I thought that was pretty cool you could actually monitor what you are recording in realtime with your DSLR since this was not even possible until Magic Lantern came out a few months ago for the T2i. Actually, I am not sure why I am so excited since my camcorder has been able to do this for years, but since Canon didn’t design this to be a video camera, hey I guess it is pretty cool!
You can create this cable yourself if you like but it can become a mess of cords and since several cables are in the mix you have more points of failure so this is an elegant solution for people like myself.
You might be saying to yourself, “Hey Dave that is cool, but why not skip this and just use a Zoom H4n?” My answer is I am very lazy in post, I hate adding additional steps to the post production process if I don’t have to, and importing more files and sync them is just a time sink I would rather skip if it is a project I can do so.
At close to $40 it’s definitely on the pricey side, but Dennis tells us why:
The cable is expensive to manufacture because the USB mini AV out cable is a unique Canon cable. Sescom uses original Canon cables in the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, at this time there are no other supplier of the USB mini connector.
My first question is where in the audio chain are we monitoring? Is it just before it hits A/D converter or is it even better and after the recording and it coming off some sort of virtual “playback head”. I seriously doubt the later.
I was rather disappointed that when I played back a recording that I could no longer hear the audio anymore out of the headphones. I’m sure this is no fault of the cable but more of a function of the firmware itself.
In order to make this work you will need the following:
- The Sescom DSLR-550D-HOCF cable,
- Free Magic Lantern firmware (great install video that I used),
- Canon T2i 550D or Canon 5D MkII (requires a different model cable),
- Low impedance headphones with a mini jack connector
Within Magic Lantern – Under the ‘Audio’ menu:
- Turn AGC off (optional)
- Input to “external stereo”
- Loopback to “On”
- Raise the Output volume as desired
- Monitoring-USB to “On”
- Put the USB cable in ***AFTER*** you make these changes to the audio menu and you have the camera ON (if you plug in the USB before you turn it on the LCD screen will not turn on.
Since the volume to the headphones is pretty low you will want to get low impedance headphones that are mostly closed and not open air type.
Audio Technica ATH-M50. Impedance: 38 Ohms $159
Sony MDR-7506. Impedance: 63 Ohms $99
Sennheiser HD280 Pro. Impedance: 64 Ohms $99
The build quality on this cable looks excellent just like their AGC hack cable I reviewed last year. Overall I really like this cable, just wish I could hear on playback.
Two see products used in this video check out my gear page.