I have a physical disability which prevents me from holding my Nikon D-5300 up to my eye so I am forced to use live view but there are many issues with live view.

What I am looking for is something that attaches onto the camera and transfers the image seen in the view finder to either a remote display or better yet an pair of glasses. Like Google glass.

I want something that gives me an experience as close to holding the camera up to my eye as possible. For example, the option to do AF-S focusing. That is not possible in live view.

  • 1
    If holding the camera at a lower level is an option, would you be able to use a right-angle viewfinder adapter like the DR-5 or DR-6?
    – Blrfl
    Nov 20 '14 at 19:45
  • Try Helicon Remote. It's an app for tablets. I can perform autofocus and control amost every camera parameter. It requires a USB cable though. The only drawback is that the free app does not let you shoot in RAW, the pro version is supposed to.
    – Jahaziel
    Nov 20 '14 at 22:39
  • This isn't much help to you with a Nikon, but it may help someone else, Canons have an AF mode in live view called "Quick AF" where you can choose your focus points and compose in live view then the mirror flips down briefly to focus using the usual AF points then flips up again to take the picture. This works best with back button AF turned on. I couldn't find anything comparable in the D5300 manual though, sorry.
    – alex
    Nov 21 '14 at 1:26

The gadget you're looking for is called a video tap or video assist. They're used quite a bit in the film industry to split off an image from a motion picture camera's viewfinder and turn it into video. They used to be available off-the-shelf for SLRs, but the advent of live view has pretty much killed that market.

If you or someone you know is into 3D printing, your best bet might be to fabricate an adapter that puts a small CCD camera module in a position to look through the viewfinder and seals off external light. The Nikon DK-22 Eyepiece Adapter (~US$5.00), which clips onto the viewfinder and has a threaded hole at the back, would be a good starting point.

There are lots of small, inexpensive CCD camera modules available for under US$50.00 which have lenses and pre-wired connectors for power and NTSC video. These modules tend to have wide-angle (8mm) lenses, so if you can find one with a 12mm lens, you may get better results.

Once you have video, there are lots of options for display, ranging from LCD panels to glasses. Those are very easy to find.

  • This is the best answer, you should clarify this can give you back phase detection autofocus, and that it's the only way to keep phase detection working...
    – Ryan
    Nov 21 '14 at 23:01
  • @Ryan: I thought the questioner made live view's deficiencies pretty clear.
    – Blrfl
    Nov 22 '14 at 13:35

I'm not sure that there are too many options that can give you a viewfinder-like experience, but with many cameras it is possible to setup in tethered mode giving you a Live View experience on a remote device like a phone or tablet. Many will use this just for the larger screen size available.

One solution I like is the CamRanger (http://camranger.com/) option which can provide wireless access to the camera allowing you some mobility and remote triggering/adjustment options.


Nikon D-5300 supports WiFi therefore your best bet may be using a phone or tablet to connect to the camera and shoot using the phone/tablet.

Instructions on connecting to WiFi are found here on page 167.

In regards to AF-S focus, you may not have the option of using auto focus at all. Canon has the option of adjusting the focus via buttons on the phone app itself, which works in a similar fashion as manual focus. I'd assume Nikon will have a similar feature as well.


For example, the option to do AF-S focusing. That is not possible in live view.

Unfortunately as I understand it DSLRs generally use phase detection when not in live view and contrast detection in live view, which seems massively inferior.

I wonder if your best bet might be to get a camera that uses an electronic viewfinder more natively that will then focus well when using a remote screen. Sony for example have released two QX lenses with sensors that connect to a screen wireless, and this is exactly what they are designed for.

Thinking completely out of the box, another option would be to use some sort of laser sight. They fit onto the hot shoe and although wouldn't let you frame exactly would at least let you know what's in the centre of the frame.

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