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Old May 4th, 2002, 09:00 AM   #1
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Varizoom Monitor colors off....

Hello everyone,

I have the Varizoom 5.6 LCD monitor and have noticed it's colors are off a bit (more than i'd like). I've tried adjusting the colors via the rotating knob but it's not helping- the hue is off....anyone else notice this or have similar results?

It's not a big deal but was just wondering if this is typical of these Varizooms or might I have a mal-adjusted unit.

Is the other monitor that uses Canon-style batteries any better colorwise- and can they be adjusted to compensate for color shifts?

Thanks everyone,
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Old May 4th, 2002, 10:15 AM   #2
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Steve,

Mine has started to look a bit funky, too. The color seems stubbornly stuck in a slightly blue/green cast and there's quite a bit of smear/bloom in the reds. Actually, this is somewhat defeating it's function in my case, since I use the b&w EVF and use the lcd to roughly judge color and framing.

Unfortunately I doubt that there's much we can do. VZ might be willing to exchange it if it's still under warranty.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 12:18 PM   #3
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I have the same one, Steve. Mine had a warm cast to it, so I started using it with the color dialed down completely. I've come to like it that way now.
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Old May 11th, 2002, 02:00 PM   #4
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Are you guys talking about the 5.6" color monitor? I have that one, and it always gets a fairly crappy looking picture. It' usually too bright, or too dark, color issues aside. Granted I don't have a hood. Will that help? I want to use it like a monitor on a studio camera.
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Old May 11th, 2002, 08:40 PM   #5
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Yes, that's what I was referring to. Short of being able to adjust the image with the controls, a hood will help.
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Old May 12th, 2002, 01:16 PM   #6
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5.6" Monitor

..another funny thing with the Varizoom monitor is that it doesn't seem to work as a true video monitor in all situations- for instance my son has tried it for playing Playstation games while mobile and it works well- yet it can't display colors correctly when trying to view DVD's via an Apex DVD player (you can see the image but all the colors are mixed)- but to it's credit it does perform reliably well when used as a camcorder video monitor(although that brick battery is way too large for real "wildlife" use)- and the colors are definitely off a bit (as documented here)-

It's a cool product but I wish I had gotten the other monitor which uses Canon's batteries for power......anyone wanna trade?
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Old May 12th, 2002, 04:50 PM   #7
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Same here. I didn't know there were other monitors out there when I bought it. It was the most expensive camera-mountable I could find. Now I find out about Delvcam, and someone else is supposed to have good ones. Dammit!
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Old May 12th, 2002, 05:01 PM   #8
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The Delvcam monitor from Markertek is the *exact same* unit as the VariZoom monitor... no difference. Trust me. You might look into the Nebtek monitor as a viable replacement (see the Watchdog article, "Top Five Accessories for your XL1.")
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Old May 12th, 2002, 06:25 PM   #9
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I just realized that I mis-typed my reply. I meant to say that a hood WILL NOT help.

I've become disenchanted with these cheapo low-res lcd "monitors". I'm sure they have their applications but movie-making isn't on that list in my opinion. The Varizoom brand is the same unit sold by several other brands. They probably cost $1,000 per shipping container full. Probably 80% profit to Varizoom since they charge rediculous prices for this junk.
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Old May 12th, 2002, 08:51 PM   #10
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Well if they cost 1000 dollars, then Varizoom ain't makiin' any profit, cause I paid less than four hundred for mine!
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Old May 12th, 2002, 09:17 PM   #11
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Hi Ken,

Actually I can tell you this is not the case. I have done marketing work before for VariZoom and before I worked for Canopus, I used to work trade shows for VariZoom so I'm very familiar with their product lines.

Those 5.6" LCD monitors are the exact same ones sold by Markertek (Delvcam) and Elite Video. They all come from the same factory in some Asian country, I think it's Korea, through the same U.S. importer. Since they're sold by several major vendors, competition on these things is fierce and the margins are actually quite low. I can't divulge the actual figure but trust me, they are barely worth selling for what they make off of them.

VariZoom sells them primarily because these monitors complement the lens controllers so well. It's an item that makes sense, to offer camera-top monitors with pan-handle mounted controllers, especially for cameras like the XL1 which don't have a flip-out LCD. VariZoom packages these monitors better than other vendors, with the soft case, hood, shoe mount, battery, charger, AC adapter and cables. By the time you total up all these extra components going out with each monitor, it becomes fairly apparant that it's a lot of effort for very little payback. If they wanted a $100 profit margin on each one, then they'd have to charge another $100.

In this business we pretty much get what we pay for. Are these monitors cheap? Yes, they are cheap, as in, low cost and fairly low durability and value. If you want a solid, high-quality LCD monitor, then get the 7" Panasonic. Of course it's about $750. But you get what you pay for. Nobody wants to pay that, so VariZoom does what Elite Video and Markertek do, and offer the cheap $3-400 monitors because that's all the majority of customers are willing to spend for such an item.

VariZoom makes its money on zoom controllers, and Elite Video and Markertek are making their money on other things too... *nobody* is making *any* money on these LCD monitors, except whoever owns the company overseas who's making them. They're popular because no matter how bad you think they are, they're still far better than the old dual-scan Citizen LCD monitors and that's what everyone's trying to get away from. Hope this helps,
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Old May 12th, 2002, 09:56 PM   #12
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Indeed, I can see that this product fills a particular value point in the market. I find it implausible that Elite, Varizoom, et.al. are not making a generous profit margin on these products; they are not large enough businesses to dabble with unprofitable merchandise. Ther must be a profitable cross-hook from the distributor somewhere. But you would be in a better position to know that than I.

Thanks, Chris. Actually, I think I will indeed check your tip on the Panasonic LCD monitor. One $750 unit is much less expensive than 2 or 3 $450 units, eh?
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Old May 12th, 2002, 10:12 PM   #13
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Panasonic LCD Monitor

I found the 7" Panasonic TC-7WMS lcd monitor on the B&H site and, lo and behold, it's about the same price as the generic low-res 5.6" lcd! If features 16:9 native aspect ration, switchable to 4:3, auto PAL or NTSC, etc. It looks good.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 12:27 AM   #14
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Chris, Ken...you guys may be wondering why I ordered a Varizoom monitor from the States when I live here in Korea (for the next few hours anyway) where they...and pretty much all mini monitors are made. Probably sounds illogical at first...until you do the number crunching.

The local prices for these and similar quality monitors is about 30% higher than the price of the Varizoom 5.6 kit...but that's just for the monitor alone! Once you add a mount, battery, etc...all the trimmings...the price can almost double. So imagine that...these guys are making a killing here off their own countrymen and then selling them much cheaper for export. Plus, the quality standards are higher for the export models.

I was able to buy the kit, have it shipped here, and pay the taxes for way lower than the local price of just the monitor itself.

So count yourselves lucky in a way. It could be worse.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 02:25 AM   #15
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Oh well. Live and learn. I ain't (that's with a capital bad grammar) buying another one anytime soon.
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