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A wireless video monitor for iPhone
 
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First Things First:

Is FieldMonitor not installing / not starting / crashing on your iDevice? Try restarting your iDevice. After it restarts, try FieldMonitor again. If that doesn’t work, delete FieldMonitor and reinstall it. Still not working? Contact me!

FieldMonitor is a universal app: buy it once, use it on all your iDevices. If you bought FieldMonitor on one device, but you can't download it on another one without buying it again, try signing out of your iTunes account, then sign in again. That should allow you to download it at no additional cost.

For best results, turn your iDevice’s Airplane Mode on, then turn on Wi-Fi and connect to your source. Airplane Mode disables Bluetooth and turns off the phone / mobile data radios. (On iOS 11 and up, turning Bluetooth off in the Control Panel doesn’t actually turn the radio off, but using Airplane Mode does.)

FieldMonitor uses Wi-Fi, and is subject to interference and frequency congestion: FieldMonitor and your source communicate using the same Wi-Fi frequencies as any other Wi-Fi devices, as well as cordless phones and microwave ovens. If you use FieldMonitor in a crowded Wi-Fi environment, it has to compete with all the other signals in the same frequency band, and you may see more network timeouts, picture freezes, and/or increased latency. Performance cannot be guaranteed: it may work perfectly in one location and not at all in another. Always have a backup plan for monitoring and control, for times when Wi-Fi isn’t usable.

Wi-Fi troubleshooting tips:

If you're using a Panasonic with an electronically-coupled lens in manual focus mode: Turning the focus ring (a) while image magnification is on or (b) while the camera’s MF Assist is set to magnify the image when the focus ring is turned causes the camera to become “busy”, and it can't be controlled from FieldMonitor until a button on the camera itself is pressed.

You can easily run into this problem when using the camera on a crane or gimbal with a separate focus motor and FIZ controller, where it's easy to get the camera stuck in “busy” mode but you can’t (or shouldn’t) touch the camera’s buttons to unstick it:

GH5 with dual lens motorsGH5 with Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 on Ronin MX gimbal. Dual Ikan PDMovie wireless lens motors on zoom and focus rings. CoolLux gear rings. SmallRig nano rails attached to Ronin base and hot shoe plates. Custom offset mounting plate and counterbalances. Rig and photo by Russ Ryden, Impelling Productions, Southlake, TX

To prevent this, turn FieldMonitor’s “Panasonic Image Mag” setting off, and change the camera’s “MF Assist” setting to off or AF Mode only, so that it is not triggered by turning the focus ring.

Compatibility:

You need a compatible Panasonic Lumix camera, Sony camera, or a Teradek H.264 transmitter (Cube 100, 200, 500, or 600 series, Clip, or VidiU) to use this app. Without a supported Panasonic, Sony, or Teradek, this app doesn't do anything useful!

Known Compatible Panasonic Cameras:

The following cameras have been tested with FieldMonitor. FieldMonitor displays their images and controls them properly:

DC-GH5, DC-GH5S, DC-G9, DMC-FZ1000, DMC-FZ2500, DMC-FZ300, DMC-G7, DMC-G85, DMC-GH4, DMC-GX7, DMC-GX8, DMC-GX85, DMC-LX10, DMC-LX100, DMC-ZS60, and DMC-ZS100.

Other DC- and DMC-series cameras that work with Panasonic’s Image App should work with FieldMonitor. Make sure your camera supports live view while recording when using Image App before trying FieldMonitor.

As I learn of other cameras that do (or do not) work with FieldMonitor, I will update this list. If you test a camera not on the list, please let me know if it works or not.

Panasonic GH3 and earlier cameras do not support remote control or monitoring while recording video.

Cine cameras like the DVX200, EVA-1, and VariCam are not supported.

Camcorders like the HC-WXF991 are reported to show a picture, but controls do not work.

Known Compatible Sony Cameras:

FieldMonitor implements the Sony Camera Remote API 2.40 and has been tested with the A6300, A6500, A7ii, A7iii, A7Rii, A7Riii, A7S, A7Sii, A9, and A99ii. It should work with any hybrid camera supporting liveview and movie recording capability using Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app. For the Alpha, HX, WX, and RX series, these cameras should work:

ILCA-99M2, ILCE-7M2, ILCE-7M3, ILCE-7RM2, ILCE-7RM3, ILCE-7S, ILCE-7SM2, ILCE-9, ILCE-5100, ILCE-6300, ILCE-6500, DSC-HX60/V, DSC-HX80, DSC-HX90/V, DSC-HX400/V, DSC-WX500, DSC-RX10M2, DSC-RX10M3, DSC-RX100M3, DSC-RX100M4 and DSC-RX100M5.

Many of these are “Smart Remote” cameras (A5100, A6300, A6500, A7Rii, A7S, A7Sii, etc.) and need to have the free “Smart Remote Control” installed from the PlayMemories Camera Apps Store to be fully controllable. With only “Smart Remote Embedded’ installed, you can only adjust exposure compensation.

Ctrl w/ Smartphone cameras (A7iii, A7Riii, A9, A99ii, etc.) allow Picture Profiles and S-Log shooting (when S-Log is available) in Wi-Fi remote mode.

Smart Remote” cameras (A5100, A6300, A6500, A7ii, A7Rii, A7S, A7Sii, etc.) do not allow the use of Picture Profiles in Wi-Fi remote mode. You cannot shoot in S-Log2 or S-Log3 while using Wi-Fi on these cameras. S&Q (high frame rate) shooting is not possible while using Wi-Fi on these cameras. Focus points cannot be repositioned in movie mode.

Ctrl w/ Smartphone” Sonys (A7iii, A7Riii, A9, A99ii, etc.) do not transmit focus area, battery level, or storage space info over Wi-Fi. FieldMonitor will not show the focus area, battery level, or storage information for these cameras. You cannot reposition their focus points over Wi-Fi. The AF button may or may not work depending on the camera’s settings; the camera does not send enough status information over Wi-Fi for FieldMonitor to know when the button can be used.

Sony A7, A99, A6000, A5000, NEX series, and earlier cameras do not support remote control or monitoring while recording video.

Cine cameras like the FS5, FS7, and F55 are not supported. Camcorders are not supported.


Problems:


  • My source doesn’t appear in the Source list!
    • Check to make sure you’re on the same wireless network as your source (the app’s current Wi-Fi network is shown at the top of the Source screen).
    • Make sure your source has its Wi-Fi function turned on.
    • Tap Refresh to rescan the network.
    • On iPhone or iPad with cellular, try turning Airplane Mode on, then re-enabling Wi-Fi, and reconnecting (or, turn Cellular Data off).
    • Try turning Wi-Fi off, then on again.
    • If your source restarts or its network has changed, FieldMonitor may get confused. Try tapping Refresh, closing and re-opening FieldMonitor, or turning Wi-Fi off and then on again.
    • Sometimes it takes a while for a Teradek to appear in the list. Try waiting a bit after starting the app. If your Teradek has just been turned on or reconfigured, it may take a minute for it to fully start up and appear in the Source list.
    • Only Teradek’s H.264 Wi-Fi encoders can be used: Cube, Clip, and VidiU. FieldMonitor can’t decode uncompressed video from Bolt transmitters.
    • If all else fails with a Teradek, try factory-resetting it.
    • If all else fails with a camera, try turning it off, removing and reapplying its power source, and restarting it.
  • I can’t connect / no picture ever appears!
    • Tap < Source to return to the Source Screen, then tap the source again to reload the Monitor Screen.
    • Camera: if the camera is in playback mode, switch it back to live mode.
    • Camera: try restarting its Wi-Fi. If all else fails, power down the camera and remove its battery or disconnect its AC adapter. Then supply power, restart the camera, and try again.
    • Teradek: only certain Teradek H.264 Wi-Fi encoders can be used: Cube, Clip, and VidiU. Only Quickview, RTP/RTSP, and TDS streams can be decoded. FieldMonitor can’t display uncompressed video from Bolt transmitters, or H.265 / HEVC from Cube 700 or 800 series transmitters. Teradek Serv is not supported.
    • Cube: only H.264 Quickview, Teradek Stream (a.k.a. TDS), and RTP/RTSP streams are supported. Quick fix: enable Quickview streaming on your Cube, and turn Quickview ON in the app.
    • Cube: if UDP Multicast is enabled, enable Quickview on the Cube and turn Quickview ON in the app, or the app will never connect.
    • Cube: RTSP stream is password-protected. FieldMonitor can’t receive a password-protected RTSP stream. Either turn off RTSP authentication, or enable Quickview on the Cube and turn Quickview ON in the app.
    • Cube or Clip: TDS streams don’t play: make sure your Cube or Clip firmware is up to date (some older firmware versions no longer detect when updates are available; check the Teradek website directly). TDS streams are tricky; it sometimes takes many attempts before they’ll play, and sometimes you need to reboot the Teradek before it’ll connect. If you can use RTP/RTSP or Quickview, those tend to connect more reliably.
    • If all else fails with a Teradek, try factory-resetting it.
  • There are no camera controls / controls are missing / controls don't work!
    • Make sure Camera Controls are turned on in the Settings menu.
    • If Camera Controls are set to be hidden on a screen tap, try tapping the screen to make them reappear.
    • If your camera is in full AUTO mode, you won't be able to control exposure or white balance. Change the camera’s mode to P, A, S, or M instead.
    • Some Panasonics won’t show all their controls, and some controls won’t work, if Wi-Fi is turned on while the camera is connected to an HDMI monitor. Connect to Wi-Fi first, then plug in your HDMI monitor.
    • If you are connected to a Teradek source, there aren't any camera controls.
    • Using a Sony with FieldMonitor version 4.4 or earlier? Please update FieldMonitor to the latest version.
  • Sonys only let me adjust exposure compensation!
    • Smart Remote Sonys ship with a very limited "Smart Remote Embedded" remote control capability. You'll need to install the “Smart Remote Control” app on the camera from the PlayMemories store before you get access to all the controls you're expecting.
    • Movie mode defaults to P (programmed exposure) mode. You can change it to another exposure mode that offers more controls:

      Smart Remote Sonys: when you set the mode dial to Movie, wait a few seconds. The "Movie mode" screen appears on the camera. Press •OK, not the shutter button. You’ll get a screen where you can choose the exposure mode.

      When you’re already in Movie Mode, press MENU, go to page 5, press Movie, and choose the exposure mode you want.

      Ctrl w/ Smartphone Sonys: Press Fn, select Exposure Mode, and choose the exposure mode you want.
  • AF button doesn't work (Sony cameras): With Sonys, the AF button is really a “half-press shutter” button as there isn't a direct “autofocus” command. This has two side effects:
    • FieldMonitor may show an AF button when in MF mode because some Sonys don't report when they're in MF mode. Make sure the camera is not in MF mode if you want to use the AF button.
    • Make sure the camera’s AF w/ shutter setting is On. If AF w/ shutter is off, the lens will not focus when AF is tapped.
  • Sony Face Detection AF doesn’t work: many Ctrl w/ Smartphone Sonys cannot perform Face Detection when high frame rates are used, or in 4K mode when:
    • “Ctrl w/ Smartphone” is On,
    • proxy recording is enabled, and/or
    • when HDMI is connected.
  • Picture is frozen (and may say “Paused” or “Reconnect to source”):
    • This happens with Teradek feeds if you slide Control Center or Notification Center over the app, or use Slide Over or Split Screen on iPad, or turn your iDevice off and on again while FieldMonitor is running.
    • Wi-Fi connection to the source is lost or weak. Go back to the Source screen and re-select your source to restart the video.
    • If the screen says ”camera in play mode”, switch the camera back to live mode.
  • Picture freezes every few seconds: radio interference can cause periodic freezing of the video stream. Some Sony cameras freeze every few seconds if your iDevice's Bluetooth radio is enabled.
    • Turn your iDevice’s Airplane Mode on, then turn Wi-Fi on. This disables both Bluetooth and cellular radios, and is recommended at all times for best performance.
    • Troubleshoot other Wi-Fi issues.
  • Picture updates slowly, or the image is delayed by more than a fraction of a second: Try selecting a lower Refresh Rate or turn ’scopes OFF, to free up more time for image decoding and display. If that doesn’t work, try reconnecting to the source; exiting and re-opening the app; restarting your source; moving your iDevice closer to the source; reconfiguring the Wi-Fi network to minimize congestion (try switching between 2.4 and 5 GHz bands; however most cameras and iPhone 4S can’t use 5GHz Wi-Fi) or to increase range (usually better with 2.4 GHz channels).
    • If you're using a camera, try turning Max Resolution off. Higher resolution streams have more latency and lower frame rates.
    • Sony Wi-Fi normally updates slowly for the first few seconds while the camera transmits initial status information. Once that transmission is completed, the update rate improves.
    • If you’re using a Cube, try using Quickview instead of TDS or RTSP streams, or try reducing the resolution of your feed from 1080 lines to 720 or 480 lines.
    • Troubleshoot other Wi-Fi issues.
  • ’Scopes update slowly: Try selecting a higher Refresh Rate (but note that faster refreshing uses more power and may cause the picture to break up or displayed frame rate to suffer, depending on your iDevice).
  • Picture quality is poor (pixellated, torn, blocky, intermittent freezes, etc.): Poor signal quality, overloaded Wi-Fi network, distance between source and receiver too great, and/or overworked iDevice.
    • FieldMonitor’s Wi-Fi connection has to compete with any other Wi-Fi signals in the area. Try these Wi-Fi troubleshooting tips.
    • Older, slower iDevices may not be able to handle a high workload: when the ’scopes take too much time, picture quality suffers and image decoding can fail or fall behind realtime updates. Turn Quickview ON (for Cubes) and Max Resolution OFF (for cameras), set Refresh Rate to its minimum value (about 2 fps), and show only a single ’scope, or none, instead of all three. If you’re then able to receive a clean picture, try gradually increasing Refresh Rate. With Quickview ON / Max Resolution OFF, a slow refresh rate, and a single ’scope or none at all, FieldMonitor can be used successfully on an iPod touch 5G, iPhone 4S, or iPad 3. Newer, more powerful iDevices will work better, show more ’scopes without problems, and update their displays faster.
  • There's no false-color settings button : You need an iDevice with an A7 or later processor to show false color: iPhone 5S or later, iPod touch 6G or later, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPad Pro. On earlier devices, consider using a false-color LUT instead.
  • Picture levels and ’scopes change when I start recording: If you're monitoring a Panasonic Wi-Fi camera, make sure the Level settings match those on the camera. (If the camera’s setup is such that exposure changes when the camera goes into record mode, levels and ’scopes will change, of course!)

    If you're looking at a Teradek feed from a hybrid camera (one that shoots both stills and video), level changes reflect what the camera is actually putting out over HDMI or SDI. Often the signal is full-range (0–255 in 8-bit terms, or -7% to 109% on the WFM) when in standby, and legal (16–235, or 0% to 100%) or extended (16–255, 0% to 109%) while recording. Check your camera’s operating instructions for more details.
  • Picture levels and ’scopes don’t change when I change my camera’s exposure settings: your camera needs to be set to show the effect of exposure controls on the preview image. For most cameras the setting is found here:
    • Panasonics: MENU > Custom (wrench + C) > Monitor / Display (if available, e.g., on GH5) > Constant Preview > ON
    • Sonys: MENU > (gear) > Live View Display Setting Effect > ON
  • There’s no audio! Camera sources don't transmit audio or any audio-level indications. Teradek sources supply audio: make sure the Teradek is set to transmit audio, that it is receiving an audio signal, that your iDevice isn't muted, and that your iDevice’s volume isn't all the way down.
  • Camera’s EVF and LCD go dark when Wi-Fi is used!
    • Many cameras turn off the EVF and LCD when HDMI or A/V Out is connected and active. Disconnect external monitors, or monitor using the attached device.
    • GH4: The DMW-YAGH Interface Unit acts as a connected HDMI device and turns off the EVF / LCD when Wi-Fi is used. Remove the DMW-YAGH Unit, or monitor using its SDI output instead.
    • GH5: Wi-Fi is set to “Smartphone priority”. Go into the camera’s menus: Settings > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Setup > Priority of Recording Device, and select "Camera" if you want the camera‘s EVF/LCD and controls to stay active.
  • I can’t use Panasonic Wi-Fi with 10-bit recording or output! The GH4 does not allow 10-bit output and Wi-Fi connection at the same time (the GH5 does allow 10-bit recording or output with Wi-Fi running). Other cameras may differ. If 10-bit is disabled in the camera’s menus when Wi-Fi is on (or vice versa), then it can't be done. Sorry!
  • I see “camera busy” and “network timeout” messages
    • “camera busy” means the camera is being operated directly, or a menu is open. Make sure the camera is in normal operating mode (try half-pressing the shutter release).
    • Panasonics can get stuck in “camera busy” mode with image magnification turned on when an electronically-coupled lens’s focus ring is turned in manual focus mode. The only way to free up the camera is to press a button on the camera itself.

      To prevent this, turn Panasonic Image Mag off in FieldMonitor, and  set the camera’s MF Assist to "off" or "AF Mode" only, so that it is not triggered by turning the focus ring.
    • “network timeout” occurs when communications fail due to low signal strength, network congestion, or interference — or the camera or Teradek gets turned off. Sometimes the timeout clears up by itself; other times you may need to switch Wi-Fi networks, move away from microwave ovens and cordless phones, or make sure other network users aren't hogging bandwidth: troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues. Also try returning to the Source screen, tapping Refresh, and reconnecting to the source; network timeouts can get the source out of sync with FieldMonitor, and reconnecting restores sync.

      Generally speaking, two cameras can be actively transmitting 640x360 streams on the same Wi-Fi network at the same time, but three will cause timeouts to occur on some or all of the streams.
  • Something else is wrong / broken / puzzling! Contact me so I can fix the problem and/or answer your questions! (If your email isn’t answered within a day or two, it may have fallen into a spam-trap; try contacting @adamwilt on Twitter instead.)

Need more help?

  • Controls shows you FieldMonitor's buttons, gestures, and settings, and explains how they work.
  • How To... describes how to use FieldMonitor and shows some examples.
  • FAQ lists some frequently asked questions and their answers.
  • Details & Info talks about how FieldMonitor works and what its limitations are, gives tips and tricks for using it, and lists the open-source libraries used and where to find them.

If none of these solve your problem, please contact me!


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© 2018 Adam J. Wilt.  Last updated 2018.10.27