Tethering to laptop to record video longer than 30min

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
I'm working on a project that will require me to record a video much much longer than the 30min limit imposed on DSLRs. I'll be using a 5D MkIV, so using Magic Lantern to bypass the limit is not possible.

I initially thought about getting an external Atmos monitor/recorder. However, for someone that doesn't do video often, I can't justify the cost. And it's my understanding that the codecs used in the Atmos only allow for fairly high quality/uncompressed videos. The event I'm going to be recording will run for 14hrs. While I don't think the entire 14hrs will need to be recorded, it's going to end up being hours and hours of footage. Even at 1080 resolution, it's my understanding that recording this on an Atmos would probably result in hundreds of GBs of footage.

The idea I came up with is to use Camera Live (https://github.com/v002/v002-Camera-Live ) and OBS (https://obsproject.com/ ) to tether the camera to a laptop, and record the video stream from the camera in OBS. Has anyone done this before? My main concern is making sure all of the connections and programs will be stable for a long period of time. I hate to introduce all of this complexity into the recording workflow, but it's the best workaround that I see.

I noticed that even when tethered to a laptop with Camera Live, the camera can still record within itself, albeit with the 30min time limit. So, as an extra redundancy, I might record the whole thing in the camera in 30min chunks that I could splice back together if need be. The event will be composed of a number of various speakers, each of which is probably unlikely to exceed 30mins. So, there is a potential of recording each one independently. But, I like the idea of also doing it on a laptop through OBS with no recording time constraint.
 

Dantana

EOS RP
Jan 29, 2013
205
54
Los Angeles, CA
www.flickr.com
This may be a really stupid question, but why are you using this particular camera? I would be worried not only about the stability of multiple pieces of software, and a laptop, but also the fact that you would be running the camera that long continuously.
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
975
239
ethanzentz.com
Hi Kit, you are correct that the Ninjas record pretty much only at high bit rate. On my Ninja2 with Full HD and the lowest setting, I get about a 50GB file for an hour of recording. I have found that I can fool the 30 minute recording limit by using an external recording device. But I think I had to press record at least every 29 minutes so that it didn't stop the video mode. You may try to use an Elgato Game Capture device to record to your laptop. I can record an hour of full hd with pretty good quality for 8GB. Pretty cheap for a new one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1251517-REG/elgato_systems_10025040_game_capture_hd60_s.html
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
Hi Kit, you are correct that the Ninjas record pretty much only at high bit rate. On my Ninja2 with Full HD and the lowest setting, I get about a 50GB file for an hour of recording. I have found that I can fool the 30 minute recording limit by using an external recording device. But I think I had to press record at least every 29 minutes so that it didn't stop the video mode. You may try to use an Elgato Game Capture device to record to your laptop. I can record an hour of full hd with pretty good quality for 8GB. Pretty cheap for a new one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1251517-REG/elgato_systems_10025040_game_capture_hd60_s.html
Why would I use this device, that appears to require a laptop to connect it to and record, when I could just record direct to the laptop?

Also, I'm using a 2014 Macbook Pro, which to my knowledge only has an HDMI output, not an input.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
This may be a really stupid question, but why are you using this particular camera?
Because that's my camera. This is essentially a one time thing. I had considered renting a cinema camera for this, but it's not a paid thing, it's essentially a non-profit thing on a limited budget, so I'd really rather use what I have available.

Also, I do have two 5Ds, so if overheating of the camera itself became an issue, it could be swapped out for an identical camera at some point during the event. Again there probably will be some amount of downtime. It won't be an absolutely continuous 14 hours of recording.
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
975
239
ethanzentz.com
Why would I use this device, that appears to require a laptop to connect it to and record, when I could just record direct to the laptop?

Also, I'm using a 2014 Macbook Pro, which to my knowledge only has an HDMI output, not an input.
That device has an HDMI input and then plugs into your USB on your laptop. I only suggest it because I know it works well, which is what you were wanting. It has its own software that you use on the laptop. You wouldn't need to use either of those open source ones that you linked.
 

Dantana

EOS RP
Jan 29, 2013
205
54
Los Angeles, CA
www.flickr.com
Because that's my camera. This is essentially a one time thing. I had considered renting a cinema camera for this, but it's not a paid thing, it's essentially a non-profit thing on a limited budget, so I'd really rather use what I have available.

Also, I do have two 5Ds, so if overheating of the camera itself became an issue, it could be swapped out for an identical camera at some point during the event. Again there probably will be some amount of downtime. It won't be an absolutely continuous 14 hours of recording.
Got it.

It seems more like a job for a dedicated video camera to me (not necessarily a cinema rig), but you have what you have. I would plan on the in camera recordings as your main footage and anything you get from the tethered setup as a bonus, but I'm pessimistic when it comes to relying on a non-standard setup like that. That's just me.

I've used OBS Studio for capturing footage of my screen for demo purposes, but I've never had a camera linked into the mix. I would say that if you go that route, a serious amount of testing would be in order, but maybe that's obvious.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
That device has an HDMI input and then plugs into your USB on your laptop. I only suggest it because I know it works well, which is what you were wanting. It has its own software that you use on the laptop. You wouldn't need to use either of those open source ones that you linked.
I appreciate the suggestion. I did not realize it was USB out to a computer. I thought it was HDMI out. But, I don't really want to throw another piece of hardware into the mix. Seems a little counterproductive. Thanks though.
 

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS 7D MK II
Nov 12, 2016
478
156
Got it.

It seems more like a job for a dedicated video camera to me (not necessarily a cinema rig), but you have what you have. I would plan on the in camera recordings as your main footage and anything you get from the tethered setup as a bonus, but I'm pessimistic when it comes to relying on a non-standard setup like that. That's just me.

I've used OBS Studio for capturing footage of my screen for demo purposes, but I've never had a camera linked into the mix. I would say that if you go that route, a serious amount of testing would be in order, but maybe that's obvious.
I have actually used OBS to stream off of the camera for long periods of time (as opposed to just recording locally to the computer.)

Disconcertingly, the stream does drop out sometimes. However, I went ahead and purchased a tether pro USB cable with the little USB cable power conditioner that they sell, so I'm hopeful that will resolve what seems to be a dropped connection between the camera and the computer. And yes I will do as much testing as I can leading up to this to see how stable the whole thing is. Last night I recorded to the computer for about 45min continuously with no problems.
 
Reactions: Dantana

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
975
239
ethanzentz.com
I appreciate the suggestion. I did not realize it was USB out to a computer. I thought it was HDMI out. But, I don't really want to throw another piece of hardware into the mix. Seems a little counterproductive. Thanks though.
The Game Capture is a good piece of hardware. It is made for using for long periods of time and is not that expensive.