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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old June 26th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #1
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Which external monitor?

I currently have a Jag35 monitor Jag35 Monitor | Jag35.com

I don't like it. The colors are awful and nowhere near close to what's being recorded, and the image is soft, making it difficult to nail focus. There's also no way to update firmware and the monitor options/features are few.

Can anyone suggest something better? I've read reviews of the SmallHD DP4 and Marshall LCD50, but it seems the glossy screens on those things are annoyingly reflective, even with a sunshade. Also, they appear to have the same amount of resolution (800x480), so when scaled up for my GH2 I would imagine nailing focus wouldn't be any easier.

I'd prefer something $500 or less.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: Which external monitor?

I have a less than $500 monitor, a Lilliput 569gl, goes for $225 now on Amazon. The colors are OK in my experience but never super accurate. For focusing it's a wash as you are never going to find a small monitor for this price that is greater than 800 x 400. I only use it for playback these days as I got a Varavon Loupe with the LCD supporter and that is as good as the LCD for focusing and is a hundred times easier to deal with than an LCD.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #3
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Re: Which external monitor?

Love the dp6.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: Which external monitor?

I have the SmallHD DP4 on a 5DM2. The "Focus +" technology that SmallHD has comes from Aliens or a time traveler from the future. Check out the videos on their website and you'll see it in action. It's amazing. The old fashioned 10x zoom also works just fine. The DP4 has peaking as well.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 01:36 AM   #5
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Re: Which external monitor?

I own 2 Marshall LCD50 monitors as well as a DP4 with the EVF. I can say that the Marshalls are a nice size for when you're sitting still on a tripod, but the DP4 is altogether a better value and I like using it more. The glossy Marshalls are garbage in the sun, and the DP4 isn't much better without the (better) sunhood or EVF.

I think the Marshalls are more accurate color wise out of the box, but all these things can be tuned if you'd like to take the time to do so. The LP-E6 batteries are great with the DP4 and the dual mount is really slim and solid. The false colors are better on the Marshall and it's maybe just a tad easier to focus on the 5" versus the 4" on the DP4.

I also have a 7" Marshall that runs at 800x480 and I think it's too grainy to be useful as an on-camera monitor or for critical focus. It's great on a C-Stand as a client monitor though. Also used a DP6 a few weeks ago - kind of a funky look to the image on the LCD, but it seems to work well if you're willing to live with the size.

Marshall makes a 1024x600 model with some sort of anti-reflective devilry, but its expensive, around twice the cost of the other options being discussed. I'd say try the DP4, I really like having it in my bag because it is just so versatile with input/output/pass-though and the customizable menu options. A great value for what they're selling them at.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Re: Which external monitor?

I use a DP6, the glossy screen isn't perfect but anti-glare screen protectors are cheap enough. All that said, I barely ever use it with the GH because I often use ETC.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: Which external monitor?

The thing is I have a straight rig from Jag35. I'm wondering if I should just alter it to an offset rig and use the GH2's lcd for monitoring.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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Re: Which external monitor?

Does the Varavon Loupe holder do anything for you?
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Old June 28th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #9
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Re: Which external monitor?

Les, it seems the handle that attaches at the bottom would prevent me from then mounting the camera onto my shoulder rig. Also, if the lcd has to be open to attach it then regardless of straight rig or offset rig I'd have to stretch my neck to use it.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #10
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Re: Which external monitor?

This loupe works on my admittedly modest Spiderbrace so perhaps your shoulder rig can be adjusted. The Loupe has really changed the way I use the camera, I can even get away doing handheld with wide-angle lenses without OIS, the eyepiece provides additional support to stabilize the camera with your head. The only real drawback it has is with my glasses on the field of vision of the LCD is cut off on the edges.

The more I used the LCD while shooting with the GH2 the more I was uncomfortable with the experience. The limitations the HDMI out has and the sensitive HDMI connector on the GH2 were frustrating and alarmed clients more than the tiny LCD on the camera. Regardless, the external LCD is great piece of gear to have available and it's much easier to use with my JVC HD video camera. If I am on a shoot that needs quality review of the footage on set, it's better to have a laptop on hand and transfer the camera files into it for backup and viewing.
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