Clean Fullscreen Live HDMI from a Nikon D5100

Please Note: A full video tutorial on how to do this will be presented on an upcoming episode of Category5 Technology TV.

Boxing week saw some great sales, but also, a lot of liquidation of refurb stock. For example, Henry’s had Nikon D5100 cameras with the 18-55mm kit lens on for just $350. You can probably find a similar deal on a used Nikon D5100 at B&H, but also keep in mind that this is a previous-generation DSLR (replaced with the D5200) so you should be able to find it pretty cheap. Please also try our Amazon links at http://shop.category5.tv/?product=nikon-d5100-dslr-camera-with-720p1080i-clean-hdmi-output since purchasing through them helps support the show, or of course, check B&H for used stock too: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/0/Ntt/Nikon+D5100+Digital+SLR+Camera+With+18-55mm/usedSearch/1

So, what can this bad-boy do, beyond reasonably decent photography and better-than-entry-level 1080p recorded video? Why, HD clean video over HDMI … with a little know-how.

Tonight is our first test: to see if the D5100 could be used as an A camera for Category5 Technology TV while we continue to save up for the 4K option (which we just can’t afford yet).

Our AC adapter (a clever “battery pack” power unit) arrived today, and so I’m finally able to test if 1 hour of live video is possible… since the batteries it relies on typically only last about 30 minutes when rolling video.

40 minutes in, and the hacked camera continues to feed brilliant, crystal clear video to my TV. I’m running it at 720p since that’s the resolution of the show, but the live view will do up to 1080i.

The color saturation is incredible. Really, really impressive. My maroon shirt look exactly the same on screen as it does when I look at my arm.

So far, it’s looking good. I think we’re going to hit that 1 hour mark. If we do, this is revolutionary. A very affordable stop-gap solution… maybe not even that, since it really does look great. Consumer 1080p cameras have nothing on the D5100 as far as video goes.

The biggest failing of the DSLR form factor is its auto-focus. Fine for shooting nature shots, but useless for video. So if all goes well with this test, the next step will be to find a reasonably priced follow focus rig.

My goal is to be able to secure all we need to put together a decent camera rig and have spent only about $1,000… the cost of an entry level prosumer camcorder. This way, we’ll have the follow focus rig already on hand, and when the money is in the bank to buy a 4K DSLR, we will only have to sub out the D5100, which will make a great stills camera at that point, or could be used for B-Roll.

45 minutes in now… fingers crossed 🙂

Update: an hour has passed (now about 1 hour 15 minutes) and still running flawlessly. This means we will begin testing the camera on-air, and then will offer a full tutorial on how to hack and use a Nikon D5100 as a live camera source on Telestream Wirecast.

Hacked Nikon D5100 Clean Fullscreen Live View over HDMI

That’s the DSLR sitting on the shelf next to the TV.

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Dave
Dave
13 days ago

Hello!

This page is fantastic, many thanks!

Just wondered if there’s a work around for the stretched image that doesn’t involve a scaler…?

schlep
schlep
4 months ago

I have a Nikon D5100 and patched it with the Nikon Hack created by Simeon Pilgrim. I managed to get the Clean HDMI to work but there doesn’t seem to be a patch for unlimited live view (i.e. the liveview does not time out). Currently, I managed to stream videos through my DSLR on my computer but the live view will time out after 15 minutes because that is the maximum duration allowed in the camera’s custom settings. Therefore, I am curious on how you managed to get the recording on for hours without facing the same problem as me.

Garry
Garry
4 years ago

May i know hpw to hack it?? i am very new to this .. so please help me out here

 

David
David
3 years ago

Hey Robbie,what’s the longest you have had it live streaming? I need it for a nonstop live stream for about 2 and a half fours. You think it will work?

David
David
3 years ago

Alright sweet, thanks

John brown
5 years ago

Robbie, I am watching your move to the hacked Nikon D-5100 with considerable interest. Have you considered using the CamRanger and it’s associated remote, wireless, CamRanger Pan Tilt Hub? At a combined $550.00 US, it is close to meeting your budget and would seem to allow a lot of control of the Nikon at distance.

I would be interested to know if the Nikon Hack would effect it’s functionality.

like yourself I am having to save up my allowance with which to buy new toys.

I’ll keep an eye open for you here and in the Wirecast forum.

John Brown
John Brown
5 years ago

Robbie,

Thanks for the reply. I’m starving for some dialog with others who are trying to use the D5100 for streaming.

The CamRanger device itself does allow for focus control. https://youtu.be/seGKsbRyQrE?t=75
It would have to be coupled to the pan/tilt device to allow for controlling the physical movement horizontally and/or vertically.

I emailed the Cam Ranger people asking about the utility (I agree the price discourages casual testing.) They indicated that it would not work. Dave at CamRanger stated:

“Unfortunately Nikon disables the HDMI port when a USB connection is made. So you won’t be able to use the CamRanger and output HDMI at the same time.”

Unless Nikon Hacker could address this with a patch, it looks like the idea of using this as a proxy camera operator is out.

I’m intrigued by your small video screen rig on your D5100. I just caught a glimpse when you cut to your camera operator during C5TV. That would make focusing during live streaming so much easier. Even better than the built in Nikon eyepiece or view screen. Is that an HDMI in/out screen? How are you feeding it and sending signal to your Magewell?

I’ve had some video glitch problems using my D5100. I thought I also so a single isolated instance on your broadcast too.

While I like the quality of the video I believe the volume of data is over taxing my current video capture card. (AverMedia Game Broadcaster HD)
My other HDMI 1080i cameras (Canon HV20s) don’t suffer from the same video stuttering when connected through the current AverMedia board.
Have you noticed any similar hitches in your video?

I’ll be looking to move to the Magewell dual HDMI card as it appears to take do more in the de-interlacing than my current card. Hopefully that will address the issue of the halting video. My current streaming host machine will only accommodate a single half height card so my options are limited. Fortunately the Magewell Sual 3D HDMI HI Video Capture Card will fit.

Looking forward to The Show Show whenever it debuts.

Larry Johansen
Larry Johansen
5 years ago

Are there any problems with frame rate? Could you use it to capture sports action? I wouldn’t try it out on the Maple Leafs however since they apparently don’t move as quickly as your normal hockey teams.

Larry Johansen
Larry Johansen
5 years ago

Could you use Camera Control Pro to adjust the camera setting remotely?

jens
5 years ago

That sounds pomising. Just keep on reporting so we all have a chance to redo your setup.

Student
Student
5 years ago

Any updates?

Student
Student
5 years ago

I just wanted to see the video quality or see a video tutorial. You do really thorough videos which are awesome!

I do not have a Roku.