I've been doing some test macro shots lately and it's been a pain to focus sharp. The macro lens already minimizes DoF and makes things hard but I've been thinking of an external screen that I can pan/zoom to check focus quality.

I haven't been able to find much, probably because I don't know the keywords to search for. I hope there is something on the market.

Is it?

At the moment I'm using the live view and the +/- keys to magnify the live view in order to check the focus quality.

What would be better alternatives considering I will use a tripod?


You are looking for an HDMI monitor.

Here you go, BHPHoto has 116 results for that.

  • How can I find out if it's compatible with my Nikon D5000? Is there a certain thing that I should look for in the specs of my camera? Sep 18 '11 at 18:15
  • I believe that HDMI only works in image playback, I do not think it supports live view. USB works with live view.
    – cmason
    Sep 18 '11 at 18:48
  • Live-View outputs via HDMI on most but not all DSLRs. Screens like these are used with filming rigs, so they are commonly supported.
    – Itai
    Sep 18 '11 at 18:52
  • 1
    The D5000 supports it. As I said, most do, only the early generation of Live-View DSLRs do not. This subtlety is not usually mentioned. It is extremely easy to test since you simply have to connect your camera to ANY HDMI device like a TV or computer monitor.
    – Itai
    Sep 18 '11 at 19:00
  • 2
    If you want to see some trippy effects, aim your camera at your monitor.
    – Evan Krall
    Sep 18 '11 at 22:21

Can you shoot tethered? If you have a Canon DSLR, then with the software bundle you have the EOS Utility. This is the program that lets you download your photos to the computer, but also allows you to remote-control your camera. With the remote control functionality you have a live-view function.

This will let you critically set your focus on a big screen. It will also let you change your camera setting w/o actually touching the camera, so keeping your critical focus and framing (especially problematic in Macro).


Tethered is the way to go here, as it lets you adjust the camera without interfering with your subject. Sadly, it won't adjust focus, but you likely will not adjust that often.

TetherTools specializes in this sort of thing, that is 'tethering' the camera to a larger screen, though really for studio photography and almost exclusively via computer. In any case, there is much good info in their 'Plugging In' education section.


There is also NKRemote and other remote control software that can run on Windows (my case) or Mac and you can use the laptop as a remote live view large display.

  • Works great but costs 175$ (USD) ... still looking for free/cheaper alternatives.. Sep 18 '11 at 19:02

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