Aputure Remote Control LCD – A Cool Gadget – Thumbs Up

So many people jot notes in threads and posts on their favorite photography internet sites making it plain to the world they want an articulating LCD built into their DSLR cameras. Very few companies have appeased them and the flat built-in LCD is the order of the day.

Aputure hopes to change that by providing a remote LCD that brings an interesting assortment of features that include:

  • LCD viewing monitor that slips onto the camera’s hot shoe.
  • Swings up and down for holding the camera high or low.
  • Swivels around so you can see LCD from the front side of the camera.
  • Has remote button to fire camera’s shutter including a focus half-press.
  • Has extra long accessory cord so you can fire the camera remotely from  far away

By adding Aputure onto the camera you can realize a wide variety of wishes many of us have for the LCD on the back of the camera with this remote LCD screen.

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When I received my UPS package with the new Aputure in it, it arrived with the Aputure LCD screen body, a USB connector, a set of wires correctly selected for my brand of camera that connects to the AV out port and the control port, a hot shoe stand for the Aputure LCD,  an extension wire for remote control shooting and the instruction sheet.

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The instructions are not the best around and hopefully they will be updated. If you are an English speaking person you can clearly see there was a poor struggling soul doing their best to translate from one language to another and hopefully the instructions will be refined so people can understand a little better their choices at hand. Putting that aside though, the Aputure is a fun and neat gizmo to have.

The overall package is small enough to make it convenient to have it along with you. Once opened though most folks will probably stash the important parts in their camera bag and unless on a trip, leave the unused parts home.

Here is the Aputure LCD before I unpacked it:

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The heart of the Aputure LCD unit looks like this:

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It is designed to work with DSLR cameras that have the LiveView feature and the wires that come with it are used to support focusing and triggering the focus and shutter of the camera. Mine was the model for my D3X camera, but I also tried it on an older Canon XTI using only the AV out port and it worked fine. Of course I wasn’t able to fire the Canon’s shutter like I could the Nikon, but I did get to hold the camera at all kinds of angles and even take some pictures of myself by flipping the LCD forward.

In my wedding work and even pleasure photography I often like to hold the camera high above my head, aim and hope for the best. With the Aputure, I can actually see the live LCD screen and fire the camera accurately.  If I put the camera on a monopod and go up high I can hold the Aputure in my hand and see what the camera is seeing and fire the camera (with the proper wiring set applied) from the red button on the Aputure right from my hand with the camera hovering high above me.

Up high:

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Down low:

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And while either sitting on the camera or off, the LCD will spin around so you can be in front of the camera and see what is going on:

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And from behind you get to see both LCD screens, the one on the camera naturally doesn’t come off or angle up or down, and it doesn’t turn forward like the Aputure does so the Aputure adds a lot of function to the mix. This is great for out in the field or for studio work where the camera can be in one spot and you are free to move about and fire at will.

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Pros:

I have to give Aputure a thumbs up.

Besides being fun to use, it opened up opportunities on my DSLR to do things I have been wanting to do for a long time. Aputure is a very useful remote LCD screen and I can see it being a useful tool for getting perspectives in my shooting that are difficult to get or I have been ignoring those perspectives altogether like shooting remotely, putting the camera in high or low positioning and still being able to see what the heck I am shooting, and being able to stand in front of the camera and doing those all important Facebook and YouTube shots :)

This item, or one similar to it, is really a must have for DSLR Video. If you ever plan on doing video with your camera, an articulating display will be a huge help in ensuring you see what you are doing, steadying the camera and, minimizing arm strain.

Cons:
The instructions, as I already mentioned, need to be done better so they are friendlier. I found my unit kept shutting off like on a timer and that annoyed me a lot. I checked the instructions and found nothing mentioning it, but when digging around I found a feature that saves the battery by shutting the LCD screen it down. After deactivating that feature in the menu selections I was home free and had a great time taking pictures from all kinds of angle.

The screen’s resolution is 230,000 pixels and I wish it was more, but the AV-out port for most cameras doesn’t support the higher resolutions even if you wanted them to do so. Battery life was good. After the initial charging I went a whole day of shooting and continued the next morning and the battery was still a happy camper. You charge up Aputure by plugging it into a powered USB port. You can use your own USB connection or use the supplied power cable to USB transformer and charge it off your house current. It was easy and took a few hours the first time around.

Where to Buy:
Aputure can be found at the www.photoxgear.com web site and is priced at $199.95. It is compatible with select Canon and Nikon cameras. If you are looking for the full functionality of an LCD powered remote control for your camera along with the convenience of an articulating screen this is definitely something to put on your list of things to check out.

Peter Gregg is a freelance writer and inventor of A Better Bounce Card flash diffusion systems for camera hot shoe flash units. Visit his site at www.abetterbouncecard.com

12 Responses to “Aputure Remote Control LCD – A Cool Gadget – Thumbs Up”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Gary Martin says:

    Fascinating, timely. Seems well designed from a unctional perspective an hopefully thebuild quality is good. Do you have any idea which model would be used with Canon 7D? Thanks for good review and bringing this to our attention.

  2. Roger says:

    What about the delay?

  3. Keith Stretton says:

    Another negative is that flash photography is out when this unit is mounted to the camera. But the positives aspects for all other times make this a worthy addition to anyones kit.

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    To answer some of your questions:

    The Gigtube unit will work work with the new Canon 7D using the supplied adapter connected to the usb-to-video out cable that comes with the camera.

    The Gigtube unit does not have to be mounted on the cameras hot shoe for it to function, the unit can be hand held or mounted onto a tripod or lightstand (using the supplied stand shown in picture 1 and demonstrated in picture 4 and 5) the hot shoe is just a convenient place for it in most situations.

    The delay between what the camera sees and what is shown on the unit is about the same as the delay on the back screen of the camera itself, very minimal. There is a delay between pressing the trigger and the camera firing, but that is due to the camera leaving the live view mode to fire, you would have the same delay if pressing the camera’s trigger itself.

    I hope that answers all your questions, please let me know if there are more!

    ~ Jeff Holland
    http://www.photoXgear.com
    info@photoxgear.com

  5. Dan Olean says:

    Could Aputure be used on a camera without live-view, like the Nikon D200? Even though I would not be able to view what the camera is “seeing” before I take the picture, I would find it very useful in being able to remotely see the image that I just captured.

  6. w blake says:

    Cute. It brings back the advantage of the old, and innovative, Nikon 990′s and that sort of twisting camera body where you cold use the camera at different angles. Swivelling LCD screens are mostly consumer level, and who knows when they will arrive on the pro-sumer and professional, if ever. Thank you for the review.

  7. Martin Datzinger says:

    Seems like the good old Zigview is still the way to go because it offers access to the camera’s full operating speed (phase detect AF and everything) as it looks down the camera’s optical viewfinder with a little video camera. However, this unit costs only half as much and may very well have a far better display quality and a better battery life.

  8. Catastrophile says:

    Zigview and Proview both create their “live view” out of the OVF, so they inherit all the disadvantages of the OVF: no white balance or iso noise preview, ify DoF preview, no possibility to use 10x magnification for manual focus. All these are possible if you get your live view out off the main sensor as Aputure is doing. also the zigview concept requires an additional accessory sensor which adds to the costs, Aputure is much cheaper. the only problem with Aputure is availability and am not sure yet about durability/guarantee/service either. but their concept is definitel the way to go, mabe camera manufacturers will take note and start to offer us similar accessories.

  9. Christopher says:

    I would like to know how far away from the camera you can go with it.

  10. I think it’s built for Nikon only. So, not interested. Rather wait for the Canon tilt LCD model.

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