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Old February 9th, 2002, 07:31 PM   #1
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different varizoom monitors?

I am looking into buying a monitor for an XL1 to help with manual focusing, the varizooms seem very good from write ups, however, being in the UK getting to see this stuff is all but impossible. I'm new to video and I can't decide to buy a B+W or colour, surely just having a larger screen will make focusing manually easier, so why does everyone seem to recomend B+W. As a novice I'm just concerned that I'm going to spend ages filming stuff that's pin sharp only to find it's all turned a funny colour.
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Old February 9th, 2002, 08:08 PM   #2
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Howdy from Texas,

The VariZoom monitors are all color. There's a dial on most of them which allow you to knock the color all the way down to black and white if you want.

What you hear about black and white being better for focusing refers to professional electronic viewfinders which have a 1.5" CRT (cathode ray tube), just like a small television monitor screen, not an LCD display. Many pro's find the sharper view of a black and white CRT to be much easier to focus with than a color LCD.

In my opinion turning an LCD from color into black and white isn't going to gain you very much. The primary advantage of an external color LCD monitor is that the larger image is much easier to focus from than the tiny color LCD viewfinder on the camera. The VariZoom monitors are a good choice if you're on a budget and can't afford the expensive Canon black and white CRT viewfinder.
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Old February 9th, 2002, 10:22 PM   #3
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Also "Howdy from Texas"...except by way of Seoul,

When I first got my Varizoom TFT monitor, I tried knocking the color down to black & white. It works about 95%...but for some reason, reds still show through in a washed-out way.

Looks just like the little girl in "Schindler's List"...all black & white except for a few selected things on the screen in washed-out red.

I don't really mind, though, since I prefer to use it in color anyway. No complaints from me about this monitor...it's made shooting easier.
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Old February 9th, 2002, 11:19 PM   #4
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I'll second John's notes on the Varizoom lcd monitore. It really won't help too much with critical focus but it can be a good aid with framing in a relatively mounted setting (as opposed to a run-an'-gun situation). It's light and packs into a tidy little case...easy to schlep. The battery's a little heavy and funky but the DC converter's all I normally use. Be sure to order the camera shoe mount (which was not supplied with the kit I bought).
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Old February 11th, 2002, 12:07 AM   #5
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Varizoom Monitor Battery Mounting and sound buzz from mic.....

hello guys,

how are you guys mounting that "super large" 12v battery on camera? I can't seem to think of a good way of mounting the large batt pack for handheld shooting.

Also, I'm getting high pitch feedback from the mic on the Varizoom monitor's internal speaker- how do you guys stop the "feedback" on the monitor's internal speaker?

(This is from the 5.6" Varizoom monitor and travel pack i'm speaking of- also came with a sunshade and small on-camera mount)
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Old February 11th, 2002, 12:15 AM   #6
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Hi Steve,

I use that monitor primarily when the camera is on a tripod. I've never thought about using the monitor when the camera is handheld... I just use the EVF in that situation... but I suppose you could keep the monitor battery in its soft case, and sling the case over your shoulder with the included straps.

Regarding the audio feedback, if I were you I'd turn the monitor volume all the way down (why would you need it anyway) or just monitor through headphones (but I prefer to do this from the camera). Hope this helps,
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Old February 11th, 2002, 12:32 AM   #7
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Hi Steve,

I agree with Chris...why would you need to use the internal speaker on the monitor? Just use your headphones to monitor through the camera.

One thing you might be interested in is a "sleeve" that I made myself to attach that big honker battery to my tripod leg (and also the battery for the Frezzi light that's arriving soon - same size battery). It's really simple to make.

Just get the same "backpack" nylon material that most bags are made of and make a cover that's enclosed on the bottom and sides but leaving the top open. The material I chose is a bit stretchy, so the battery slips in from the top snugly. Starting from the "front" side of the pouch (the side opposite the tripod leg that you're attaching to) put four velcro straps designed to wrap backwards around the tripod leg, two at the top and two at the bottom, meaning two on each side, wrapping opposite directions. Insteading of leveling the opposing straps off, offset them one strap width so that they don't meet, but instead "double wrap." This double wrapping keeps it from sliding down the tripod leg. I added some tripod leg "warmers" to my tripod and this helps keep the pouch from moving around, too (plus helps my shoulder when carrying).

Hope that's clear enough. Took me about an hour to make it (not the best at sewing) and cost about 3 bucks.

I'm also in the process of making a slip to attach to the Varizoom shoulder brace on the back end of the shoulder piece (also nylon) and a lightweight metal attachment that will attach to the base of the tripod head (so that it rotates with the head) that will hold two of the brick batteries, and allow attaching my Varizoom monitor on top of it so that it rests just below the XL-1 view finder. Also, there'll be a rounded hook coming from the other side to allow hanging your headphones on.

Already have it sketched out, just need to someone to cut the metal and put it together here in Seoul. I'll let you know when it's done.
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Old February 11th, 2002, 07:26 AM   #8
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John, I was planning to fabricate a mounting plate for the Varizoom monitor simiar to what you describe. Something that would mount to the tripod head and allow the monitor to sit beside the camera rather than on top. I don't have the monitor yet, but will be ordering one soon.
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Old February 11th, 2002, 08:14 AM   #9
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Ed,

Since this subject came up, it kind of spurred me into working on this again today. We should put our heads together on this. I'm going to try to get something cranked out within a couple of weeks, provided I can find someone to cut the metal...and who has the "right" metal. Has to be super thin, super lightweight, and super strong.

Anyone know where I can get cryptonite?

Isn't it amazing that no one has come up with a simple solution for these external monitors, and also the brick batteries? I guess no one wants to invest a lot in it since the rumor mill predicts the XL-2 (or whatever the next generation will be called) will have a flip out monitor, and that the brick batteries used in accessories now will be replaced by smaller, Canon-sized batteries eventually. In the meantime...duct tape, I guess.
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Old February 13th, 2002, 07:55 AM   #10
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LCD Monitor Bracket

John, here are a couple of ideas I've come up with for mounting the monitor.

Originally I considered something similar to the Mini Rover (http://www.videosmith.com), mounting the monitor in place of the hand grip. The problem here being it would be difficult to quickly remove from the camera unless a second quick release plate was used.

Another option is to utilize the second pan handle attaching point on the tripod head. I like this idea better and plan to develop it further as soon as I get the monitor.

How were you planning to attach the bracket?
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