How to Use Your iPad as an On-Camera Monitor and Recorder

Something we covered recently was a new device called the Accsoon SeeMo that could turn your iPhone into a monitor and recorder. We have another video that features this exciting little product except instead of an iPhone it uses a full-size iPad.

Now, an iPhone replacing an on-camera monitor makes a lot of sense. An iPad though? They are massive and not exactly the first thought for camera monitoring and recording

Filmmaker Chris Brockhurst seems to have some ideas about that, however and lays out how the SeeMo works and why you might want to start using it in this way.

The simple explanation of the Accsoon SeeMo, if you missed the last post, is that it takes in a standard HDMI signal from your camera and then has a separate USB output for direct connection to your iPad or iPhone. This allows your smart device to become a real-time monitor for your camera.

It is a small device and runs on common NP-F style batteries. Since it is basic HDMI you could use this with wireless video transmitters as well to create a functional director’s monitor on set.

iPads do have some obvious advantages once you get over their size. Size is actually a key advantage. The bigger the screen the easier it becomes to check focus and other key settings before you hit record. iPads also have larger batteries and will last longer. They are probably not your main everyday device either.

Accsoon SeeMo

Image Credit: Accsoon

Newer iPads will support proper multi-tasking with this app running so you can pull up notes and other files at the same time as you shoot. This can be hugely advantageous for certain shoots.

Many people might want to think about the iPad mini, but it only provides a modest screen size advantage without the huge benefits that come with the full-size models.

Monitoring is a simple advantage and there are plenty of tools built into the app to help but recording is where things get interesting.

With a display LUT applied (available in the app) you can instantly record a clip with a basic look already applied and have it saved directly to your camera roll.

I doubt you can get a faster turnaround time for outputting to social media than that.

The limitation here is that while it will accept a 4K signal it will only record up to Full HD 60p. This is plenty for social, but it won’t replace your main workflow.

Accsoon SeeMo On Camera

Image Credit: Accsoon

If you are curious about mounting an iPad to your camera you’ll need a couple tools and they will need to be secure.

Ulanzi makes a solid one that even has an Arca-type base for directly mounting to many clamps and tripods. He then just used double-sided tape to attach the SeeMo to the back of the mount.

The monitor mount will also need to be strong and SmallRig makes a great mount that works with their cages for an extra safe attachment.

This is able to be moved around without any issue and doesn’t have any wobble. The only downside is that it won’t charge anything so you will need to monitor battery life throughout the day.

What do you think about the Accsoon SeeMo? Would you use your iPad this way?

[source: Chris Brockhurst]

Order Links:

  • Accsoon SeeMo (B&H, Amazon)
  • ULANZI iPad Tripod Mount Adapter (Amazon)
  • SmallRig 2174 Monitor Mount (B&H, Amazon)
  • SmallRig Full Cage for Sony FX3 (B&H)

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate partner and participant in B&H and Adorama Affiliate programmes, we earn a small comission from each purchase made through the affiliate links listed above at no additional cost to you.

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