You mean Zebra doesn't work on an external monitor??? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
Can't find it on the XL1 Watchdog site? Discuss it here.


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Old October 17th, 2002, 05:30 AM   #1
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You mean Zebra doesn't work on an external monitor???

Hello all!

I just received an external LCD-monitor that I'm intending to use with my XL-1s (for those who are curious: it's a Marshall V-LCD12 - but that's irrelevant to my question).

To my horror I had to realize that the Zebra information is not part of either the composite or the S-VHS signal!

Is this really true?

Might there be a hack, using the signals that are intended for the EVF?

Or is it just me being too stupid to figure it out?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Kind regards,

Ron
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Old October 17th, 2002, 08:32 AM   #2
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I cannot remember where I saw it but there were some plans for using the EVF signals. Originally, the hack was to delete the color signals to the EVF making it b/w only. Still, for someone reasonably competent with a soldering iron, cutters, and the right connectors you could tie into these signals.
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Old October 17th, 2002, 10:45 AM   #3
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Nathan, that information is inside the watchdog website some-
where (I don't have the time to look at this moment).

Ron, the zebra information is indeed not outputted on those
connections (weirdly enough). Sorry.

I think this is done for the reason that you want to assess
picture quality, light levels etc. on a monitor. Zebra would
be in the way here. Zebra is an extra help on the small LCD.
Would be nice if you had a choice though.
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Old October 17th, 2002, 11:40 AM   #4
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I remember reading this info on the Watchdog, too. However, I thought that this was only relevant to controlling the extent of EVF information on the XL-1 (not the XL-1s).

Would the EVF signal carry the full bandwidth of a composite or S-VHS signal?

Since Zebra can be turned off in the Menu, I don't see a reason why it wouldn't be available via the standard analog outputs...

Thanks for any further info!

Regards,

Ron
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Old October 17th, 2002, 11:50 AM   #5
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I think it should carry the full signal since you are to judge it
on your color/B&W viewfinder!! The article with the specs of
the connection can be found here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article29.htm

Good luck.
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Old October 17th, 2002, 11:55 AM   #6
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Thanx for the URL!

I just re-read the article by Don Palomaki - I think he's on this forum, so I'll try to e-mail him...

All I need to find is the connectors - but since I'll be popping-by Canon Switzerland tomorrow (to get a dead pixel mapped out), I might just be lucky...

I'll let you know how I progress!

Cheers,

Ron
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Old October 17th, 2002, 08:02 PM   #7
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Hmmm.

One reason for no zebra on the analog out is that if you can have an external monitor, you often can also have a waveform monitor too, which is arguably much better than zebra for judging exposure.

The connectors for the EVF on the XL1 are mnore or less available from Canon parts. The item of perhaps greatest interest is the cable/plug assembly which is available as a unit, Part # DG1-2924-000 000, Cable Ass'y, CVF. The jack portion that is mounted in the XL1 body is on a printed circuit borad and can be canabalized with a bit of skill and cunning, part # DG1-2874-000 000, PCB Ass'y, Finder Jack. I forget the prices.
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Old October 18th, 2002, 08:22 AM   #8
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Another possibility I used to play with, years ago, is to get a (cheap) digital mixer like Videonics MX1. Calibrate "key level" with yr "zebra level" (red keying). If you use it as a splitscreen on yr LCD monitor, you get up to 4 channels where you can match contrast (4 "zebra's), color balance...Ideal for multi camera work.
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Old October 18th, 2002, 12:02 PM   #9
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I'm ready for the jump...

Don,

Thanks a bunch for chiming in. I was lucky enough to get the required parts (cable and receptacle) from Canon today...

Now the big question is: how do I make it work? My LCD monitor I want to connect has composite, S-VHS and VGA ports.

In your article on the watchdog, you provide the pin-outs of the EVF connector. Is there a straight-forward way to combine these signals to arrive at a composite, S-VHS or VGA signal?

I was thinking of combining the luma and sync signals to the center pin of a composite RCA-plug, and the ground to the shield for starters. I'm guessing that this would give me a monochrome image that should at least show me if Zebra does me any good on the external monitor. Does this sound right, or am I way off-track?

Ideally, I'd like to provide the full range of EVF signals to the LCD monitor, i.e. color and all signals coming from the character generator.

Any hints or ideas would be highly appreciated!

Kind regards,

Ron (plugging in his soldering iron and grabbing the multi-meter)
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Old October 19th, 2002, 02:11 AM   #10
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Re: I'm ready for the jump...

hello ron - who much did you pay for the parts and where did you get them?

kind regards
--------
bloomi


<<<-- Originally posted by Ron Pfister : Don,

Thanks a bunch for chiming in. I was lucky enough to get the required parts (cable and receptacle) from Canon today...

Now the big question is: how do I make it work? My LCD monitor I want to connect has composite, S-VHS and VGA ports.

In your article on the watchdog, you provide the pin-outs of the EVF connector. Is there a straight-forward way to combine these signals to arrive at a composite, S-VHS or VGA signal?

I was thinking of combining the luma and sync signals to the center pin of a composite RCA-plug, and the ground to the shield for starters. I'm guessing that this would give me a monochrome image that should at least show me if Zebra does me any good on the external monitor. Does this sound right, or am I way off-track?

Ideally, I'd like to provide the full range of EVF signals to the LCD monitor, i.e. color and all signals coming from the character generator.

Any hints or ideas would be highly appreciated!

Kind regards,

Ron (plugging in his soldering iron and grabbing the multi-meter) -->>>
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Old October 19th, 2002, 02:57 AM   #11
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Hello Bloomi,

I got the parts from the Canon repair center in Switzerland, and I haven't seen the bill yet. I was told, however, that each part (cable-plug assembly and receptacle-circuit board assembly; for part numbers see Don's post) would cost around CHF 30.-- or US$ 20.--. But the tech I talked to couldn't give me the exact figures...

Hope this helps!

Regards,

Ron
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Old October 19th, 2002, 07:04 AM   #12
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Been a while since I've looked at the EVF siganls. Do not have time to get into it this week.

Best to get out your oscilloscope, Look at the waveforms, with spoecial attention to their polarity and levels. Then you can determine how to add (or subtract) them to form a B&W signal (for composite video input). Getting a s-video signal may be a good bit more difficult.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 07:24 AM   #13
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Don,

Thanks for the info! Since I don't have an oscilloscope, I'll do my best with my dinky little multimeter. A few assumptions:

- all signals are DC
- the sync signal should be oscillating between 0 and 300 mV
- the luma signal should top out at 700 mV
- the composite signal shouldn't exceed 1 V

Am I correct on those? Well, I'll just tinker a little to see what I can figure out - I hope I won't fry anything...

Cheers,

Ron
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Old October 19th, 2002, 08:41 AM   #14
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Your numbers are correct (roughly speaking ) for NTSC at least. But a quick look indicates that the level of the signal at the EVF jack (with the EVF connected) do not correspond. The Sync is about 3.2 V (proper polarity), and the luma (with the XL1 internal bars on) is on the order of 1.4 v for the white bar, both relative to ground. Also, not sure what impedance they can drive and that could become an issue. You might need buffer amplifiers as well as the adding circuit.

Good luck with your undertaking.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 01:31 PM   #15
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Hello all!

While I did get the necessary Canon parts, I didn't have time to deal with all the other obstacles so far. I posted a request regarding specs of the EVF-signals with Canon, and should be receiving an answer by early November.

Since I'll be on a shoot then, I won't be able to follow up on all this until December. I was hoping to get this to work for the upcoming shoot, but it was not to be. I'll stick to the EVF for Zebra for the time being.

However, I'll still try to make this work, and I'll post again to this thread once I have more news.

Thanks to all of you for your help!

Kind regards,

Ron
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