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Old November 18th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #1
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MONITOR HD for HPX500

Hi, I am thinking to buy a camara monitor to my HPX500. It looks like Panasonic BT-LH80WE is the best monitor, but it is really expensive (more here in europe).
Two questions please:

1. If I finally buy the BT-LH80WE, Will I need the SDI component to focus properly?

2. What about other HD monitors? There is really such a big difference. Are you using the Marshall or another brand? are they enought?
Has anybody listen about SWIT monitors?
Thanks
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Old November 18th, 2007, 07:50 AM   #2
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Hi Pablo. I am using that Panasonic. I get around and use various monitors and believe the pana to be ahead of the pack though TBH I think the marshall is suitable for this cam.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #3
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If you don't need waveform (and a few other features on the BT-LH80), check out the new Nebtek NEB70HD. Half the price of the BT-LH80 and almost as many features.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 03:13 AM   #4
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Thanks both,
Noel, do you have the SDI input? is it neccesary to get a proper focus?
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Old November 19th, 2007, 06:58 AM   #5
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Pablo,

What do you mean by "focus properly"? SDI is an optional h/w module for the LH80W. If you can get by using component input - you don't need SDI. If you enable the "focus in red" feature, the monitor will highlight the points of sharpest focus in marching red ants.

TS
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Old November 19th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #6
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I have the SDI module and havent used it any other way so I cant comment. 
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Old November 19th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo Lozano View Post
Hi, I am thinking to buy a camara monitor to my HPX500. It looks like Panasonic BT-LH80WE is the best monitor, but it is really expensive (more here in europe).
Two questions please:

1. If I finally buy the BT-LH80WE, Will I need the SDI component to focus properly?

2. What about other HD monitors? There is really such a big difference. Are you using the Marshall or another brand? are they enought?
Has anybody listen about SWIT monitors?
Thanks
I have a Marshall HD monitor (7") and use it with my HPX500 but I just purchased a 17" Pana monitor because I have a hard time with fine focus with the small monitor. I remember being at the DV Expo West last year and after a P2 seminar I spoke with the speaker and he insisted there is no real way to be sure of your focus with a small HD monitor no matter how good it is. I will only be able to use the 17" in certain situations because it is so large and heavy but I hate when I get to editing I find out my focus wasnt perfect.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin Altman View Post
I remember being at the DV Expo West last year and after a P2 seminar I spoke with the speaker and he insisted there is no real way to be sure of your focus with a small HD monitor no matter how good it is.
Well the speaker is just wrong.

The BT-LH80 has pixel-to-pixel and focus-in-red, both of which work great for judging critical focus with shallow DOF. The NEB70HD/S also has similar focus assist features. Granted, there are limits: focus-in-red doesn't work well with moving shots/subjects and pixel-to-pixel crops the image.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Wolding View Post
Well the speaker is just wrong.

The BT-LH80 has pixel-to-pixel and focus-in-red, both of which work great for judging critical focus with shallow DOF. The NEB70HD/S also has similar focus assist features. Granted, there are limits: focus-in-red doesn't work well with moving shots/subjects and pixel-to-pixel crops the image.
Does the NEB have the focus in red, or just traditional peaking? And if it is just peaking, does it provide enough contrast to pull a quick and accurate focus.

The only thing really keeping me leaning toward the more expensive Panasonic is the focus in red feature. But I haven't used either of them to judge for myself.

-Brad
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:23 PM   #10
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It looks like it's just peaking. I haven't actually played with one though.

If you do pick up the Panasonic, you won't be disappointed. I love mine.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:48 PM   #11
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Another vote for the Panasonic. Both with the HVX-200 with a 35mm adapter, as well as the HPX-500. the Panasonic simply can not be beat.In fact, as soon as I sell my Marshall HD monitor I will be replacing it with a Panasonic.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:16 PM   #12
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Here's a small impressions/ hands on I did with the Panasonic monitor 2 weeks ago- hope this helps! :)


"Last Saturday I had the opportunity to go to the panasonic Broadcast Offices in HK (Shun Hing Group), and got a chance to try the AG-HVX200 with the Brevis and the Panasonic new 8" monitor.

First of all, many thanks to MR. Philip Wu, Chief Manager of the Panasonic Broadcast AV division in HK, for his time and availability for this testing- Anyone in HK, please don't hesitate to go to Panasonic Broadcast Directly for your HVX or Panasonic professional products needs- Excelent costumer service!

First of all, I'm a very happy HVX Operator/Producer/Editor. The HVX helped us in some of the major international TV Promotions we did this year. You can check them out in some of my previous posts.

I have been a "fan"of Panasonic Video camcorders for a while, since the DVX, with the native 25p option. The HVX was a natural progressive step, and it never fails to impress in picture quality/handling and performance.

However, the HVX is still a fixed lens offering, and anyone with experience in the TV commercial business knows that, in a narrative presentation, in order to achieve "big budget level" looks, one needs the possibility of using different type of lenses.

For the budget filmmaker/producer, the option was, a few years ago, to either rent a 2/3 camera with digiprimes, shoot on film, or go for a very expensive mini35 adapter adapted to mini dv cameras- this is not, however, what we can get today.

With the appearance of budget 35mm adapters that provide surprisingly good results (the Micro 35mm, or M2, the Brevis or the SGpro, among others) it is now possible to achieve, with a much more affordable price, 35mm DOF look and beautiful film bokeh, with the use of Still film lenses that are relatively cheap on the second hand market.

The pluses of this option far outweight the minuses, but this is not what I want to discuss here.

Having invested myself, with my own limited ressources, on the Brevis 35mm, I was really impressed on what I could achieve with this adapter- However, I had to face a big downpoint when I used the adapter in real world shooting situation. It was very, very hard to focus and Frame, due to the flip nature of the adapter, and the very poor LCD of the camera. This is true for all 1/3 HD cameras, I believe, excluding the JVC with the focus in Red feature ,which is the big selling point, for me, of the Panasonic 8" that I tested.

What basically this means is that, for someone shooting an HVX with a 35mm adaptor, the Panasonic BTLH8w is a MUST HAVE. Why? Here's an example:

I was shooting a scene for my short film at night, Guerrila Style (no permits, on the street, no power generator, handheld Photo lights)and was using the Brevis. You have to set up the HVX with the brevis by focusing first the internal lens on the Adapter, then attach the still film lens and focus it. If the focus of the HVX with the brevis goes just a little out, the image will not be sharp, or in focus. And this focus goes easilly out, due to there not be an option to deactivate the HVX focus ring after setting it up. What this meant is that it was practically impossible to do any handheld shooting/ Steadicam shooting, or follow focusing, looking at the on camera LCD. If the scene was on a studio, with staged markings, on a tripod, it would work. For Guerrila style shooting, it is almost impossible. This, however, is a scenario that would absolutelly change with the Panasonic monitor. Why?

Focus in Red, and Waveform. The Panasonic monitor was lightweight enough to be mounted on the top shoe of the camera. It can be mounted upside down, and, the battery pach can be mounted on a belt. With the brevis on, the camera is still handheldable- heavy, of course, but manageable.

So why all this praising of "Focus in Red" ? basically, what made my scenario described before a nightmare is completely eliminated with this function. The object in focus is immediately revealed with a highlight in red. If my "back focus" (which basically is what the hvx lens is doing on the Brevis) is of, I simply look ant the monitor and the red Lines and work with the still lens to achieve my optimal focus in SECONDS- Making handheld/ Steadicam, Guerrila style shooting with a 35mm adapter a lot more practical. A scene that I could only get, due to technical difficulties, in 45minutes, would take about 10 minutes or so with this monitor. And it would avoid the "guessing" and praying for the frame to be in focus on the best take.

The monitor also includes an option for 1:1 pixel for pixel viewing- this means you can see the actual 1920x1080 parcel that the 800x480 monitor can display- something like the Focus assist on the HVX, but a lot sharper.

And it comes with built in waveform monitors. This can help in the editing room if you don't have waveform monitors for CC.

Suffice to say, the monitor exceeded my expectations, and I am awaiting its arrival this December. I heavily recommend it for anyone with a 35mm adapter. The Focus in Red feature is a must for any monitor. The price is expensive, sure, but you won't bother with any other external monitor again- And these features work trough both component and HD-SDI. Which would mean this monitor can be good for an HVX or a F900/RED/ HPX3000 or 500.

My only gripe, now, is on how to get the most affordable power solution for it- Anton Bauer, IDX, anything more affordable than this?

Hope these impressions help anyone on the fence looking for an LCD/ Ext Viewfinder..."
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 01:14 PM   #13
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We've budgeted for one of these in the coming year. I've come to see it as an essential tool for peace of mind in high value shooting.

Just an observation but at a tradeshow this previous weekend, everyone (demo's, rental houses, etc.) had the Panasonic monitors mounted on their displays. Certainly seems to be a popular choice.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #14
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I just compared the new Nebtek to both Panny monitors and I was very impressed by the Nebtek, truly suprised. I mainly compared to the btlh80W and only looked at its more expensive brother briefly. Long and the short of it was I thought the Nebtek looked significantly sharper and punchier than either Panny certainly the cheaper one. Might have handled movement better as well.

It didn't really need much peaking to judge focus if any at all. The picture just looked very good and outdoors in sunlight it left the panny in the dust. Even generic composite video-in was sharp and clean. I don't know if color and contrast was as true as the panny - it looked a little colder (bluer) but not to any degree that would be a problem. On quick glance it was more contrasty hence punchy but that seemed adjustable and helped give it snap. I doubt whether the contrast was actually losing information, I didn't have time to check. I'll compare to my 17" later.
Side to side it had much better off axis visibility than the Panny . Up & down it was about the same.
Features - didn't have the waveform which I miss but it ran on Panny batts, had loop through, flip and was lighter. Doesn't have the Panny ability to interface as a camera viewfinder of course with all that information on an HDX900 or varicam of course.

To be fair, I didn't have time to set them both up and just looked at them as they came form the rental house. I doubt whether that would have made a big difference though. I only looked at 720 and didn't check out the pixel to pixel business - (in fact I don't even know what it is.)

Incidently I hated the red assist function on the panny though I've never worked with it, but I would hate to have it on when walking around hand-held. Maybe if I spent more time with it I would see its merits, I only looked at it for a second.
The Nebtek seemed sharp enough for focusing with additional peaking available and a zoom function. Don't know really how they would compare though in practical work.


- Lenny Levy

Last edited by Leonard Levy; November 24th, 2007 at 07:29 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sergio Perez View Post
Here's a small impressions/ hands on I did with the Panasonic monitor 2 weeks ago- hope this helps! :)

"Last Saturday I had the opportunity to go to the panasonic Broadcast Offices in HK (Shun Hing Group), and got a chance to try the AG-HVX200 with the Brevis and the Panasonic new 8" monitor.
I didn't know that Hong Kong is also using HVX200. I would have thought it should be HVX202 (PAL version) - yes?
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