About 6 months ago we were about to purchase a video monitor for our camera rig. When filming, we often spend a lot of time framing shots to keep the videos consistent. So to speed this process up, we thought it would be great if we could see the shot in some detail before we start. But before we clicked “buy” on a new monitor, this simple hack came to us. We could use a Surface as a Video Monitor!
We recently purchased a capture card so that we could stream an event. We got a J5 Create Live Capture adapter. This feeds an HDMI signal into the computer as if it were a webcam. We could use this capture card to feed the output of the camera, directly to the Surface Pro!
How it Works
Our cameras – Olympus OMD-EM1 Mkiis – have an HDMI output like most modern cameras do. This camera can shoot 4K, so we had to change a setting in the menu so that it works with the capture card. (You could get a 4K capture card, but there were none available at the time. We really don’t need 4K for this purpose anyway.)
We paid for a slightly higher end capture card. So from here on, its plug-and-play. Simply plug in the USB cord from the capture card to your Surface and it is auto detected.
Open up the camera app, and switch cameras until the capture card is shown. Now sit your device on a desk or chair, and you have a great big screen to see your camera output.
A Step Further
We had some RAM mount parts sitting around unused. So we used these to build this RAM arm, complete with X-clamp and claw to mount our Surface Pro to the camera tripod.