Turn your Android into a monitor for your DSLR with a cheap accessory and an app

Instead of an expensive monitor use your Android phone or tablet

A little while ago we looked at using an Android phone with a DSLR and how the experience was actually pretty good. Using the Chainfire app with a Canon DSLR opens up a world of possibilities. Before we looked at importing your DSLR photos, but there's more to it than that. With a cheap accessory on top of this you can actually create a low-cost, yet still effective external monitor for your camera.

What we're basically looking at is a phone grip, similar to something you might use in the car to hold it to the windshield. Instead of a suction cup, though, we've got a hotshoe mount to fix it to the top of a camera.

Again, as with the last time we looked at using the Chainfire app with a camera, you'll need a USB OTG connector and a miniUSB cable to connect to the camera. The beauty of adding a grip to the top of the camera is that you can easier use the app while you're shooting.

It also gives you a bigger display to look at over the one on the camera – made bigger still if you opted to go down the tablet route – and one area I found this set up particularly useful is when trying to shoot video using the DSLR. With no auto-focus on offer on the camera, having the Chainfire app connected allows you to change focus points by touching the screen instead of using the cameras manual controls. It's not perfect but it's certainly useable.

There are other apps out there too that will let you interact with your DSLR – including none Canon brands – from your Android device, which is great, but buying a cheap accessory to clip it to the top of the camera is one of the best thing's you'll do.

Richard Devine