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Old January 7th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #1
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$260 7" LCD Field Monitor

Hey guys, I just recently ordered a few things from here and there and got myself a pretty decent LCD field monitor to mount on top of my GL2. I think this is definately a viable alternative because the monitor has everything you need and (almost) nothing you don't, which brings down the price a lot. This "kit" includes a very, very cheap power source (especially if you own a lot of batteries for your camera) and a cheap but strong and simple way to mount it to your camera (via shoemount).

parts list:
------
*7" TOUCH SCREEN LCD TFT VGA MONITOR (ebay, $220 including shipping)

*12V 1.8A Rechargable battery (ebay, $20) OPTIONAL: This is a really cheap and easy way to get power to your monitor but I don't know how long 1800mAh will last you. But hey, it's cheap, I bought two :)

*Windtech CM-21 Shoemount Mic Clip (B&H, $6)

*Extra battery charger for your type of camera battery ($20, ebay)

*Velcro from your local hobby/hardware store ($5 - $10)

*S-video cable

*Standard DC plug (I ripped mine off of something else, but if you don't need the car plug adapter that comes with the LCD screen you can take it off of that)

*Battery
--

First I unscrewed the hinge off of the shoemount mic clip I got from B&H, and did the same to the mount that came with the TV (I removed the base). Keep the hardware. Using a few 1/4" nuts from Home Depot I attached the shoemount to the TV mount:

http://www.frozenphoenixproductions....ngecloseup.JPG

Now I can mount the TV to my camera's shoemount.

What about power?
There are three options. One, you can buy the $20 1.8Ah battery pack off ebay (mentioned above in the parts list) It's quick, easy and looks clean, but it might not last you long. You can just buy more then :) The second option is wiring a battery pack charger to simply take the two prongs of the battery you insert out to a DC plug. Oddly enough, even though the screen is rated for 12V it will run off of as little as the 7.2v provided by a camera battery. I took my stock JVC battery charger (since I have about 5 JVC batteries), removed the entire charging circuit board and desoldered the battery prong assembly from the charging board. Then I soldered a DC plug to the metal prongs that touch the battery. Voila! Instant camera battery power. I heard there was a similar thing you could buy, but it was $100! Forget that...long live DIY.

The third option is buying those huge 12v battery packs found in hobby stores with a 'smart charger'. Just to try it out, I ordered one with a charger and it came out to $100. I'm still waiting for it to arrive, but I have a feeling it'll be one of my best options for power. I'll probably sell it if I find out I don't need it--between my two 1.8Ah packs and my JVC batteries, I think I'm set.

Mounted everything together with Velcro, and put areas for the remote that comes with the TV to velcro on, and a battery pack. The camera mount allows the TV to be easily rotated upside-down for use with a 35mm adapter.

Pictures:
http://www.frozenphoenixproductions.com/misc/lcdscreen

Qualms and issues I have with my setup:
----
*The viewing angle on this thing could be better. It's not that bad (look at the overheadfront.JPG image), but enough to get me somewhat annoyed. If I have two people handling the camera it's just enough viewing angle to have one person on each side looking at the TV and able to see a good picture.

*There is no 4:3. It's either shoot it in 16:9 or be looking at a stretched-out image. However I think this LCD screen says "16:9 or 4:3 Switchable" so it might be a viable alternative. It only has RCA inputs though; no S-video. I'm fine with it because I always shoot native 16:9 with my GL2 anyway.

*It's not powerfully bright. I can see the image fine in all conditions, especially with a hood covering it from the sun, but I find myself trying to scratch the "increase the brightness" itch when I know I can't, because increasing the brightness just washes out the image.

Things I like about it:
---
*It's cheap. $260 got me a very decent 800x640 or whatever it is resolution that gives me a pretty darn sharp image and excellent battery power options, something I thought was going to be expensive.

*It's cheap.

*It works for focusing. Probably not as well as a $900 job, but I can definately, without a doubt, tell exactly what's in focus and what's not. You get what you pay for, and this was a darn good buy.

K that's all folks. Thanks.

- Ben
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Last edited by Ben Winter; January 7th, 2006 at 07:46 PM.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #2
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Looks good Ben, have you owned any other monitors with which to compare it? I have an Ikan v7000 which I don't care for.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #3
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That's my only qualm--I've never used an actual LCD field monitor before, so I can't comment on its quality in relation to another one. I think it's decent, but I'm sorry that I can't say with total confidence that you'll agree with me.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #4
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ya good work ben, I wonder, if u have it plugged into a 7.2V battery and have the screen on standby/off - would the drain be less? or do u need to build a switch for the battery.....


Also looking at your link

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...tem=8027167782

it says it can do 4:3 - maybe there is a switch?
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Old January 7th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #5
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I just emailed the seller asking if there's some way to enable 4:3 viewing. Hopefully I'll get a response.

I'll probably build a switch for the JVC battery pack, but for now the power switch on the actual TV will do. I don't think the drain (if any) of a powered-off LCD screen is enough to affect the battery life, or to the point where it matters for me anyway. I'll look into it.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #6
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cool - i think this has been discussed before - but is there a reason u didn't go for the lilliput models?

lookin' on EBAY in AU - there are a few models - liliput (4:3) and one similar to yours just with different branding...

I would love to run off the DVX 7.2V battery so this is my main concern...
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Old January 7th, 2006, 11:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Winter
I just emailed the seller asking if there's some way to enable 4:3 viewing. Hopefully I'll get a response.

I'll probably build a switch for the JVC battery pack, but for now the power switch on the actual TV will do. I don't think the drain (if any) of a powered-off LCD screen is enough to affect the battery life, or to the point where it matters for me anyway. I'll look into it.
Danger Ben Winter! Danger! My Ikan is a virtual vampire on the battery if I leave it connected. Yours may be different but....
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Old January 8th, 2006, 12:01 AM   #8
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First, to Justin, I couldn't find a lilliput model with respectable resolution and s-video with better statistics than this "Super" model. I found one with the same stats, but it was $40 more expensive: no thanks. And they look oddly the same...

To Greg: thanks for letting me know! I really was purely speculating. Now that I know there's a real battery drain I'll be sure to add an on/off switch.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #9
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Ben, on the ebay ad, it said S-video input, but the one you got didnt have any?please clarify thanks... this would be a handy preview monitor on the desktop also i would think.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #10
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As well, the ebay ad says 1024x768 resolution, but you mentionned only 800x600.
if you got the specs sheet, just give use the pixel count.
usually it is 2400x600 for a 800x600 screen (because you need 3 pixel RGB to make a real pixel)
this one should indicate 3x1024 (3072).
since a already got a liliput (800x600), i want to know if this screen is better.
For the brightness, the ebay add says there is a touch screen on this model.
The touch screen layer absorb a lot of light and make the surface of the screen very reflective. If you do not use it and are not afraid dismantling the screen, you can remove it.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #11
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Giroud, perfect! That's the kind of stuff I want to hear--thanks. I'll go to town on it tonight and see if the touchscreen layer can't be removed.

The pixel count is exactly what it says on the site--I'm just giving the resolution it says in the menu.

Ken, it does have S-video, I was just saying that the alternative 7" that might be better doesn't have it. Neither does the lilliput, it would seem--but I've heard they leave the capability in there and just ship it with a different plug.

I'll get the pixel count out of the manual next chance I get.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #12
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Update: Took out the touchscreen, easy as pie--just a matter of unscrewing and unplugging. Contrast/brightness difference is impressive! Now I feel like I'm looking at a true LCD screen. Thanks for the tip Giroud!
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Old January 8th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #13
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Ben, the screen you bought looks A LOT like this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...RK%3AMEWA%3AIT

If it is the same, you have a 2400x480 pixel resolution.

I'm also looking to buy one of these, but i live in a pal country. 800x480 is quite ok for you bacause it's almost 1:1 with NTSC 720x480 res, so good for focusing. Can somebody tell me if this resolution is workable for pal too, or would a 800x600 be better in my case? (dv pal is 720x576)

thanks
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Old January 8th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #14
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Jelle, the menu gives you the ability to change to PAL resolution.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #15
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http://www.mp3playerstore.com/stuff_...l/IN-700VG.htm

Same res, $189 US, minus the touch screen.
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