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Old July 24th, 2003, 12:38 AM   #1
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Notebook as Field Hi-Res Monitor for Anamorphic

I'm taking the anamorphic plunge but worried about critical focus in the field.

I don't think the 3.5 LCD will cut it and shopping for portable LCD or CRT field monitors is depressed.

My needs are:

(1) Full res image display (500+ lines)
(2) Internal Battery Power (no drain or cam or external battery pack
(3) Anamorphic/full frame switchable

There are no appealing options that are either low-res, heavy or very expensive ($1000) and up. Most, even higher end don't have the same pixel res and 3.5 flipout except for the HD models which cost more than the DVX100!

Portable 9" CRT with batteries and 500+ lines are also in the $1000 and up range.

I've heard of people using laptops. I have not so portable Toshiba (i.e. around 9 lbs) but it has a gorgeous 15" screen optimized for DVD playback (1450X1050) pixels, plus I can calibrate it pretty accurately & see vectorscope waveforms via Vegas.

Batteries are cheap, I already have 3 year warranty with accidental cover every disaster. It's not my main machine, so it seems like a decent idea except I can't strap it to the camera.

Thoughts? Is this nuts? Anyone else doing it?
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Old July 24th, 2003, 12:45 AM   #2
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Well, what you would need is some type of add-on card that will be able to add video inputs to your laptop.

Possibly like this:

http://www.fortuna.com.tw/Video-card.htm
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Old July 24th, 2003, 06:13 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if that device would suffice, Alex. There are lot of references to other screen sizes and that always sets off warning flags to me. That system may have trouble doing full frames at full frame rates. Further, you may not be able to really judge color with it.

Neat device however.
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Old July 24th, 2003, 09:10 AM   #4
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I was going to go firewire in and use capture window for monitoring...
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Old July 24th, 2003, 10:12 AM   #5
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i thought of that, because of all the benefits you could have in addition in the field to just the monitor... waveform software/aduio software/nle/etc.....
but am new and wanted to learn how to use the bluecheck on crt monitors, so am picking one up... and at 9lbs, your laptop is still lighter than the monitors....

sounds good

there are 7" lcds out there as well for $200
ibuyer.net/pricewatch
http://mp3playerstore.com/stuff_you_...headrest-7.htm
(have NOT purchased from these people, just looked awhile back, seems like good prices and equipment)


but then again you already have a laptop, uses more power, but the $200 could go to batteries....
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Old July 24th, 2003, 10:23 AM   #6
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Alturo, that's a pretty nice screen for $200 (assuming the company is reputable) however it only has 234 vertical lines. I haven't seen any small LCD's that would show the full 480 lines of an image.
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Old July 24th, 2003, 10:40 AM   #7
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Interesting model and low price, but never heard of them plus you would have to a lug a 12V battery supply unit around.

I can get extra batteries and charger for my Toshiba cheap. I think I will give a try first and see how it goes.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 04:19 AM   #8
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I own a NebTek-modiefied Panasonic 7" LCD (NEB70XL) easy to power with the BP-945 batteries.
http://nebtek.com/7inch/neb70.html
and it is protected by a KATA LCM-1 case
http://www.kata-bags.com/Item.asp?pi...d=1&ProdLine=1. I really love this case.

I find I am using this more and more instead of my SONY PVM-8045Q CRT monitor which is also capable of resolving 16:9.

- don
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Old July 27th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #9
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Don:

Very Cool - I had not seen this. Does it include everything to mount to the hotshoe on the DVX100?
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Old July 27th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #10
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Yes, to mount on a hotshoe you will need a hotshoe ball mount adaptor. I bought mine from ZGC http://nebtek.com/mounting.html

You can buy the entire setup from ZGC too, which is what I would do. Ask for Mizell Wilson at 1-973-335-4460. http://zgc.com

I just want to add that this montor really benefits from the KATA LCM-1 case. That case allows you to keep the monitor near you at all times while still keeping it well protected and in showroom condition. The case has a neoprene back which opens with a zipper which allows me to keep everything I need in the case including the monitor, dual-coaxial RCA cable, ball-mount and a few to several Canon BP batteries, depending upon the size of batteries I use. The Nebtek/ Panasonic NEB70 is already remarkably bright outdoors, but the KATA LCM-1 built-in sunhood really helps in those instances. Shoulder strap is very well made too.

Everytime I pull out this monitor setup on a shoot, the producer or director is always impressed and thankful for being able to see playback so quickly. They will also typically mumble about how they should pick one up for themselves too.

Don't forget that the Nebtek/ Panasonic NEB 70 also includes built-in audio, which is very loud considering the size.

This is the sharpest/ brightest LCD panel you can buy for under $1000 and compares very favorably to those costing much more.

- don
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Old July 27th, 2003, 01:24 PM   #11
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Don, is this the same monitor as the Panasonic TC-7WMS1? What are the differences? Depending on the configuration, the link you gave to Nebtek lists it in the $800 to $1100 range. On Panasonic's site they list it at $600, although it appears you need an accessory kit that costs between $165 and $200 to complete the package.

It seems like the resolution is a little low at 480x234, does it really produce a sufficiently sharp image to make shooting judgements, or is it better suited as a presentation device? It does look very cool...
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Old July 27th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #12
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Yes it is the same monitor, except that NebTek will modify it for very convenient and easy powering via CANON BP batteries. Also available from NebTek is their professional BNC inputs option (PRO 70 or PRO 70 XL).

The BNC input option is not quite necessary, especially if your camera outputs via RCA.

The Canon BP battery modification is strongly recommended, however - it really makes life easy on a shoot.

My experience has shown that Mizell at ZGC.com will always typically provide you with the best deal.

>>>>It seems like the resolution is a little low at 480x234, does it really produce a sufficiently sharp image to make shooting judgements, or is it better suited as a presentation device?

- it produces the *sharpest* image I have seen for LCD panels under $1000 and compares very favorably to units costing much more. Don't forget I still always have my Ikegami B&W CRT viewfinder and Tiffen TELE-2X to rely on for critical focus and exposure...

Hey, I'm not saying to get rid of the SONY PVM-8045Q CRT monitor and use this instead from now on,,, although you probably could if you had to. However, the NEB70XL performs remarkably well in those shooting situations when you do not want to bring your Sony PVM-8045Q field CRT monitor with you - or when you do not have the option of bringing your PVM-8045Q with you. I will sometimes use both monitors at the same time.

It does also work very nicely as a presentation monitor. I use it often in my office for watching digital video. I like the "Justify" mode, which allows you to view 4:3 material via 16:9. Speaker is very loud too.

>>>>It does look very cool...

- Especially when you bring it on the set in a KATA LCM-1 case. I almost always have a crew member come up to me and say "hey that is cool". Seriously.

- don
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Old August 30th, 2003, 07:44 PM   #13
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Re: Notebook as Field Hi-Res Monitor for Anamorphic

<<<-- Originally posted by Stephen van Vuuren : I'm taking the anamorphic plunge but worried about critical focus in the field. [...] I've heard of people using laptops. [...] Thoughts? Is this nuts? Anyone else doing it? -->>>

I know Stephen was looking for a PC solution, but perhaps others will be interested in a little Mac shareware program that I found. It's called BTV Pro and it can display the DV stream on my PowerBook in realtime, either in a window or full screen. I can see a correctly proportioned anamorphic 16:9 image from my PDX-10 by setting the image to 854x480. Or for full screen mode I've set it to 1152x648 (I have one of the older Titanium powerbooks with an 1152x768 screen; for other laptops set the width to your screen's max resolution, then divide that by 1.78 to get the correct height).

I haven't really played with all the options, but this program does a lot of other interesting things as well. For example, it can capture DV, giving you "tapeless" recordings. It will also do time lapse captures. Pretty cool for $40...

BTW, I found out about this program when searching back through the DVInfo.net forums for Glidecam info! Martin Munthe was describing how he used this program to monitor his 2.35:1 shots (see this thread).

Ah, the joys of serendipity!...
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 02:47 PM   #14
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Stephen, have you tried testing your laptop to achieve critcal focus with the anamorphic lenses? I can't believe that I did not think of this. I've been looking into 6 to 7" LCD screens just for this purpose, but I already have a large screen in a laptop and I'm more concerned about focus than color with the anamorphic since its so difficult to focus. (I spoke to a few panny reps at WEVA last week and they begrudgingly admitted that they have heard that it does not focus at full telephoto, but they said that they have never even seen one of the lenses because they are such hot sellers.)
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 03:18 PM   #15
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I decided not to get the anamorphic lens, so I have not tested this.

I do have some macro focus test shots coming up where I may use and I will let you know how it works.

I did discover it's nearly impossible to use in direct sunlight or bright light (I have not tried with a hood for the notebook).
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