icon FieldMonitor: Support copyright © 2018 Adam J. Wilt  
 
A wireless video monitor for iPhone
 
 HOME   SUPPORT   CONTACT   CONTROLS   HOW TO…   FAQ   ABOUT 

Quick links:


First Things First:


Is FieldMonitor not installing / not starting / crashing on your iDevice? Try a reset: hold down the power and home buttons until the screen goes dark, and keep holding them down until the Apple logo appears (about 10 seconds overall). After your iDevice restarts, try FieldMonitor again. If that doesn’t work, try deleting and reinstalling it. Still stuck? Contact me!

FieldMonitor is a universal app: buy it once, use it on all your iDevices. Sometimes iTunes account information fails to update properly on an iDevice. If you bought FieldMonitor on one device, but you can't download it on another one without buying 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—Bluetooth causes video to freeze periodically on some cameras—and turns off the phone / mobile data radios, preventing calls and notifications from interrupting your shot.

(On iOS 11, simply 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 camera communicate using the same Wi-Fi frequencies as any other Wi-Fi access points, routers, and hotspots, 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 will likely see more network timeouts, picture freezes, and/or increased latency.

When performance is poor, you can sometimes improve things by shutting down Wi-Fi on your source and restarting it. Most cameras (and Teradeks in default configurations) automatically choose a Wi-Fi channel to broadcast on, and sometimes they pick a bad one: one that’s more crowded or congested than other available channels. Restarting gives the source a chance to choose a different, better channel.

For best results with a Panasonic or Teradek, use a separate Wi-Fi Access Point, ideally an enterprise-grade unit like those from Ruckus. In a congested radio environment, you may not be able to work successfully unless you use an enterprise-grade access point.

This isn’t possible with a Sony, as you can only connect directly to the camera. Sony support says that in “ideal environmental conditions, the recommended maximum distance a camera can be connected to a smartphone is less than 5 meters or 16 feet. It is not possible to increase this distance and also not possible to use any Wi-Fi repeater.”

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.

With a GH5, disconnecting FieldMonitor causes the HDMI output to go black for five seconds, ten seconds after disconnection (when the camera would normally display “Not connected to the app” on its LCD). I also have one report that connecting Image App to or disconnecting from a DMC-G7 while it's recording externally “disables / interferes with recording”. I haven’t been able to replicate this with a GH4 or LX100. Nonetheless, avoid disconnecting / reconnecting while external recording is in progress, whatever camera you use.

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 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, 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.

Cameras with integrated remote control allow Picture Profiles and S-Log shooting (when S-Log is available) in Wi-Fi remote mode.

Smart Remote” cameras 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.

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.


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!
    • 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.
    • If you are connected to a Teradek source, there aren't any camera controls!
    • Using a Sony with version 4.4 or earlier? Please update FieldMonitor to the latest version.
  • Sonys only let me adjust exposure compensation! Many Sony cameras ship with limited remote control capability built-in. 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.
  • 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 integrated remote 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 integrated remote 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.
    • Sometimes a source’s Wi-Fi picks a congested channel. Turn off the source and turn it on; when Wi-Fi restarts it will rescan the airwaves and may choose a better channel. If your Panasonic or Teradek source is set to a fixed channel, try changing it manually, or turn on automatic channel selection.
  • 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.
  • ’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. If you’re connecting directly to a source, you'll have the best results with FieldMonitor close to the source (within 5 meters or 16 feet). Position your iDevice with a direct line of sight to the source; anything between the source and the iDevice can reduce signal strength and degrade the signal.
    • Using a separate Wi-Fi router is usually better than using a Teradek in Master mode or a Panasonic in Direct mode: the source’s own Wi-Fi signal is weaker and more subject to interference than that of a standalone router or access point. In highly congested Wi-Fi environments, you may need to use an enterprise-grade Wi-Fi router or access point (this is not possible with a Sony, unfortunately).
    • Select a clear Wi-Fi channel, free from interference and congestion (manual settings are only possible with a Teradek, or when using a separate Wi-Fi router with a Panasonic or Teradek). Try manually setting a transmit channel (use a Wi-Fi scanner on Windows, Mac, or Android to find a clear channel). If you don't have a scanner, try changing from Auto 2.4 GHz to Auto 5 GHz, or vice versa. Note: most cameras and iPhone 4S can’t use 5GHz Wi-Fi.
    • 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).
    • “network timeout” occurs when communications fail due to low signal strength, network congestion, or interference—or the camera 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. Also try returning to the Source screen and reconnecting to the camera; network timeouts can get the camera 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!


© 2018 Adam J. Wilt.  Last updated 2018.03.27