Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder with 7D review

Tuesday, 27 April 2010 09:14

It works great on the 7D and 5D. I think it's a cool tool to have around. It has four features: Self-portraits viewfinder, High-angle (position) viewfinder, Off-camera remote shutter release, Low-angle (position) viewfinder.





I received the Aputure Gigtube Live view LCD Viewfinder. Here are a bunch of photos of it in use with the 7D. In a word - it works. I think it's pretty rockin for taking photos.

As for shooting video, the resolution is low, so you have your range of options on how to focus - wing it and hope, use magnification before recording, then shoot fixed focus, or try to have people hit marks dead on and use a follow focus with marks. But if I was getting that serious with follow focus and marks, I'd bring out the Marshall.

Here's a list of observations:

- Hot Shoe mountable - very cool. Very lightweight and compact.

- The cable to the Gigtube Digital Viewfinder is 4 conductor, breaking out to a split to a 2.5mm 3 conductor (stereo) plug and a 2 conductor (mono) 3.5mm plug. The Mono plug is the mono feed which I adapted to the video RCA out of the breakout cable out of the 7D like frankenstein. If you hate cable mess, you'll hate this. If you can make a 7D A/V to that 3.5mm plug, you'd have a pretty damn clean setup.

I don't see a way you can use the shutter release button on it, which feeds out the 3 conductor plug. I haven't spent enough time looking for a proper adapter. But this was close..

Would be interesting if it worked with wireless gadgets like PocketWizards. Lastly, the Canon 7D Viewfinder comes with an extension cable for the 2.5mm plug which at the moment is worthless.

- If you lose video connection with the Gigtube, you have to toggle the view(play) button on the 7D to get it back.

- Auto sleep (called LIGHTOFF in the menu) is on by default. It gives you the option to set it to sleep in 20 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or off.

- There are settings for Brightness, Contrast that are pretty weak looking in practice. You can also flip the image vertically.

- Batteries are internal and can't be swapped out, but you can use the USB connector with some juice from a USB battery pack. It comes with an AC-USB charger. They claim 3 hour continuous use on a charge. I say no way jose. But I have yet to test it. It shows you a battery life bar, and in the menu it tells you a percentage of life left. I think it may be set to hard intervals like 99%, 75%, 40% and You're Hosed.

- The LCD flips around in all directions you'd expect. Changing direction from left to right is very positionable and stays put. Changing height position is clunky and wants to plop into it's 3 positions (closed, middle, open). So that's bound to annoy from time to time.

I see it being pretty impressive for certain kinds of shots on the run, but again, it would be far cooler to have an A/V-3.5mm cable.


Doh!! The 5D version arrived. But my 5D is in for repair for hot/stuck pixels. So I could only test on the 7D.

In short... It's does NOT work!! Ack. The shutter release does work. But I can't get the video to work no matter what I try. I got close though. By varying the conductors for the video in, I can get the Menu and Playback out of the 7D into the Gigtube. But the liveview for shooting goes dead and the Gigtube states no image.

So... I'll have to wait till my 5D gets back to try that. But as for the 7D, this is sucking.

My biggest question is, are the cables the only difference? Or is the Gigtube body different as well. My idea of making a direct cable out from the 7D to the Gigtube are dead, unless I can get the other cable from the previous unit.

I'm seeing if I can get any answers.

The saga continues. Fotodiox sells the cables separately. The Gigtube itself isn't camera specific. So I have one on order (GT3C) that will work with the 7D. The shutter release connector will be correct. However, It'll still require adapters or a hacked cable for video. The 5DMkII connector (GT3CII) should perfect. I'll update one more time once everything is in.

Well, the cable arrived and although shutter release works, live view out of the 7D with the GT3C cable plugged into the GT3CII Gigtube does NOT work - it's all scrambled like a scrambled pay-per-view channel. The menu works, but not the live view video.

So my 5DMkII arrived back from canon service, and I tested the GT3CII cable with the GT3CII Gigtube, and everything works - live view, menu, and shutter release.

I thought the Gigtube was agnostic and only the cables were different, but now I suspect differently.

So, given that I got this thing working perfectly and simply with the 5D, I'm keeping it for use with the 5D. It works, and works well.

As for the 7D, maybe the GT3C model works with video. Who knows! The first model that I received was the GT1C, and it did work with the 7D video out with adapters but the shutter release connector was wrong.

If you have been following this, I bet you're pretty sick of this thread.

I'm done with futzing around and not willing to purchase another one of these for the 7D when it's not ready to go out of the box.

In summary,

The GT3CII works perfectly with the 5D - video and shutter. The GT3CII video doesn't work with the 7D, but the shutter release does.

The GT1C works with the 7D video output, with the 7D video breakout cable and adapters to convert to 3.5mm mono plug, but the shutter release is wrong.

The 7D with the GT3C cable doesn't work with the GT3CII tube.

The 7D with the GT1C Gigtube and cable? I haven't tried.

I have a conclusion to this thread now. I received an adapter  - very cool!

So I tried out the adapter on the 7D. The hook up is as follows - 7D AV breakout cable plugged into 7D, with the other end into the adapter then into the Aputure Gigtube Digital Viewfinder

The good news is, that the live view works. It works great on the 7D and 5D, I think it's a cool tool to have around, It is a good choice !



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Last Updated on Friday, 15 October 2010 15:24