Manfrotto, maker of tripods, monopods, camera bags, and a long list of other photography-focused accessories, has just added a new contraption to its vast inventory – the Digital Director. Unveiled at the 2015 NAB Show, the system is designed for professional and enthusiast videographers and photographers.
Designed specifically for the iPad Air and working in conjunction with the Digital Director App, the device functions as a large, high-resolution Retina display for a Nikon or Canon DSLR, as well as a remote control system that offers comprehensive control over taking not only still images but video, too.
To get it working, you simply connect the device to your DSLR with a USB cable, and to the Air via the tablet’s Lightning port. The system, which incorporates a dedicated CPU, operates via the accompanying iPad app. This displays the camera’s viewfinder image and lets you control things like exposure settings, focal point, aperture, and shutter speed. You can also view other elements, such as the camera’s drive mode and battery status.
The system lets you immediately download high-res images to the iPad where some basic post-editing can be carried out before saving them or firing them off to the client, or shared to social networks.
It’s been noted by Resource and PetaPixel that the Digital Director is similar in some ways to the CamRanger, though the latter is much smaller and also has the advantage of being a completely wireless system, which may work better for some users. The CamRanger also works with a wider range of mobile devices.
Using the Digital Director will, of course, mean more equipment to lug around, and presumably you’ll need to consider the issue of viewing the iPad Air’s display when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight.
Manfrotto’s Digital Director is expected to hit stores in June. However, at $500, according to Resource, it doesn’t come cheap, suggesting it’ll be mainly pro shooters hitting the “buy” button for this particular piece of Manfrotto kit.