Using Mini HDMI Cables For Digital Cameras

by Harlan Yee on October 26th, 2010

Most digital cameras that shoot HD video has an HDMI output these days. What you might not realize is that the HDMI connection on a digital camera is actually mini HDMI.  Standard HDMI cables from your HDTV, Blu-ray player, etc, won’t work with your digital camera, they use full size connectors on both ends. Camera manufacturers don’t include mini HDMI cables with their cameras so it’s probably a good idea to get one when you buy your camera. Here’s a photo where you can see the size difference in the connectors.


On the left is a standard size HDMI connector, on the right is a mini HDMI connector. You might be thinking why would you need this cable? The HDMI output of your digital camera allows you to view photos and video on a high resolution HDTV with better clarity. This is useful for watching HD video you just shot or playing a slide show of the pictures from your camera. Use can use it display images for family gatherings or even at a tradeshow. More and more camera models now offer different types of slideshows to keep viewers entertained. And on some digital cameras, the HDMI port actually allows you to “live” view what the lens is seeing on an external monitor while you’re shooting video or photos like on the Canon 7D. In my experience, most digital cameras can only use the HDMI output to display pictures or video that already exists on the memory card, not while recording video.


Above on the right is the mini HDMI port on the Olympus PEN E-P1 (the other is a USB/AV port).

I looked around and found that some stores charge a fortune for these cables. Sometimes up to $70 at the local electronics superstore. I found one online for $4.50 with free shipping! In my opinion, I don’t think I’m going to see a difference between the $4.50 cable and the $70 cable. I just received my cable and looking forward to testing it with my Canon 7D.

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