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Phottix - Hector

This is a device that connects to a camera with Liveview, and allows the image through the lens to be seen on a hand held device up to 2 metres from the camera, it also acts as a cable release. It is powered by a rechargeable battery and comes with a power unit to charge it in the unit. The battery is used for the Liveview feature, it will function as a cable release even when the battery is flat or not present.

This will work with most DSLR cameras that have a Liveview output. We are using it with a Nikon D300.

The image is displayed on a 2.4inch LCD colour screen and although of poorer resolution than the rear panel on a Nikon D300, it is adequate for its use.

Whatever would be displayed on the rear panel of the camera is displayed on the panel, so you can see exposure settings, the inbuilt metre and other settings, menu settings, images taken etc as well as the Liveview image.

With the unit you get the appropriate cables for your camera. In the case of a Nikon D300, this as a 2 metre cable that goes from the unit to two plugs, one fitting the ten pin connector, the second a video out plug.

Image shows Hector and a pen
 for size comparison

So why use it

  • Accessibility - It allows you to have the camera in a position you cannot conveniently get to, for example high up pointing down, low down pointing up, or on a monopod stuck out over the wall of a castle or held high to look over a fence or crowd, and yet still be able to see the image the camera can see.

  • Minimising disturbance - For panoramas and situations where the camera is to move and you may either not wish to move or moving might disturb the camera. For wildlife photography where you might have the camera a little way from you, or your movements might frighten the wildlife.

  • Covert - taking images without being seen to do so, or with your camera around your neck, or with the camera concealed. You could also operate the unit from inside a light proof bag at night.

  • Candid photos - photos of children or others, while watching them and not needing to be endlessly pointing the camera at them.

  • Self portraits.

  • Alternative to a 90 degree finder - macro, manual focusing of long lenses, and the like.

  • Live 3D - for this you need two cameras looking at the same item, and while you can do this with Liveview and a special dual camera support, if you want to use two tripods and have the cameras further apart for landscapes, then being able to see one camera and a second on a cable connection makes the task far simpler.

Available online from UK based  www.phottix.net price 89 plus 5 postage, including cables etc. (20% cheaper on stand at Focus and possibly other shows). Extra cables to use with other cameras are available.

Hector in use

Alternatives

In the studio and possibly elsewhere you can run the camera connected to a computer, and control most camera features and settings via a cable, as well as see the Liveview image ion the screen. The software to do this with a Nikon camera is Nikon Camera Control 2, you can see an article showing its use in a project involving extended focus (slicing) at Capturing Slices with a Nikon DSLR. This works extremely well in the studio but is not very practical out and about.

The same company make a more expensive non Liveview version model that will work on any camera and looks through the viewfinder with a small camera/transmitter. This model called the Phottix Hero, is wireless and can work up to 100metres from the camera. Price is 342. www.phottix.net

Seculine Zigview S2 live similar to this model costs 216 with a 6 metre cable.

Securline Zigview S2 non Liveview cable version 249 plus adaptors and cables. Long cables are available.

The Zigview models have an additional function that allows movement in a section of the image to be detected and this to fire the camera, however a camera cannot be left in Liveview mode for an extended period, as after a short period the camera times out and turns off to prevent the sensor from over heating.  Zigview models are available from SpeedGraphic.

 


By: Keith Park   Section: Photography Section Key:
Page Ref: Photix_Hector Topic: Accessories  Last Updated: 03/2010
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