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Old September 18th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #1
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NX5 w/ Ikan HDMI LCD Monitor - Poor Picture Quality

Hello,

I purchased an Ikan VH7 LCD monitor to use with my NX5. My first shoot with it was at a rock concert with active stage lighting (bright colors / deep blacks / gradients / high contrast / light cue changes / deep saturated colors / etc).

The picture quality on the HDMI monitor was absolutely terrible. I had to keep checking the NX5 lcd monitor to make sure that what I was recording wasn't looking as bad as it looked on the Ikan. It looked smeared, low-res, pixelated, grainy, banding gradients, and the motion was not smooth. (I was shooting at 1080/24p)

Is this just the result of a low-end HDMI monitor? I can't imagine it would be a problem or menu setting in the NX5 that would affect the HDMI output quality. Can you think of anything?

But what I don't understand is that the reviews for this monitor are generally favorable. In fact, I even spent a little more money to go with this one since it had a higher pixel count than the 800x600 models.

In the end, it did what I needed it to do. I had the NX5 on a shoulder mount - and I needed a small, light LCD that I could mount on an articulating arm in my sight line. So yes, it worked in that regard - basically a low quality confidence monitor for framing and composition purposes.

But god forbid I had a DSLR that I needed to track focus with. Focusing would of been impossible with this thing!

Does anyone have any experience with this monitor in these lighting conditions? (a bright sunny day, or well lit set might not of exhibited this low picture quality)

Any input or recommendations for a better monitor is appreciated.

Thanks,
Angelo
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Old September 18th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: NX5 w/ Ikan HDMI LCD Monitor - Poor Picture Quality

As far as motion goes, the HDMI dies not output 24p. It's 60i so the monitor will show 60i, meaning any motion will look awful. Let me ask you this, are you planning on transferring the final product to film? If not, why are you shooting 24p? I see so many people out there shooting 24p when they should't be simply because they don't know what they're doing and think that since film is shot 24p, somehow their stuff will look better in 24p. Even the NX5U's LCD doesn't look good showing motion in 24p.

As for the rest of your experience, you're shooting in an extreme environment with regards to lighting so a cheaper monitor is NOT going to cut it. The IKAN is a great monitor that looks great in about 95% of the situations most videographers shoot in. You were shooting in that other 5% and really need a very high end (expensive) monitor for that situation.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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Re: NX5 w/ Ikan HDMI LCD Monitor - Poor Picture Quality

First, I agree that the vh7 looks terrible at 24p. At 30p it's very good for the money.

Second, I disagree that you need an expensive monitor to shoot in those conditions. Yes of course it would be better but you really can't trust any monitor to give accurate color when you're in the middle of concert lighting. A hood would help significantly. In those situations a monitor should be used for accurate framing not color balance.
Outdoors in bright sun, you can get the vh7 colors to look better...just requires some adjustments. And a hood is required if course.

That said, my vh7 doesn't hold a candle to my SmallHD DP1x....which I sold. :(
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Old September 18th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: NX5 w/ Ikan HDMI LCD Monitor - Poor Picture Quality

I agree that it should not be used for color balance but inevitably, the higher the resolution and higher the contrast ratio, the better it's going to look under those conditions. Higher resolution and contrast ration monitors cost more so you'll have to spend more to get a better picture under those conditions.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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Re: NX5 w/ Ikan HDMI LCD Monitor - Poor Picture Quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Johnston View Post
why are you shooting 24p? I see so many people out there shooting 24p when they should't be simply because they don't know what they're doing and think that since film is shot 24p, somehow their stuff will look better in 24p.
That is quite a generalization Michael. I can assure you, I know the look I am going for when shooting in 24p..or better put the look I am NOT going for (that being 60i video). 24p has a cinematic "cadence" of motion that is slightly less sterile and slightly more surreal than 60i video. I don't think any 24p shooters would argue that the motion is smoother...quite the contrary. But it is that lack of smoothness, and cinematic feel that attracts me and many others to that format.

Back to the topic - I realize that the motion of 24p is not as smooth as 60i. My point was that the Ikan LCD monitor was not smooth - the motion looked fine in the NX5 onboard monitor, but the Ikan was significantly worse. I recognize that the HDMI is putting out 60i (it even says so on the Ikan when it powers on) - but it has never looked this bad on other HDMI monitors I've plugged in to. I guess, after reading the other comments, the problem is inherent in the quality of the monitor. This is my first time trying out these new cheap battery powered LCDs - so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I think more so than the motion and colors - the pixilation, blocking, and banding of contrast was the worst offenders. It truly looked low-res. I'll look at some of the other models out there, maybe there is something with a better contrast ratio that I can afford.

Thanks for the comments! I am really enjoying these forums!

Angelo
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