I have a Canon EOS 1200D DSLR and I want to use it to film myself playing the guitar. It doesn't have a flip screen I can use to see how I'm positioned in the picture. Here's the component diagram.

Component diagram

To take shots, I use a tripod that closely resembles this one.

How would you go about setting up a "monitor" for yourself so you can see what you look like in the shot? Is there something like - just spitballing here - a special mirror that you can attach to the camera body that reflects the image on screen back to you?

  • Have a friend hold the guitar while you frame the camera? Set up, take a pic using the self timer, review and adjust set up, then record? Seems like the solution could be much simpler/cost effective.
    – OnBreak.
    Jan 22, 2019 at 19:19
  • What is the point of adding the diagram?
    – Robin
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:27
  • @Robin I wanted to show what kinds of inputs (HDMI/USB) and mounts (like the hot shoe) it had to work with.
    – Pieter
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:32
  • @Hueco If you have a friend to hold the guitar, you might as well have your friend hold the camera and press the shutter button.
    – xiota
    Jan 22, 2019 at 23:45
  • 1
    @xiota that completely depends on the friend. Asking that task of one of my friends would somehow lead to settings going from video to photo, low res, and monochrome. And no one will know how they managed to screw up all that in a few seconds.
    – OnBreak.
    Jan 23, 2019 at 1:06

3 Answers 3


According to the EOS utility manual(*), you can connect your PC to the camera with a USB cable and have the "live view" on the PC screen that you can then use as a monitor. A side advantage is that you can also change camera settings from the computer, as well as start/stop the recording and have the video downloaded directly to your computer.

(*) The EOS Utility is freely available from Canon, if you didn't get an install CD with your camera.

  • Sweet! I already have a laptop and a compatible USB cable so this is great.
    – Pieter
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:31

You could attach an external monitor to the hdmi port. Assuming a standard hdmi signal a tv or computer monitor might do the job if you have one where you are recording.

  • Interesting option, but I'm curious how portable that solution is. Any idea if there's someplace where you can buy a small external screen that attaches to a camera in a stable way? Or some solution with a HDMI dongle that you can wirelessly connect to on your smartphone? Either way, I don't have a HDMI mini cable yet so I don't know if it only works for playback or also for recording.
    – Pieter
    Jan 22, 2019 at 18:51
  • 1
    I might be overcomplicating it. It looks like I might be able to mount my smartphone on top of the camera and use the USB port to get a live feed onto my phone: youtube.com/watch?v=ZtRPBu-JXXo
    – Pieter
    Jan 22, 2019 at 19:02
  • I have seen external monitors intended for that usecase but at that pricepoint consider a new body with a flip out screen.
    – lijat
    Jan 22, 2019 at 19:39
  • How portable do you need it to be? Are you only using it in your apartment or are you filming in many locations? The answer to this question might be usefull to edit into the main question.
    – lijat
    Jan 22, 2019 at 19:41
  • You might find something like this interesting: amazon.com/Viltrox-DC-50-Portable-Monitor-Standard/dp/…
    – 3D1T0R
    Jan 22, 2019 at 20:11

My camera has a flip-out screen, but I still use a monitor for filming anyway. Personally, I use a small neewer monitor (similar to this: HDMI Monitor) as it runs on batteries and a small friction arm (Like this: Friction Arm) connected to the tripod to hold it.

Here is my setup:

enter image description here

  • Thanks for showing off your setup! Although EOS Utility will do nicely in my case for now, it's interesting to see how others are shooting.
    – Pieter
    Jan 23, 2019 at 17:20

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