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Canon EOS R/RP and others: DIY compatibility with the Unleashed

Canon EOS R

In the last year we’ve shipped out many Unleasheds to customers all over the world and the feedback has been great. At the same time, after receiving bug reports and feature wishes, we’ve implemented improvements and new features and have published many app and firmware updates.

Of course, we’ve also received quite a few requests regarding the compatibility of certain Canon cameras that are not (yet) on the compatibility list, most of all the Canon EOS R and the EOS RP. Another favorite is the 70D, and to make the list complete, the same goes for the 250D, 70D, 90D, 7D Mark II and the 1DX. Unfortunately for us, and for you, Canon decided to mix things up a little. These cameras either have a new USB-C socket or the arrangement of the USB and HDMI socket is different from all their other cameras. As a result, the Unleashed is indeed (physically) not compatible. All of these cameras are more or less unique in their socket arrangement, so we would have to develop and produce a new Unleashed model, for each of these camera models, which is obviously not feasible – at least at this point.

Using the Unleashed with adapters

The good news is that just because they wouldn’t fit the camera body directly, doesn’t stop the Unleashed from being compatible. In fact, the Unleashed and its firmware (and therefore all of its functionality) is absolutely compatible with these cameras! The only thing necessary are two adapters or extensions depending on the camera. Of course you’ll lose the beautiful design of the Unleashed, which normally seamlessly blends into the camera’s design. But if you’re after the feature-set and don’t mind the cables, this allows you to use the Unleashed and all its features.

Want to shoot a day to night “Holy Grail” time lapses with your fancy new EOS R? Geotagging with the 7D Mark II, Long Exposures with the 70D? Wirelessly start video recording with multiple 90D’s on tripods? Well, now you can! And of course all of those things work with any of the Canon EOS R, RP, 1DX, 7D Mark II, 90D, 70D and 250D.

For each Canon camera that is not yet officially compatible, we recommend using the Unleashed C1, since it has more space between its HDMI and USB plug than the Unleashed C2 does.

On all cameras, you’ll need a Mini-HMDI (HDMI Type C) extension, and depending on your camera, you’ll need the following USB adapter cables:

  • Canon EOS R: Micro USB socket to USB C plug
  • Canon EOS RP: Micro USB socket to USB C plug
  • Canon 1DX: Micro USB socket to Mini USB plug
  • Canon 7D MkII: Micro USB socket to Micro USB plug ( ie Micro USB extension)
  • Canon 90D: Micro USB socket to Micro USB plug ( ie Micro USB extension)
  • Canon 70D: Micro USB socket to Mini USB plug
  • Canon 250D: Micro USB socket to Micro USB plug ( ie Micro USB extension)

(Just for clarification: Socket=Female, Plug=Male)

If you already have an Unleashed C2 from another camera, you’ll need a cable with Mini USB socket (and the above camera-dependent plugs instead.

A mini HDMI extension is actually quite hard to find, however, there is a 90 degree adapter available that we found, and can confirm that works. It’s called: “Manhattan 353458”. The only Alternative we have found so far are so called “FPV HDMI cables”, but even here HDMI C Socket to HDMI C Plug are not commonly found.

Here’s what the Manhattan Adapter and a USB extension cable look like:

Manhattan Adapter on Canon

We know it’s not ideal and we would love to have a perfect Unleashed model for each camera! However, for now, we believe it’s definitely a solution/hack/work-around worth looking at. Of course, for some of the newer cameras, we’re also working on dedicated Unleasheds, so stay tuned for those! Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date!

Let us know in the comments what you camera you have and what you think.

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Nikon D5500 – no more integrated GPS

So, just in time for CES, Nikon announced the D5500, successor to the D5300. The D5300 was Nikon’s only DSLR that had GPS built-in. Its successor, however, no longer does. It seems the function was either not popular enough, or did not work as well as it was supposed to. My guess/experience: Both! (The worst was the battery drain). As usual, you can read the details on dpreview.com or engadget.com

At CES, I went over to the Nikon booth, to test our Unleashed on the D5500 there. Luckily, one of the guys there was curious enough himself to let me test it – even though they were just prototypes, and he wasn’t supposed to let me.

Nikon D5500
  • The good news: the Unleashed Dx000 works on the D5500 (see the GPS Satellite icon)
    Nikon D5500 screenshot GPS icon
  • The bad news: I was unable to properly test how well it fits the D5500, but can tell you it’ll be tight!
    Unleashed Dx000 on Nikon D5500Unleashed Dx000 on Nikon D5500
    It would have been necessary to remove the rubber flap to insert the Unleashed Dx000 completeley, and of course was not going to do that on Nikon’s prototype. The socket is a little more recessed than on other cameras, so I cannot yet promise that the Unleashed can be plugged in all the way, and therefore get enough contact to work properly. I will update this post when I know more – if you’ve tested it, let us know in the comments!
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Nikon D600 – Unleashed Dx000 is compatible

We’re back from photokina2012 – a great show and a great success! As promised I headed over to the Nikon Booth, and tested our Unleashed Dx000 on the D600.

At first, my heart sunk: No GPS icon on the top LCD. Luckily, when I took photos, the GPS data was embedded in the EXIF data! I figured that Nikon might have simply not included a GPS icon at all on the top LCD. Looking through the manual (page 175 7) it is evident that this is not the case. – there definitely should be a GPS icon. Maybe I simply overlooked it, or the Model on display malfunctioned in some way. Sorry for this false information. Page 175 shows the INFO display, not the top LCD. Top LCD or “Control Panel” is shown on page 7, and definitely does NOT have a GPS icon.

D600 with UnleashedDx000

The Unleashed will fit nicely on the D600, the only problem being that the rubberflap is in the way. While it is possible to use the Unleashed like that, the pressure from the flap will, over time, cause the Plug on the Unleashed to break off the PCB inside, which eventually result in malfunction. There are two nice solutions for this:

  • Cut a rectangle out of the flap, just over the port – so the flap remains closed while the Unleashed is plugged in.
  • Remove the flap entirely: A customer figured out a great, almost entirely reversible method for this:
    D7000 Flap cut
    [image from georgle’s blog]


    by cutting the rubber hinges that wrap around the metal pin right next to the flap, it is possible to remove the flap entirely. By threading the hinges back under the metal pin, the flap can be replaced and will retain its full functionality.

Update:

I misread the manual: Page 175 shows the INFO screen, not the TOP LCD. On page 7 one can see that the top LCD really does not have a GPS icon – in other words, the D600 is fully compatible with the Unleashed Dx000, no “odd behaviour”, no doubt about it.

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Nikon D600 announced

Today, Nikon announced another full-frame DSLR, the D600. Read the reviews on dpreview, engadget or elsewhere.

Nikon D600

Of course Nikon added GPS support, again it’s not integrated, but via an external Module, such as their GP-1 and of course our Unleashed. According to Nikon, the D600 fits in right below the D800 and is just as much a Pro DSLR as the latter. Rumor had it, that this was going to be the first consumer DSLR with an Fx sensor, and there was much evidence to back this. One example is that the D600 does not have the “pro” 10-pin port on the front of the camera, which would have fit our Unleashed D200+. Instead, it is equipped with the port found on all the consumer DSLRs, on the side of the camera, making our Unleashed Dx000 compatible with the D600.

Nikon D600 GPS Port

D600 Ports (photo by dpreview)

In a couple of days, we’ll be at photokina, and will try the D600 with our Unleashed, just to verify it works, and get you some pics of how it looks.

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Nikon D5000

Nikon announced another new consumer DSLR, the D5000.

It fits somewhere in between the D60 and the D90, it’s a little bigger than the D60, but doesn’t have a built-in AF-motor. Instead it features a swiveling LCD display, Liveview, and 12.3 Megapixels and HD Movie recording. Anyway, read the details elsewhere.

But guess what – it supports direct geotagging! It has the same connector as the D90. So the Unleashed D90 that’s reaching its final stages of development, will work for the D5000 just as well.

Direct geotagging for the entire line-up of Nikon’s DSLRs by foolography coming soon, stay tuned for that.