[ANSWERED] advice on capturing multiple DSLR cameras
Abel last edited by DusX
I'm looking for some advice, currently working on an installation for someone. They want to work with live feeds of 3 DSLR cameras.
They don't have any equipment yet and asked me to just get them whatever they needed (within budget) I've been looking around a bit but am a bit scared of just buying something and then it not working for their purpose.
So they want three DSLR cameras whose feeds are visible all at the same time, in an installation so preferably the tech is not too bulky, and has to play nice with their MacBook.
Meaning I think I won't be able to use any of the Blackmagic devices or anything that uses PCIe
Also don't think I can use a video mixer because I need the three inputs to be registered as separate channels in order to get a constant image from each of the cameras.
Elgato has a 'camlink' which allows you to hook up HDMI to USB 3.0 but having multiple camlinks on one laptop seem impossible because they'd need separate root hubs
Feeling a bit out of my depth with this video hardware question as it's not something I've looked into before. Is there anyone who could advise me on what would be the right direction to look into?
I use BlackMagic designs ‘ultrastudio recorder 3g’ to patch DSLR to MacBook Pro using a Thunderbolt cable.
However, I have not used 3 simultaneously and can not verify a solution for three DSLR cameras.
You might consider combining the 3 camera inputs into a Quadview, and then capturing that with the Elgato CamLink 4k, then slicing it apart into individual video streams in Isadora (crop actor is your freind). That would allow you to work with a single capture device (lighter on the CPU), while the Splicing of the video into your individual streams would be done on the GPU and actually be fairly lightweight.
I found both costly and cheap options for Quad Multiviewers.
under $200 https://www.amazon.com/Multi-V...
Black Magic options at ~$500 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c...
and many more if you search for '4k Quad Multiviewer'.
I don't have experience with any of these units, so you need to do some research but this is one approach which I would suggest is very possible with the MacBook.
Kathmandale last edited by
Another (slightly dirty) option, depending on how high-res you need the captures to be, is to use something to make them a 'multi-view', (Blackmagic have a few options), to combine the feeds into one 'split' image. Then use any compatible single capture card to bring the combined image into Isadora. Once you've got it, split it back up in your patch and away you go.
This approach can be very handy if your computer has limited numbers of ports for example.
Depending on the devices, you could use a single capture of a 4k multi-view combining your 3x HD inputs. Or scale everything down accordingly. I think I got about 16 low-res cctv-style feeds in to Issy using this approach as a single image; it was pretty low res by that point but for that particular use that didn't matter. As you only need three, you should be able to keep the res pretty high.
Kathmandale last edited by
@dusx (I need to type faster)
This post is deleted!
Abel last edited by
Very useful feedback, will experiment with the multiviewer and single 4k capture card approach. It sounds like the exact solution for my needs and I'll report back with the exact hardware config I've found to be working in case others are looking for a similar setup.
mockej last edited by
How did it work out?
I have used multiple blackmagic capture devices before - although not identical ones
these little guys are useful, connects via usb-c/thunderbolt: https://www.blackmagicdesign.c...
depends how many ports the macbook has. if its a new macbook pro you have 4 usbc/thunderbolt ports. what I used to use was an old Ultrastudio thunderbolt plus an old Intensity Shuttle USB3 on a 2015 mbp. Never had issues (well... there are always issues, but not in terms of having multiple blackmagic devices). the blackmagic utility is very useful in letting you configure each device separately.
probably too late but hope this helps