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Old June 19th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #1
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Monitor size vs effective dpi

Well, I realize this probably should go to another area, but since I'm using the EX1, and this forum is the most busy one - here is my request for advice from those more experienced than myself...

I'm currently using the Manhattan HD, 10.9", 1366x768 monitor with my EX1 and Letus Extreme. The monitor is large and really sharp, but too bulky for any other application (like with my Redrock shoulder-mount rig), therefore I've been thinking of replacing it with something smaller (like the 8.9" Manhattan 1024x600, or the more expensive SmallHD 1280x768 DP1). Especially with the latter, the "dpi" factor seems much better than with my current 10.9" one...

From your experience, which is easier for focusing: a larger monitor with slightly less pixels per inch, or more pixels per inch in a smaller form? Assuming no focusing aid is available (no peaking, no 1:1 pixel mapping).

I'd like to avoid spending money, only to fall out of the frying pan into the fire:) TIA!
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Old June 19th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Well, I realize this probably should go to another area, but since I'm using the EX1, and this forum is the most busy one - here is my request for advice from those more experienced than myself...

I'm currently using the Manhattan HD, 10.9", 1366x768 monitor with my EX1 and Letus Extreme. The monitor is large and really sharp, but too bulky for any other application (like with my Redrock shoulder-mount rig), therefore I've been thinking of replacing it with something smaller (like the 8.9" Manhattan 1024x600, or the more expensive SmallHD 1280x768 DP1). Especially with the latter, the "dpi" factor seems much better than with my current 10.9" one...

From your experience, which is easier for focusing: a larger monitor with slightly less pixels per inch, or more pixels per inch in a smaller form? Assuming no focusing aid is available (no peaking, no 1:1 pixel mapping).

I'd like to avoid spending money, only to fall out of the frying pan into the fire:) TIA!
Right now I am using a Sony Portable DVD player for focusing. It is model DVP-FX820 which is 8" diagonal. It seems about the right size for focusing, but the AV out is of such low resolution it is useless for focusing especially since I shoot stage productions with limited lighting. It does however work well when using component out (SD) with only the Green connector. The image is black and white, but focusing is much better than the composite out in color.

That said, the LCD screen on the camera is better than the external monitor for focusing despite being really small.

So then the question becomes, why go the HD monitor route?

For all the money they cost, what is the advantage as a field monitor to use the HD output of the camera when after all my reading of posts by people who are buying them they all seem to be using them almost entirely for focusing. I have yet to read of more than a handful using them for critical exposure. They pretty much all seem to be doing what you are doing - using it for focusing. I can calibrate my cheap little Sony DVD player for exposure if I want to use it for that, but I like the built in LCD screen for that.

I am assuming that you will want to stick with an HD field monitor so my personal suggestion is that if you really want another smaller monitor for field work get the Manhattan LCD monitor simply because it is cheaper than the Small HD monitor since all you are going to be doing with it is using it for focusing.

John
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Old June 19th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for your answer, John.

I must admit however I didn't get your point :)

Why would a HD monitor be less useful for critical focusing than a low res one?

Since I have n personal experience with other monitors, I just wanted to know if people find the bigger size (and absolute number of pixels) to be more or less important than the dot size, and number of dots per inch, which can be higher in smaller (thus easier to handle) monitors... But this question of mine was based on the assumption that for focusing, resolution is important. Your answer seems to contradict this assumption - could you elaborate?
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Old June 20th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Thanks for your answer, John.

I must admit however I didn't get your point :)

Why would a HD monitor be less useful for critical focusing than a low res one?

Since I have n personal experience with other monitors, I just wanted to know if people find the bigger size (and absolute number of pixels) to be more or less important than the dot size, and number of dots per inch, which can be higher in smaller (thus easier to handle) monitors... But this question of mine was based on the assumption that for focusing, resolution is important. Your answer seems to contradict this assumption - could you elaborate?
In my opinion, an HD monitor isn't "less useful", it just doesn't seem worth the greater cost over an SD monitor to use just for focusing. I find the built in LCD monitor fine for focusing most of the time and my SD monitor fine for focusing the rest of the time. My shots aren't out of focus. Then again I don't use the focus wheel most of the time. I use the autofocus or push to focus then lock it.
But I did say "I am assuming that you will want to stick with an HD field monitor" because I figured that you feel it is important to have one. I wasn't trying to talk you out of it. However I did think the less expensive one would probably serve you just fine for focusing and save you money in the process.

John
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Old June 20th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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Obviously you need to balance between DPI and size.

Big screens are convenient to adjust focus but are bulky, small screens are very easy to handle , but you need good eyes and close view.
the good new with small screens is they do not need to be high resolution to look good, since their DPI count is high.

I got the EX1 with an admitted good LCD screen but frankly it is very hard to the eye to work a long time with it, and i cannot imagine to get proper focus without the peaking mode. On the other hand, i got the manhattan 10.4" and it is a pleasure to work with, even if it impossible to work without the cam being on a tripod.

The problem with the EX1 is that cheap small screens are using only composite input and the composite output of the Ex1 is at best very average.

If you want to go HDMI or component, the price goes up and it would be silly to spend $700 for a monitor that is not a least 1280x720 capable.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 05:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post

The problem with the EX1 is that cheap small screens are using only composite input and the composite output of the Ex1 is at best very average.

If you want to go HDMI or component, the price goes up and it would be silly to spend $700 for a monitor that is not a least 1280x720 capable.
Not if you use the Green connector from the component out. It will give you a black and white image, but it will work with a cheap small screen and be a lot easier to focus with.

John
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Old July 1st, 2009, 07:07 AM   #7
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I use a marshall 7" HD monitor.

Not just for focusing. Actually I like focusing using my EX3 screen with peeking and zoom.

I like the bigger screen on a longer shoot. I don't put the data on it so it is more relaxing and easier to get a feel for the composition than a screen full of data, zebra, histogram etc..

So I have one screen with all the data, and one for the composition, this is also great for field producers and I sometimes have someone else pull focus, they then use this screen to verify their work. The Marshall is fine for focusing. I have it on a magic arm attached to my fluid head. It can even be turned around and used as a tele-prompter.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 07:54 AM   #8
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One of the several benefits of the EX-3 is its large screen, which I always used peaking for focusing. Yes, I am getting the new Marshall monitor, but for lighting and framing, etc., not for focusing. Marshall | V-LCD70P-3GSDI-SB 7" LCD | V-LCD70P-3GSDI-SB
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 09:06 AM   #9
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I'm waiting for the new Marshell OLED monitor they displayed at NAB this year. It's supposed to be available soon. Beautiful looking monitor due to the first ever use of an OLED screen by a monitor manufacture.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
I have it on a magic arm attached to my fluid head. It can even be turned around and used as a tele-prompter.
Hi Olof.

i like this idea for my setup.

i have a Sachtler SOOM tripod with the FSB6 head.

I'm wondering what magic arm would suit me ....

Would love a pic of your setup to give me an idea

:)
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Amana View Post
Hi Olof.

i like this idea for my setup.

i have a Sachtler SOOM tripod with the FSB6 head.

I'm wondering what magic arm would suit me ....

Would love a pic of your setup to give me an idea

:)
Here is a link to an old post with photo of my setup showing monitor setup with arm, it is attache to the second arm mount on my Miller solo head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
This is it in one of its more elaborate setups. Matte box with bellows, Wireless mike plate and shoulder mount / IDX battery holder. The Cam and on-camera light can run from the IDX batts.

It balances very well, I can even add a Frezzi light on the front hot shoe. Just like Betacams of old.

I also have a Q-Vision (top mount) Tele prompter that mounts to this setup.

I use The VF baseplate a Cavision Rail setup and an old Cavision Mattebox. The Mahogany Battery mount and W/L mike setup is an aluminum plate I made up.

The rails and matte box come off easily. And then it is a great feels-like-betacam but lighter setup.

The whole thing snaps to a Sony VCT-14 plate.

The larger LCD is a Marshall.

Last edited by Olof Ekbergh; July 3rd, 2009 at 06:42 AM. Reason: Fixed link
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