs photoshop and lightroom well enough, does a great job with Canon’s EOS utility for remove viewing through USB. I highly recommend it.

  37. Atma Singh says:

    “I’m running a mini 10v with 10.6.2 currently. I’m actually typing this post on it. It runs photoshop and lightroom well enough, does a great job with Canon’s EOS utility for remove viewing through USB. I highly recommend it”.

    +1 re: the above!

    i’m running a hackintoshed 10v too and couldn’t be a happier bunny. get to surf, check mail, dump images/build previews/keyword via Lightroom whilst on the road…freeing-up time for editing when i’m back at my desktop.

    considering what i paid for it, a seriously sweet deal. with the slightly chunky 6-cell battery option you’ve got around 6 hours (wifi). it’s a very cool road machine and runs OSX like a dream. i found the following guides more detailed – it seems gizmodo got it this way too:

    things to bear in mind though:

    – you can’t playback full HD (1080) video; the graphics won’t support it. 720p is fine though.

    – i wouldn’t use the screen for any kind of editing apart from home snaps. this should go without saying.

    – when one also considers this is an Intel Atom machine with 1Gb RAM, don’t start thinking that it’s a workable solution re: Final Cut, editing massive 5d2 RAW images etc.

    1. pbloom says:

      i have one. not bad. HATE the trackpad!!

    2. nick says:

      How exactly did you install EOS utility on your mini10v?? when i try to install it is gives me a warning that the resolution of the screen is too low

      1. JJ says:

        I just copied the version from my desktop over to the Mini 10v. It seems to work pretty good though the bottom of the control menu is cut off (not a problem because those functions are accessible from the main menu) and it crashes on me using the intervalometer (still trying to find a solution to this).

  38. adam mokhtar says:

    hi your work and its great to see you to where you are now my friend. btw bro, have you got the chance to see this? let us know what you think? they might be even interested to send you one to review :-).

  39. Ed says:

    Everyone is trying to get the iPad to work for live view but why not just get a $150 netbook to do the same thing + have a fully functional OS for other things. I know we’re trying to find uses for the iPad but all this hack talk when the solution is already out there. Netbook + Live View + Camera.

    @Andrew Reid – Actually, an Asian company already came out with an iPad months before Apple did. It’s called the P88. Not saying I like it but just addressing your reply.

  40. kathleen says:

    “Am not saying I want to use the “iPad” as a dedicated monitor, for that I recommend a dedicated monitor! But just something instead of giving director my laptop which is current situation.”

    Hi phil, am I right in reading that you can connect the Canon 5d dslrs to a MBP for viewing at the same time as recording to camera? (as if it were a monitor) if so, which dslr’s can you do this with? 7d? 550D? cheers kathleen

    1. nathan lisle says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      Your query is correct. Yes, you can do just as your question describes. Though I haven’t read the specs on ALL of the current models of the EOS line of Canon DSLRs, (specifically uncertain of the 1DmIV, 550D/T2i), I am certain that the 5DmII, and 7D can do this, without question. Furthermore, I feel it is only fair to assume that ALL do indeed provide this feature through use of the EOS Utility Software.

  41. Jon Tietz says:

    I’ve got this working on iOS devices. Not bullcrap software like OnOneSoftware’s crap or anything like that. This is WiFi enabled camera control with liveview.

    Working on it as part of my thesis. I’m also working on using WiFi Direct to cut out the router. And possibly servo control of the camera as well through the same app.

    Contact me if interested :)